Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fresh Face Friday on Tuesday

When you wake up so early, like a lot of working moms do, it can be easy to want to skip the whole make up morning routine. Who doesn't want to just shower and go? Darn men who get ready like that! I've been embracing this fresh face, no make up trend, mostly because I'm lazy. But also because I fancy myself as someone who keeps up with the trends.

I'm not alone in the naked face, several celebrities are rocking the no make up look. And I find myself thinking they are older than me and have better skin. Busy Phillips, Michelle Williams, Selma Blair and Katie Holmes are some of my favorites. I'm no Selma, but I've noticed that even though they have flaws, they aren't quick to hide them. Either accept me, or don't - no sweat off my back.

Although I'd like to keep my flaws safely hidden where only my pillowcase and husband know what my naked face looks like, I must admit, it feels a little freeing. I don't have to worry about my make up fading or having a chin make up line. It's just not there. I'm not constantly cleaning make up brushes or thinking about the millions of germs found in a make up bag.

Instead of the one day a week when I usually don't wear any make up (my day off), I may consider going 'naked' on more days when others see me than the one day I rarely leave the house. I won't be so quick to think of what will others say when they see that pesky 13 year old blemish that just won't go away. (What's up with that anyway?) Excuse me while I run to Ulta and buy all the face cream/wash for acne and anti-aging.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fashion: You either have it or you don't?

On March 9, 2017 I spoke to my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) about fashion and dressing your body as a mom. Here is what I had to say.

First, when I was asked to speak, I didn't think I'd have much to say or wouldn't think what I had to say would be important. But I found that as I kept writing, the more passionate I was about what I said, the more it just came out.

I'm not a professional. I just have researched and studied fashion in college and by talking to others and helping others. When I was 13, I wore big baggy jeans, I had short spikey hair and wore dog collars and bike chains. I changed my look because I learned I could be taken more seriously and wasn't just another dumb rebel kid.

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

If this is the truth in the Bible, how can I be speaking on fashion and personal style at our group? I believe that by dressing how we are most comfortable and letting the real us show, this is pleasing to God. Of course we read also that our body should be the temple and was given to us by the Lord, so it does not mean show off everything if it makes you happy. It means, Psalm 45:11 "Let the King be enthralled by your beauty, honor Him for he is your Lord." Let the beauty that the Lord gave you show through (both outwardly and inwardly).

What God views as acceptable fashion is way different than how the world views fashion. Obviously. But there is a way to combine them that is still pleasing to God.

Dress so that it makes you happy and not feel worthless. Even I have had times when I went days without a shower or regular clothes. I am a mom of 3 boys afterall. But it is in the moments when I shower, put on jeans and a blouse and actually put a little make-up on that I feel most beautiful. I do that for myself.

You should always dress how you want your children to see you as well. There are 2 things in this that I should clarify. 1. If your children are only seeing you in sweatpants, are you teaching them to keep your body as God's temple and to treat it as a valuable gift? 2. When I am dressed up - or at least in decent clothes, my favorite moments are when August looks at me and says, 'You're pretty, mama.'

It's no only your children that are looking at what you wear and how you take care of yourself, but your husband/significant other too. Let me tell you, through 3 pregnancies with one adding 50+ pounds, nothing looks how it did when we were dating. So, I try to keep the spark alive by showering at least once a week. I like the looks he gives me when I'm dressed nice and not just for date nights, and he remembers why we started dating and what drew us together. I must've been new to what was fashionable, because when I met Marty, he had a buzz hair cut, tapered Levi's and a Scooby-Doo shirt. I took one look at that and said, 'Sign me up! I need that!' Hehehe.

Now that we know the importance of taking care of your body health-wise, but appearance is important to your health as well. Let's look at some do's and don't's of fashion.

You will never get me into a pair of leggings. Just no. They are too much like yoga pants and I just can't. That doesn't mean YOU can't wear leggings, as long as you wear them appropriately. DO: wear a shirt that fully covers your bum. DO: try jogger pants instead of leggings.

A lot of people question wearing skinny jeans when you are full figured. I'm here to tell you, you absolutely can! Skinny jeans are great for full figured, but there are several other styles that are flattering too.

DO: try wide leg trouser denim or colored denim (burgundy, navy, teal). DON'T: wer mom jeans that make you appear wider from behind than you really are. Try to think of colored denim as a neutral.

Unless you are wearing skinny jeans, the most flattering shape will be a straight line from your hip to the floor, either boot cut or a slight flare.

