Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crocs Sandal Flats

Crocs Sandal Flats

I can't believe I'm about to post about Crocs. Last week I sent an email to one of my best friend endorsing a pair of Danskos, too*! I'm telling you, the old standbys for comfort are getting more and more stylish.

I recently went on a shoe hunt to DSW to replace a pair that my (not such a puppy anymore; he's one) dog Jaxon chewed up. He hadn't chewed shoes in a long time, but I had never brought these home. They lived under my desk at work until one day I wore them home from a conference. Bye-bye, shoes!

I did not find the perfect pair of desk shoes, but I did find these!

Taking Stock

Taking Stock

 inspired by The Daybook Blog

Making:  summer plans to go to OBX and VT
Cooking: meatless Mondays
Drinking: seltzer from a wine glass (because the glass is at least 1/2 the fun)
Reading: fertility books, like this one, again
Wanting: twice as many vacation days
Looking: forward to seeing my little "nephew" Andrew again, even though I just had lunch with his mama yesterday
Playing: with pattern on pattern
Wasting: produce that has gone back in our fridge...need to get back into freezing mode
Wishing: all of my best friends, including family, lived on my street
Enjoying: the recipes on my neighbor and cousin's blogs
Waiting: for my garden to start sprouting after a cold winter
Liking:  boho-inspired pieces for summer
Wondering: what my next client's clothing will look like
Loving: my two Bernese Mountain dogs running together in the woods (I can't believe Jaxon was ever this small-and that was last October!)
Hoping: the new yogurt place near our house is delicious and wishing it were dairy free, too
Marveling: at all the blossoms and blooms coming up all around us
Needing: to drink more water, always
Smelling: a clean house on Monday afternoons
Wearing: more colors, especially in the coral/orange family and stripes, always stripes
Following: Modern Hepburn for beautiful, simple images
Noticing: stronger arms and torso from yoga
Knowing: miracles can happen (I wrote "miracles can happy" first!)
Thinking: about my family-near and far
Feeling: optimistic, insular, creative, soft
Bookmarking: clothes to wear to summer weddings and favorite swimsuits for upcoming posts
Opening: incredible handmade and antique items from clients I've bartered with
Giggling: every day with my husband
Feeling: loved by all my readers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quick Tip: Pack a Pouch

Quick Tip: Pack a Pouch

This may be something that you're all doing already. But, if you're not carrying a pouch inside your purse, I highly recommend that you do. I know that many of my mama friends do to facilitate switching between diaper bags and purses, but I never thought it was useful for me. Enter this cute little pouch. I have the size medium.

I picked it up on a whim the other day at Le Village Marche, an adorable store, because I found myself, as I often do, carrying my car keys, my flat little wallet (mine is from Target, but this one is way cooler and would make a great gift for a man, too), a few packets of Lactaid (my husband and I were going to the Cheesetique in Shirlington, VA for date night), and my phone. Phew! It seemed like I need a purse, right?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Reader Q&A: What Should I Look for in a Plus Size Swim Suit?

Reader Q&A: What Should I Look for in a Plus Size Swim Suit?

You may have read on Friday that recently a friend asked me about finding a great plus size swim suit. We talked about her desire to feel layered up and covered but also wanting to include her personality in her swimsuit. She had a few specific questions for me, too:
What is most flattering around the belly?
What's the deal with wearing a skirt?
What are some fun/flattering ways to cover up?
Do I have to wear a pattern?

These are great questions that I think women of all shapes and sizes share! I've got some ideas for all shapes and sizes here, and if you want to see more, I pinned more than I could post on my StartCloseIn board.

Around the Belly: Don't Shy Away from Separates

I understand the desire to not always show off your stomach at the beach, but that doesn't mean you have to wear a skimpy bikini or else be covered head-to-toe. There are lots of good choices in the middle.

For example, I really like the trend of wearing a swim shirt (ok, ok, a "rash guard," but that just sounds like something you'd need to see a doctor for) because it is so protective of your skin while you're out in the sun. But they've come a long way since my dad tried to make us wear wetsuits! You know I love stripes by now, and this swim shirt by Land's End is no exception! It looks like it wouldn't be too tight around the mid-section, either.

