Speak Yourself Beautiful

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Most of my close friends know, I don’t shy away from saying how awesome I am. Most of the time it’s wrapped up in a joke, but there’s an underlying truth that I really love getting to be the person God created me to be.

The other reason I gravitate to those jokes is because not very many women brag about themselves. Granted, I run the risk of sounding conceited every time, but it gets old and awkward hearing people degrade themselves.

I was talking to someone the other day and they brought up something about themselves that I know is a major insecurity. I don’t know this because I’m their close friend, we barely talk, but every time we do the issue that they struggle with gets injected into the conversation.

It makes me want to shake them and say, “You need to know how beautiful you are and quit focusing on that!”

Think about how you represent yourself to other people. Are you pointing out your flaws? You don’t have to swing all the way in my direction and start outright telling everyone how beautiful/awesome/hilarious you are ;) but you can refrain from pointing out negative things when you get a compliment.

Think of it this way, if you were wearing a beautiful couture gown, the most beautiful you’ve ever seen, and someone came up and complimented the dress – what if you stopped them and pointed out a flaw? A flaw that they never would have seen, but now they’re completely aware of it and can see nothing else on that gorgeous creation but that one red dot (Seinfeld reference).

It would ruin the dress. And if you kept doing it, the dress would be tainted to you and everyone else because word would spread fast. It sounds crazy – why would anyone do that about a gorgeous hand-woven gown? You should see this coming… How is that any different from you?

You were created by God. He crafted you in your mother’s womb. Sure we change as we get older, but that doesn’t make us any less His beautiful creation. I know it can be difficult/awkward to respond positively to a compliment or refrain from pointing out an insecurity because it feels as if talking about it will help, but all it does is shine an unnecessary spotlight on the problem. And it makes the person you’re talking to feel uncomfortable, which usually elicits an empty compliment.

I’d rather compliment myself than force someone else into doing it.

What you need to do is replace those negative thoughts and words with what the Bible has to say about you…

 ”Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” -Psalm 139:14 (msg)

My challenge to you for the rest of the week is to pay attention to what you say about yourself. Be aware of how you represent you. Replace any self-degrading thoughts with that scripture up there. If you’ll change your thinking, you’ll feel better, your words will change and before long you’ll be leading your own personal pep rally!

You’re welcome to hold your pep rally first. Mine tend to run long ;)

A Hair Product That Works in the Real World

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A lot of television and movies require a willingness to check reality at the door. Actually, so do most reality shows.

Other things that make that list? Video hair tutorials where you’re shown how to create the “perfect wave” or an “easy up-do” using drugstore brand tools. These types of videos mesmerize me.  I’m such a sucker for them because I think that since they’re using drugstore brands, I can totally achieve the same look! Wrong.

For one thing, the hair styles are being created by professionals. It’s never the model doing her own hair in a messy bathroom, 15 minutes before she’s supposed to walk out the door. Video tape THAT.

Another thing…there always seems to be strategic edits to the video which completely glamorizes the actual time it would take to try that hair style. Oh, the video was only 4 minutes? That must be how long it takes to achieve the perfect side-swept bun! Wrong.

But they make those videos for suckers like me, who still go out and try the product any way. Which is what lead me to picking up this TRESemme Heat Protective Spray a couple weeks ago.

You should be using some kind of heat protective on your hair, even if all you do is use a hair dryer. It’s good to have an extra layer between all of that heat and your hair. This spray is nice for a number of reasons…

First, it sprays out a fine, wide mist of product. Let me get a “What What” for those of you that understand the spraying mechanism can really make or break a product. I hate it when it sprays a straight concentrated stream into one part of my hair, soaking it and then drying into one crunchy chunk. This spray completely avoids that and really allows you to cover a great amount of hair and also doesn’t soak it down.

Second, it smells fantastic. Another big pet peeve of mine is smelly hair products. It takes a lot of effort for me to wake up early, wash my hair and then dry it, I don’t want all of that hard work to come to get flushed down the drain because what I’m spraying on my hair smells like dusty funeral parlor. TRESemme heat protective spray smells clean and fresh. In fact I would consider spraying it in my hair everyday just to give it a smell-boost.

