Fashion Friday – Holiday sparkle

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I always want to look festive around the holidays without buying a Christmas sweater or breaking the bank. Christine told me to post some of my creations. My first look (shown above) is a casual look. I love plaid but own very little of it. This year I invested in a cute but versatile plaid top. Plaid is great around Christmas. I found it at Macy’s recently in the Ralph Lauren section, only $32.00. I wore it with a pearl necklace I bought last year at Target for $17.99, and a pair of dark jeans.

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This outfit is one that I am particularly proud of and I think it’s festive enough to wear to a holiday party. I recently purchased a pair of faux leather leggings from INC in Macys. These pants were inexpensive at $32.00, trendy and comfortable. That’s the trifecta right there. The shirt was a score at Kohls for $14.99. I loved the plum color and it looks good with the leggings. The simple gold necklace was from a local boutique in the neighborhood for $5.00. All told the entire outfit was $52.00! Truly amazing.

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Lastly, I love winter white. I always have. And I love sparkle. Last month, I bought a winter white or cream peplum top on Jane.com, along with the sparkle necklace on the same site. The top was $12.99 and the necklace was $9.99. Very inexpensive holiday sparkle.

I hope that inspires some of your holiday outfits.

My Good Side

I had something crazy happen to me last week. We had our family pictures taken last Friday and the photographer made this discovery in the sitting. She said, “Oh, I found your good side”. I chuckled a bit and asked her if that’s really true. Up until now, I really thought people were just being dramatic or high maintenance when they referred to their “good side”. She said , “Here, let me show you”, and she showed me the digital pictures on her camera. Sure enough, I looked better being photographed from the right side. I was amazed. I never put much thought into it. I felt kind of shocked. Here I was almost 39 and I had no idea that I even had two different sides. It only took me 39 years to find my good side? What on earth was I doing before? I thought. so why would I ever show my “bad side” again! I thought about it more and thought why don’t I just apply that concept to the rest of life and not just pictures. So from now on, if you see me, I will be talking to you from my right side. If I ever do get ugly, I will just say, that must be my left side talking.

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What to Wear Wednesday – Faux Leather

There are some trends that I like and that I want to try and then there are some trends that I loose sleep over. The words “faux leather” have come into my thoughts a lot lately. It’s all over the place and I notice it everywhere. I actually like this faux trend. It’s way less expensive than real leather, never mind more socially conscience. I had to just go ahead and scratch the itch this past Veterans Day. I popped into the mall looking to score something, ANYTHING, that was faux leather. I was like a hunter looking for my next kill.

The INC top was on sale at Macys for $29.99. The layering necklaces are another big trend right now. Not one I’m loosing sleep over, but cute nonetheless. I am wearing a classic monogram necklace from Stella and Dot and a layering necklace from Jane.com $7.99.

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Fashion Friday – Aztec Print for the Mature Woman

Last year, I busted out with a pair of Aztec leggings that set me back $10.00.   I still love the trend but I find that anything Aztec related is usually in the Juniors section which means it’s not quite right for someone my age or is likely to fall apart with one wash.  Last weekend while out at Macy’s getting the boys some pants this cute sweater vest caught my eye.  What do you know it was in the “grown-up” section.  It also did not break the bank. With my sale coupon it was $32.oo.

In Texas, this is just enough sweater for me right now.  I’m a big fan of the sweater vest. They always catch my eye for fall.  So cozy, yet easy to throw on with leggings.

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More Guts than Brains – My Tales of Traveling with a Toddler

I always describe myself as having more guts than brains.  I seriously leap before I look and then figure things out.  If you knew me I would whole-heartly tell you it is one of my biggest strengths.  The highlights of my life have been direct results of these “leaps”.  I once quit a job by passing my boss a note, I have moved to New York City on a whim at 22, I decided to follow my “on again off again” boyfriend to Dallas, I decided to throw practicality out the window and have a third baby, and so on and so on.

My recent leap, to move my whole family (and even add another) to Texas has me far away from my best friend.  I am not a sedentary person and I am one of the few people that would say that they LOVE air travel.   I like to know that at anytime I can hop on a plane and see my BFF for a weekend or even a day. I like mobility.  I like to go places. I like to eat breakfast in one city, and dinner in another.

Last week, I boarded the plane from Dallas to Boston with one sweet, yet active, 14 month-old little girl.  The funny thing is that you couldn’t even say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.   She’s my third and we recently endured a harrowing ride from Logan to Dallas only just a few short months ago.  And, let me tell you, it was harrowing. She never slept, always had a body part moving and even let out some of the highest pitched screams at very frequent intervals.   Vaughn and I said we would never ever do it again.  Ever!  And now, this time I was going to attempt it ALONE? Say what?

