Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Blogger - Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous

Hi Everyone! I'm still on the road, off for a brief one night pit stop at mi casa before I head out to Dallas for one night, and then home for a while! My family and I had a wonderful time in NYC and I can't wait to share some of our adventures with you. For now, I need to go get some rest, but first I want to hand over the blog to the ever sweet and creative Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous.

Linda was one of the first craft blogs I discovered and when I saw her tutorial to make burlap heart wreaths, I became a little obsessed :) Thanks so much Linda for volunteering to guest post!

Hi there! I'm Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous and I'm so excited that Andrea let me come over and play today! I've enjoyed swappin tweets with Andrea for awhile now and she's such a doll.

Today I want to share with you how to make a simple wall hanging. This is a
great project to involve the kiddos and get them outside for a few minutes.
{although they may be bundled up depending on where you live!}
 I love simple, easy crafts that turn out stunning!
  •  7 Pine Cones, cleaned off (you can do more if you want)
  • Ribbon, cut into seven 18" strips and one 6" strip (I used 5/8" ribbon)
  • Frame (mine is an 11"x14")
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
 Take each pine cone and put a dot of glue on the top.
 And press ribbon in place. Leave about 3" over hang. You can trim it
later if you don't like the look or want a shorter over hang.
Then arrange and stagger your pine cones so that they hang at different
lengths. Determine how far you want them to hang down (measuring with your
frame) and pinch the ribbon at your chosen length.
 Now take your 6" strip of ribbon and wrap it around the ribbon and tie
a knot. Then trim your ribbon as necessary. 
To hang your pine cones, hammer a pin or tiny nail through the ribbon and
into the wall right below the knot. Be sure to catch all the ribbon strands
with the pin/nail.You'll probably want to arrange your pine cones a little.
Mine got a bit jumbled in the hanging process! hehe After you have your pine
cones situated, hang your frame. I found it was easier that way, than trying
to redo the pine cones if I hung the frame wrong.

I just love this simple wall hanging! So simple, so gorgeous!

*note: my pine cones are closed in this picture, but they opened a couple
days later. And it looks a lot cooler!*
Stop by my corner of blogland, Craftaholics
and say hi sometime! and check out my other tutorials :)

Happy Crafting!
post signature

Linda Gardner
Craftaholics Anonymous

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hi everyone!
I am Mandy from "Life in the Fashion" and I write a blog about my Fashion loves. I tend to be drawn to the high end designer world while finding ways to make them work into an average woman's wages. Come over and say hi!
I am so excited to help out Andrea while she is working hard (and enjoying the city with her cute family). Andrea and I have bonded over our love for Fashion and she asked me to share how to update your Spring wardrobe, with three pieces, on a budget. I know that Andrea has committed to spending less and giving more in 2011 and I have to say that I jumped on board. It is very important to me to spend smarter and hopefully less this year.

I read this article from Stylecaster that really simplified the best of the trends for Spring 2011. This season it is all about minimalism, staples from the Seventies, Maxi Skirts, Eclectic prints and the wedge heel being the "it" silhouette in show ware. Colors of importance include: Bright White, Orange, Honeysuckle Pink (more subdued than the electric pinks and fuchsia's of seasons past) and Ocean blues. I know that looking at the trends and then trying to incorporate them into your own wardrobes can be daunting. Then having to factor in a budget and it can make any woman want to run!
I am (hopefully) going to make this easy on you...and your wallet.
I am going to work with Two Budgets since we all have different amounts that we find acceptable for clothes.
Budget 1: $150 for the season
Budget 2: $300 for the season
***season is February thru the end of April
*** I am aware that even these budgets may be too high. I chose these amounts due to the fact that we are only buying three items needed to update your wardrobe with Spring Trends.