I’ve also noticed my hair is a little shinier since using this spray. And it gives me peace of mind when I go straight from the hair dryer to the curling iron.

All of which, adds up to the fact that I don’t have to check reality at my bathroom door – I actually walk away with hair I’m happy with.

3 Unexpected Reasons to Love Winter

There are very few people out and about with a smile on their face as big as mine. I can’t help but get a little giddy with this snow.

I know people are tired of it (don’t ever move north…not even slightly. We’ve only had 2 weeks of it, they’ve had months) and I know it’s popular to complain, but I’m loving it. And I’m going to try and pass on some of that excitement to you…

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1. No bugs.

When was the last time you saw a bug? I can’t remember at this point. Because by now they’re all either dead or hibernating or doing whatever bugs do – just not out in the open, thank God. Relish in that, because as soon as spring hits they’re going to be every where and in the summertime it’s hard to walk around outside without getting bit. That’s not the case now and I’m loving every minute of it.

2. You’re forced to slow down.

I’ve learned over the past two weeks that I’m a hard core home body. I’ve not been sad to have to stay at my house, I’ve been pretty content. And even when I start to feel frustrated, I think about the fact that in just a few short weeks we’re going to be running at high speed – especially on the weekends. So soak up this time of rest. At some point in the coming months, you may find yourself thinking you wish you could have just a lazy day inside – enjoy those days now. Everything is cancelled, soak up the free time.

3. Bundling up is less work than a bikini.

Yesterday I made the biggest snowman (actually snow-woman) I’ve ever built, ever. In fact this round of snow is the most I’ve ever seen in my life. Building it made me think of playing in the sand on the beach, but one thought made me realize it was 1,000 times better than that. You know why? Because I didn’t have to worry that my boob was going to pop out, or be concerned with how closely I had shaved. Yes the summer heat is nice, but it’s so much work. Being outside in the winter means I have to think about what scarf to layer over my sweater – not whether or not I’ve painted my toes, shaved high enough on my legs and gotten an even tan. Let’s all revel in this low-maintenance time period. I certainly am.

Each season has its pros and cons. I choose to enjoy the pros in whatever season I am, simply because life is better that way. And it’s what Paul did in the Bible…”I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.” -Philippians 4:11

And hey, if you have found yourself being a little less content with being inside…come to West Town Mall tomorrow! I’ll be hanging out at The Limited from 12-2:30pm. I’m there to help you find some pieces that you can wear now AND later. Plus if you have accessorizing questions, or need help with a certain piece, bring it in! We can chat all about it and get you feeling good in your clothes. Can’t wait to see you there!

Let Me Help You Shop

Shopping for home decor makes me feel like I’m wandering around in a foreign country. I feel lost, very unsure and have to use lots and lost of visuals to understand whether I want something or not.

If you ever see me in Hobby Lobby with my merchandise sprawled out on the floor, along with my confused body…just keep walking. I’ll get up figure it out in an hour or so.

Maybe you feel this way about clothes shopping. Maybe instead of holding up a decorative vase and having a million questions pass through your head, maybe it’s a sweater or a skirt.

That, my friends, is where I can help. It’s like my bat signal. (True story: two girls I know were shopping once and had questions, even said out loud to each other they wish I was there…20 minutes later I showed up in the same store. Coincidence? Well, yes…but it makes me sound like a fashion caped crusader at least ;)

I understand that lost feeling, so let me help. I would LOVE to help!

That’s why this Saturday I’m going to be hanging out at The Limited in West Town Mall from 12-2:30pm. I’ll be there to answer questions, help you shop – mainly my purpose is to eradicate that confused look on your face (the same one I get when I’m in Hob Lob).

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In fact if you already own something but don’t know what to wear it with, bring it in! We can look around and give you ideas as to how to get some good use out of it. The Limited has such a great selection of clothing that’s equal parts classic and on trend. And they’ve started getting in some spring pieces that I can show you how to wear now AND later (which will really stretch your clothing budget).

