Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jealous of My Legs?

My inseam is 21.5" and I wear a size 16.
Put those measurements together and guess how easy it is to find pants or TIGHTS that fit.
Mmmhmm. Ladies, if you're short, do you have issues with tights sagging at your ankles? You've probably noticed that on days I don hosiery, I also wear boots. That's so you can't see the miles of extra fabric that gather by my feet.
In short (pun in tended), my friends, you are probably not jealous of my legs.

Today, you should all be jealous of my legs. Because they are TEAL.
We Love Colors is the very first place in the entire universe (I know, because I've searched all over creation) that offers plus sized tights by height! Yes, you read that correctly. I know! How amazing, right?
Not only do these carribean colored beauties fit my waist (sans nasty double muffin top), but do you see puddles of fabric around my ankles? No? Me neither.
I have fallen in love.

ruffle cami: New York & Company
leopard cardigan: APT. 9 via Kohl's
pencil skirt: Old Navy
skinny belt: New York & Company
teal tights: c/o We Love Colors
heels: Mudd via Kohl's
necklace: The Body Shop
wavy hair: Done with my InStyler
dark roots: c/o I don't have money to get a touch-up

The nasty rain decided I wasn't allowed to take photos outside, today, so the trusty vacant office across from mine has proved to be a mediocre backdrop. Plus, when I tell you I work in a bat cave, I'm only a tiny bit joking, because there are 4 empty offices surrounding me. I'm literally all by myself, back here.
And that's great when I'm doing an impromptu morning photo sesh.

If you're like me and you have a body that's not standard size, OR if you adore tights and colors (51 of them!), you have got to check out We Love Colors. I'm asking for a shopping spree there for my birthday, which, by the way, is very soon.
Just in case you were wondering... it's on February 13.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everybody Everywear: Breton Stripes Day & Twitter Tuesday!

The awesome bloggers over at Everybody, Everywhere feature specific styles, and today, "everybody, everywhere" will be loading their Breton Stripes looks to the site!

 It's a gloomy, grey, rainy day in Eastern NC, so I dressed appropriately!
Or, I'm just mocking the rain. This is me, sticking my tongue out at the ugly weather. Mneh.
If you say, "Mneh," out loud, that's what it sounds like when I stick my tongue out and make a mocking sound. "Mneh. Mneh. Mneh."

striped dress: WalMart
grey hoodie: Old Navy
tights: Old Navy
boots: Payless

And last, but probably most importantly, today, I have been featured on Statements in Fashion Twitter Tuesday, by Collette Osuna! Please check out my interview! I'd love to hear what you have to say! And if you don't already follow Statements in Fashion, you're totally missing out!

Twitter Tuesday and Thank You!

Good (very early, weeeee bitty hours of the) morning, readers! 
First and foremost, I need to thank all of you for your uplifting words, regarding my earlier post. It's been a truly rough day, and I'm glad to say it got much better after coming home and spending time with my baby girl and husband. And your unending support and love gives me strength to make it through days like these. A super special thanks to LMCBW of how i met your father. I swear, that woman has the most uplifting things to say to me when I'm down.

Now, if Monday was pretty much the worst day I've had in months, it could only go up from there. Right? RIGHT! I'm absolutely honored and ridiculously ecstatic to announce that my dear friend, Collette, of Statements in Fashion, has asked me to be her Twitter Tuesday friend for this week! So, please, head on over to her blog and check out what I had to say to her really awesome (and some, really tough) questions! I hope you enjoy reading a little bit more about me as much as I enjoyed being a part of Collette's weekly feature.

And because she's not only my blog buddy, but also a true friend in real life, I'm going to throw out a few shameless plugs. Because THAT is what friends are for, right?

Collette's style blog: Statements in Fashion
Brain child, online style magazine: The Fashion 411
The lovely lady, herself, on twitter.
The Fashion 411 on twitter.
And you can also find Statements in Fashion on Facebook!

And please, please, please VOTE FOR COLLETTE to be the e.l.f. Beauty at All Ages Model (40+) for 2011. You can vote once per day! Don't give up until she's the winner!
Please and thank you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

FBFF: Authentic and Genuine Bloggers

Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without-
1. Little S. (does she count as a thing?)
2. Toothpaste
3. Toothbrush
4. Facewash
5. Wipes

Katy's questions for FBFF this week pertain to blogger authenticity and genuineness.
I was so excited about this topic, mainly because I tend to ... not read blogs that I don't think are genuine. And I also really enjoy making true friends through this community, which would be hard to do with people who aren't portraying their real selves.