If you're ok showing off your middle and are looking for more va-va-voom, a lot of stores have beautiful separates with vintage cuts that are very flattering for curvy shapes. If you're not completely sure and just want to test out the look, try somewhere cheaper, like Forever21, and look for pieces like this gorgeous halter top in multiple bright colors.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Reader Question: Where Can I Find Great Plus Size Beach Cover Ups?

Plus Size Beach Cover Ups and Extras

I recently had a friend ask about where to find cute beach cover ups in plus sizes. She also asked about swimsuits, and I'll be posting about that on Monday so tune back in for tips for women of all sizes!

As far as cover ups, we're all in luck! This summer may as well be called the Summer of the Kaftan. Or of the kimono, either way, it's happening in a big way. That means there are many, many options for cover ups that show off your personality.

If you're not sold on a particular look, the fact that they're trendy right now means you can try one out without spending a lot of money. Take a look at Forever21, for example, with gorgeous options like the cover up below. 

I also love this floral kimono by Asos, which you could easily wear off the beach, too! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sharen: Eclectic, Bright, Versatile

Sharen: Eclectic, Bright, Versatile

Oh wow, am I ever excited to show off my client today!! She's Sharen, big sister to Simmi, and I basically want to be their third sister. Or at least their best friend. Is that awkward? Oh well!

Sharen has a really fun wardrobe because she loves colors and patterns and taking fashion risks. What she wanted from me was a better sense of flexible outfits that fit her lifestyle: she's a mom to two kids under two-years-old, but she didn't want to get stuck in a yoga pants and t-shirt rut. After playing around in her closet for three hours, I can see why! She had so much fun stuff that wanted to be worn!

But, we also really wanted to be conscious of putting together outfits that wouldn't be too revealing, too fussy (no dry clean only, for example), or too chilly. Sharen, like me, tends to run cold, and she wanted some ideas for outfits that would keep her warm while not feeling too wintery.

Here's what we did!

Experiment with Stripes + Florals

We mixed patterns with patterns and patterns with bright solids. For example, I could have easily paired this bright skirt with a black t-shirt or a white one. Instead, I took a pattern that had both black and white in it and put it with that instead. The light black cardigan added some warmth without feeling wintery at all, and the JCrew neckalce tied the whole thing together.

Sorry for the dark phone pictures!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Top 5 Posts of All Time

My Top 5 Posts of All Time

Recently I was checking my blog stats to see which posts have been the most popular. Since I regularly get new readers, I thought you might like to see what readers have liked (come back to, read, shared, pinned) in the past almost year of my writing this blog. Here are snippets of my Top 5 Blog Posts of all time!

1. Jeans and a T-shirt Upstyled

Today I'm talking about two of my favorite things: t-shirts and jeans! As my best friends and husband will tell you, I love t-shirts. I may have too many of them, actually, but this isn't about me! Right?

I have many clients, including Miss Mustard Seed, who are creative people who work for themselves and it makes most sense for them to dress casually and comfortably. I also have many clients who are active mothers and grandmothers, and they spend a lot of their time in casual, comfortable clothing, too. But, I think there is a way to be comfortable and wear what is actually (or essentially) a t-shirt and jeans and also reflect your personality and feel more polished. Here's how. Keep reading here.

2. The Post About Jennifer

Typically, my in-person client posts have less dramatic names, but I feel dramatic about this post and this client. Today's post is about Jennifer, my last client of 2013. If you follow me on instagram, you know that Jennifer was an incredibly special client.

To tell you about Jen, I first need to tell you that when I was driving to her house, I was more than a little worried that I was about to be kidnapped-or worse. Or at the very least punked. I take safety precautions before going into anyone's home, but on that day I had extra measures in place. You see, the email that Jennifer's husband sent to me (the day after Veterans' Day!) was, well, seemingly too-good-to-be-true. Here is an excerpt:

I am requesting a personal home and shopping experience for my wife.  She read about you on one of her favorite sites... Mrs. Mustard Seed.  Her 40th Birthday is December 9th and I am throwing her a surprise get together with a few friends on the 7th.  THE ONLY THING SHE WANTS FOR HER BIRTHDAY IS AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOU :)!
My wife is a very special person to everyone, but especially to me.  You see...I am a retired disabled vet.  I went through (and continue to suffer from) medical issues caused while serving.  Just diagnosing the issues was a long drawn out process that took years and let alone the surgeries to try and resolve them.  My wife, Jen, was by my side through it all.  I am sure you have heard stories like that before, but to be honest she was more than by my side.  She saved my life...just by being the most awesome and supportive friend I have ever had.  
This person went on to describe that his wife, Jennifer, is also active military. While he can no longer work, she continues to serve. He told me that they were soul mates. He told me that he wanted to have his family pool together money for me to take her personal shopping in lieu of any other gifts. He wanted to know if I would accept her as a client. Accept her!? If she was real, I would marry her! (Side note: I waived my fee and had Jen add it to her spending amount, which I only mention to tell you that Jen's response was to ask me if I would reconsider and make it a fund for another woman to get six hours with me. She's amazing.)

