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Clothes Mentor Styling and Good Company Spot

October 17, 2016
Hey there!  It's been a hot minute since I've found the time to blog, and boy is there a lot of catch up on...

While I hope to get to all those things in the next few posts, I want to focus on a great opportunity I had with a local business.  You may have found yourself at this blog from seeing the Good Company spot I did with Clothes Mentor -- and if so WELCOME!  I hope you click around and see what my blog is about and maybe become a reader!

We've been a one income household for over a year, and with that I have become much more frugal with my wardrobe budget.  I have been more actively shopping on resell Facebook pages and consignment stores and have really found a place I love in Clothes Mentor, not just in Peoria but where ever I travel and they have a store.

When I started working with Lynn on what kind of content I'd like to bring to their Good Company stop, it's always been my point of view that good style doesn't take a lot of pieces or a big budget.  So I wanted to present the idea of a 'capsule' wardrobe or staple pieces.  This isn't a new concept, it's been around forever - but is gaining new traction as my generation is becoming more concerned with paying off large amounts of debt instead of building it.

We started the evening as they would with any personal styling session -- which they do offer and I highly recommend if you're a bit afraid of fashion.  The employees will understand your lifestyle and your body shape/size and you'll both start just looking through the racks.  Lynn and I had a focus - items you could wear to the office and could be mixed and matched.

Below are a few highlights from our experience.  The staff at Clothes Mentor Peoria are great, and I highly recommend calling and asking about a styling session!

First it is lots of browsing the racks - everything is well organized by size and then by color.  I tend to stay with colors I like (cool tones) and away from patterns, just for my own personal style!

Then there is a LOT of trying on.  The fitting room can be a woman's worst enemy!  Having someone else there that is a third party opinion can help you get out of your own head.

Here are the final looks we put together for the show, and you can watch our spot here!

Summer FabFitFun Unboxing (and GIVEAWAY!!)

July 1, 2016
I was excited to get another quarterly FabFitFun box this month, all geared towards summer!  I'm even more excited to give a few items away to one lucky reader!  Let's not waste any time!!

The boxes have such cute designs!  They manage to stuff a lot in to one little box!

The first item that caught my eye were the 'Betchsicles' -- because that name....really.  They are 'bottle' shaped silicone popsicle molds.  I've been seeing popsicle recipes all over IG and Pinterest, so I'm excited to try these out when it's sweltering here in the summer!  It came with a mold for six popsicles and six sticks...keep an eye out on my IG account and I'll be sure to post a finished product!

The next set of items were in the beauty category (aside from the bag).  There is a Osea Environment Protection lotion, which I have been mixing in with my foundation every morning to make a lighter weight tinted moisturizer!  Also helps extend the time between buys!  On the right is a FabFitFun branded beach sea salt spray.  I attempted to use it (as noted in an #ootd post) but I'm SO bad at hair I need a pro to show me what my hair can actually look like using this.  Below it is a Stemulation body exfoliator.  I've used it a few times so far on my legs between shavings to keep them smoother, especially now that I've gotten myself more comfortable showing my legs, I'd like them to look non-scaly.

The bag is a Trina Turk beach back, there were three options they sent out and I got this happy yellow one!  It's nice a roomy for the pool!

The next little section is more the samples/gift cards they always put in.  There is a blister relief patch - which I'm seeing I need more and more as I wear heels in the summer (foot sweat is not sexy).  I haven't checked the sample colors on the Burt's Bee's CC Cream samples, so if they aren't my shade I'll probably reach out to a friend to try them and report back!  There nice sheer gloss from Passport to Beauty - a little sticky when you first put it on, but I don't really notice after a few minutes.  What I'm more excited to try is Hello Fresh gift certificate!  I've been waiting to try this service for a while, but never did due to the price.  With this I think it would only cost us $15 to try!  We are foodies, but get in a rut when cooking at home.

And now the giveaway product!  I'm not really into yoga, so this product really won't do me a lot.  It's a Summer & Rose Yoga Towel.  With it's positive message and moisture-wicking fabric, setting this on your mat during class will pump your spirit and keep you sweat free!  I'm pairing this towel (retail $36) with the Mat Strap Plus from my Spring box (retail $15) for a yoga inspired set!

Here's how to enter:

1 - Head over to my Facebook page
2 - Like, Comment and Share the post associated with the giveaway (for up to three entries)
3 - That's it!  I'll do a random drawing from all entries on Tuesday morning and contact the winner!

