Remember how I got this gorgeous pleated yellow gown for only $11 in a recent blog post? (Because I used gift cards so the remaining balance was $11). Well guess what? It’s on super-duper deluxe sale now. It’s not $11, but you also don’t have to use gift certificates either.
Well it’s happened. It’s finally become cool enough in Arizona to need a coat most days….at least for an hour or two.
A classy vintage green pea-coat is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit without a reindeer or christmas tree design in sight. And the fun lining keeps things light-hearted and fun on the inside, and elegant on the outside. Enjoy your cooler weather. Are you getting into the holiday spirit yet?
In honor of the Miss Arizona USA pageant that concluded yesterday I decided to wear this gorgeous custom purple gown and vintage pink fur stole.
….Except I didn’t make it to the pageant. My husband just had surgery a few days ago, so I stayed home to be with him. (Even big, strong men love to be taken care of when they are down….and happy marriages happen when you take care of your partner – especially in the tough times).
I met the gown designer of JM Couture at a trunk show my friend held at her boutique Glam Squad in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has gorgeous designs and ultimately I chose this gown because of the versatility. It’s made of a lightweight and stretchy jersey fabric. It’s easy to roll up and pack into a carryon bag and it looks fresh and ready to wear after you land in some fabulous destination.
And the best part? You can wear it backwards or frontwards. In other words, it’s a V-neck or it’s a boat-neck. You choose.
After meeting with Jim, I told him as much as black is a classic color, I seldom wear black. I wanted this gown but in a fun color that was more “me.” He sent me a dozen colors and patterns to choose from. I chose this pretty purple because it’s nice to positively stand out when you go to a black-tie event and everyone else is wearing black. Nothing wrong with wanting to make an entrance when you walk into a room, right? Within a week or two he shipped it to me and viola!
I usually only wear jeans or pants of some sort when it’s too cold to wear a skirt. My sunny state has been pretty gorgeous, but I’m flying to New York to judge the Mrs. NY America pageant – and it’s going to be much colder there! Right? So I’ll wear these skinny jeans, shoes (easy to take on and off during airport security), and coat both there and back. Only my shirt will change (to another black shirt so it’s easy to coordinate).
Coat: Anne Klein
Jeans: JLow – from Khols
Shirt: Cynthia Rowley – from Marshalls
Shoes: Vince Camuto – DSW
Purse: Michael Kors
Growing up I literally hated myself. I hated my bright red hair. I hated being so tall so that something as simple as walking from point A to point B was the most awkward thing ever. I hated standing out….and then something changed.
Suddenly I LOVED standing out. (Unless I dyed my hair brown – which I did BTW, and it was brown with lots and lots of red – so even then, there was no way to “hide”). So I did the next best thing. I stood up tall and looked in the mirror….you know, the old fashion equivalent of taking a selfie.
And I focused on the POSITIVES. What were the things I could improve? (hello brand new boobies after nursing 2 children….ok, that came much later – but still, as long as your are breathing, you deserve to work on making the most of each day of your life) What were the things I could HIGHLIGHT? What were the things that I could do to IMPROVE THE WORLD (which can start in your own home, and neighborhood) regardless of how I looked?! Those were the things I focused on. And suddenly, life became magical. I met the man of my dreams 20 years ago and I’m still madly in love with him. He’s THE nicest guy in the world….like ever! My kids are great – yes, even the roller-coaster ride with a hormonal teenage daughter – (WTH?! LOL) – has been overall good. I’m excited to see what decisions she will make…..and I’m sure like all of us, there will be a few good *head smack* moments in there.
So go out there and look in the mirror…or take a selfie. And see what YOU can do today to make the world a better place….FOR YOUR LIFE AND FOR OTHERS!
Thank you to women like Cynthia Sassi and her site, Fabulous Arizona – who LIFT other women up and motivate and inspire us all to live a rich and full life. Warmest thanks to women like her!
One of my dear friends, Victoria Mendoza, is Miss World America and she will spend 30 days in China representing the United States at the prestigious and oldest international pageant, Miss World. (You can watch the final competition on E! December 19th)
Recently she had her send off party and God must have been smiling down on her because it warmed up to the high 80’s and it was a gorgeous (albeit WARM!) fall day here in sunny Arizona. So much for the cute wintery outfit I had planned.
