Monday, February 28, 2011

In a Broken Down Field

Have you ever had one of those days when you have so much to say that you're practically bursting at the seams, and then instead of spewing it all out, you vow silence, instead? I'm walking the fine line between those two extremes, today, and at this point, I still don't know which way I'm going to fall. 

What I will say, however, is that I received my girl scout cookies this morning and the Girl Scouts of America decided to change my FAVORITE cookie's name from "Samoas" to "Caramel deLights." My heart hurts. I'm frustrated with mind-changing after such a good run!
Well, looky there... I said everything I needed to say about the cookies and otherwise.

We had a nice weekend. Plans got changed, but it ended up working out pretty nicely! Husband and I took Little S. to the park on Friday evening and she was VERY upset to leave after what we parentals viewed as a "near death experience." Envision it: One adorable todder, running freely toward the swing sets. Two 10-ish year-old girls swinging high into the sky, pumping their legs like nobody's business. Toddler's head being approximately 2 inches from getting knocked out. Fother mucker, my heart... MY.HEART. Husband's heart. And the girl's mom? She acted like we were horrendous parents for not catching Little S. before she could have gotten to the swing set. Really, woman? Really? Your bum is over there, knitting, on a wooden bench, and we're running and screaming toward the swings. What is wrong with this picture?
Welp, Husband found an awesome location, again. What can I say?
I'm blessed with a talented man.

navy cotton dress: Old Navy (gifted by Rochelle)
grey ruffle trim cardi: New York & Company
cork wedge sandals: SBICCA of California, via Ross
hand-painted Hatteras Lighthouse necklace: Tuckoo & Moo Cow

I'm looking at the beautiful wild daffodils, blooming out of such a broken down place.
It's truly a capture of how beauty can rise from the ashes.

Friends, I am SO excited to tell you that the lovely and talented Isabel of Walk of Fashion has featured me as her Girl of the Blogosphere, today!!! Thank you so much, girl! I am ecstatic. Know why? This exact feature is what introduced me to your blog in the first place, and caught me as a follower! It's kind of surreal to be interviewed for something that attracted me to your blog in the first place! Big, huge thank you!

Don't forget to enter my giveway
I think it's pretty darn exciting!

Giveaway ends Friday, March 4!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Train Travelin' & GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm gonna make you hold out on the giveaway. How do you feel about that?
I guess you have the freedom to scroll down, but I assure you, you won't want to miss Husband's pick for today's photo location. I swear, the man is a location scheming MASTERMIND. I have no idea how he remembers these places even exist in our semi-sorry little "city." All I know is that I'm thankful for his eye, because I'd be having lots of blurry photos with my hallway as a background if it weren't for his talent and patience. So, Husband, if you're reading this (and I know you are), thank you a million times over.

Without further ado...
{side note... now many bloggers say, "Without further ado...?" a lot. that's the answer}

1960s inspired shift: Emma & Michele, via Ross (gifted by Rochelle)
cognac buckle boots: Silhouettes
stamped copper earrings: gift from Jen 

Warning: Photo overload. Couldn't help myself (or choose)!

Had to throw the blooper in, up there. I look angry, don't I? I promise, I was just tired of eating my hair. The wind is WICKED in North Carolina, today! Hands up if you love this dress as much as I do! My hand is waving, frantically, because every time I look at it, I love it MORE than I did the last time I saw it (read: 10 seconds before now).

And now... What you've all been waiting for!
To celebrate the milestone of reaching 300 readers this week, I am hosting a very special, very personalized giveaway!

First, I want to thank each and every one of you pretties that reads this blog. You all have inspired me to do better, go harder, and not give up when times get tough. You've seen me through some mini hiatuses, let me wear sweatpants, looked at blurry photos, and have stuck with me through even the most boring of posts. And to all of you newcomers, WELCOME! I'm so glad to have you, and I hope you're here for the long haul. Ask the veterans. I promise I can be funny, sometimes. I also am continuing to work hard to create a more reader-friendly page that is fun to visit and easy to navigate! 
Once again, thank you all for everything!