I'm always excited to interact with my readers, giving advice and tips when I can!  Never feel afraid to ask me a style question, you can always message me!

Everyone have a great holiday weekend, and I'll see you later - back here in my closet!

Stitch Fix #4

June 27, 2016
So it's been a hot minute since I got a post out, and an even HOTTER minutes since I've gotten a Stitch Fix.  With the seasons changing and having dropped a few dress sizes, I've found myself browse online a lot.  One of the great things about services like Stitch Fix and Trendsend is you have the comfort of shopping from your own home, without the commitment of buying unless you like it!

As always, if you're interested in trying out Stitch Fix for yourself the link HERE will direct you there!

Here's what I got in this fix!  I asked for staple pieces that can be mixed.  There were some hits, and some misses.

I got this Joie scoop neck tank/blouse, and it's got a LOT going on.  I normally wouldn't reach for such a busy print, but it looks great with casual shorts or a skirt.  What's not great about this shirt is the price, at $158 it was WAYYYYY to steep for my budget.

Next was this textured skirt by Margaret M.  It fit like a glove and I loved that the textured aspect could make it appropriate for the fall weather as well.  The price was reasonable at $78 ($20 styling fee applied) so this definitely stayed with me, and here I show it dressed up for work or down for date night or drinks with friends!

The next two dresses I had a hard time convincing myself I didn't need.  The budget this month didn't allow me to get more than one piece, and the skirt was the most versatile piece.  But the colors on this Collective Concepts Katelynn Dress call to me, like sirens in the night.  I personally feel it needs a belt to break up the print and make sure your waist is defined (mine is actually a maternity wrap belt I use, but desperately need one that fits better).  This would be perfect for a summer wedding and it's pretty reasonable at $78!

This next dress, from Donna Morgan, did a great job mimicking a few Pinterest posts.  The Josie may not look like a lot for $158, but it's the peek-a-boo back that really adds that extra bit.  It's a more linen material -- so it does wrinkle -- but that makes it so soft too!  Was sad to see this have to go back, the neutral color pallet make a great canvas for fun shoes or jewelry!

The last piece was this Greylin Scottie blouse.  It's perfectly fine for the office - again a pattern I wouldn't normally be drawn to.  But sticker shock on this one too, $128 for a TOP!

It was fun to get another box, I have a quarterly subscription so I'm excited for fall to roll around and see what the send!  I've also got another Trendsend box coming and my summer Fab Fit Fun box arrived, so more reviews on the horizon!

Hope everyone has a great week, and I'll see you later - back here in my closet!

This (Two) Week(s) in Outfits

April 23, 2016
No, I haven't been stricken with any ridiculous illness, I've just been so busy that the blog had to take a back seat these last few weeks.  I haven't even had time to get all my outfits snapped this week....but here is a compilation of the last two weeks worth of outfits!

Tuesday (4/12) - Monday I wasn't feeling well, so fielded emails from home in my PJ' Tuesday was the beginning of my week.  You've seen this outfit before, but I'm slowly transitioning from long layers to skirt and short sleeves!

Wednesday (4/13) - This is a pretty great transitional dress.  I've paired it previously with tights and some layers on top during the cooler months, but as it was over 60 degrees last week, it also looks great on it's own with some accessories!

Thursday (4/14) - Another warm work day.  I will normally keep a cardigan at my desk in case the AC is pumping or I have a meeting where I need to be a little more covered on my arms, but for day to day work showing some shoulder isn't prohibited in my office.

Friday (4/15) - I mentioned on Instagram and I'll say it again, a blazer changes everything.  Basic t-shirts and tanks can be taken into the office place by just throwing on a fitted blazer.

Monday (4/18) - I found these work pants hidden under a pile of clothes as I was cleaning out my closet over the weekend.  They are a shorter hem, which means I can wear them with flats, but as I was wearing them I found myself not a fan of the cut...which I believe is a boot cut.  I LOVE boot cut denim, but a fabric with less structure like this is best suited for a straight leg but.

 Friday (4/22) - Just another example of a basic tank top being made work appropriate with the help of a blazer...have I convinced you to buy one yet??

No more travel for a while, so hopefully I'll get back to my regular posting schedule.  The weather is going to be fabulous here in Peoria, and I hope it is for you too!  I'll see you all later, back here in my closet!

