Fashion Friday – Pinterest Inspired for Less than $100

    I recently started noticing these cute army green cargo vests out and about.  They are so cute and so versatile.   The picture of the woman on Pinterest really caught my eye and thought I could probably recreate it in a budget friendly way.  I noticed Macy’s had one in the INC section for half off the retail price of $100.   Believe it or not the simple striped dress was much harder to find.   I actually found the one I’m wearing for $19.99 on Amazon.  I just added some gold jewelry that I already had and put on a brown wedge.   I plan on wearing this outfit with sandals  in the summer.   So all and all much much less that $100!  

Three Day Kickstart 

  

Two weeks ago, one of my best girlfriends, Claire, told me that she just purchased some Shakeology shakes from her friend at work.  She said, ” I’m going to do a three day cleanse, it promises about 4 lbs of weight loss”.   I thought, hey wait a minute, you can’t loose 4 lbs without me.     I recalled I too had a friend  that was involved with this company.   I decided to do it too and then tell some of my girlfriends as well. Girlfriends code of honor, right?  As usual, Christine,  being one of them.   Christine is what I call a “late adopter”. But, the funny thing was she had one ear open listening to my craziness.  

I asked Claire how her three day cleanse went.  She seemed pleased.  She said the hardest part were the headaches, but for the most part everything went well and she was happy having shed the promised weight and felt like she had kickstarted a new healthy trend.  Hmmmm, that didn’t sound so bad.  I thought to myself that I could certainly handle that.     

In retrospect , I’m laughing because I should have known.  Claire usually embarks on challenges without many complaints.  I always say she’s so graceful and has such a nice way of saying things.  She can make a difficult situation sound almost tolerable.    Like when, not by her own planning, she was left with no other option but to deliver her third boy naturally, thirty minutes after arriving at the hospital.  The way she described natural childbirth you might actually think you may be strong enough to rise to the challenge.   I learned, the hard way, to leave that  to people like Claire and The Dutchess of Cambridge.   

While my three day cleanse was certainly not natural childbirth, it presented some  funny challenges worth mentioning.   

Let’s start with day one.  By far the funniest day.   I wake up and start blending my first chocolate shake with Almond milk.  Oops, the cleanse does not allow Almond milk.   First step and I’m already one mistake in.  I decide to comply with the “strong recommendation ” not to drink coffee.   I think okay surely this can be done.     By mid-morning, I am at the post office and I read it’s time for a “fiber sweep”. What on earth is a fiber sweep? I learn, basically,  Metamucil on steroids.   It was not one bit appetizing.   Second step in and I decide to email my personal Coach. The cool thing with purchasing these products is that you have someone to be your sounding board and to be there for you if you do have any questions. I had no idea so many questions would actually present themselves.    This is when I found out Almond milk was a no no and I should probably pinch my nose while drinking the fiber sweep.   Onto lunch.   I have to admit bringing a vanilla shake out to mix  without a blender isn’t the most convenient.   This time, I mix my lunchtime shake with water in a Poland Springs bottle sitting in my car.  Not only did my lunch taste like chalk, but now my car looks like nepalm exploded.    I text Claire to tell her that I didn’t like the fiber sweep and that I think the lunchtime shake tastes like chalk.   Claire’s response , Oh, I didn’t mind that one”.  I think wow maybe it’s me.   And then, mid-afternoon it hits, that tsunami of a headache that happens during a full-fledged, bonafide  caffeine withdrawal.  I realize I never really had one of these and quickly realize how much freakin coffee I actually drink every day.  I started having violent thoughts towards whomever that was that wrote in the instruction manual to avoid caffeine.  I text Claire “Oh my God,  I have a headache”.   Claire’s response,  “Yeah, the headaches are the worst”.   That’s its? That’s all she said? By this point, I feel like my obituary will read “Mom dies from seizing due to caffeine withdrawal”.  I think maybe I should email that Coach again.  I mentioned needing a suggestion to make the vanilla shake more appetizing and I also mentioned my headache.   She responsed , “Oh no you are having a rough first day”.   After all of these exchanges it was time for my dinner time shake.  What do you know it was the same as lunch.  This time I added some cinnamon and a dash a vanilla extract.   It did taste much better.  My “Coach” was super helpful and my splitting head felt thankful for her.  