That is how I ended up meeting Jennifer on the weekend before Christmas. She was real, and this is how she looked when I arrived..Continue reading here.

3. Halloween Costumes for Women Who Don't Want to be Naked?

Today's post is a bit different than the usual. We're talking about a very specific type of clothing to put on our bodies today: costumes! I find what to wear for Halloween to be increasingly complicated: I'm past the point of "going out" like I once did to a club or dancing, but I still want a fun costume. Our neighbors throw the best Halloween party (they start decorating their home over Labor Day weekend), and, oh yeah, it's my birthday...Read the rest here.

4. Reader Q&A: How to Wear Jean Skirts

Earlier this week, I Kelley posted a question for me in the comments section of my post about fresh ways to wear jeans, and I loved it!

Hi! I've not been following for a real long time, and I immensely enjoy your great advice and tips.
I don't wear jeans, but I do wear jean skirts. Could you do a post on jean skirts?
Been wearing more belts, Kelley
I love this question because  I think jean skirts have the potential to be a very versatile piece of clothing for every age, but I also think they can go downhill fast. Here's why.

5. Reader Q&A: What to Wear While I'm Pregnant

Yesterday, my best friend talked about what to wear during early maternity-and beyond-from a mother's perspective. I haven't ever been pregnant (and am not currently, just in case you were curious! Did you wonder?), but I have what might be an abnormal interest in maternity fashion. I just think that pregnant women can get away with things that the rest of us can't when it comes to clothes, and I love that! And there's nothing that says that you must wear clothes from a maternity store while you're pregnant. So darlin', here' are the five questions to ask yourself. Find them here.

That's it! My Top 5 posts of all time. I notice that you all tend to like posts written in response to reader questions and posts that tell a good story like Jennifer's. So please do continue to ask me questions via email or in the comments because other women are thinking the same thing and want to hear an answer! Keep it comin'! 


Monday, April 21, 2014

What To Do When You Buy Something in A Bright Pattern

What To Do When You Buy Something in A Bright Pattern

I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend! My mom surprised us with a layover visit in the beginning of the week, and then my mother-in-law made her annual trip up for the weekend. We had so much fun with one mama after the next! My mother-in-law loves for me to pick out new things for her so we hit the outlets on Friday afternoon. It was pretty busy, but we stay focused when we shop! She even got a couple of things for me that I had picked out, including the wildest pants. They're the Hampton fit, but I don't see the pattern on the Banana factory website.

When I shop, I like to think of how I will wear whatever I'm trying on. If I can think of three ways to wear it, then it's worth it for me to take home. If I can only think of one or two ways, then it better be a real bargain! In my head, all I could think was a white shirt and a black shirt, but I was rushing and knew there were more options than that. So, I decided to take my mother-in-law up on the offer to purchase them and figure it out when I got home. Here's what I did:

1. Start with a basic, but use texture to create visual interest.

In my head, I was thinking that black would toughen up this happy print a little bit. Instead of reaching for the plain black v-neck I had pictured in the dressing room, I laid out a loft tank. You can't see it in this iPhone shot, but the tank has a crochet pattern in the front. Then, I added a thin cardigan (similar here) for the chilly spring weather we've been having. I spotted my Boden wedge booties and thought they'd be more fun than black shoes, and I'm trying to wear them as much as possible before it gets hot.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Roundup: Romantic, Summery, Festival-Inspired

Friday Roundup: Romantic, Summery, Festival-Inspired

Gah, Urban Outfitters has the most beautiful, romantic, let's-go-to-Coachella pieces right now. If I had a smaller chest, I'd be buying several of their bra tops to wear under big, loose tshirts and tanks this summer.