I wanted to wear my new burgundy shoes – but still haven’t found the perfect matching accessories – so I dug out this $15 off-the-shoulder “Bardot” dress from asos.com, tossed in some inexpensive (but fabulous) earrings from Vegas from a few years ago, a ginormous cocktail ring I purchased 10 years ago, and added a gorgeous, vintage, Judith Leiber beaded purse I splurged on for my 40th birthday. Viola, a fall-inspired look perfect for the hot Arizona sun, but glamorous enough to send off our Miss World America in style!
Don’t you love having those friends who support you (and you support them) through all of life’s ups and downs? And the coolest thing is when your life gets to a point that you support your friends, by supporting – and cheering for – their daughters. Because we need to show the younger girls the importance of women lifting women up too.
My friend’s daughter competed in her very first pageant. Most of my best friends I’ve met through pageantry so I love and support them – and any other endeavor that challenges you to be the best version of yourself. This is what I wore to her pageant.
What do you wear to a super-secret, invite-only (you need a key, a ticket, AND a password to get in) inaugural gala for “kick ass” women entrepreneurs? Especially when you have no idea who the other women attending will be….but fitness leader, Bizzie Gold is spearheading it…
You wear something that makes you feel confident and bold. So you break out the red Herve Leger dress you got on sale, that’s what you wear! (And you change your purse and shoes 5 times, because the purse and shoes I wore in these photos BEFORE I left, were not what I ended up wearing to the event. It started to rain, and I was NOT going to wear the most expensive shoes I’ve ever owned in my whole entire life in the rain. No-Way. Not because I care about the shoes….but because it’s okay to care about YOURSELF. And when you invest in yourself – through educational materials, clothing, accessories or other items that showcase your investment in yourself, it’s okay to nurture those investments.
For Scottsdale based, bad-assed, fabulous women entrepreneurs who want to hang with like-minded women, you NEED to get an invite into B-Tribe. Additional locations coming soon. Would love to see you at the next one.
Red Gown – Glam Practice for the Dress For Success Gala
What is your favorite organization that helps women? Mine is Dress for Success. I’ve worked with the Phoenix chapter of Dress for Success in one way or another for the past 4 years. Time is precious. And as much as I’d love to go to EVERY gala that raises money for women in need, I simply can’t. Out of all of the organizations that I have come to know and love, Dress For Success is the one that resonates the most with me.
Growing up with a single mom who drove 2 hours round trip but we never had much – taught me to appreciate the giving that ALL women do. One day I was thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (remember that chart from high school??) and I realized that before I could help women feel confident, I needed to help many with basic needs first. Things like….food, clothing, and shelter.
After researching things I discovered that when you invest in a woman and give her a job, she will re-invest 90% of her income back into her community and family (compared to men who on average only reinvest 30% of their income). The revelation that WOMEN can lift the entire economy came on the heels of the economic downturn. Damn, we are more powerful than we thought, right?!
Dress for Success gives women (typically on welfare) the tools and resources to lift them out of unemployment with the goal being to break the cycle of poverty. They start them off with a free interview suit, and resume assistance. Then once the client lands a job, she receives 5 complete outfits so she can present herself proudly in her new workplace. Love that the ultimate way to help women with their confidence was to first help them meet their basic needs.
If you would like to help the women in Phoenix, CLICK HERE. And maybe I’ll see you at the Phoenix gala on Friday? You get to wear an evening gown….so I’m practicing now!
Have you ever forgotten it’s almost Halloween and find yourself in a rush to get a costume for yourself? Happens to me every year! When I skip the costume, the kids are always disappointed I didn’t dress up. So what’s a mama to do?
To be fair, I’m not a big fan of wearing costumes. Especially when they are designed to be overtly sexy….and let’s face it….most women’s costumes are a little slutty – even for the 20 year olds.
Armed with a $10 black and white striped vintage dress and a few ideas, it was easy to put together these 5 LAST MINUTE Halloween costumes…plus a few BONUS costume ideas. Most of the things came from my closet, and only a few things came from the Halloween store. Each costume was less than $20 – most around $10 to assemble. Which is your favorite?
COSTUME #1 – High End Heist
For the “High End Heist” you’ll want:
Sparkly details – I’m wearing black beaded shoes, earrings and bracelet from my closet.
Loot bag – I used a shoe bag with costume pearls hanging out. You can use anything from a canvas tote bag to a money bag you get from a bank.
Gloves – These vintage leather driving gloves were $2 at an estate sale
Yes, being a witch is an easy fall-back costume….but you can make it more fun when you wear something other than basic black.