The three trends that really spoke to me are:
1. Seventies flair: High waisted, flared leg pants, jeans or trousers
2. Wedges, wedges, wedges
3. Maxi Skirts

Let's get started...
Trend One: High waisted, flared leg jeans
These pants are important to add to your collection because they are flattering to most body types and can be worn dressier or with a simple tee. I know I am sick of low waisted, muffin top baring jeans and these throw backs to the 70's work well to balance out my curvy shape. I am a HUGE fan of Gap jeans... Premium quality with out the price tag AND they fit extremely well. So the first pair that I will suggest come from there. I also own many pairs from Old Navy (the Gap's sister store) that have held up well over the years and have a budget friendly price tag.
Budget 1: Old Navy "The Flirt Wide Leg Trouser Jeans"
Budget 2: Gap "Wide Leg Trouser jeans"
(I love that the pants are paired with a Breton Striped top)
Trend Two: Wedges, Wedges, Wedges
I don't know about you but I am obsessed with shoes. I do not discriminate, I love all shapes and silhouettes, in any color. The wedge is my favorite type of shoe. You get a heel and height with comfort and ease! I am absolutely ecstatic that it is the "IT" shoe to have. I know that not everyone can wear sky high heels...the best thing about the wedge is that it comes in many different heel types. I own many pairs of Steve Madden shoes. He does a great job of imitating the hottest silhouettes. I am able to get the look that I love without killing my credit. The Steve Madden wedges look exactly like a DVF pair that I have been lusting after for months for a third of the price. And the Ruby and Bloom pair are darling and resemble a pair of Jimmy Choo's!
Budget 1: Ruby and Bloom 'Camilla' espadrille
(looks like these...)

Budget 2: Steve Madden 'Riddgge' wedges
(similar to these)
Trend Three: Maxi Skirts
 Maxi dresses have been a staple in my summer wardrobe for years. There is nothing comfier than voluminous dresses and I am so super excited to wear maxi skirts with fun blouses and belts. You can look chic and still be comfortable. They look great with wedges and photograph well, also! LNA is an up and coming line that many celebs have been wearing. So the skirt that I chose for Budget 2 is from them. I really wanted to show you this Rachel Pally skirt but it didn't fit in my budget! While wearing designer pieces is amazing, the best outfits are always a mix of highs and lows (wearing an expensive piece with a cheaper piece). Target has done a phenomenal job in their clothing departments. I cannot walk into that store without buying something to add to my wardrobe. They have really cute skirt options for less than twenty bucks.
Budget 1: Target 'Xhilaration' maxi skirt
(This skirt hits the ocean blues color trend)
Budget 2: LNA 'Colomn Skirt'
Let's recap...
Budget 1: I spent a total of $135 dollars on the three pieces...not exceeding the budget. BUT I had to search, plot, plan and really budget to make sure that I didn't over spend. I tend to be an impulse shopper so being disciplined is proving to be a challenge that I really have to work at.
Budget 2: I spent $270 dollars on these pieces and I didn't feel like it was hard at all. With the exception of the maxi skirt I didn't compromise at all. I really liked the LNA skirt as well so it wasn't a disappointment to showcase that skirt. AND I still have thirty bucks to spend. I would head to Forever 21 and stock up on amazing accessories that can liven up my winter wardrobe!

This has been fun! I hope that you all feel comfortable adding these pieces to your wardrobe!
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kelsey from Snappy Casual

Hi Friends! I have 3 great guest bloggers lined up for the next few days while I tredge through snow here in New York. We got 16 inches last night and the city looks like a winter wonderland. First up is Kelsey from Snappy Casual. Thanks Kelsey for volunteering to help me out on such short notice!

Hello, Four Flighters! I'm Kelsey from Snappy Casual. While Andrea and her adorable little family are enjoying their time in NYC (and hopefully staying warm), she invited me to share with you my wardrobe staples for spring.

What I love most about Andrea is her seemingly effortless success as a mom, in fashion, in the kitchen, while crafting and decorating her home (I mean you saw her amazing Christmas mantel, right?). And who isn't inspired by her Buy Less, Give More project for 2011? Most of my blog focuses on my style and daily outfits, but I look to Andrea as someone who has it together in all areas of her life.