Also? I'm in love with this trapeze dress in white and am currently figuring out where I can wear it to justify buying it. Things that come to mind are a trip to Thailand, Mexico, or a boho wedding. All invitations for those trips are very welcome! It was even better in person, and here's my iPhone shot.

In a similar realm of the imaginary, this cuff is incredible. If you're looking for a statement piece this summer, this should be it.

Much more affordable, but still gorgeous, is this stack of bangles.

Pair the bangles with this stunning red top. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Make Mad Men Modern

I had a reader friend ask me a question the other day that really got me thinking: how can she make Mad Men-inspired fashion modern? For those unfamiliar with the show, it has so far focused on vintage looks with high waists, covered arms, and curve-hugging dresses. It's a fun style to play with because it's very flattering for curvy shapes while at the same time being fairly covered up. That makes it appropriate for a wide variety of settings, including work and date nights!

Here's my take on how to bring that Mad Men flair into the modern age.

Play with Unexpected Color

Take a classic shape, like a full skirt and a cropped jacket, but play with color. Try something from your closet that's the brightest thing you can see, and then build an outfit around it. Here, the skirts are the stars of the show, and the pieces they're paired with are much more modern in fit and color.



Add an Edgy Touch to a Classic Shape

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wide Summer Shoes that Are Actually Cute

Wide Summer Shoes that Are Actually Cute

Here's the thing: it took me way too long to realize that I actually have wide feet. You see, compared to a couple members of my family, I don't have super wide feet. I thought, relatively, that I could wear anything. I also thought that blisters, hurt toes, and pinching were all normal. Come to find out, they're not. Thus began my search for medium to wide width shoes that didn't feel too clunky, dated, or, frankly, sad.

For spring and summer, I think I've found a few good pairs that are versatile, comfortable, stylish, and, yes, wide(r). If you have any that you love, PLEASE post about them in the comments! I'm always on the lookout.

Casual but Subtle

I actually purchased the Lucky Brand sandals above after seeing them in a different color on my client, Girls in the Garden. Based on the comments from other purchasers, I went down from my usual half size to the next lowest full size. I buy shoes often from Zappos because I can search by wide width, there are lots of reviews of the shoes, and I can ship them back for free when they don't work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Client Review: The Crowned Goat

Client Review: The Crowned Goat

I had the opportunity to work with one of my favorite bloggers a few weeks ago, CoCo from The Crowned Goat. If you don't know her blog, you absolutely need to check it out! She has incredible taste and is also one of the nicest people ever. She got a session with me for her mother's Christmas gift, and we finally had the chance to sit down "together." Well, via FaceTime. Here's a snippet of what she had to say. Please link through to the full post because CoCo did a number on her mother's closet after our time together, and the result is enviable!
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with Ella at Start CloseIn. I contacted Ella back in November to help me with a Christmas gift for my Mom. My Mom has great style, loads of chunky jewelry and plenty of shoes from which to choose. But on any given day she’s attending ladies luncheons, church meetings, military functions, family events, dinners with her sorority sisters or making ice cream with the grandkids. It is because her schedule is so packed she needed help transitioning from day to night activities with ease. Enter Ella to give her practical advice on how to best achieve these goals. 

cloths on rack

As soon as we began the styling session, we noticed the closet needed more organization. It wasn't a mess by any means but it needed to be more a functional space. Ella suggested we group shirts, pants, skirts and dresses all by color. It immediately made a big impact because the clothes were much easier to access. Read the rest here!

Make Mad Men Modern: A Loft Skirt Preview

Make Mad Men Modern: A Loft Skirt Preview

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen the striped linen skirt that I got yesterday  at Loft during my lunch hour (for 40% off!). Tomorrow I'll be answering a friend's question about how to wear a "Mad Men" look without feeling too costume-y. While putting together options for how to wear this skirt on Tuesday, I realized that I was putting some of my tips for a modern Mad Men into action.

Sorry for the bathroom selfies-my husband was still working last night and unavailable to take photos of me. 

At first, I imagined that the tomato red cardigan on top would be the perfect fit with the nautical striped skirt. I got that cardigan around Christmas, and in my mind it's been stuck as a winter sweater. I wanted a way to bring it into spring, and my office was freezing today so I thought it could work. However, it felt too much like a literal interpretation of a vintage look for my preferences.