For the “Wacky Witch” costume you’ll need:
Fishnet pantyhose or stockings – To make them more comfortable (and to smooth everything out), you’ll want to wear pantyhose underneath. I prefer stockings instead of pantyhose because it’s less fabric to mess around with (and possibly tear) every time you have to pee.
Anything with a buckle – In addition to the hat, I also used these shoes for the Wacky Witch costume. Normally, you would NEVER wear open toed shoes with hose or stockings, but it’s Halloween so you can wear whatever the heck you like. These platform wedges from DSW from a few years ago were just right. And I didn’t have to buy new shoes.
Sword: This is actually my son’s sword for his costume. So it was more expensive at $20, but you can get less expensive ones. Be sure to tie ribbon on it to give it that girly pirate flair! I used red evening gown straps I had sitting in the closet.
Boots: These boots from a year or two ago were from DSW and they are so tall, you can fold them over. Perfect for a pirate.
Earrings and Bangles: The bigger, the better! I used items already in my closet.
Big belt with a big buckle: This one came with this dress. But you can find great ones like this at your local thrift store.
**I also put a black crinoline underneath the dress and pinned up one side just to give it a little more visual interest.
There is a perfect shade of red out there for everyone.
Fashion Tip: When you find your perfect shade of red, either let it stand alone as your statement piece and wear neutral/soft accessories…..OR wear red lipstick and accessories with mostly neutral/soft colored outfit.
That’s why I wanted to pair this dress with a gold bracelet (and a tiny periwinkle detail) and light pink (almost nude) shoes. This makes YOU the show-stopper….not the colors you chose to wear.
Fringe is all the rage right now. But I’m not a huge fan of trends….or fringe. But I found this FABULOUS skirt at an estate sale a couple of years ago and finally had the chance to wear it…..and an excuse to wear these cute leopard print shoes.
Fashion Tip: When you wear a memorable pattern (like an animal print), keep your other pieces of clothing, and accessories more neutral so your print can stand out. If you want to add drama….play around with different textures.
I thought this blog would be only about fashion, beauty, and feeling fabulous after children…..
But one of the things that makes me feel the most fabulous (and feel like I look great too) is FOOD. I freakin’ love making food.
Healthy, delicious recipes are my specialty.
No eggs (because I’m allergic to those).
And no caffeine.
Just honest-to-goodness, delicious, REAL FOOD.
So on occasion I’m going to throw in a tasty and guilt-free recipe you and your family can enjoy…..starting right now!
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” – My husband, Alan says this all the time. In other words, do what you can to make healthy choices and don’t beat yourself up if those choices aren’t perfect. Here’s a great gluten-free and vegan recipe for banana nut muffins that I made. They aren’t “perfect,” but they are a great snack you can feel good about eating and sharing with your kids.
Gluten Free, Vegan Banana Nut Muffins:
2 cups gluten free flour (love Bobs Mills all purpose gluten free)
3 large overripe bananas (or 4 smaller ones)
3/4 cup xylitol
1/4 cup macadamia oil or organic butter 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix together….gluten free flour, salt, baking soda
In a separate bowl combine bananas, xylitol, macadamia oil or organic butter – mash together. Once mashed, slowly blend flour mix in until its all mixed in. Fill cupcake holders 2/3 full. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Bake at 360 for 25 minutes. Enjoy!
One of my favorite silhouettes is anything off the shoulder. Love how it gives you a longer neckline and allows you to wear larger earrings.
Fashion Tip: When you combine an off the shoulder neckline with an A-line skirt, it gives you the illusion of a smaller waist. It is especially flattering if your hip measurement is bigger than your chest measurement or if you have an hourglass (or close to hourglass) figure.
1. They knew how to design flattering clothing for women who have curves….and/or kids 2. They knew how to celebrate your curves while remaining classy. It’s seldom about being skin tight. It’s more about va-va-voom….in a modest way. 3. Yes, your grandmother wore it…..when she was HOT! Vintage pieces aren’t about what your grandmother would wear now. 4. Vintage clothing is incredibly well made and durable. You may have to raise a hem or replace a zipper….but even for clothing that can be 60+ years old, that’s pretty much it! 5. You are saving the planet by recycling 6. You stand out. Don’t be surprised when complete strangers literally stop you in the street to compliment you on how beautiful you look. (This is one of my favorite things about wearing vintage….because who doesn’t love hearing compliments?)