1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
Obviously, orginal content when posting is the first thing that comes to mind. Authentic bloggers should have their own ideas and if they're borrowing ideas from elsewhere (a website, magazine, another blogger...), the source should always be credited AND the blogger should put their own spin on things. Also, when I think of blogger authenticity, I think of being able to hear the person speak to me, because I imagine they are writing what they are living and that they're telling me a real and true story or sharing something with me that they are passionate about.

2. When it comes to your blog how do you infuse it with that true/authentic feeling?
My biggest hope for my blog is that when you read it, you have a warm, fuzzy, friendly feeling about it (or me) or the content. I've said it before- I write like I speak. I treat you all as if you're my best friends or my mom. What I write and share with you are things that I truly care about. If I ask questions to my readers, it's because I really want to know what you have to say. I'm not high-fashion, so I don't write about high fashion or try to wear it. I'm "everyday" and I hope that comes through in both my outfits and the things I choose to share with all of you.

3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?
I have stopped following four blogs. I suppose I lost interested because posting was once a week or less, and the content simply wasn't inspiring to me. Blogs are inspirational and entertaining for me. I get ideas here. I meet real, genuine, friends, here. I'm giving myself to you in that way, and I guess if I'm not feeling it back, I just don't want to be stressed out with "one more blog" to catch up on in my reader. That's not how it should feel. I keep blogs around that I'm excited to visit.

4. We can't communicate effectively on our blogs, something we don't live in real life... what are some ways you try to live an authentic life?
I work full time, outside of the home, am a wife that goes through the same relationship ups and downs as everyone else in the world, am raising my gorgeous and impressionable daughter, try to spend as much time with friends and family as my schedule (and bank account) allows... I'm just me. I always have been. I'm the funny friend that does everything in her will to make my girlfriend laugh when she's down. I say bad words when I shouldn't and talk too much in awkward situations (because awkward silences are worse). I get home and put my PJs on, immediately. I picked up a $5 pizza last night, because I'm sick of cooking all the time. So, yeah... I'm just me. And now, I'm me, with this awesome blog.

5. Give a shout-out... Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?
Oh holy moly- In answer 3, I talked about why I "keep people around." Well, I follow over 150 blogs at this point, and I wouldn't be following a single one if I didn't think something about the writer was truly genuine. Some people/blogs that come to mind at first thought are:

Melissa has gone through so much in the past year. She's so real. When she needs to take a break and deal with life, she lets us know, because she's a good friend. She speaks sweetly, is a hard-working mother, and doesn't care about being a "mainstream" fashionista. She's Melissa. And she's so good at it. My first "real" friend via blogging- I haven't met Melissa in person (yet), but I might as well have. We're like... soulmates. It's so weird. And awesome.

Another blogger that has become my friend IRL- she's thoughtful, caring, and she shares little tidbits about her day, her marriage, and her real life experiences on her blog. She is just as sweet (if not even moreso!) in person as she portrays in her writing and she's another lady that's got a lot going on in her life, but doesn't mind taking the time to give to the community as well.

I think when people think of "genuine" bloggers, their first instinct is to name people that are lower profile, and a little slower circuit. Then, their second instinct should be to throw that idea out the window and for sure, the name "Collette Osuna" will quickly pop into your head. Sure, Collette has a zillion readers and works in the fashion industry. She's a known writer and was voted Michigan's Best Dressed. That might all sound intimidating, but trust me- the woman is giving, caring, supportive, and I haven't "met" another blogger that genuinely cares so much about her readers AND her friends.

Holy Mother of Pearl- what an inspiration this woman has been to me! ML is another very giving and supportive blogger who has become a true friend. She reached out to me as soon as she started blogging and we became fast friends. She is not only gorgeous and completely stylish, but she portrays herself so well in her blog. ML has an extremely busy personal life but has never shied away from being there for me when I've needed a shoulder.

Genuine, REAL people make genuine bloggers.

Okay, I'm going to process some travel, then hop around the FBFF posts!
I heard from a birdie that someone and someone else might have mentioned me on their blogs, today.
SosososososoSO honored!


Monday, January 17, 2011

(Not Really) Sewing and Our New Friends!