On the other hand, the bright chartreuse cardigan on the bottom did just what I wanted: the full, high-waisted skirt is a nod to vintage but feels modern with a v-neck t-shirt and unexpected color. Oh-and I also put on a better bra for the bottom shot since the one I was wearing on top was feeling a bit droopy. I didn't go for the pointed Mad Men style, though, since that should be saved for Halloween only!

What do you think? I can't wait to show off some modern Mad Men looks later this week!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Summer Dressing for Petites: Five Under $50

Summer Dressing for Petites: Five Under $50

When I go virtual shopping for you all, I try to think about my clients. I have many clients of different ages, shapes, heights, and lifestyles, and so I'm always on the hunt for items that will fit your needs. Recently I realized that I have neglected my petite readers for awhile so today's post is dedicated to universal styles with an eye toward places that carry good fitting petite clothing. For the rest of us, keep reading! I've linked up to some items that we can all look out for.

1. Printed Shorts

I had a pair of Banana Republic shorts like the draped pair above once, and they lasted for about eight years through bike rides, beach trips, and probably to work in the retail world. Banana is a good choice for many women because they offer various lengths and sizes 0-16. Also, they're not under $50 unless they're on sale, but their jeans are incredibly flattering. My mom (who is under the 5'4" petite length cutoff although she'll tell you that she's not!) recently got a pair and sent me several text messages about them! That's a red letter day! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inspired By Joy the Baker

Inspired By Joy the Baker

Happy Friday afternoon. Ready for a little snack?

Espresso, Almond, and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Pudding Cups.  I mean...come ON! Could anything sound more delicious if it tried?! No, Joy the Baker, no, it could not. Over here, though, I can't digest dairy, and I might actually bound through the ceiling like a cartoon character if I had espresso. So eating these is not in my future, although that doesn't stop me from making them and serving them to guests in my voyeuristic way.

Fun Personal Styling Session with Ella of Start Close In

Ok, guys, a client just posted the most fun review of a virtual personal styling session with me. I do a lot of virtual sessions, but I don't always get pictures as a result. Cecilia went above and beyond, asking her husband to snap pictures of many of the outfits we put together. I can't tell you how much fun I had with this session because Cecilia is a free spirited, creative, warm, sweet-as-can-be artist who loves color and isn't afraid to take risks! (Also, her incredible figure was so fun to show off.) I hope you click over to her blog to read the rest of her post! I think the smile on her face in this maxi dress outfit says it all. She had fun, too! -Ella

Fun Personal Styling Session with Ella of Start Close In

I just had the most fun I've had in a long time! I did a wardrobe style with Ella at Start Close In. I found her when Miss Mustard Seed posted about her session with her. (Read about it here and here). I loved the whole idea of having a personal styling session. I decided for my birthday I was going to treat myself. Then my knee got broken and I had to wait until I healed. Finally on Tuesday, I got to have my session. What a blast!

 I told Ella  I didn't want to look frumpy just because I am 52! Or like I was trying to be a teenager. I don't work outside of the home but I'm an artist and want a look all my own. And Oh my goodness! She took my clothes and made great outfits that are true to who I am.

What I like about Ella is she's sweet, funny, and very, very talented in taking a closet full of clothes and making them fresh. (And I said sweet, didn't I?) She had me pairing things I hadn't thought of before and you know what? They worked! I can't tell you how excited I am about it. She really helped bring out my creative side.  No frump or too young a look here! LOL. Here are some of my outfits:

Read the rest here!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Take Cover! How to Go All Summer Without Baring Your Arms

Take Cover! How to Go All Summer Without Baring Your Arms

Phew! Yesterday was the most personal thing I've ever posted here. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for us and for those two babies as they make their way into whatever life the Universe chooses for them. Let's get back to something lighter today, shall we? Let's talk about ARMS!

Last week, a client and dear friend commented that she needed help getting through the hot Texas summer without showing her arms.  Then, a colleague friend confided in me that she, too, prefers not to show her arms and has always struggled with keeping them covered during the summer.  I also have a few Mormon clients who I know work very hard to keep their arms covered and still stay cool-and current-in the hot weather. It seems that this is a topic that's ripe to tackle! Here are my ideas for how to go all summer without baring your arms.

Dress it Up

Why does it seem like dresses with sleeves that don't cost an arm and a leg (pun intended) are the holy grail? I have had several requests from clients for them, and they've put even my research skills to the test!