After day one I truly  wanted to stop.   Day Two was better.  Maybe it’s because I knew what to expect.  I powered through.  This day food just looked so appetizing.  I must admit I snuck a piece of my son’s pizza slice.  It was the most delicious bite of pizza I had ever had.  I started updating Christine and my friend Christie some thoughts.   They were mildly interested and when I described my headache they said they were thinking they would stay caffeinated, fat (their words) and happy.   

Day three came and I completed everything until dinner.  I forgot my dinner shake and ended up at a baseball game and had some grilled chicken and salad for dinner.  

When the three days were over, I realized how hard giving up coffee and substituting all meals for shakes truly was.   The program kept its promise.   I lost 4 lbs on the nose.  As hard as it was, I love any program that keeps its promise.   I do feel like it helped to jumpstart a healthier eating program.  But, I decided that unless I’m in a swimsuit competition or walking the red carpet that I won’t be worrying about three day cleanses anytime soon.  I loved the results though. My pants didn’t feel as tight and I started adopting much healthier choices.   I could certainly pinch my nose and toast my fiber sweep to that! 

The Madness, I mean MAGIC of Disney



I just returned from a recent trip to Disney World with the family.    A short, but jam-packed trip.  Vaughn really wanted to take the boys so I agreed and we headed there during one of the busiest times of year, spring break.  

I am always amazed at the sights I see when such large crowds come from far and wide to grab a sliver of the magic everyone so fondly talks about.     Some of the things I witnessed are anything but magical.  For me, I think I experienced more comedy than fantasy.  You know I have to poke some fun at the silliness.  Here are some of my funny observations:

People walking around eating turkey legs at 10am.  I guess you could consider that a mid-morning snack.   But, I think I’m more comfortable with some fruit or yogurt at that time.  But, if the sudden urge hits you at 10am to walk around holding a big hunk of meat, Disney is where it’s at.  

The teeny tiny girls all dolled up as princesses.   Maybe it’s because I had two boys first, or maybe it’s because I never did believe in FAIRY TALES, but there’s something so freaky about toddlers adorning lots of makeup  being schleped around by their parents.   There were hundreds of tiny princess clones everywhere.  

Okay so if you care enough about your family to buy everyone matching t-shirts, then why would “Nana” pull down “Aiden’s” pants and spank him in front of the world to see.  Seriously looked super dumb and I only know this because their t-shirts identified them.   

Also, if you are breast feeding your child please let the kid sit down and eat.   I’m not against breast feeding at all.  I did it.  Even in public places if I had to.  But, for gods sake don’t do it while Little Johnny is dangling from your body and you are speed walking from Fantasy Land to Space Mountain.   Talk about eating on the go. It was truly a sight to behold.   

It is truly a miracle that you make it through the day without being run over by a scooter.   A couple of old ladies really know how to haul some you know what in those things. 

Parents putting their tired older children in strollers.  I couldn’t help but notice kids as old as 6, 7, 8, maybe even 10 being pushed around in strollers.   Hey, people, if you kid is lethargic and looks like they might be suffering from heat exhaustion it might be time to call it a day.  

I can’t believe we all made it.  The boys had a blast and I even got to go on some rides.   For me, the magic was grabbing a Starbucks and having Eve take a nap in her stroller.  I guess you could say that was a bit of magic in itself.   

Tuesday Threads and Trends -Tassels







I’m ready for Spring! We only had about two weeks of winter here in Texas and boy did that get old quickly. I’m ready to bare some arms and enjoy the sunshine.   My outfit showcases two of my favorite things this spring.  I’m gravitating to anything and everything with tassels.   I purchased this tassel necklace at a boutique called Rich Taste in Plano for $18.00.  

My second favorite thing for spring are my nude flats that I purchased from Target for $19.00.  They are super easy  and cute.  I actually bought two pairs because I had a favorite shoe from Target before and I always regretted just not buying two.  

My fringe lightweight sweater was a consignment store find at Closet Revival (Plano) for $14.00.  Nicholas told me that I looked like “iCarly” but I thought it was perfect for transitioning into spring.    