Finding Inspiration - Who I Follow

April 12, 2016
Obviously nowadays social media has become a hub for inspiration.  You can find someone that loves just about anything you do.  Pinterest was the big bang for me with fashion.  I use to tear out magazine pages and put them in a binder....I had a hard copy version of a Pinterest board.  Man if I'd thought of that first....but, shoulda, woulda, coulda.

So, I thought I'd get down the accounts I follow and get the most inspiration from...both in fashion/beauty and in fitness.  I mostly use Instagram, and if they have a corresponding YouTube channel I'll normally follow.  Photos have (unfortunately) become the new spoken word to get people to understand you're message.

Fashion/Beauty - 

I love the 'Like to Know' instagram page and the program is entails.  If you register on their site and 'like' any IG post associated you get an email with shopping options!  Takes the thought away from 'where do I find that?'  You'll notice a lot of women I follow use the #liketoknow option to email you.

Fitness - 

There are a LOT of 'get fit quick' options on social media.  Lots of before and after's with a 3 month span.  I try to stay away from that.  I know the result I'm looking for is a long term process.  I follow some local Peoria ladies, but for you all I'm going to talk about more global accounts.  I follow products (Cellucor, Buff Bake, DOUGHbar, etc) for tips and inspiration from their sponsored athletes, but I find my inspiration from other female lifters.  I mainly follow Alicia Coates, Heidi Somers (Buff Bunny) and Nikki Blackketter.  They have physiques I'd aspire to, but know my body will never look like theirs because that is their JOB.  The balance between what you aspire to and what is attainable is hard for a lot of women.  When you see lifters, of course you want to look tight and fit, but know that you don't have 2 hours a day to spend in the gym and get paid by companies to promote their product.  You have a full time job, probably a family and you want to keep yourself sane!

Hope these accounts give you some good inspiration, and let me know who you follow and I'll check them out!

I hope the weather gets better so we can get out and do some photo for content I want to put up!

Have an amazing week!

The Week in Outfits

April 9, 2016
My time management has been crap this week, so I apologize if this post seems a little rushed....I won't be linking similar options, but if there is every something you'd like me to find, I'm more than willing to help - just ask!

Monday - I was all over the place!  I wanted to wear this dress (purchased at a consignment store), but it was pretty chilly outside still.  I had a chambray blouse over it, but felt it was too casual for Monday at 5 minutes before I left I switched to this mint blazer.  It's not the best outfit, but working with engineers they didn't know any different.  The shoes are Dr. Scholl's and they are my go to summer wedge for work....I can walk around all day with them on!

Tuesday - Back to some staple pieces.  This Talbots shirt is linen, so I find myself having to be really careful when I put it away otherwise I have to steam it before every use - which is just annoying.  As I sit here looking at this photo I'm trying to decide if I could pair this blouse with a pencil skirt....what do you all think??

Wednesday - Man this week was a bunch of repeats!  I've said it before and I'll say it again, having those go to pairing makes it easier to get ready in the morning.  I know a lot of you are working parents that may not have ages to stare at your closet and pick out pieces....and that's OK!!  I recommend really purging down to what you actually wear so that your mornings are less hectic!

Thursday - I commented on Instagram how I remember vividly that you were 'not allowed' to wear black with brown in the 90's/00's.  My how times have changed!  All neutrals (black, brown shades, nude, white, most animal print) can be worn mixed and matched together.  You could even make an entire wardrobe out of neutrals and make your accessories the accents!

Friday - This is probably the most simple outfit of the week, but the one I'm most in love with.  It's unassuming, chic, casual and put together at the same time.  Proper fit is key in my eyes to making you feel put together.  If they pants had been baggy or the blouse hadn't come in at the waist a little, this outfit could feel frumpy....know the different between fitted and 'tight' on your body - it makes a huge difference!
PS - I also curled my hair with my tapered wand this morning, just because.  I always get a lot of complements on it and love the look myself, but most days never have the time to do it!

Well, that's my quick round up.  Again, I'm sorry I couldn't do links this week, but most items have been worn before and have links in previous post (scrolling at the top).  I promise to get back to three posts a week, I just am struggling to find time to sit down and write them!

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you later - back here in my closet!

First FabFitFun Box!

April 5, 2016
I've tried a LOT of subscription services and boxes.  But most of the time after about 6 months I get tired of the samples or just start to accumulate too much stuff - which is against my new-ish mantra.

I've seen a few YouTube unboxing of of FabFitFun box and it intrigues me for several reasons:
1) It's quarterly, or not a lot of unnecessary junk
2) It's fitness related
3) For $50 you normally get about $200+ of product

Already interested???  Use this referral link 'here'

So I decided to give it a go!  I went for the annual subscription because it knocked $20 off the total price.