Via Torrid

For sizes 12-28, Torrid has some real deals on dresses with sleeves. I love the polka dots above-and it has pockets! Talk about the holy grail! If you're looking to cover your arms at a fancier event, try this one. I love the party it's got goin' in the back!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Almost a Mother, Not Quite

Almost a Mother, Not Quite

It is from the other side of these feelings that I decided to post something I wrote a few weeks ago. I have had friends visit since then and have put away most of the things we had set up for the twins. I'm mostly doing better, but it felt important to me to share those thoughts I had in the hopes that you will share with a friend or that if you have a friend who suffers a similar loss you might have a better sense of how to help. I'm not ready to have a conversation about this online, though, so I'm closing the comments. If you'd like to share your experience around loss or to share something with me, please send me an email. If you'd like to tell me that "it will all work out," please don't. I do appreciate all of you who hold our hope for us; we'll need it when we're ready to hope again.

This is the nursery that we built. These are the freshly painted walls, the star light on the wall. These are the twin cribs, no bumpers, organic sheets, organic mattresses, one borrowed, one purchased. They said that if this happened, it would hurt less that way. That way, the story goes, you can "just" return the borrowed one to your co-worker and keep the other one for "another baby." Insert image of myself carrying the empty, borrowed-but-unused-crib into my office and depositing it with stunned co-worker (mother of three under three, got pregnant on her honeymoon). Nono, I'd say, I'm fine. After all, the story goes, "there's a plan for me" and "I'll be a mother one day." That's the thing, I've found, about the Motherhood Story or the Journey to Motherhood or whatever epic title you'd like to lend it. It's an unspoken club that you never wanted to join, those of us for whom (not) becoming a mother has more to do with ovulation strips and timed intercourse and parenting seminars and homestudy interviews, finger prints and finger pricks, and writing checks than with honeymoons. "Just get really drunk!" they say casually because, I know, I know, they're not sure what else to say.

The story we all learned is far easier to spout off. I lived for more than two and a half decades (you're all calculating my age now and wondering if that's why we haven't conceived. I don't blame you, I'd have done it, too, before) believing, truly believing, what I learned in sex ed: all it takes it one sperm and BAM! You'll get pregnant. The "watch out!" was both implicit and spoken. If that were the case, then my nursery would be full of friends oohhing and ahhing over the stars on the changing pad and the little outfits I sewed from well-loved shirts representing the places we've visited and the sports teams my husband loves. (Yes, we've "taken advantage" knowing that "once the babies come, you won't be going anywhere!"). Instead, these are the twin Bumbos with trays, and these are the preemie hats and socks, and this is the empty nursery where no one visit and no one coos.

"Write your own story," they say, and I do. I write letters in my head that start with things like "Dear Ovaries" and end with the words "F you." Or I find anyone else who has ever suffered a loss and tell them the things I want people to be telling me: You've suffered an enormous loss. You never held them, but those babies were yours. You must be so sad. You must be so angry. And those feelings make perfect sense. Can I take you out to dinner? How about watching a movie, something funny to distract you or something sad so you can cry? How many gluten free cupcakes can I bring you after work? Do you need any help with the things in the nursery? Did you get the flowers I left on the porch?

Because I have my own stories I'd like to tell about what their lives will look like or how they would have laughed at the play mat I was making them. I'd like to show it off, still.

So no matter the story you're telling yourself about her, if you have a friend or a neighbor or a coworker who has suffered the loss of a matched adoption, reach out. Yes, she knew it could happen, but no, she wasn't prepared, and she's not comforted by the stories you want to tell her, that "there's a plan" for her. As much as you might believe it, and one day she might, too, for now it feels like the plan is for her to sit, sad, in a quiet nursery. You could help her leave there sooner, just by sitting there with her truth. She was almost a mother, almost, not quite. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring In Your Step: 4 Trends Worth Trying

Spring In Your Step: 4 Trends Worth Trying

Oh my goodness! What an honor! Today I’m honored to have been asked to the Beautiful You Blog.
Last year when I attended the Conference with my friend Hannah for the first time, I was so inspired by all of the beautiful women there. This year, they're even asking women to donate shoes to women and children. How incredible! There is nothing more inspirational than a group of women getting together to change the world. If I can inspire you to look and feel your best this spring while you're out changing the world, that would be amazing! So let’s get down to it and talk about spring trends.