I've loved fashion since I can remember. But more than that, I adore my husband and our budget. I have (only) $10/week to spend on clothing. And not long after you start a fashion blog do you realize the importance of stretching your money, so here are my four favorite trends for spring, and how to get them for less:

1. Blazer

A blazer has a magical way to pull an outfit together. For me, it's the quickest way to look fancy when I'm really not. Which is what being snappy casual is all about, right? I got this black blazer at Target. I have a long torso so my only requirement was that it wasn't cropped. Originally priced $30, I found it on clearance for $8. Can you even believe that amazing deal?!

2. Stripes


Striped tops are so easy to dress up (with a necklace) or down (with a casual scarf), and you feel comfortable while looking classy. The navy-striped shirt was $10 at Old Navy. You can get a similar one for $6. The orange-striped shirt is $40 at LOFT, but I got it for $24 because everything in the store was 40% off that day.

3. Dark denim (any style that suits your body type)


More than any other type of clothing, I'll splurge a little on jeans. I think it pays off eventually with how long they stay true to shape and hole-free. My favorite brand is Banana Republic (they run $80-90 full price), but I just purchased some American Eagle jeggings for $40. (For jeggings, I recommend the kind with pockets, or you will end up returning them like Andrea did.) If you're not a fan of skinny jeans, trouser jeans are totally in style and look great on everyone! I can't wait to get a pair.

4. Nude heels or flats


Nude shoes are so hot right now. My peep-toe ones are Jessica Simpson (from the sale rack at DSW), and the patent closed-toe pair are from Target and cost $30. For flats, you can't go wrong with these beauties from Gap or Steve Madden (check TJ Maxx for a deal).

Voila! These items all work great together in a single outfit that cost less than $130.


And then it's all about remixing the pieces to work with the rest of your closet. You can wear the striped top with a skirt or tucked into cuffed jeans, or style the blazer with a T-shirt.

Snappy Casual is the personal style diary of Kelsey Williams, a budget-conscious fashion blogger. She loves pairing colors that are cleverly mismatched, waist belts and shopping online.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The first grouping of comments weighing in on whether we should repaint or leave were a firm "leave".  But it just took one brave soul, Leslie, to turn the tide and speak up with a resounding "REPAINT", and the rest followed suit.  Deep down I knew it would drive me crazy having the lighter color.  Not that it looked bad, it was actually quite a nice shade of gray, but it was not what I had envisioned.  And you know, once you get something stuck in your head it is hard pressed to leave.

Art was more than willing to repaint the boards since he hadn't hung them yet (plus, if you recall, he talked me out of going darker in the first place), and since there wasn't even a half gallon of the lighter gray left to tint darker, we went to Lowe's and got a lower end brand of paint to save some money. 

At the end I went about 3 whole shades darker on the color spectrum and the results are what I originally had in mind.  A saturated gray that still reflects some light and is not so dark that it is cavernous.  It's part steel gray, part gunmetal gray, and fits in perfectly with the space theme. 
We still need to hang pictures and all that jazz, but I at least wanted to give you a bit of a glimpse into how it turned  out.  Thanks to all of you that chimed in and voiced your opinion.  It was fun reading all the comments, and even Art was checking in throughout the day from work.  My blog usually doesn't garner that much attention from him so it was funny to hear that he had been following the comment stream all day.
Here is a detail shot of just the paneling, chair rail and baseboard.  He did nice work, and all by himself mind you.  When we hung paneling in Taylor's room I did a great deal of the painting, so he was brave to single-handedly take on this job.
 Look at how clean the lines are here.  Nice work Art!  The hanging of the paneling, chair rail, base board and casings took an entire day.  Then the caulking, filling and touch-up painting took another whole day.
"Hey mom, get outta heeerre!  Don't take a pitcher!"
"You can't see me!!!"
I'm outta here
 Where did he go???
The only shred of evidence is a filthy blankie, and Woody, who would never rat out his best buddy.