One of my favorite things at The Limited is the jewelery. They’ve got gorgeous pieces that are high quality and affordable. So even if you just need help with accessories, come on in! Accessorizing and editing a look is one of my favorite things to do in life – seriously IN LIFE. :)

I hope I’ve gotten my point across – I want to help you look and feel good about your clothes, so come on by!

Style Yourself Like a Star

Well I tried watching the Oscar’s live in my bedroom, but that was in a different room than my husband and my dog would have none of that. He came in the room and cried at me until we were all in the same room together. Oh well, that’s what TiVo is for ;)

Even though every year I’ve seen maybe 1 of the movies nominated, of course I love to watch to see who’s wearing what. I can’t imagine the pressure that goes into choosing a dress for this thing. Can’t. Imagine. Especially since the very next day you’re going to be scrutinized by the likes of Kathy Griffin…or people like me.

But instead of just saying which dresses I liked and disliked the most, I prefer to give you something to walk away with. So here are my picks for this year and the style cues we can take away from them….

(All of these images, by the way, are courtesy of eonline)

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I’m not even going to include Aniston and Lopez in this list. They brought it. They woke it up, worked it out, covered it in jewels. Done. Check. The ladies I chose for my best dressed are ones that caused me to look up from my phone. These gals really captured attention with their choices.

Anna Kendrick looks just floaty, glowy gorgeous in this coral gown. As the camera panned down to the bottom, the outer layers were billowing in the breeze as if on cue. The diamond neckline is the perfect amount of sparkle and notice how she pairs that with simple diamond clusters. This proves that when the neckline is high, you don’t need earrings fighting over your face. Go with something gorgeous and simple. Also, coral looks good on pale skin.

It looks as if Naomi Watts may make some “worst dressed” lists, but I think her dress is fresh and unexpected. She always makes an edgier choice, and in this case I love the fact that it’s the playful black sparkly band. It’s just something different and that’s nice to see (without going overboard, Lady Gaga). Again, her jewelry is subdued and I love how her hair is half back. We’ve seen A LOT of this style in the past two award shows, but I really really like it. You get to wear your hair down comfortably, but you’re still showing off your earrings and giving your look a modern edge by tucking it behind one ear. Try that next time, it’s definitely not the kind of style that requires a team of hair experts which is nice.

Finally on my best dressed, is Meryl Streep. Seems like every year someone does some version of a female suit. I think Ms. Streep nailed it this year. It’s feminine, very age appropriate yet still glamorous enough to work. Sure it’s safe and not as sparkly, but it’s a great take on a classic. Don’t be afraid to work a blazer into your formal look, especially if you’re looking for something that’s more flattering. I’d rather be simple and flattering than sparkly and slightly unflattering.

meh dressed

I didn’t want to use the phrase “worst dressed” because it sounds so harsh. But I would have loved to seen a few simple tweaks on these gals.

Marion Cotillard is such a beautiful woman, and I really love her hair with that deep side part and the earrings which compliment her hair style just perfectly. But the dress…girl, the dress is just meh. What would be really cool is if the bottom layer was nude and the overlay was black. That would have added some visual interest. I’m just not at all a fan of white formals, especially ones that take over your shape and make you think of paper towels.

This next gal is Adam Levine’s wife, Behati Prinsloo. I think the dress is pretty neat. It’s something different and interesting. And her accessorizing is spot on – the necklace is the right amount of pizzazz. What I’m so not a big fan of is completely slicked back hair. All I see when I look at her is her part and the unusual shape of her head (which is a phrase I don’t want passing through people’s heads when I’m all dressed up). I think this look would have been 1,000 times prettier if she would have worn her hair down, half way, or even back a little looser. Really gals, only J-Lo can pull off the sleek back look.

Finally, Rosamund Pike. Love this dress, I really do. My favorite part is how it darts in at her waste. HOWEVER, I feel like she could have taken the “less is more” rule a little less seriously. To me, her tiny earrings make it look like she just walked in off the street and tried this dress on and those are the earrings she happened to be running errands in. I just would have loved some larger maybe gold accented numbers dangling down a little bit.