Good afternoon, everyone! I had today off for MLK Day, but didn't even know about it until last Friday afternoon. I had so many plans of getting a ton done, but in reality, I laid out several items of clothing to be reworked last night, cut out lots of pictures for my inspiration board, and then I went to bed at 2 a.m. and slept until 11:30. With half of my day being gone when I got up, I was extremely discouraged and slow-moving. Not only was I upset that it was already lunch, but as soon as I woke up, Hubs decided to go back to sleep (he works tonight). So, I've spent my entire day off (what part of it that I've been awake) drying and redrying a load of laundry that I can't seem to get out of the dryer, battling with my sewing machine, and eating a late lunch. Yep, that's about it. Not such a great success, huh? And Hubs asked me to wake him up at 3:30, so he could shower and we could hit up the store before picking up Little S. from daycare. I've gone in there three times... he keeps ignoring me. 
Needless to say, I'm pretty frustrated.

This is the pile that I laid out to work on...

This is what I ended up doing.
(Do you see this fabric in the piles above? No.)

While looking for some supplies, I found this old dress (it's at the end of that post) and decided that it would at least be a simple project to tackle, in order to ease myself back into sewing, since I haven't done it since probably September. It was NOT simple. My sewing machine jammed about fifty times. It literally took me almost 2 hours to turn the dress into a skirt, and I don't even really like the finished product. Oh well.

In more EXCITING news, my meetup with Rochelle (and her amazing husband) on Saturday went so much better than I could have ever imagined! Other than the fact that their GPS took them a little too far west on their way here, they made it by lunch time, and we enjoyed some delicious food while getting to know each other. Little S. was mega late in taking a nap, so when it was time to finally put her down, that was a huge struggle. Rochelle got to hear me sing.. quite a bit... which is not something that usually happens, because I'm terrified out of my mind to sing in front of people. 

After Little S. finally fell asleep, Rochelle and I, plus our husbands, sat on the sofas and literally talked away two hours. I have no idea how that happened, but it was pretty amazing. We all got along so well- it wasn't awkward AT ALL. When the lighting was right, Rochelle, her husband, and I went down to a dead end street in my neighborhood, that hits an old corn field (obviously the corn has been picked by  now), and took some pictures!

cardigan: Target
tank: Thrifted/Old Navy
skirt: Old Navy
tights: Old Navy
boots: Old Navy
wow, I didn't realize I was a walking Old Navy ad!
pashmina: Christmas gift from Jackie

Rochelle wanted me to feel tall. I appreciate it, friend!

And it wouldn't be my blog if I didn't show you an outtake! 
It was SO cold!

Rochelle and James, we had a WONDERFUL time with both of you and can't wait to see you, again. You are amazing people and have so much love for each other that it's infectious. We enjoyed meeting you and already consider you brand new, lifelong friends!
P.S.- Girl, you can make some KILLER apple pie!

Head on over to Rochelle Approved to read her take on our day together! And you can also look back at my interview with her and hers with me!

The only sewing project that didn't get botched, but was completely unplanned, was something I ended up making for Little S. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and you'll get to see it (along with one of the awesome pieces Rochelle so sweetly thrifted for my little girl, too)!
Don't forget to suit your little ones up!
Tomorrow is Trendy Tots Tuesday! Don't miss out on linking up to the fun!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blogger Profile: Rochelle Approved

Happy Saturday, my favorite lovelies! I hope you had a fun Friday evening and are planning to thoroughly enjoy your weekend! I found out, just yesterday afternoon, that I have Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off! I'm so glad someone told me, because I would have been driving to work at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. I literally *jumped* for joy. But nothing has me quite as excited as what's happening on my blog and IN REAL LIFE, today! I'm having my very first blogger meet-up, EVER! And I'm meeting with the gorgeous and fascinatingly creative Rochelle of Rochelle Approved! She and her husband are driving up to our house, we're having a homemade lunch (rolls and a veggie platter for appetizer, chicken tortilla soup for the main course, and Rochelle's homemade apple pie for dessert!), going out and about to get some pictures to commemorate this amazing day, and then coming back to my house to play board games! 

Rochelle and I decided to interview each other and post on the day we're meeting up. Actually, it was all her idea. I just agreed because it was an AWESOME one! We both contributed to the questions and I truly hope you enjoy what we've come up with. I'm so excited to share my brand new friend with all of you! 

Why did you start to blog?
I started a blog to share my personal style and show that you can be modest and still be stylish. Another reason I started Rochelle Approved was to use my blog as a way to hold myself accountable to stay true to my style, even though no one else in my area dresses similarly to me.