p.s. I leave on a jet plane today for Nu Yawk City.  Art and the kids are meeting me out there on Thursday and we're staying through the weekend, where we will subsequently freeze our butts off and hopefully won't get frostbite.   I get back on Sunday, and then I turn around for an overnight trip to Dallas on Monday.  A couple of very wonderful bloggers agreed to guest post for me while I'm gone.  Please say hi if you can!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Change of Heart

I never used to be much of a fan of Valentine's Day. In fact for a long time I despised the holiday. Oh sure I've been dating and/or married for the last 15 years of my life, so its not for lack of having a companion that I didn't love the holiday. Rather, I think having a partner on Valentine's Day caused me to have an unhealthy expectation of what the day should mean or should be.

Sort of like New Year's Eve.  You know, there's this big expectation that New Year's Eve, like Valentine's Day, should be special and fabulous and one of the best days of the year, when really, it's just another day.
So you come to expect flowers.  And then when you get flowers, well they aren't the right flowers.

Or you want to go out to dinner, and in the beginning your gentleman doesn't make reservations.  So you drive around for hours with a steadily decreasing blood sugar level, and by the time you find a restaurant to take you in you are sobbing because you snapped at said gentleman and caused a fight.

So the next year, he makes reservations, but it wasn't at the right restaurant.  You wanted to try the hipster new restaurant on the other side of town. 

Gosh, this girl sure sounds like a spoiled brat, doesn't she?  That's what holidays like Valentine's Day do to some girls in their twenties.  And so after a few years, you both give up on celebrating and you quietly ignore the holiday for a while.

Then something magical happens.  You reach your thirties and you are a bit more mature, and a bit wiser. 
You're a mother now, and you realize that a carnation can melt your heart, and a glued together hodge-podge of a  preschool craft makes you smile and you proudly hang it on the fridge.

And forget going out to dinner.  Let the twenty somethings fight over a table.  You'll make filets at home and eat dinner together in peace after the kids go to bed.
 You hang pink and red hearts all over because your little girl loves the house to look festive.
And you realize that this Valentine's Day stuff ain't so bad.  In fact it's downright fun.  You're older now, and a bit wiser, and can appreciate the joy that simple little things like waxed paper hearts and red bows can bring.
Thank goodness. 
Happy Valentine's Day
(It's a little early, I know, but we're feeling in the mood around here)

Arts & Craft Projects from Top to Bottom:
Collage 1: Salt Dough Hearts (as made last year here), but the one Taylor is wearing is actually a gift from our friends the Gallaghers; Borax Crystal Hearts (recipe here)
Collage 2: Waxed Crayon Hearts originally found project here, but Shannen also made them here 
Collage 3: Valentine Book Wreath found here 
Collage 4: Heart Paper Garland tutorial here and glitter votives are just made by brushing glue on votive holder and rolling in Martha Stewart craft glitter. 
Collage 5: Well that's just my sweet girl, and I don't think you need a tutorial on how to make one of those ;)

I'm linking up to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Style Speak - Cashmere

One of the last positions I held at my previous employer was the Product Knowledge Coordinator.  Sounds kind of boring right?  Well, it was actually really fun.  I was in charge of translating designer speak to the masses, and educating the sales team on the latest collection.  I would view the line each season, and put together fun books that would detail the design team's inspiration, talk about the latest trends and fabrics, and basically give the sales team the tools they would need to help sell a high-end suit.  The above book became my best friend.   When one of our designers would say a term I had never heard before, I would quickly reference this book and then nod in agreement, like yes, of course I know what the new Ikat trend is all about.  Fooled them all!  HA!  Now, my brain is filled with more trivial fashion knowledge than I may ever need.  To read past issues of Style Speak, go here and here

Cashmere: A fine, soft, downy wool undergrowth produced by the cashmere goat, which is raised in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan and parts of Northern India, Tibet, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, China, Iran and Iraq.  Similar goats can now be raised in the United States.