Busy Mom Meals – Go To Chicken Soup

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My boys, like many others, only eat random vegetables like red peppers or cucumbers. It’s aways a struggle. I love things they eat without argument. I noticed they only wanted to eat my Mom’s chicken soup on Christmas Eve. She told me the soup was really easy and was made in the crock pot. I started fishing around on Pinterest and found the recipe above. It was so easy. You basically combine all the ingredients except the egg noodles and parsley until the last ten minutes. Cook everything on low from 6 to 8 hours. Before you put the egg noodles in, take the chicken out and chop it. Then return it to the crock pot.

Would you believe the boys gave me a big song and dance about egg noodles? They were yelling that “Nana’s soup was better! Don’t you know she is a Grandmother that’s WHY”. Oh boy! I forced them to eat it even with the yelling and screaming. The second time I made it I did use vermicelli instead and there was no yelling. Nana even admitted it might have been better than hers.

Eve – There’s a Toddler in the House

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Eve will be eighteen months in a couple of weeks. And although I have certainly felt like I’ve had a toddler for awhile, I am now in the “eye” of the storm. Eve is GIRL! It will be a funny day when she actually finds out. She’s everywhere! I found her on top of her kitchen yesterday. On the tippy top sitting on a tiny square. It is definitely different experiencing all this madness at 39 and not 30 and with two boys that have no problem reverting back to toddlerhood themselves. I keep asking myself , “I did this twice before?” It feels like a tiny tornado is in the house. She’s already busted her lip open, gotten into one of my favorite lipsticks, busted out of all but one kind of shopping cart and has conquered all of the hard surfaces in the house. I can hardly wait to see what is next. But, we LOVE her! I think God knows where to send the active ones.

Monday Mom Style – Splurge!

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While I mostly buy steals, Christmas gifts are a perfect time to splurge. This Christmas my BFF knew exactly what to get me. How could she not? I probably told her how popular Kendra Scott earrings were in Texas about TWENTY times. When they arrived I was so surprised. A gift should always be something that the person wouldn’t buy for themselves. Christine picked turquoise because she knew if I bought them for myself I would have picked a more basic color like white or black. She always says turquoise is a neutral. I absolutely love them. I can put them on an instantly feel fancy. Such a thoughtful gift.

The second splurge in the outfit pictured is this Top Shop faux leather jacket bought for me from Vaughn. I would never have bought it for myself. I plan to wear it a lot. As fancy as this outfit appears, it’s actually not that complicated to throw on. Just a nice jacket and a nice earring. That’s it.

The shoes were a steal bought a year ago at Marshalls for $20.00. Something should be inexpensive, right?

Monday Morning Fashion Report – Pinterest Inspired Outfit

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I am totally late to the Pinterest party but I have discovered it and I’m mildly obsessed. As obsessed as a busy mom could be. I have three boards that I pin things to, fashion, hair and recipes. I don’t go on often but I think this site is an excellent tool for any Mom. All the cute hairstyles, outfit ideas and recipes are saved to my phone and easily accessible when I need them. I pinned the first outfit because these cute skinny, ripped, cuffed jeans have recently caught my eye. Vaughn tells me they are so 80’s and asked me if I “pegged” my jeans or bought them that way. I think the cute little taupe suede booties are the perfect addition. During Christmas shopping I saw that Ann Taylor Loft was having a 50% sale so I looked and found a pair in my size. I think they were $45.00. The suede booties were from TJmaxx for $49.99. The hat was from Target for $19.99 and the scarf was a gift, but you can find a cozy cable knit infinity scarf anywhere. These 80’s inspired jeans are my new favorite jeans. And, in the end my photographer admitted the outfit was pretty cute, even if my jeans were pegged.

Mommy Fashion – Looking Good with Workout Clothes on

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Every year I consider two resolutions. I always say I want to incorporate more exercise into my daily routine while I don’t look like a hot mess doing it. Years ago, Christine and I would look for reasonable workout clothes that would take us from the gym, to the park, to the store or to the school without looking like a frump. All we could come up with were those cute zip-up matching sets in bright colors with just the right amount of spandex so they wouldn’t disintegrate with frequent washes. As I get older, I’m more and more uncomfortable wearing yoga pants and sneakers all day. It really affects my mood. So I have been searching for reasonable and cute options for everyday wear that can go from a brisk walk or run to a meeting with little effort. The outfit pictured above is from Target. The royal blue shirt is, believe it or not, a Champion shirt purchased in the workout section. I had seen a very colorful scarf when I first entered and put the two together. I liked the scarf’s bright colors and I think it looks much more expensive than the $14.99 price tag. What you don’t know about this outfit is that I have on a black Nike tank under the royal blue shirt and thin white workout socks on with my boots. If I want to take a quick walk with the baby in the jog stroller all I have to do is take the boots off, slip on sneakers and take the scarf off.