For a long time I was known only as someone who wore heels all the time. Serious, I thought I would give birth to my first born in heels. Boy! was I stupid. And while I still wear them maybe 3 times a week, I understand that they are not always practical.

A good friend of mine recently built a house and didn't have any grass or framed walls yet. She wanted me to come check out the house and progress of the building. Before I came out, she had to tell me to make sure I wasn't wearing heels or a dress. Obviously, I would not show up to a mud pit in heels - unless maybe if it was winter and the mud was frozen solid. <--- joking! Know your area and where you will be before you get dressed. Be prepared for where you will be and then you can know what to wear.

DO: wear your winter boots to work and change into your heels at work.
DON'T: wear white crew socks with your dress flats.
DO: Try a flat shoe or boot that adds some fancy to the look.

DO: mix prints! Think of a polka dot or stripe as a neutral when adding a more busy print (paisley or floral). If you are mixing 2 busy prints, you can keep them easy by choosing the same color story or main color in both prints.

Since I have a nursing baby attached to me most of the time, my style has to be both fashionable and practical. My essentials in my closet are; nursing tank tops, button down tops, cardigans and V-neck blouses. I try not to let where I'm at in live make me feel like I have to give up on how I look. Of course, I have my days when I don't feel like trying. That's when a solid color tee and jeans can easily look pulled together as well.

I threw together this outfit using Polyvore.com. It's a great website where you can search for items and piece them together to see if they work. There are millions of things to choose from, from jewelry to hats to jackets.

I'm a total dress girl, but decided to outfit an easier look. I added some light wash skinny jeans. While we are on the topic of washes, I tend to wear dark denim more than light denim. Lighter colored denim is better in the spring/summer since a light wash gives a lighter weight feel. And dark denim looks heavier and is also easier to dress up. So, light wash skinny jeans, since it will hopefully be spring soon. And added a spring color blouse or simple t-shirt. For those that get chilly in the spring, throw on a light knit cardigan. If you are more full figured, you will want to make sure that it is not too larger or bulky fabric that will swallow you in fabric. I also added a ballet flat for the ease of this outfit - easy to throw on, easy to kick off. Using a fun color flat is a great way to kick up an all neutral colored outfit. I also added some accessories, because this outfit has cooler colors, silver will match the best. Warmer colors (brown, green, navy) look better with gold accessories. If you're a mom of small children, a shorter silver necklace is preferred over a longer layering necklace. I tend to take off my jewelry when I get home so that the littles do not pull on them. This could be considered a complete outfit, but a purse and nail color can also be added. Not only is this an easy, simple outfit, but it is great for all body types too.

Where to shop?
- Old Navy
- Target
- Clothes Mentor
- TJ Maxx
- Marshalls
- JCPenny
- Loft
- Gap
- H&M
- Modcloth.com

I will leave you with a few questions to help assess your wardrobe. When you walk into your closet, what is missing? What can you add that will help make several outfits? A bright floral? A chambray button down? Colored denim?
Personal style comes down to what you feel your best in. What are you most comfortable in?
What are your 3 favorite pieces in your closet right now?
At the end of the day, what do you want your wardrobe to say about you?

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

In session: Sewing for dummies.

I started sewing when I was a junior in high school. I made a couple skirts with elastic waistbands, nothing fancy. My mom helped me use her sewing machine, but I am mostly self taught. I then graduated an went to NDSU for fashion design where I completed 2 years. After taking a couple years off, I was pleasantly surprised that it was just like riding a bike. I started sewing again and making more elaborate things with patterns and harder fabrics. Although I went to school for fashion and sewing, I never considered myself a pro-seamstress.

A friend of mine from high school recently bought a sewing machine and wanted me to help her sew and learn some basics. I was happy to help. I showed her how to sew and measure the seam allowance on the machine and how to finish the edge by doing a top stitch.

These are the two fabrics I was working with. I tried to pick different colors so that you could tell which was the right side and which was the wrong side of the fabric.

Next, pin the right sides together to create the seam on one side. Where my pins are in this picture is where you will be sewing.

Now comes the scary part, using the sewing machine. Don't be nervous. It can smell fear. If you want a smaller seam allowance, I usually just follow the outside of the presser foot. If you prefer a wider seam allowance, each machine has a small ruler guide on the right side of the foot to follow when you are sewing. Of course your fabric will not always align perfectly and you may end up with a 1/2 inch seam allowance or a 1/4 inch seam allowance in some places. I say, as long as it holds together, it's totally fine!