Which part of blogging do you enjoy the most?
It’s hard to say which part of blogging I enjoy most as there are so many aspects to creating a post. If I didn’t enjoy every aspect, then I wouldn’t have this sort of blog. However, I really enjoy going through the photos, picking out just the right ones and then editing them. 

What are some benefits of blogging that you have experienced? 
The biggest benefit from blogging is meeting new friends!  If I had not started blogging, I probably never would have connected with Kimberly or gotten a chance to meet her in real life!  I also love how much of a community there is within blogging.  You might be the only person in your town who likes a certain style of clothing, but within the blogging community you're sure to find someone else with similar tastes. I have also found that other bloggers are incredibly supportive and encouraging.

When you aren't blogging to fill up "you" time, what are other hobbies that spike your interest?
Just remember that you asked for this one. I have a ton of interests. I sew, paint, re-upholster, bake, enjoy motorcycle rides, travel (as often as I can), sketch, read and am really into photography.  I almost always have more than one project that I’m working on at a time and am usually in the middle of 4 or 5 books. 

Who inspires you?
My grandma is one of the people who has inspired me the most in my personal life.  She is a strong and amazing woman and has always stood up for what she believes in. Also, many fashion bloggers inspire me.  I usually am inspired by the small things from how someone pairs colors or textures to a great pair of shoes.

How would you describe your personal style?
I was actually thinking about attempting to describe my personal style this past week. The closest I have gotten to an actual description is eclectic, tough chic.  However, I don’t think it fully describes my personal style.  Also, instead of getting stuck on a single look, I always try to look at what I’m wearing and see if the outfit as a whole seems like my style. Plus, I always ask myself if I will look back in 20 years and laugh so hard that I cry from what I’m wearing. 

What is one current fashion trend that you wouldn't be caught dead in?
Fur.  It looks wonderful on some people and can add some glamor to a look, but it really creeps me out. 

What is your all time best beauty / fashion tip?
Wear sunscreen and drink water.  I know they sound like incredibly lame beauty tips, but if you do these regularly now, you will reap the benefits for the rest of your life.  I can tell on a day by day basis if I’ve had enough water simply based on how my skin looks.  As far as sunscreen goes, I should buy stock in it due to how much of it I use.  I’m counting on it to protect my skin from getting sun damaged or wrinkly. 

History tends to repeat itself, and that goes for fashion history as well. What trend from the past do you hope to see in the near future?
I would love to see more clothes from the 50’s.  The incredibly feminine silhouette and the intricate details of 50s clothing are both things that I’d like to see make another fashion appearance. 

What are your favorite three stores to shop at?
Target, TJMaxx and my amazing local thrift store!  I love how Target has clothes that range from trendy to classic plus their clothes tend to fit me well. Besides, I can’t seem to resist Target’s clearance section!  TJMaxx is another favorite and their store is almost always wonderfully stocked with current clothes at great prices.  My amazing local thrift store has been such a fun place for me to get to try different clothes that I never would have come across at prices that are unbelievably great. 

What's your favorite color and why? Is it a color you just like to look at, or is it something that's your favorite because you like to decorate with/wear it?
My two favorite colors are deep sapphire blue (it's the color of the night sky, right before it turns inky midnight blue) and dark amethyst purple.  They are both colors that I love to look at as well as wear.  At some point I would like to decorate more with both of those colors, although right now I have decorated with a lot of other colors.

If you could be a celebrity for a day, what perks would you be sure to take advantage of?
I can’t even imagine being a celebrity, but if I were to be one for a day, I would take advantage of designer shoes! At the very least, I would try on as many pairs of insanely expensive shoes as they would let me!

If someone was going to cook you a 4 course meal, tell me, what exactly would you like to have?
This is seriously a tough question as I love all different sorts of food.  
First course: spinach, pecan and goat cheese salad with raspberry vinagarette
Second course: stuffed mushrooms (not the ones stuffed with sausage though)
Main course: seared salmon, steamed sugar snap peas and baked sweet potato
Dessert course: strawberry cheesecake

Is there anything else you'd like to share with everyone? 
I came across this amazing quote by Sophia Loren, “Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” I think this quote sums up the confidence which can be the element that makes an outfit amazing.  Wear your confidence as a part of your outfit.