The lucky winner of my 300 Reader Giveaway will receive ONE from EACH category!

A $25 gift card from your choice of:

TWO pairs of solid color tights (your choice!) from

Pretty darn exciting, RIGHT? Yes, that's how thankful I am. And YES, that's how much I love you!
And here's all the dirty deets on how to enter:

*You must be a follower via Blog Lovin' or Google Friend Connect*
- please leave one comment, telling me how you follow, with a valid email address -

(please leave separate comments for each entry)
*Follow me on twitter: FashionMomma22*
*Tweet this giveway, including a link back to here and @FashionMomma22*
Please note: If you do not include "@FashionMomma22" in your tweet, the entry will not count.
*Blog about this giveaway and leave a link*


Simple enough, right?!
Have fun! Good luck! And more than seriously, THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FBFF - Blogger Superlatives!

This Friday's post is the launch of the first ever FBFF Blog Awards.
Katy, of Modly Chic, asked us to nominate one blogger for each of ten categories.
These will be narrowed down to the top five for each category and opened up to the FBFF blogging community for voting!

As always, for more information on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, please check Katy's blog, Modly Chic!

And now, for the nominations!!!
All photos are property of the blogs which have been linked for each nomination.

1. Creative Juices - most creative 

Not only does Keira co-own her family's flower shop (hello, creativity!), she has some really amazing outfit combinations, does the most creative and quirky giveaway winner videos, and Keira is seriously kicking some a$$ on Project Re-Style!

2. The Real Deal - authenticity 

Melissa is as real as it gets. She shares her ups and downs, and she's a loving, caring, sweet friend, daughter, and mother. She gives us all Melissa all the time. Her outfits get more genuinely "Mel" as the days pass and she reaches out to her readers so well!

3. Spark Notes - most helpful 

Kimberly is inspiring in so many ways. She does monthly outfit inspiration calendars, tells us where EVERYTHING in her wardrobe is from, answers reader questions on a regular basis (and seriously does research to answer them WELL), and has informational tidbits in each of her posts.

4. Newbie - best blogger less than a year old 

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this talented beauty has taken the blog world by storm, since her entrance just a few months ago! Kimmie is the amazing designer that made my blog look amazing, is a great friend and confidant, has impeccable style (even though she doesn't think so), works full time, and has a husband and little man to go home to! She does it all and she's juggling life well enough to have an amazing blog, to boot!

5. Can You Hear Me Now - most connected 

Is there a blogger out there that has not received a comment from Collette? Probably not many. I have no idea how this Super Woman does it, but Collette makes time for EVERYONE. She's always the first to compliment you, the first to tweet you, and the first to run to your side when help is needed. Collette is a friend, always, INDEED.

6. If I had a Hammer - best DIY 
Rochelle - Rochelle Approved

Like Keira, Rochelle is also rocking Project Re-Style. She's made several a skirt out of dresses or shirts (out of shirts? YES!), crafted a standing lamp all on her own, can sew ANYTHING on the face of the planet (eh hem, if you hop to her blog and find a picture of her beloved orange chair, SHE REUPHOLSTERED IT!), and she is also a painter and photographer. Yes, she does it all, my friends!

7. Tribe Leader - blogger who leads others and brings bloggers
Katy - Modly Chic

Katy is the reason we're all here! She's brought so many bloggers together with FBFF in such a short period of time! Katy is enthusiastic, does blogger profiles to showcase awesome writers and fashionistas (and to introduce them to all of us!). She is dedicated to the blogging community, and I think that's what this award really means!

8. Practically Perfect - most fashionable 
Ramsey - Love, Ramsey

The sweet, fresh, chic Jackie O. of 2011? You were looking?
Oh, here she is.

9. Paint by Numbers - best beauty blogger 

Tiffany is much more popular in the YouTube world than the blogging world, but she also has a blog that I keep up with. I learned a lot about eye makeup and concealer from her, and although she does feature some outrageous makeup ideas, I applaud her for doing so many "daytime" looks that I wouldn't be afraid to try.