Of course it’s easy to say all these things from the comfort of my couch. If I ever make it to the red carpet you’re going to love everything about what I have on, ok? Ok. ;)

Happy Monday!

Closet Cleanse Part Deux

Adding the French “Deux” really kicks this puppy up a notch doesn’t it? And we need it kicked up, because closet organization may not be everyone’s wheelhouse and/or fun house.

If you’ll remember a couple weeks ago I broke down how to get your closet clean. It doesn’t have to be this gigantic, insurmountable task that keeps getting put on the back burner. It’s definitely something you can easily accomplish and it doesn’t have to all be in one day. You can read that post, here.

Today I wanted to get into the nitty gritty organization aspect of it. Now I’m certain there are so many closet hacks on Pinterest where you can take some kitty litter and somehow turn it into a gorgeous hanging basket (it sounds like an exaggeration, but I’ve seen some craaaazy things on Pinterest).

All I used for my closet are stack-able pop up boxes from Ikea, and a hanging shelf unit from Ikea.

Let’s talk about that hanging shelf first…

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For the longest time I’ve had all of my pants hanging right in the center of my closet. The problem with this is I would often not be able to find what I was looking for and when I did the pants would have that terrible hanger crease right in the middle of the leg. I decided to solve all of those problems by storing my jeans/pants in this handy shelving unit.

Like I said, I got mine at Ikea but unless you have one in town their shipping cost is OUTRAGEOUS (which was also the name of a shampoo I used back in the 90′s that I wrote a great theme song for at the age of 10 – I still remember it too, so it was a pretty effective theme song if I do say so myself).

Home Depot has a similar one. It’s truly saved me time and creases. And now I’m more likely to put my pants away because I don’t have to hunt down a hanger for them. Win. Win. Win.

Now for my t-shirts. The biggest problem I was facing was entropy. Every so often I would re-fold and re-stack them all, but over time they would get out of order and end up being a big mess. I’m not saying that’s never going to happen again, but I did take some steps towards preventing it.

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First, I separated them into categories. I have t-shirts I’ll wear in public, one’s I’ll work out in, and others that are just for around the house (*wink …Actually that just means they make me look like a box). So now I don’t have to dig through the whole pile (making a mess) to find just one shirt. I’ve also incorporated these collapse-able cubes to keep the peace. I wish I would have bought 100 of them, and actually I can because Wal-Mart sells them as well. They do such a great job of separating the mess and keep all the stacks neat and orderly.

So there you have it. Two easy ways to get everything in your closet organized into a neat and orderly fashion and we didn’t have to do anything crazy with kitty litter.

Graphic Sweaters You’ll Actually Like

Out shopping a couple weeks ago, I kept coming across graphic sweaters with the most random objects on them.

There was one knit sweater that just had a picture of a pear. A pear. I feel as if I would have to be knee-deep in the pear business or at least have eaten a pair in the last 15 years for it to warrant space on my clothing.

That’s why I decided to seek out some cute graphic sweaters that not only make sense, but could be worn without eliciting confused looks from those around you.

All of these, by the way, can be found at West Town Mall!

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1. A great way to ease into the graphic trend is with this bubble print sweater from The Limited. It’s a fun fresh take on polka dots, and the darker sleeves will help disguise larger arms for a truly flattering look.

2. JCP got into the graphic game with this happy orange and white print. Buying sweaters like this is such a smart thing to do this time of year as they’ll keep you warm in the cold, and have you looking bright and attractive as spring approaches.

3. The Limited does such a great job of turning up the volume on classic pieces. This graphic bow sweater is a perfect way to go if you’re a bow-lover. You get to sport a girly look without the hassle of keeping the bow tied or fluffed up.

4. Anyone else think of ice cream when they read this “a la mode” phrase? Banana Republic has us craving sweets with this equal parts fun and sophisticated piece. It’s just enough text to give the sweater a great look, without being too overdone. This would look so chic under a blazer.

5. Never let it be said that I’ll shy away from letting my clothes do the complimenting for me. I love a good brag sweater (as long as the brag doesn’t make me sound like a floozy). This sweater pretty much spells it all out, pick up your own at Forever21 and rock it with confidence – there’s no other way to wear something like this.