I've never owned a piece of cashmere before now.  And this piece I virtually got for free through my job (consider it a benefit for driving up and down the 710 freeway on a daily basis).    I have to say that while it's nice and soft, I don't know if I'd spend my own money to get another piece of cashmere.  I've always heard ladies talk longingly about cashmere sweaters and cashmere gloves and even cashmere socks.  And to own a piece of TSE, well that would be the dream of all dreams.  But for me it's always been meh, take it or leave it.  I guess I'm too much of a spend-thrift to ever have invested in a good quality sweater, and with the limited access to actually wear a cashmere sweater for long periods of time here in Southern California, it never seemed worth my investment.

With that being said, I can see why women would fall in love with cashmere.  It's a natural fiber, so it is breathable, even in warm weather.  If you get good quality cashmere, it is softer beyond belief, and again, because it is a natural fiber, it has the ability to hold onto dye extremely well, lending itself to a rich and saturated color palette that won't fade after multiple washings. 

In terms of quality, there is a difference.  Now is about the time you will find plenty of cashmere on sale at department stores that are trying to clear out old Christmas inventory.  Cashmere will vary in softness, density and some will be more prone to pilling than others.  Pilling happens when the shorter fibers separate from the longer fibers in the yarn, and is a natural component of all knits including cotton and wool.  However, quality cashmere is made with only the longest fibers, therefore pilling is minimum.  And then there is the whole issue of 2 ply cashmere versus 4 ply cashmere.  It can get your head spinning trying to decipher what is what. 

In terms of quality and price, with cashmere there is a direct correlation, so be aware up front that you get what you pay for and the clearance $39 cashmere sweater from your favorite department store may not stand the test of time.  Chances are if your salesperson can't speak to the quality, than you may want to move on.

While I cannot attest to the J. Crew cashmere quality, I'm hoping that at the price, there is some level of quality.  Here are a few cute pieces that I thought 'might' be worth the investment.  Or perhaps just waiting until they go on super duper final slashed price clearance (that is a term I just made up, not a real retail term).  I've got the budget to consider, right? 
I love the cowl neckline and the side button detail at the hip.
This is a fun and sporty boatneck sweater.  I love all the different necklines in fact.
This color has me intrigued more than anything.

So what TSE you, do you own any cashmere?  Would you invest in a piece or would you rather just save for your kid's college tuition, or payoff some of your own student loans?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Repaint or Leave?

 Help!  We're in the process of painting Syd's room and I'm afraid we've picked the wrong colors.  Keep in mind that these pictures are a little poor, but essentially the colors are true.  I was going for a light blue and stainless steel gray color scheme, but I may have went too light.  The top portion of the wall is a very faint gray/blue, which I am actually okay with.  But I think the 2" bead board on the bottom should have been a shade are two darker.  Right now it looks more gray sky than stainless steel. 

The chair rail above the bead board will be the same gray, and the 6" baseboard and all casings will be white.  The furniture in his room is a sleek espresso colored finish, and he has the Blast Off bedding from Target and the PB Teen locker end table in orange.  So the overall color scheme is blue and gray with pops of orange. 

So do we repaint the bead board a darker shade of gray, wasting time and money?  Or do we just leave it knowing that in another year or so the room will get torn apart if we ever do the remodel we're hoping to do.  We just need to rectify that pesky little issue of money.  Minor detail though, right?

Repaint or Leave?  Repaint or Leave?