10. Renaissance Woman - best all around blogger, fashion, beauty,
Maegan - ... love maegan

I don't care if Maegan has one hundred bajillion readers. She is the very first blogger that I started to follow and is one of the reasons I began blogging in the first place. Her style is incredible, her DIYs are through the roof, she's hilarious, beautiful, and so talented. I swear, if you start reading Maegan's blog for a week, you'll be hooked for life. And so popular she can't return emails? Forget about it. Not one email I've sent her has been left unanswered. Love.This.Woman.

Through Your Rose Colored Glasses

That's what my eyes feel like, when I look at these pictures. 
So, I'm sorry for making your eyeballs hurt, because yes, they are overexposed and blurry.
This, my friends, is what happens when I'm left to my own photography. EVEN with the good camera. Blaming the photographer again...

Thank you, everyone, for all of your sweet "feel better" tweets, yesterday. I know they helped me! Not ONLY was Miss Monthly P trying to kill me, but I also was suffering from some possible virus or food poisoning symptoms... Then again, maybe my P just hates me THAT much. I have a ton of catch-up work to do, today, since I missed work, yesterday. No bueno.
But make sure you head over to our Fab Fashion Bloggers Rockin' Weight Loss yahoo group to get some awesome menu ideas! I'm headed there to add my weekly menu, in a few minutes!

plum rosette neckline top: LOFT outlet
plum cardigan: Eddie Bauer outlet
floral skirt: thrifted and gifted from Rochelle
brown skinny belt: New York & Company
fuchsia tights: c/o We Love Colors
brown pointed toe flats: Lela Rose, gifted from Whitney

I didn't get a chance to take a photo of Little S., this morning. But I promise to take one this afternoon and post it either on Facebook or here. She and I have matching tights, today! She said, "Momma! Pink tights, too!" So.Freaking.Cute.

Blah zeh, today, huh? Just look at my outfit and get psychadelic. It'll make this whoooole post a lot more interesting. I promise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Toughly Ruffled

It's Trendy Tots Tuesday, today, and I usually post my outfit in the same post as Little S.', but the story behind TTT needed a post of its own and Little S. OWNED it. Crazy hair and all.
If you have a little one you'd like to share with us, be sure to head over to today's Trendy Tots Tuesday post and link up!

People, can you explain the weather? I know it's been a sore subject all over the blogosphere, lately. Freezing rain, lots of snow, negative temperatures, and then there's the whole everyone being sick and tired of hearing about the weather. Well, friends, it was 77 degrees here, yesterday, and when I left my house this morning, it was in the 30s. I know many of you are experiencing temperatures below 10 or even sub zero, but I was unprepared for this drastic change, today. I came to work without a coat, and I was much less than ecstatic while Husband was taking my outfit shots. Only two of them came out halfway the way I would have liked, but that's my fault. I was TOO COLD to smile.

FTR: the sausage effect  is due to the top of the skirt being oddly fitted and flaring out a lot at my natural waist. 
MY TIGHTS do not give me half -casing effect.
fucshia sweater: New York and Company
purple tank: Catalog Connection
olive ruffle skirt: Old Navy clearance (gift from Rochelle)
rubine tights: c/o We Love Colors
brown studded oxfords: Ross (gift from Rochelle)

I tried to smile for you guys. I really did. I just couldn't muster it up. So I just looked down, instead. 
How is it that on my way to work, Husband can find an old storefront with essentially the same colors as my outfit? I swear... And he didn't even pay attention to what I was wearing. He just said, "Let's take your picture in that little cove." And I said, "The one that looks like my outfit?" And he goes, "Oh, yeah. Cool." No big deal. He's just a genius. That's all.