After you have stitched your line, turn the fabric so the wrong sides are touching. Pin at the seam and stitch on the top of the right side of the fabric, close to the edge; 1/4 inch.

This isn't one of the fancier seams or finishes, but it does give your project a nice flat seam in the end. I have used it on bandana bibs, baby booties, some seams of clothing and blankets. I hope this was a good crash course for you and your next project will turn out fabulous because of these tips.

Now, I have to finish sewing the 35 other projects on my list.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Love my fanny...

Ever since I saw Carrie Bradshaw wearing a fanny pack in a Sex and the City episode, I knew I had to have one. This was no ordinary fanny pack, but it was a designer Gucci one. And if any designer is going to make fanny packs, who better than Gucci? The style of CB's fanny pack was rectangular with the trademark Gucci symbol. This style is more updated than the 90's bean shaped one made of nylon. You may say that the 90's were the era of the fanny pack, but it wasn't until 2001 that it was made fashionable. When I was doing research for this, I found that Sarah Jessica Parker wore another Gucci fanny pack on the red carpet and rocked it again.

Carrie Bradshaw/SJP are not the only style icons for this look. Celebrities such as Rhianna, Beyonce and models of the runway are turning back time with this 'timeless' (?) look. There was even a contestant on Project Runway who included fanny packs in her final runway show.

It comes as no surprise that since some of the people and styles I admire the most, inspired me to create my own fanny pack. The floral print I selected gives it an easy, girly vibe as well as the rectangular shape providing a practical size. The reason I had wanted to create this was out of necessity. I continue to be interested in 'babywearing' and using different carriers to hold my children. I enjoy the hand-free ease of using a wrap or sling, but carrying a bag for my phone, keys, credit card and other small things was getting annoying. This was made so that it could be worn while I was wearing my babies and still be fashionable with it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

By request.

My main goal in my adult life has always been to portray a fashionable attitude and make others feel the same about themselves in any way I could. So, when I was told I should start making clothes for others to buy, I didn't think twice. Although, I wasn't sure if this is where I wanted to be heading in my career, but I knew that there was a need for it. I often get asked where I got something or that they would like to have a similar design, when it came to things I designed and created.

One of my first clients who asked me to make a unique piece for her was a friend I've known for a couple years who has always complimented my outfits that I've made. She decided to have a longer tunic style top in a blue Aztec print fabric. She wasn't crazy about prints when I first asked her what her yes/no colors and prints were, but she trusted me.

At the fitting, she couldn't be happier and it fit her beautifully. Only a few more stitches to put in and it will be ready for her to wear. Not only is it a thicker warmer fabric, but it is perfect for her stage of life right now, nursing.

Seeing her reaction and knowing that I made something for someone that will help them feel better about themselves, makes me want to get started on my next creation. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Starting over....yet again.

As I wake up on my day off and try to get my children ready for school, there are 2 things I immediately think about. 1. Where's my coffee? And 2. What will Kelly Ripa wear on Live! today? I kid you not, most mornings when I turn the show on I am inspired to make and create a similar look to what she's wearing and today was no exception. It was almost a handkerchief hem skirt with a black and red print and she paired it with a black turtleneck. Classic.

I pulled up Live's Facebook and Instagram to find a picture for inspiration to search for the perfect fabric. I read the comments from others on that post and everyone loved her skirt just as much as I did. I have to have it! Nothing was really similar to the print on her skirt, but I did manage to find this fabric on Etsy that I think will work. A silk crepe fabric that will flow beautifully.

Kelly's skirt was a handkerchief hem, but I saw this pattern and thought it would look great with the asymmetrical look as well. I absolutely love the black turtleneck with it, but I wouldn't mind a leather jacket, black tall boots or even another print on the blouse (gotta mix prints, you know me).


We'll see how it turns out. I'm excited to get started. After I finish the jumpsuit of course.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Upgrade your pony!

From Dawson's Creek to style icon, I've always loved Katie Holmes. She has a girly style with a little edge, which, if I had to describe my style, it would be the same. The new issue of InStyle shows her rocking this gold metal barrette. Usually it takes a good hour to straighten my horse tail. Let's be real, there's nothing pony cute about my thick hair. So, when I do, I like to wear it down and get the dramatic look of it all straight, instead of pulled back. Although, I might actually consider doing this for my next date night, whenever that may be. <hint, hint>