Here’s some of the funny things that came into my mind during my recent trip:

I can do this, I’m strong.  It will be empowering;

If I can do this, I can do anything;

I will just be super nice and apologize the minute I get into my seat to anyone around me. They won’t be mad;  

I’m almost 40, someone much younger should attempt this;

There will be life after this flight, I will survive;

OMG, the lady next to me is wearing a mask. She’s worried about Ebola while I try to make a toy out of this barf bag;

Look at that baby sleeping over there. What a lucky bastard. I wonder if they gave the baby Benadryl!;

I wonder if airlines will ever outlaw traveling with small children? They really should! Keep crazy people like me off the planes;

Really, seriously, what the F is wrong with me?! Mental note, after this go get your head examined;

Boy was it a funny place inside my head those two days.  I had a stranger even remark, “Oh my,  you are holding it together quite well”.  That was in the witching hours of 6pm to 8pm when Eve was none too happy with our unexpected delays.  I did live to tell about it and I did make it.  Yes, it did get very hairy for a couple of hours and I felt like everyone was looking at me, but the moral of the story is, I had a wonderful 24 hours seeing my best friend.   I got to pop in and make it seem as if it was super easy to do just that.   Why should I let a 24 pound unpredictable ball of energy stop me?   Would I do it again? Hmmm, probably, I’m just that crazy……….Oops, I mean “gutsy”.

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Fashion Friday – Fashion, Friends and Fun. All good “F” words

A couple weeks ago, my friend Aleisha texted me one night and said, “Want to meet at Closest Revival tomorrow?” I really didn’t need anything specific but I didn’t want to miss the chance to see her so I happily agreed.

We met and scooped up some excellent little finds. I spotted this ruffled leopard print skirt for $16.00. The label read INC and the tag was still attached that read $59.00. That was certainly a good deal. When I tried it on I loved it. We both walked out of there with a couple good scores. I actually bought 2 pairs of jeans, 1skirt and 1 top all totaling $80.00. The jeans alone were worth well over $100.

I have worn this skirt at least 5 times already. So comfortable and so easy. I recently bought these geometric shaped earrings for $15.00 as well on Zulilly. Put the two new things together with an old black tank top and the whole outfit really only cost me $30.00.

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Monday Mom Style – It’s not Right, but it’s Okay

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A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a black and white maxi skirt from Jane.com.  Last weekend, I received a black and grey maxi skirt.   I was a bit disappointed but as a busy Mom, I just thought it will have to do. The good news was the material was great and the fit was great too.  Two out of three isn’t bad these days.   I was originally thinking that the yellow necklace, also purchased from Jane, would look nice with the black and white contrast.  The yellow necklace still works  with the black and grey and it was a steal for$7.99.

I have been eyeing these type of skirts for awhile.  Such an effortless outfit for a Mom in the summertime. If you have a maxi skirt, tank and necklace you have an instant outfit for summertime fun.

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Summer Vacation- Friend or Foe?

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I feel totally bipolar when it comes to thoughts about summer vacation.  By the time June rolls around, I’m so done with the daily grind of school.  What’s the saying? Homework, books, teachers’ dirty looks?  I will start this rant by saying that I really do love summer. Coming from the Northeast, we LIVE for summer. It was usually short,  and if you blinked it was gone.  Now…………I have kids.  Not only do I have kids, but I have two wild and crazy boys who can make any long summer day feel like an even longer day.   I have all of these grand ideas at the beginning of summer.  I pick a couple of good camps for the boys.  We head to the library looking for cool summer reading and I even buy them a couple of cool summer outfits.   Here’s what I wish would happen. And, here’s what really happens:

Sleep in and have a quiet morning.  The kids get up earlier for some odd reason and immediately ask to watch TV or play video games upon waking. I fight with little people while I try to make the coffee.

Spend Hours in the pool enjoying the water – They whine and complain that the water is too cold or too hot.  They tell me if they had “cooler” pool toys they would go in.  I actually contemplate taking them to get some peace and quiet.

Have a nice calm lunch – By 10:00am, Vince has usually snuck in the pantry and raided it for anything that even resembles a cookie and has pretty much exhausted his sugar allotment for the day.

Boys sit down and get lost in a book – Reading ends up being  a negotiation to get more TV or electronics and they rush through it and ask me repeatedly when they can be done.  Vince actually screamed “I hate reading”, the other day.  Great response from the boy who won a spelling bee.

Boys would have play dates and occupy themselves for hours – Play dates become more reason to nag me about video games. ‘But Mom, we have to fix our Clan”, or “we have to play Minecraft TOGETHER”.

We could just relax at the beach – The boys argue, ask for lemonade, tell me I didn’t pack any goods snacks, throw sand, walk on the blanket (even though we tell them not to) and ask what we are doing later.

Enjoy Camp – A couple of years ago, Vince would refuse to go to camp.  They would have to hold him and I would run out of the building.  It was terrible.  Now the boys tell me how much they don’t like camp, how they miss me during the day, what kid bothers them or if I could please pick them up earlier.

Maybe other Moms are experiencing some peaceful summer days.  Here’s hoping for some pleasant memories sprinkled in with the arguing, whining and negotiating about video games.  Believe it or not it does happen.