*this is one of my personal favorite outfits of Rochelle's so far!*

So, what do you think? You love her, right? She's kind of absolutely amazing, adorable, completely stylish, extremely artistic, and just gorgeous! So, head on over to Rochelle's blog, and start following. 
I promise you won't be sorry!
Right now, I'm going to go hang out with my new friend and cross my fingers that I get stamped

If you'd like to see my answers to our interview questions,
check them out right here!

Oh, and p.s.- Thing 3: A Favorite Book
Another cliche', but maybe I am a cliche'. WHO KNOWS?
I love Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, but I'm a sucker for the Twilight Saga novels by Stephanie Meyer. The writing isn't terribly great, but there's just something about that story line that keeps me wanting more... and more. The forbidden love, the freaks of nature, the teen vampire pregnancy. Those books helped me relax and escape from real life during the end of my pregnancy with Little S. I was uncomfortable, moody, and antsy. But Bella, Edward and Jacob came to the rescue- until I finished the entire saga in 2 weeks, while working full time. Then, I was just uncomfortable, moody, and antsy for a month or so longer. :)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Mansome Monday: The "A" Lister

HEEERRRREEEEESSSS MANSOME! I know I must have thrown you all into a hysterical tizzy on Friday with my post. For many, Mansome Monday is something that you have to prepare yourself for, the hysterical writing, the hotness of the man himself, the outfit, the hotness of the man, and the tips and pointers for you and your man. But I am back to my regular day it feels good to be regular; I learned that from Jamie Lee Curtis and Activia!

I mentioned last time about sharing some observations I had during my Christmas break. One such observation was actually a fashion observation and it involves something I absolutely cannot stand and that is skinny jeans. I have no clue how or why these should even be considered a fashion trend. I mean who thought of this? Many cannot / should not wear stretch pants and now they are trying to do the same with denim?!?! (Disclaimer: I can almost, almost, understand the female obsession with this latest crappy trend. But the guys who wear skinny jeans, really?!? Ladies if your man comes home with a pair leave immediately! And if he does mangage to sell you the idea of walking down the street the only acceptable reason is he is forming a new band called “Zack Attack” which will perform covers of Zack Morris’ band from Save By the Bell, mainly “Friends Forever” and the jeans are a necessary part of the gig. PS These are not and will not EVER be Mansome approved) But I digress, as I was walking around the King of Prussia mall I could not help but stare at the males who though skinny jeans were a good idea. (Yes, the staring did make for an awkward moment but once eye contact was made but I really felt that I was the one who should feel more awkward because of what I was forced to look at.) Besides jeans were the fashion of the old west and I really cannot see John Wayne saying to his posse, “Those wide leg comfortable jeans are just not “in” anymore, these skinny jeans are awesome! Let’s go get some bad guys” So, as your Poppa of Fashion, I believe it is my duty to protect you from possible harmful situations and, regardless of size or body type, trying to squeeze yourself into skinny jeans qualifies as a harmful situation. And with an understanding that some of you will disagree, as your Poppa, I cannot stress enough, do not wear skinny jeans!!!

Speaking of jeans …. My outfit today is made for my various red carpet occasions. It says up top I am formal but below the waist its casual, no commitments, just fun. Starting from the bottom I am wearing my black Sketchers and Hollister Jeans. You will notice these jeans are starting to become damaged. For you new readers, I do not understand why you were not reading Fashion Momma’s blog from its first posting, I NEVER buy damaged jeans because being as Mansome as I am, my masculinity and ruggedness will create the same effect; even sexier looking pants! I am wearing a red Express shirt and a Pronto Uomo blazer. I am wearing the shirt un-tucked because when you are this hot you do not want to restrict heat!

Outfit name:  The “A” Lister! On the Red Carpet and sexy enough to be photographed by the paparazzi but regardless of photo, uncompromising or not, I am denying the story!

Thanks for all of the recent follows on Twitter! Keep reading and following FashionMomma22 and JWFaulkner! Till next Monday …. BOOM!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

250. I'm Speechless.

Well, hello, 250th reader, whom ever you may be.
Thank you *SO* much to all of my amazing readers.
I stopped by, tonight, to catch up on some comments, and saw that Fashion Momma has just acquired its 250th reader, and I just... am so thankful. And so blessed.
Thank you.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Mansome... First Day of School! The European!