What do you say?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 2011: Buy Less, Give More - One Warm Coat Drive

Remember when I said a couple posts back that the One Warm Coat drive was going great?  Well, I thought I'd just show you a little peek at what our guest bedroom currently looks like.  I have lost count of how many coats we've gathered at this point.  Nicole has just as many, if not more at her house.  I am simply overjoyed.
And it's not just the results that have me in awe, but the spirit of community that has surrounded with this one simple project.  I sent out a mass email to friends, and then they forwarded it on.  I posted a link on Facebook, and within hours other friends are sharing links and complete strangers are commenting and telling their friend they'll drop off some coats this week.  I've got coats coming in from Syd's preschool, Taylor's Kindergarten classmates, workmates, friends and family.  It is just awesome.  It's also almost shameful how easy this project has been.  You can visit the site here and learn how you can organize a coat drive in your town.

In other related news, the budget is going fine.  I took a trip to Michael's to get a few Valentine's Day craft supplies and paid with cash, staying well within my budget.  Then I came home Saturday night and visited Flower Patch Farmgirl and saw this heart garland
Ridiculous right?  The hearts are made of sheets from a catalog.  Genius.

And so if I was going to go out and blow my craft supply budget on a heart paper punch, I better get some use out of it.  Luckily Shannan also made a book wreath using that same punch last year, so now I've just about recouped my costs of that heart paper punch when you factor in what it would cost to buy some garland and a wreath.  It's almost a no-brainer right?
 both images from Flower Patch Farmgirl
So back to Michael's I went to buy that punch and the Styrofoam wreath, armed with two 40% off coupons in hand.  I am now $8 over my $20 craft budget for the month.  Thanks a lot Flower Patch Farmgirl with your inexplicable love for Valentine's Day crafts and cute heart paper punch.  I will now have to cut back in other areas this month to make my overall goal.

That's okay though.  It's going to take a lot of punching to get all those hearts.  Perfect excuse to sit my butt down on the coach and eat chips and watch Conan. 

Are you all making anything sweet for V-Day?

Goodnight all, off to punch and laugh I go.

p.s. A huge thank you to all of you that took the time to leave a comment with some feedback and/or advice, or simply just some encouragement on where to take Playgrounds & Lollipops.  I am working on responding to your comments via email, as well as dreaming up some new posts, and possibly a new series.  Think 'Feel Good, Look Good' type of content. I have so many ideas swirling in my head, but I just need a couple of weeks to get organized and think things through.  I am excited, but don't want to disappoint!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Worth the Wait

{from left to right, my nieces Aubry, Erica and Annalina, my brother's daughter}

It's been a while since I've given an update on my sister's foster to adopt journey, so I thought I'd share the latest good news.  It took over a year, but last weekend we were finally able to celebrate the official adoption of Erica.  The actual proceedings took place in mid-December, and much of the family was able to attend the court hearing, but my sister and brother-in-law decided to celebrate in conjunction with Erica's 6th birthday last weekend. 

It was a big shebang complete with a bounce house, pinata, and princess decor galore.  As far as we know, it was Erica's first real birthday party and she seemed to float through the day in amazement that this was all in celebration of her, but at times you could see that she was perhaps a bit overwhelmed.  She took it all in stride and with pure gratitude, hugging and kissing the family that has become hers over the course of this last year.  Erica is such a sweet little soul and we are all blessed to have her become a part of our lives.

Next up, the official adoption of little Aubry sometime in March will complete my sister's family.  Or so we think...last week she was talking about maybe fostering to adopt one more! 

*You can read more of my sister and brother-in-law's foster to adopt journey here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playgrounds & Lollipops - The Future Of?