If you read my post, yesterday, you'd know I'm embarking on yet ANOTHER weight loss journey. But this time, it's the real deal. I'll be posting stats, recipes and meal plans on our Fab Fashion Blogger Rockin' Weight Loss yahoo group! If you'd like to join, we'd LOVE to have you! Collette has shared her before and after photos and her success story. She'll be leading us through each of our own journeys to find our healthiest selves. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Romantic Side of the Tracks

I have a new wardrobe!
Okay, maybe I wouldn't necessarily go that extreme... BUT, my sweet friend, Rochelle, treated me to a post-birthday shopping trip on Saturday and she SPOILED ME ROTTEN. We had a set budget and hit the thrift store, Old Navy, and Ross! We were planning to head to New York & Company as well, but we just hit the jackpot everywhere we went and there was no need to get even more! So a big, giant thank you to Rochelle, for putting up with me (and Little S.), treating me to such a fun girls' day and very thoughtful gifts (not only did she take me shopping, BUT when I got to her house, there was a huge box of goodies waiting for me, there, too!), and helping me build a Spring wardrobe with some awesome pieces and SHOES!

Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, I know you're dying to see at least one of my new finds. Am I right? Am I right?! Lucky YOU, because I'm wearing TWO new things! And lucky ME, because 1) I'm extra comfortable, 2) It's going to be 77 degrees, today, and 3) My sweet husband rescued me from a trying morning and took some MORE beautiful pictures. I love you, babe! Thanks for making me feel like a super model. And you don't look so bad behind that camera, either. 
Who's jealous of my sexy photographer?

  floral dress: Old Navy (gift from Rochelle)
grey swing cardi: New York & Company
gold belt: Target clearance
flower necklace: gift from Marilou
blush rosette ballet flats: Rampage via Ross

Husband sure does have an eye for location. All of these photos were taken around the perimeter of an old, abandoned train station right near the university where I work. I love how the tough background offsets the flirty, romantic vibe of my outfit. I also love how I feel so uninhibited with my husband behind the camera. I normally feel like such a geek when I'm "trying" to pose for photos, but he makes me feel comfortable and natural. I'm so thankful for that.

Many of you have probably read Collette's AMAZING weight loss story, already. And I've been on my own up and down roller coaster since before Little S. was born. Today, I'm turning the page and moving forward with my own weight loss journey. With the help of my husband and SEVERAL amazing bloggy friends, like Melissa, Collette, Marilou, Kori, and Leigh, I have so much more faith in myself that I'm ready and it's TIME.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friend Friday: Loving My Body

 Today's FFBF topic is Body Image. And isn't that something we ALL think about, whether it's good or bad? I'm excited to share my answers with you. And I hope you all enjoy reading what I have to say, because I'm extremely passionate about this topic. Even moreso than I'm passionate about colors!

For more information on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, visit Katy's blog, Modly Chic!
You can also go here to find a list of everyone participating in this week's topic discussion.

 dress: Max Studio (via TJ Maxx), cardi: Old Navy, boots: Payless
All photos were taken by my lovely husband.

Since you started blogging, has your image of yourself changed?

I have to say yes and no. That's a fun answer to explain, right? I think my body image is about the same and my self-image has changed drastically. I have ALWAYS had problem areas with my body, skin, hair, or whatever part of myself that is driving me crazy at any given moment. I used to run four miles a day, two days a week, and four miles two other days. I was a cheerleader for several years and a swimmer, too. If you asked me to run a mile, today, though, I'd laugh at you and play dead. Anyway, I have never been my "ideal" body type, no matter what exercises or diet I've kept up with. As far as self-image as a whole, I'm much more confident to wear whatever I want and not have to try and wear what "society" deems appropriate for a plus sized woman. If I want to show my legs, I will. If my shirt is tight, I wanted it to be that way. If skinny girls can show off their flat stomachs, I will show off my round one. People may not like some of my sartorial choices, but if I'm confident in how I look and feel (which, generally, I am), I don't really mind others' opinions.

Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it, or do you post/talk about it anyway?

I think being "self-conscious" is a good thing. Doesn't that simply mean we're conscious of our selves? Whether it's consciousness of good or bad things? So, yes, all the time. I'm conscious of myself regarding how I feel, how I look, body parts (namely my midsection, tops of thighs and tops of arms), hair (mostly when it's frizzy and unruly or extra dirty), and my skin (which breaks out for two weeks every month). I don't go out of my way to avoid anything, though. This is a style blog about ME. I'm unique and I'm not going to hide any of it. If I don't love myself, how do I expect you to love me? Sure, I'm unhappy about my body sometimes, but I'm also really proud of all the things it has done for me. For instance, I created a little life inside of myself. The creator inside of me and the creation that grew inside of me are very gorgeous.
Thank you very much.
And obviously, I talk about everything. :)

Based on how you're feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?