HEEEELLLLLLOOOOO my fans! I have missed not writing to you all and I sincerely hope you had a nice Christmas / Holiday Season and a joyful New Years! I did receive many cards and well wishes from many of my adoring fans and I thank you! For the most part I received cards with pictures of various husbands, boyfriends, and other males … htting on me? Maybe... or ABSOLUTELY! People wanting Fashion Poppa’s approval? YES! I did receive some cards with pictures of families and kids (FYI, some kids really need to make an adjustment with what they are wearing. Toddler is no excuse for wearing some crappy one-piece.)

Before I get to my outfit I want to acknowledge an observation that I had. On Christmas I was sitting with my family (who I have determined is crazy. Think about it, why do we think our in-laws’s are nuts but we are not? I can say first hand that this is not true for me, my in-laws are nuts AND so is my family… but that’s another story) opening gifts and I began to notice that my father basically gets the same gifts EVERY year: New sneakers, shirts and pants for work (which were fashion poppa approved; although by next Christmas he will be retired, which makes me think Adidas, Nike, and Champion better tell their 12 year olds who run their sweat shops to start making new sweat suits now), golf balls, gift certificates to play a round of golf at some local courses, books, and Phillies apparel. This is the same over and over! Are your fathers’ similar? (In the next couple of posts I plan to add some more Christmas observations from my break … stay tuned (and you thought you could not have more anxiety for Mansome Mondays.))

{My Outfit}

Today’s outfit says, “Wow, is that guy European, because his outfit looks European, but he is in America so I guess he is not European. Either way he dresses like a sexy European…” Not that I have known to judge sexy European males from unsexy European males but I have been called one before (see what this outfit says above) and I imagine that anyone who is not wearing what I wear would not be sexy – see it all works out!!! BOOM

I am wearing Express pants (I have worn these before) but the more I wear them the more I realize how great they look on me. I know several students who walked into my class “accidently” today just to get a look and find out where they can get a pair, Express! Jesus, just let me teach!

My zip down sweater is by Black Brown and is 100% Cashmere, you read that right, cashmere! Fashion Poppa only buys and wears the best! I know many of you are like Nina, from Seinfeld when you get cashmere but your Fashion Poppa ALWAYS wears the best! (It’s part of the Mansome code…)

My tie is made by Claiborne which really ties (get it?!) the black shirt and grey pants together! Some might be questioning the Jose A Bank red shirt (and if you are questioning your Fashion Poppa its blasphemy and you need to repent) but listen when you are setting the trends for what is sexy not only in America but ALSO Europe, you need to make sure your outfit has PASSION! Which is what this shirt brings! Think about it, all black and grey says, “Who died” Add some red and people are yelling, “Let’s Cha-cha!” BOOM!

Outfit Name: The European
The Puritans and Pilgrims left a long time ago; lets get freaky!

Have a great weekend! And make sure to check Fashion Momma’s blog (which should be updated regularly now that she is back working from winter break … finally). Also follow us on twitter Fashionmomma22 and JWFaulkner.

Mansome {First Day of School} - The European


FBFF: My Blog, Your Blog, All the Blogs

Good morning! This is a FBFF post, led by the talented and thought provoking Katy, of Modly Chic. Katy came up with Fashion Beauty Friend Friday quite a while ago, and since the beginning, she has created a Google Group that all of you should seriously consider becoming a part of! FBFF is a great way for all of us to communicate with each other and talk about some really awesome topics that really pertain to what we do, here, on the interwebs. Have something to share? Get your voice out there!

Now, onto this week's topic for FBFF.
 This is how Katy prefaced her choice in questions this week:

"As I was reading through everyone's new years resolutions and where
they want their blogs to be I got to thinking how easy it is to become
discouraged by some of the very successful blogs out there, or the
ones we perceive as successful. We compare ourselves and suddenly find
that we are lacking. So this week we are going to be talking about

{And here are this week's questions}

1. Have you ever looked at someone's blog and thought yours will never measure up?

I have looked at several amazing blogs and have become stunned with fear and drop-jawed with amazement. It's intimidating to see blogs with 2000 and 3000 followers- or even 500 for that matter. When I began blogging, I had no idea there was a community of style bloggers out there. Honestly, I read one blog (... love Maegan) and it truly inspired me to be able to write, again. The idea of fashion wasn't really of interested to me until after I had my daughter. It was then that I decided I wanted to really make an effort to not be a frumpy mom. I was a sweatpants-wearing, PJ shopper, and I didn't care who saw me or what day it was. And now, I know there is this amazing community of bloggers with similar interests. All I can think of is, "I'm thankful to be able to write. I'm thankful for a crappy camera that at least *works*, and I feel blessed that more people than my best friends and mom have a desire to read what I have to say." In short, yes, I'm afraid my blog won't measure up to others, but really, I'm here for me and am happy to have my readers along for the ride.