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Intution or Just Plain Hours in the Field

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There is a saying I like that goes something like, “One hour in the field is worth ten in the classroom”.  It’s pretty safe to say that motherhood clocks many hours in the field.

I have had a challenging two weeks.  In two weeks, this family has had four cases of strep throat.  Yep, FOUR.  I only have three kids, so that means one kid got the dreaded illness twice.  That kid would be, you guessed it, the baby!  I have been administering antibiotics four times a day for basically two weeks.  Between antibiotics, pain medicine, and the numerous nighttime wake-ups, there’s been little room for anything else.

With Eve’s first go around with strep, I had a hunch she was sick.  She wouldn’t take a nap and then she spiked a high fever.  I picked her up and plopped her on my lap.  I did this should I bring her to the doctor or should I not bring her to the doctor sort of dance in my head.  With your third kid you try not to run in with every fever.  You optimistically hope they will just get better all by themselves.  Well, I got a whiff of her breath and a strange thing happened. I thought I smelled strep throat.  I wasn’t sure, but the smell was familiar.  I think I even mentioned to my mother that she smelled like it.  Must have been all of those other lovely cases of strep throat my boys brought home once or twice.  Luckily, I brought her in and sure enough she tested positive.  I was asking myself that night, was that my own intuition or just plain experience.  I thought about other funny things that mothers can predict long before they even happen:

Accurately predicting diaper blowouts – The morning of Eve’s baptism, she had trouble going to the bathroom.  Without being completely vulgar you could see she was a bit constipated. Christine looked right at me and said, “Yep, she’s going to have a poop explosion at the church”.  I didn’t disagree but hoped she wasn’t right.  As we were waiting to be seated at the restaurant, immediately following her baptism, I got a hold of smell so bad that I surely thought they hadn’t cleaned the restaurant appropriately.  Come to find out, Christine was almost spot on with her prediction.  We had a diaper explosion of epic proportions to deal with in the restaurant right before our meal.  Thank god it actually came minutes after the baptism.  Excuse the pun.

Sixth Sense that Something is going to go down at the playground – I’m a master at this.  I never intended to be a helicopter Mom but Nicholas was so bad I had no choice but to be the best “hovercraft” I could be.  That boy could clear a playground in five minutes.  I remember having this mother’s intuition thing the moment we would walk into a playground. I would see little girls playing with their dolls or boys playing with swords. If it were even a little crowded, I knew in five minutes I would be wrangling him out of there. Nine out of ten times I was right.

Deciphering Good yelling vs. Bad yelling – I can accurately tell you if all that yelling you are hearing from another room is happy yelling or mad yelling. I’m not even sure how I know.  I just know that all that screaming either means nothing or that someone is going to get a knuckle sandwich.

When Quiet is Bad –  It’s this weird uneasiness that a Mom gets when there is more than 3 minutes of uninterrupted quiet. You suddenly feel out of sorts.  Where’s the talking?  Where’s the banging? Where’s the child? This happened to Christine only once when Celia was almost 3.  Things were peaceful for a couple of minutes so she checked on her in her room. Celia had gotten ahold of a scissor and had chopped off  her bangs and stuffed them all in her Easy Bake Oven. These 4 minutes of quiet, left Celia with a head of hair that took a  year to remedy.  I had a little quiet once too.   Nicholas single handedly almost ate a whole box of  crayons while left coloring.    It only really happens once and we all realize how dangerous quiet can really be.

When Still is a Problem –  I always know when my kids are really sick.  It’s the only time they don’t move.  This past weekend when Eve was sick she laid in my arms so still. I had this feeling come over me that she may be nauseous.  It’s only when my children are nauseous that they lie really still.   Sure enough, Eve threw up five minutes later.  Come to find out she really is a Kinosian.

Motherhood teaches us so many things that we really would not know otherwise.   For me it’s not Mother’s intuition but the countless hours in the “field”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trend Report – The Cut-out Bathing Suit is the New Tankini

It’s bathing suit season. As exciting as this can be, bathing suit shopping is sometimes an extremely challenging task.  You have to find the right lighting in the stores.  You cross your fingers that the store you pick has the “skinny” mirrors.  You try not to go out for a big meal before your embark on this mission, yet you can’t be starving either.  It can be quite a process. More importantly,  I now have to find something fashionable enough, yet practical enough, to wear while at the beach with kids.  Lately, I have been seeing these beautiful cut out bathing suits while out and about.  I thought, gee this might be something good for the women in my age group.  It’s not a bikini, yet way more fashionable than a tankini.  I think I’m on to something.   So, that’s what I’m going with this season.  I’m going with something classy yet fashionable as I tote my kiddos around and enjoy the last of my thirties.  Here are some on my wish list

 

Some of my favorites  for moms would be the following.  They are all classy enough, sturdy enough, yet fashionable enough. I guarantee you will look better in these than a traditional old J.crew or Lands End tankini.

 

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I recently picked up this cute bathing suit from Zulily.com for $49.99.  It’s not technically a cut out but in the same family.  I really like it.

 

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