I feel great right now. I want to lose weight, and I don't want to feel pressured by anyone but myself to do it. I'm fine with that. I know what needs to be done and when I get there, I'll get there. I want to create more life with my body in the future. I want to be proud of my body and adorn it in beautiful things. I hope to continue being proud of what my body has done. I tend to look at myself in the mirror and choose bits and pieces that I'm not feeling confident about. Then I look at my face and into my own eyes and remember that I'm really beautiful.

Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

I take most of my own photographs and my husband has been taking more and more as of late. Obviously, with a personal style blog, I'm going to have photos of myself all over the place (see today's post- oh, you're seeing it right now, aren't you?). I feel awkward when I'm getting my picture taken or taking my own pictures, mostly because I'm unsure of how to pose. I want to switch things up all the time, but I find it difficult to not look like a human pretzel when I'm trying to be creative.

What would you want everyone who struggles with body image to take to heart?

You're not the only one. No one (and I mean NOT ONE PERSON) is perfect. What is perfect, anyway? If you're unhappy with yourself, you're the only person who can do something about it, and if you love yourself, it's going to show, no matter what you look like. Confidence and security are contagious and beautiful things.

I hope you all have an absolutely fabulous, beautiful, and confidence-filled weekend! Little S. and I are going down to Rochelle's tomorrow, then heading out for some post-birthday shopping! I'm so psyched to see my friend, again, and do one of our favorite things, together! I'll be back with some more 30 Things, tomorrow, too!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All I See Are Changes

A little bit different, today. Yes? 
This morning, I had to go to the dentist, UH-GAIN, for this stupid tooth. I swear... and NOW, they're blaming me, because "It seems as though you're a clencher or grinder." Really? Did it really just take 6 months to figure that out? Okay, anyway... hopefully *crossing fingers* we've found a remedy. If not, there are other roads to take before extraction, but I'm praying that won't have to be the case at all. I think I'm going to get a night guard so I don't grind, if that is, in fact, the problem at hand.

My husband came with me to the dentist, because I was afraid I'd get the same, "Nothing's wrong with you. Why are you here, again?" run around. I didn't. Good thing, too. Husband is tough. And by tough, I mean he'd kill 'em with a giant smile and big, sparkly blue eyes. He brought me to work, after the appointment, and we spotted the library on the way. He decided it would be a pretty photo location, and I obliged, obviously. He's the artful eye in the family! I couldn't be happier with how these turned out. I felt very JoAnn, while posing for these photos. She's the queen of locations and definitely takes the cake on stair cases!

floral dress: Filene's Basement (Boston)
plum cardigan: Eddie Bauer Outlet
scout green tights: c/o We Love Colors
black booties: Payless
skinny black belt: New York & Company

My hair style is inspired by Kelley of The Eclectic Owl!
Holy pickles, people! If you don't read her blog, get over there, now. Kelley is SO stinkin' cute, I can hardly stand it. And her "I'm lazy and don't want to blowdry my hair all the way" hair is flipping amazing. I tried. Probably didn't do it much justice, but I tried.
Thanks for being my personal version of perfect, Kelley!

 I really hate to leave, but The Bossman is playing Nickel Creek, and it's getting me in the mood to work really hard and make sure my kiddos graduate! I want to genuinely thank all of you amazing people who continue to inspire me. I've made changes, taken chances, and tried new things BECAUSE OF YOU.

In attempt to catch up, I'll do three things, today.

Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people-
When I'm stressed out and frustrated, I don't want to cry. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to eat ice cream. I don't want to take a walk. I want to EXCESSIVELY CLEAN.

Day 22: A website-
Any website? Or my favorite website? Google Reader is my most visited, Gmail is my second most visited, Facebook ranks high up there, too. Hrm... OH, a favorite. Yes.

Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered-
I want to be remembered as a loving, compassionate, giving wife, daughter, mother and friend.