I got my box last week and was pleasantly surprised by the range of items!  Here's the spread!

The first thing about this box is it comes with a little catalog giving you descriptions and MSRP of the product, and talks about the brands it works with.  A lot of videos I've seen show that this box curates around small businesses or businesses that 'do more good' by helping employ women in underprivileged areas. ASIDE - this has recently gotten my attention since Stella Artois started the 'Buy a Lady a Drink' campaign and I realized that $13 can supply a person with 5 years of water!! END ASIDE -- Total retail value of this box is $282.91

Let's dive a little deeper....

I got two gift cards, one for 31 Bits ($25 value) and one for Sterling Forever ($30 value).  31 Bits is an online retailer of handmade jewelry by artisans in Uganda, giving them access to a customer base and allowing them to rise above poverty.  Sterling Forever seems to be more of trendy and knock off style jewels.  I've narrowed it down to a few items I like on each site, I need your help on how I should spend my gift cards!  Sound off on my facebook page!

31 Bits options - this or this (in black and gold)
Sterling Forever options - this or this

The next item falls into the 'fitness' category for them.  The Mat Strap Plus by Merrithew is sort of a triple threat: you can use it to carry your yoga mat to class (which I don't), you can use it to help you hold difficult yoga poses (which I won't) and you can use it as a light resistance band (which I will!).  I see myself using this more for warm-up moves at the gym or fit I want to get a few light sets in at home.  I've already used it after volleyball to help stretch out some tight muscles!

The next item falls into 'beauty/health' and just plain fun.  I love bath bombs and bubble bars from LUSH, so this Jus D'Amour Bath Bomb Trinity will get some use.  There are three scents: eucalyptus/peppermint/lime (awakening), lavender/chamomile/ylang ylang(relaxing) and jasmine/rose/sandal wood (feelin' sexy).  It's fun to have these, since there isn't a LUSH around me and I always forget to hit it up in St. Louis.

 The next item is beauty related again, the Bodipure Keratin Gloves & Socks.  I imagine the premise is like when you're at the nail salon and you get a heated moisture glove-thingy.  Keratin is a moisturizing oil so these will soak/deposit the lotion and then you're suppose to rub in the remaining after removal.  I'm sure my hands and feet will feel awesome after, but I would never buy this for myself.

 This next item is probably what I was most excited about.  The ISH Contour Kit was made just for this box and I've been REALLY wanting to dip into a pre-curated contour palette for a while.  I've already used this several days before work.  They are all powders, with a highlight, blush, contour and bronzer (clockwise from upper left).  The contour color is meant really just to hit the areas you want to chisel on your face (cheek hollows/jaw line) and the bronzer is meant for more of the all over glow.  I attempted to do some swatches below, but as you can see I need a little more practice at that.

Next up is this full size bottle of Argan and Hemp Oil Therapy from Marrakesh.  It's a hair oil/treatment that smells amazing.  I've been using it after my shower/before blow drying to give my fine hair a little weight so it doesn't static out in the drier air we've been having.  I even used it on baby J to tame his wild mane after bath time!  There are cheaper products out there that do the same thing, but I'll definitely use this up!

I'm super excited to reap the rewards of this MakersKit Herb Garden.  It's already up on our kitchen window and J waters it every day.  They give you everything you need, seeds, growing medium, canisters to hold it all.  Soon we'll be cooking with fresh Thyme, Mint and Basil!

Also in the box is the HelloLegs Shaving Emulation Lotion.  I used it today AFTER my shave, but you're also suppose to use it while shaving for a soft, smooth result.  I'll have to circle back around and give a better review after I use it as intended.  Right now it smells great and gave my morning shaved legs a smooth feeling!

The last item is really cool, this letter press necklace from Jook & Nona.  I got 'dream' but others could have gotten 'inspire', 'love' or 'happy'.  It's just a fun delicate necklace that'll look great with my Stella & Dot pieces I love.

So that's the box!  I enjoyed seeming the range of items from fitness to beauty to health AND I loved that they were all full size items!  Let me know if this post got you interested, if you want more detail on a specific item, or what you think I should buy from 31 Bits and Forever Sterling! If you're interested in your own box, make sure to use the link above!

I'm excited for the post coming later this week, talking all about pant hems and how them make you look taller!

I'll see you guys later, back here in my closet!

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