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This next outfit above is the same Champion shirt with my new favorite workout leggings. These leggings were purchased at Macys at Christmas time during a One Day Sale. Nike is the brand and I had wanted a pair that were good quality and patterned for awhile. My friend Christina had a Lululemon pair very similar years ago and they looked nice on the go. Again, all I would do is remove the boots, jacket and necklace. I also put the outfit below with just a plain black scarf.

I’m not talking about going on a long marathon training run here that would require much preparation and showering but a light jog, light weight routine or brisk walk that would help me incorporate moving my body into my day. I think these are some of my more efficient creations.

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Christmas Time Madness

Is there anything or anyone more overwhelmed than a Mom at Christmas?  I’m going to start my rant off by saying that I absolutely love Christmas.  I always have.  I love putting on a red sweater, warm coat, grabbing a gingerbread latte from Starbucks and hitting the stores.  I love Christmas decorations, Christmas commercials and Christmas cookies.   But, something crazy happened when I became a Mom. I started to FEAR Christmas. Like, OH MY GOD CHRISTMAS is coming! When you think about how much we actually have to accomplish it’s staggering.  I have put together a funny list of the things that put me right over the edge around Christmas time;

Husbands – Like some sort of holiday tradition my own husband never fails to tell me the night before that he needs a gift for so and so or something for a party the next day. Every year! Just this week Victor tells Christine at 8pm that there’s a potluck at work the next day and asks, “What should we bring?”.  Christine responded, “Soda”.   We have these types of conversations every year.

The Elf on the Shelf – I’m a sub par Elf on the Shelf parent.   He’s completely neglected and forgotten and he never does anything fun like everyones else’s Elf. If there were a DCYF for Elf parents I would be sent there.  I resent the Elf and he doesn’t even make my kiddos behave. Christine used to rave how her Elf was some sort of  magic  bullet that was responsible for peaceful mornings.  I was never so lucky.   The things my Elf has witnessed no Elf ever should.  Which brings me to the next topic.

My boys’ behavior – I guess I live in some sort of dreamland thinking that my kids would buy the whole he sees you when you are sleeping ,  he knows when you are awake thing.  After all that would mean behaving from after Thanksgiving to Christmas when we can’t even make it through a whole day.   The word coal is a regular part of our vocabulary this time of year. Christmas, tis the season for empty threats.

Christmas lights – I love them on everyone else’s house, but what we go through to get our own up is another story.   The boys fight about the colors, should they blink or not and Vaughn has  “technical difficulty” every year.  This year we actually had to make a service call to an electrician and pay $65.00 just so he could come and tell us where we could find an outlet.

Late Nights – There’s a well known fact that every Mom knows…….that none of things we have to do for Christmas happen during the daytime.    We spend countless hours up at night writing Christmas cards,  baking cookies, ordering online and wrapping.   All month long.   The latest nights I’ve had as a Mom happen around Christmas while everyone else is nestled like sugarplums in their beds. I look forward to New Years just so I can go to bed.

Family fueds – I have a girlfriend who will remain nameless but what she goes through around the holidays with her in-laws should be criminal. Moms have so much to prepare for and execute that you think family members would understand what it’s like. Why can’t we all just adhere to the nice message on so many of our Christmas cards, “May your holiday season be filled with peace and joy”. Family squabbles are hardly peaceful.

Obscure gift requests – There have been many funny ones through the years. As if the gift giving isn’t difficult enough, then Moms have to be magicians too. One year Nicholas asked repeatedly for “Splatster”. Some Wii like game that made paint splatters on the TV. We never heard of it before his request or after. We searched high and low and I think we managed to find it on eBay and ended up getting in a ridiculous bidding war over it. This year, Marcus is asking Christine for a play football field that he can play in. He asked for it to be lit with lights. Christine asked me today what she should do? How the heck should I know? I was too busy tracking down a package from China that contained Minecraft necklaces.

It’s a wonder Moms pull it all off. We always do and MOST of the time it’s done with a smile. Now, that’s what I call the magic of Christmas.

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