October in Arizona means maxi dresses. When maxi dresses have a beautiful flow and layers of chiffon….even better! Orange seems like a natural fit for the month of all things Halloween. But I love wearing orange year round. It’s my all-time favorite color.
Fashion Tip: Wear bold colors ANYTIME of year. If a color flatters you, then wear it! Because even “seasonal” colors can be worn year-round when they flatter your complexion.
I ordered these fabulous 2 pairs of Valentino Rockstud heels from Rue La La recently (saving $150 EACH pair!). Each pair is a different size because I knew I would only need 1 pair and would return whichever pair didn’t fit. Love them both. Both are statement pieces but one I would wear much more often. Luckily it’s the one that fits better.
Fashion Tip: Most European high end brand shoes fit 1/2 – 1 full size too small. Be sure to order a slightly larger size if you are used to US sizes.
How about you….Which ones do you like best? Which ones would you wear the most often?
Recently we found out my husband needs 3 surgeries before the end of the year. THREE! He’s fine, but worrying about it still puts a lot of stress on your relationship.
To take the edge off we went to a movie….on a school night….because we are wild like that…and most of the kids had finished their homework.
The weather here hasn’t decided if it’s fall or summer, so this may be the last time it’s warm enough to wear sleeveless for a few months. Figured it was the perfect time to wear this soft and feminine vintage sundress until the spring.
Fashion Tip:When your outfit has more than 1 color, wear shoes that either pull out 1 color – so your shoes will get noticed, OR wear shoes that match your skin-tone to make your outfit the star.
October is known as a “Pink” month to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Wearing pink is an easy way to show your support. If you don’t have a lot of pink, you can use pink accessories to draw positive attention to the cause.
One website I love is Bag, Borrow, or Steal – a high-end handbag rental site where you can rent (or buy) a designer purse for a month at a time. Check out the individual purse details here:
Tonight was all about spending time with my daughter, and supporting my fellow FORD/RBA models walking the runway. I walked in a fashion show earlier today, so it was great to spend quality time with my daughter as well as Charles Alexander of Imago Style – the man who makes all the men of Arizona look dapper. Day 2 of Phoenix Fashion Week was a fantastic collection of clothes – worn by the most gorgeous girls.
As a mom, it’s easy for us create busy lives that focus only on your family and your community. But let’s not forget about you. It’s important for you to dress up every now and then and pursue your passions. My passion is classic, wearable, fashion. And I feel it’s important to create EXPERIENCES with your family. Do something together where you are sharing a common interest. Although my daughter and have polar opposite style aesthetics, we both love the pursuit of a bargain, and feeling beautiful from the inside…out. We need to do stuff together more often – just the two of us.
I hope you make more opportunities to share your passions with your family and friends. Enjoy!
Such a fantastic night! My friend Gina Salazar, co-host of “Your Life A to Z,” invited me to sit with her front row so we could watch 4 emerging designers and 4 established designers showcase their latest collections. We loved it!! Spending time with friends (and having an excuse to get glammed up) is what fills my cup. Also got to say hi to several friends including Fabulous Arizona’s Cynthia Sassi.
It’s not very often that hubby and I get a solo date night (we love to go on double dates with our friends). So when we get an opportunity to go out, just the two of us, it’s a real treat! I especially love dressing in feminine and flirty fabrics, like chiffon. This dress is so great, I bought it in 4 colors (a common theme in my closet when something is really fabulous….and on sale).
I bought this cute, off the shoulder, little black dress for $15 from asos.com. I love it so much I bought 6 more….in 4 colors.
Arizona is year-round flip flop weather, but I wanted to make this bargain dress look a little dressier so I paired it with Vince Camuto ballet flats from DSW, and a classic red, YSL purse (wearing it without the tassel…..because I accidentally threw the tassel away….long story that involves dumpster diving and realizing the trash truck left with it 45 minutes earlier).
Money is a taboo topic and something I normally don’t talk about. But I’m a BARGAIN shopping lover. And as someone who had very little growing up I love finding ways to stretch a dollar.
For example I bought this gorgeous $350 dress from Saks 5th Avenue for $11. Yep, ELEVEN DOLLARS! How? Easy.
1. Get a credit card that gives you points for every dollar you spend (and triple points on all-the-time purchases like groceries and gas).
2. Use this card INSTEAD of your debit card. Use it to pay your electricity, internet, travel, food, whatever you can use a “credit card” to purchase, do it. ***This is not a way to get into debt. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Think of this as something you use instead of a check.