It's been almost a year since I started Playgrounds & Lollipops, and if I've discovered anything about myself, it's that I'm not a very good style blogger.  I should essentially have close to 50 posts in the archives but instead I have less than 25.  Yes, you could blame it on the fact that I am a mom of 2 young children, I work full time (although that wasn't always the case), and for the most part, my husband is the only one that can take my pictures.  When he gets an emergency call from a client, I feel a little silly asking him to stop and take my picture before he goes and rescues a computer from its untimely demise.  Priorities right?      
{Top - local boutique Tullemoss (hand-wash only grrr! Be careful to read tags before you leave the store); Jeans - Gap; Shoes - Simply Vera by Vera Wang for Kohl's' Earrings - The Rusted Chain}

You could blame it on a lack of inspiring scenery.  Here's me standing in front of my house, or here's me in my house.  No graffiti walled backgrounds, no beautiful meadows.  Just me and the chain link fence that outlines the school across the street.  Or me and my brick wall.  You get the picture.
 See the stroller striding moms in the picture below?  They gave me the weirdest looks as they walked by.
 But the truth is most of the time I feel downright silly and ridiculous standing in front of the camera.  I don't know how to pose, do I look at the camera, do I not?  Where do I put my hands?  What are my readers going to think of my outfit?  In fact, who do I even think I am, thinking anyone wants to see my silly outfit?  In fact I feel silly even blogging about the superficial world of fashion sometimes.  Let's face it, there's a lot more important stuff going on in the world than talking about clothes, no matter how good they can make a tired momma feel.  The insecurities I guess never stop, even when you're close to 35.  Funny that I never feel this way when I'm about to reveal my soul or share a recipe
When it comes down to it, I guess I'm disappointed in the direction that P&L has taken in the last year.  I never intended it to simply be a "look what I wore" type of series, but it quickly became that and for one reason or another I didn't know how to change directions.  My hope for P&L was that it could be a series that gave moms a little inspiration to think of fashion outside of the box.  To try something new, shop at a store you wouldn't have thought of stepping into, wear a hat you didn't think you could pull off.  If there's one thing I know my style isn't, is fussy.  I wear a top, a pair of jeans and shoes.  That's it, nice and simple.  No complicated accessorizing, no avant-garde pieces that hurt your brain thinking of how you're going to wear them.  Whose got time for complications right?  So whether you think you can wear exactly what I'm wearing isn't the point, but rather, can the outfit equation be replicated for your body type?  Absolutely.
Flattering Jeans + Cute Top + Ballet Flats + Simple Earrings  =   You're Set!
I also had hopes of providing all this insightful shopping advice along the way because if I am going to admit I can do anything right, its shopping.  I have become quite a savvy shopper in all my years of experience both personally and professionally.  I've learned to find my style, build a wardrobe that I like and I'm proud to say I've never put my family in debt in the process.

Before I go on and get myself into an irreversible depression for the day, I turn to you my readers and ask, what type of posts would you like to see going forward as it relates to fashion?  As superficial as I sometimes feel blogging about fashion, it's what I do, it's what I love, and it's what I know.  So you're stuck with it being a somewhat regular topic on here, in addition to my family and food :)  Would you like to see styling tips, shopping tops, before and afters of other moms?  What do you despise about your wardrobe, what would you like to change about it?  Do you hate shopping and prefer to just buy a few pieces online, so would online tips be helpful?  Want to learn how to quickly navigate through the mall with 2 small children in tow and still find what you're looking for?    

I'm just throwing ideas out there, but would love to hear what you have to say.  So would you help a lady out and be honest (but not brutal)?  Please, if you can take a couple of minutes to comment, even if you normally don't.  It's a new year and as you can see I'm already making some big changes in my life.  I want to make some changes here on the blog as well.  I don't want this blog to just be a journal of ME, but a space that can be useful and helpful, even when it comes to a silly little thing like clothes.  
Project 2011 is going great so far.  In the last two weeks my only purchase has been new foundation at my local beauty supply store with a GROUPON!  I have to admit that after the gluttony of December, it's been easy to avoid shopping.  Come March & April, it's going to be a different story.  The One Warm Coat Drive is a huge success and we still have a week to go.  We've gathered at least 100 coats, sweaters and sweatshirts.  God is good!  Have a great weekend everyone.  It's supposed to be close to 80 degrees here so the sunny forecast has got me in the mood for soft nail polish colors, wispy tops, and eating on patios.


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