6. I threw in one more Forever21 graphic option just for fun. Since I’m pregnant with a boy I thought this one would be funny to wear once I started showing. Of course I’m certain people would still ask what I was having in which case I would just point to the sweater. Boom. Other than that I’m not sure why you would want a sweater with just the word “boy” on it, but to each his own.

A Statement Necklace and My Favorite Swacket

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Similar necklace; swacket; skirt; shoes; undershirt came from here (believe it or not).

My favorite purchase of this fall/winter has hands down been this sweater (or jacket…maybe swacket?).

I actually took it right off the back of an unsuspecting mannequin, and I’m so glad I did (she had it coming).  I love having one cool go-to piece that I can grab and consistently feel good in throughout the colder months. It’s especially nice when I’m stuck trying to figure out what to wear – I just grab this and style it differently.

This time I changed things up by buttoning it up. It works especially well with this voluminous skirt and really helps showcase this gorgeous statement necklace my Aunt Kathleen got me for my birthday this past year.

Think about any swackets you’ve got, could you get more mileage out of them by wearing them buttoned?

Maybe now that you’ve learned the word “swacket” you’re confused as to what the proper pronunciation would be, AND need help styling it differently. Well I’ve got good news!

I’m teaming up with The Limited in West Town Mall for a style event on Saturday, February 28th. So from 12-2:30pm I’ll be in the store answering questions, offering advice and helping you look and feel your best!

Come see all the great items they have to offer and bring in a sweater or jacket that you’ve had a hard time styling – we’ll even work on how to say “swacket” while you’re there. None of the cool kids are saying it! ;)

Shopping My Closet

Valentine’s Day Goodies Under $22

I’m going to get right down to it and say what everyone’s thinking… Yeah, these things are nice to have, but who wants to spend a lot of money on something like this?

That’s why I tracked down some options that are pretty but won’t break the bank (they’ll barely break a twenty).

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First up we’ve got this cute little lace number from Dillard’s. Last time I checked they were coming off a really, really great semi-annual sale. So you may be able to scoop up some deals if they still have sale items out. And even if they don’t this lacy top is only $11, while the skirted bottoms are $14.

GAP is where this hot and juicy red set is from. The panties are only $8 while the bra rings in at $21. The nice thing about buying a special set like this is not only will your underwear and bra actually match, but you’ll be able to get some everyday use out of your purchases.

Lastly this happy little negligee is from Forever21. They’ve really got a great selection of items over there, all at (surprise) really affordable Forever21 prices. Go check them out and grab this baby doll slip for only $16.80.

There you go. My work here is done, the rest is up to you :)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also, before you go running to see Filthy Fifty Shades of Gray, read this.

Baby Ogle

The biggest faith project of my life has been this child. Every woman has a different story as to what their pregnancy journey was like, some are a lot harder than others.

I don’t know if I’ll ever share mine, but just know the news of this baby has sent us into a three and a half month celebration. Complete with lots of happy tears…not excluding this moment as I write this, haha.

Every day a new layer of realization that we’re having a child sinks into my brain. There are moments when I feel like the little girl version of me dreaming of the kids I’ll one day have. And in those moments it’s a pretty marvelous thing to think I’ll be able to meet that “future child” in just about six months.

Yesterday I got to announce whether we’re having a boy or girl on the morning show by using really adorable clothes from GAP kids in West Town Mall. Click here to watch it, then keep reading!

It’s Valentine’s week and I’ve fallen in love with a new boy. His name is Jackson Edward.

A name I love not only because it comes from his dad (my husband’s middle name is Edward, as is his dad’s and his grandpa’s). The name Jackson came about first because I love the different sounds. I won’t go into the details, but I really love the sounds the consonants make (I know, word nerd alert) :)

His name is also special because it’s part of the name of my hometown, and the fact that my kid gets to carry that around with him is really cool.

I can’t wait to meet this little man! He’s so deeply loved already, I can’t wait to tell him that to his sweet little face.

Thanks for reading along. The best is yet to come!