Pick From A Fresh Crop of Jackets

A cropped jacket is the perfect transition piece: you can wear it now with longer layers and pants and in a few months with a long, flowing maxi skirt.  Pair a floral print with stripes to toughen up a feminine print or stick with solids to toughen up spring’s skinny white jeans or a full skirt.   I find that graphic t-shirts with white, black, or gray backgrounds look the most current and the least like a teenager would wear. Continue reading here! 

The New Mom Jeans: A Guest Post

The New Mom Jeans: A Guest Post

It's me, Tahira back with a second edition of Mommy fashion! Spring has sprung here in Texas, and I need a new outfit that doesn't include skinny jeans and knee-high boots for my "home" days. I am sure that you lovely ladies up north will soon be slipping on your flip flops or summer sandals as well and that might mean time for new pants. Tight dark grey and black skinny jeans just don't say "flowers! and sunshine!" to me.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Monday! T-shirts to Giggle At

Happy Monday! T-shirts to Giggle At

Warning-if you are offended by the word bad*ss without the star, avert your eyes. If, on the other hand, you want to laugh at some situational humor, keep reading!

The above is for me when my husband is watching football. There are sports I like a lot, but that is not one of them. I'd wear this with a moto jacket over it for the Superbowl. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Heart of Gold: Our Wedding Flashback

Heart of Gold: Our Wedding Flashback

I feel so close to you guys, and sometimes I want to show you more parts of my life! Some of my clients have become really good friends, and I'm really grateful for you. These past few months have had many ups and downs, and I would not have had as many smiles as I did without all of you.

I'm a real romantic who married the best man in the entire world. I literally have often said I wish I could clone him so that other women could be married to him. I know that's weird, but I mean it! In a mushy moment recently I was reviewing some of our wedding photos, and I wanted to share them with you.

With my sister!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Ahead with Feminine Touches and Repeating Patterns

Spring Ahead with Feminine Touches and Repeating Patterns

On Tuesday, I guest posted over on Love Always Hannah. Here's a sneak peek of what I wrote about. Be sure to click through to Hannah's blog for the rest (and stay for her insightful-and beautiful-posts the rest of the week)!

Hi! I’m Ella from StartCloseIn Styling. My passion is helping women fall back in love with the clothing they already own. And what better time to fall in love than during the spring?
It’s almost spring-right? Right? I know that in the DC area, we’re all a bit nervous that it will never come! Here’s my take on it: fake it ‘til you make it! Let’s talk about how that translates into clothing. Look in your closet and find something that screams spring, like these gorgeous bright pants.

Then...Read the rest here!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Simmi: Classic with a Twist

Simmi: Classic with a Twist

Last week, I have an incredibly fun personal styling session with Simmi. She works in a stylish office and also has two young children so she wanted some outfits that were ready to go to the office and come home for playtime.

When I work with clients, I start to think about an easy phrase or description in my head that helps me to define a consistent look with them. For example, I have clients whose closets and lifestyle strike me as Modern Prep or Vintage, Collected Ease, or Casual Comfy Chic.

These words help me to foster a cohesive look for my clients; if something does not fit at all within their style, I question whether it belongs with them. Of course, I go to great lengths to make sure everything they already own can be used, but sometimes we all fall into the trap of buying a perfect shirt or dress...that's perfect for someone else!

Here, what I found with Simmi was that she loves classic, clean lines that are kept young and modern with a twist. For example, a bright color or print or a snakeskin shoe. She also needed fresh, modern outfits that feel like spring is coming and can move into summer, but she also gets chilly easily. I understand that completely since I freeze in my office all summer long, but I don't want to continue to wear things that look like they're too wintery.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Target Maxi Dress Roundup

Target Maxi Dress Roundup

Recently, I tried on nearly every maxi dress that Target had. I was heading out of town to meet my husband in Las Vegas before his week-long work conference there, and I love to pack long dresses for warm weather trips because they're easy and elegant. I tried on a few at Target, and here's what I thought!

This stripe was a nice weight and had a flattering scoop back. I liked that you could wear a regular bra with it, but it was too clingy around my waist. Yes, the darkest stripe hit my lower belly, but it was still too tight for me. If you are someone with a very flat stomach, it might be a nice choice for you!