3. Pay your credit card bill IN FULL every 2-4 weeks. Many credit card companies have an automatic withdrawal system that comes straight out of your checking account so you don’t even have to think about it.
4. Every 6-12 months redeem your points for FREE Visa/MC/AMEX gift cards. The higher the amount of the gift card, the fewer points you’ll use. So I like to get gift cards in $50-$100 increments.
5. Shop when things are on sale. Saks was having a 40% off all evening gowns sale.
6. Use your $100 Visa/MC/AMEX gift cards instead of your credit card.
After using my $200 gift cards, the balance I had to pay out-of-pocket for the this gorgeous $350 gown was only $11.
I ask because I am both. One of my favorite ways to save money is to shop at a store that gives you points for every $ you spend. My favorite SHOE store that does this is the discount shoe outlet, DSW. When they ask you if you’d like to become a member, say “YES!”
Because not only do they send you gift certificates for buying something you and your family already need, they also have TRIPLE points days. For the next few months, ANY DAY that you say you’d like to use your triple points, you earn a $10 gift certificate for every $45 you spend.
Recently, I used this to rack up $70 worth of gift certificates to DSW. So when my daughter needed glam shoes for prom, I used my gift certificates for her shoes (they store your information on their computer systems so you don’t need to haul around all those pieces of paper every time you go in). After trading in the gift certificates (which were FREE), do you know how much I spent on her shoes?
$.01 – Yep. I spent 1 CENT! On a gorgeous pair of black high heels with a little bit of sparkle….Otherwise she would have gone barefoot because I would NEVER spend $70 on a pair of dress shoes for a teenager that will only get worn once.
DSW is not paying me or helping me in any way to share this with you. I am just a girl who loves shoes and loves bargains and I LOVE sharing with you. Enjoy!
If you have super-fine hair (like I do), that means extensions with clips will not stay in. You NEED a clip-less extension. This one is fantastic – and I haven’t even trimmed it yet. (A trim will do wonders to seamlessly blend your hair with your extensions – for the most natural look).
Thank you Shelley Goodstein for telling me about this fabulous company! www.halocrown.com
Disclaimer: I am good friends with the owner of Halo Crown and I love her product. However, I do not receive payment for telling you the truth about how fabulous I think her product is. If a product is great, I’ll share it with you. If it’s not, I REFUSE to promote a product I don’t like (even if the company is owned by a friend). Because if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!
Your adrenals affect your weight, your mental focus, how well you sleep, and your overall health. You may know that my hubby is the BRILLIANT (and totally sexy) doctor who wrote the NYT Bestselling book, the Adrenal Reset Diet, right?
“GO FROM WIRED AND TIRED TO LEAN AND THRIVING… Why are people gaining weight faster than ever before? The idea that people simply eat too much is no longer supported by science. The emerging idea is that weight gain is a survival response. Our bodies are under attack from all directions—an overabundance of processed food, a polluted world, and the pressures of daily life all take their toll. These attacks hit a little known but very important set of glands, the adrenals, particularly hard. One of their many jobs is to maintain a normal cortisol rhythm (cortisol is a hormone associated with both stress and fat storage). When this rhythm is off, we can become overwhelmed more quickly, fatigued, gain weight, and eventually, develop even more severe health issues such as heart disease or diabetes. Unsuspecting dieters cause more harm than good by reducing the number of calories or carbohydrates they consume, which can disrupt cortisol production and cause weight gain. In The Adrenal Reset Diet, Dr. Alan Christianson provides a pioneering plan for optimal function of these small but powerful organs. His patient-tested weight-loss program is the culmination of decades of clinical experience and over 75,000 patient-care visits. In a study at his clinic, participants on the Adrenal Reset Diet reset their cortisol levels by over 50% while losing an average of over 2 inches off their waists and 9 pounds of weight in 30 days. What can you expect? • Learn whether your adrenals are Stressed, Wired and Tired, or Crashed and which adrenal tonics, exercises, and foods are best for you
• The clinically proven shakes, juices, and other delicious recipes, to use for your Reset • New ways to turn off the triggers of weight gain with carbohydrate cycling, circadian repair, and simple breathing exercises • An easy 7-day ARD eating plan to move your and your adrenals from Surviving to Thriving”
And he has given tons of interviews and advice about this topic. One of my favorites is the one he did with our friend Joe Polish. You can listen to it HERE.