2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers?

Mostly, I felt pressured to go shopping and never repeat an outfit or obvious piece of clothing. Kendi really inspired me to love what I already own, during her last 30 for 30 challenge. Most of you know that I didn't complete the challenge, but it's not because I wanted to go shopping. I just had a lot of things going on in my personal life that didn't allow me to stay on top of the 30 for 30, much less write every day. My current budget situation has also made me realize (or has really FORCED ME) that I don't need more things. I might want more, but I probably wouldn't have such a desire for clothing and accessories if I didn't read blogs by people that have seemingly endless wardrobes.

3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging?

Here's the thing- blogging is really awesome and fun, and all that jazz. But originally, the blog begins because the blogger has some type of content he/she would like to share. If you want to share shoes and shoes alone, have great content, and attract readers, then your shoe blog is probably better than a blog that includes DIYs, recipes, outfit photos, and ramblings, if that blog doesn't have original, captivating, well-written content. I think that no matter what you decide to share on your blog, as long as you're good at it and you're being original, you can be successful.

4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice - how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours?

I love this question, because when I think of a blog having a great personal voice, I immediately think of Sydney, of The Daybook. She is so spunky, unique, fun, and relatable. I guess that's another thing that I feel pressured about... I want to be funny, but I'm only funny sometimes. And I want to be so well-spoken and put-together, that my posts aren't so wordy. But if you read Fashion Momma, you know (an example is right here, in the making) that I can't shut my mouth... or stop typing. That being said, I think I've finally, after over a year of writing this blog, found my personal voice. I struggled for a while, wondering if I should sound like I'm teaching moms how to dress or if I should sound like a young professional, since I work at a university. But my personal voice is just that- it's totally me. I write how I speak to my best friends or my mom. I think that's the easiest type of writing to read. I want you to be able to imagine me talking to you. My punctuation is the way that it is because sometimes I need a "dot dot dot" to show you where I paused and thought, or rather, where I totally forgot what I was about to say. I'm a real person with a real life. I have drama at home, at work, with family. I am a mother and my husband works night shift. Life's tough, but I'm happy because I'm blessed. And I just want you all to know all of those things. So, I tell you. In my very best Kimberly voice.

5. Toot your own horn... what's the one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge?

Toot, toot!
I did it!!!
Just kidding... There are a couple of unique things about me and my blog. One of them is that I'm a plus sized young lady, who stands at the ground-breaking height of 4'11". I've got a seriously tough body type to dress, so I really like that I can provide inspiration to both shorties, and plus sized women. And if there are any others out there, like me, who are both really short and not so thin, please let me know, because I'd love to grab some inspiration from you, too!
Another thing that might not necessarily be unique to me and my blog, but is something that helps me relate to a lot of other fashion bloggers, is that I'm a mom. And I started this blog solely because I wanted to be a chic one. Fashion Momma has branched out to be so much more than just a blog about a mom that likes to look nice, but I really like the "edge" that being a parent has given me in being able to relate to other bloggers.

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you'll participate next week and beyond!
Link your FBFF post, here!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interview Day!

What do you wear for an interview in the department where you already work?
Good question. I struggled with that all night last night, until I came up with today's outfit.
See, here's the thing- I'd wear a suit to any other interview. I know what's considered professional and whatnot, but here's my beef (and I think I said this, before, when I interviewed for my current position). I work here every single day. These people know my style and they know who I am. Many of them know about my blog, too. So, if I wore a suit, it would kind of be like fraud, don't you think? I'm not a "suit" person. So, I figured I'd stay classy and professional, but add color, embellishment, and some layering. Now, I feel like a more polished, interview-ready, version of regular ol' me!
first of all, I know, I know- the pictures are fuzzy and my eyes are red.
until I get the privileges of having photoshop on my work computer (for no other reason than having a blog), we work with what we have!
but, if someone wants to tell me about this website, (or something like that), I'd love to know more!
email me at ksparham(at)gmail(dot)com.

sweater: NY&Co
cami: Catalog Connection (don't know brand)
slacks: Old Navy
flats: WalMart
necklace: bridesmaid gift from Nikki
earrings: bridesmaid gift from Kristen

I got this sweater with one of my giftcards from Christmas. Thanks to my MIL, I'm now the new owner of something fuschia (my mom's color)! Or ... I don't really know if that's what color this sweater is.  You can refer to your Pantone flip. We have one at home (hubs is a graphic designer), and I look at it a lot for color inspiration. Anyway, what I love most is the neckline! It's literally a bunch of little knots made of the sweater material, but they are really tightly woven in and very sturdy. I think it's really, really pretty!

This is our faculty/staff lounge at work. It's the only place that had any natural light this morning (indoors). It's freezing and raining, outside, so I didn't go for the front yard pics, today. I really need to be adventurous and go searching for better locations. If I could just get my butt out of bed i nthe mornings...
I literally spent about 5 minutes JUST on concealing my undereyes this morning. That's so pathetic. I mean, maybe it's not. Maybe, if you do a whole face of makeup every day and are really into it, 5 minutes is normal for concealing. I have no idea. All I know is that I haven't had a hangover in a really long time, but I remember what it looks like on me. And today, I looked hungover.
All I've had to drink for days is water. Oh, and a diet root beer last night.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Tomorrow is FRIDAY, already. Can you believe it?
Make sure to check yesterday's post about the brand new Trendy Tots Tuesdays!
We'll be starting next week.
Now, wish me luck, and I tell you how it all went down, tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tribal Queen

Oops! I did it, again. I just got so much positive feedback, yesterday, that I couldn't NOT wear these puppies, again! I simply can't resist the comfort of these booties! And today, I even did a nude tight. Look at me, branching out. It's all thanks to you, really.

{can you tell that Hubs REALLY likes to take photos at an angle? hmmm....}

 dress: Asos Curve (won it on Ariana's blog giveaway!)
blazer: Christy Miller (from TJ Maxx)
tights: I think they're from Kohl's
booties: Payless
bracelet: won from Carly's blog giveaway (over a year ago!)

Thank Heaven Sydney made wearing a giant bun on the top of my head a chic choice. Most of you who follow me on twitter know that my alarm didn't go off this morning.
I hopped in the shower with my shower cap on, scrubbed and bubbled up, hopped out, and literally bobby pinned around the mess that I created under the shower cap. No lie. I didn't even brush it or re-try. What you see is what you get, today. All I had time for on the face was a bit of mascara. So, I knew I had to step it up with my outfit. This Asos Curve tribal inspired dress has been hanging in my closet, begging to be worn. Honestly, I envisioned it with gold gladiator sandals in the Summer, and couldn't imagine it another way. But this morning, I really, really wanted to wear it! Mostly, I wanted everything from the neck-down to look awesome, since I didn't have enough time to do anything from the neck-up. Yes, that means I've also lost my mind. So, THANK YOU to Ariana of FATale Fashion, who hosted the giveaway that landed me this awesome dress! I've already gotten a ton of compliments!
My only complaint is that I don't really know if this dress is particulary "Mom in a total rush" friendly. I had to put Little S on my lap this morning to put her shoes on, and her sweater dress got caught on the embellishments and pulled one off. I re-attached it, quickly. But I see these little shell thingies coming off quite easily, unless I'm super careful. And I don't really live a super careful lifestyle! But I suspect that's why Asos Curve attached a ton of extras!

My favorite part about being a style blogger is that I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations, but my own. I started writing Fashion Momma because I wanted to learn to wear what was in my closet and not fall into the frumpy mom thing. When I really started learning about the style blogging community, I felt pressured (not by anyone but myself) to change my style completely- become more trendy, wear things I wasn't necessarily comfortable in, try clothes that didn't look or feel appealing or comfortable to me... And I went through that phase. I layered weird stuff because I thought other people would think it was cool. I wore leggings as pants (not my thing- but I'm jealous of those of you that can pull it off and look killer!). And I started doing a full face of makeup,
That's just not me. I'm a full time, outside of the house, working mom, a wife to a lovely man that supervises night shift, and I'm 4'11" (petite and plus sized is really, REALLY hard). It's difficult to find things that don't look like something my great grandmother would wear for people that are built like me. But I've embraced who I am, thanks in large part to Leslie, who helped me with personal styling.
I'm a stylish mom-on-the-go (in a huge rush), and I need to
Thanks for allowing me to find myself, here!

I have a HUGE announcement coming up this afternoon. So all of you style bloggin' Mommas out there, stay tuned. You are NOT going to want to miss this!