Category Archives: Shopping

What’s Really Inside My Purse

You know those magazine articles where they dump out a celebrity’s purse and tell you what’s “really” in it?

Theres a $34.00 tube of lip stain, an essential oil rollerball, a sweet little notepad for writing poetry on the go. And an organic flaxseed energy bar of course!

Want to know what’s in my purse?

Crumbs.

Receipts.

Half-chewed Chiclets.

A lollipop stick with the goo still on it.

Several packets of stale saltine dust, formerly known as crackers.

I’m sure there are some other useful things in there too, but mostly it’s just the crumbs.

If Michael Kors knew what his bags were really used for – holding used wipes, boogered tissues and quarters for mall rides – he’d be shaking his orange-spray-tanned head in disappointment.

When I opened the gift box from my aunt containing this Zac Posen bag, I swore I’d never taint it with anything foul.

I guess for a moment, I forgot I was a mom.

“Colt, Mommy wants to use her Zac Posen bag today, so I’m going to have to leave you at home.”

Needless to say, THIS is the inside of that bag now. (I wish you could see the bottom layer of crumbs and coins, but this photo only shows the topsoil.)

Oh the shame!!!

I wonder how celebrity moms with their essential oils and flax seed bars keep their purses so spruce.

Is the Nanny holding all the shit? Or are they just inherently more tidy.

At least my bag looks awesome from the outside.

All smooth and shiny!

You can’t see all the dirty, grimy, trashy, crap until you start digging around the inside.

In many ways, I guess…

My purse is just like me.

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Making Over Ginger…

Casual summer outfits

Casual summer outfits

This afternoon I worked on inspiration boards for the prettiest red head I know.

She doesn’t need a makeover, but then again, most of my “clients” don’t need makeovers.

They just need a little help making outfits with the clothes they already have, and a little guidance on what else to buy!

She’s a mother of two, so she needs easy, effortless pieces.

Here are the boards I created for her.

One is for work (she’s a school teacher) and one is for the weekends.

Her color palette for this season includes: indigo, sky blue, citrus, tomato, coral and petal pink.

Her shopping list includes:

  • A jean jacket
  • A chambray shirt
  • A brightly colored blazer
  • A white T-shirt
  • An A-line Dress

    Work outfits - same palette

    Work outfits – same palette

  • A breezy, brightly colored scarf
  • Tan wedges
  • A big floppy straw hat
  • Dark denim skinny jeans
  • A tan cardigan
  • A tunic
  • A gold cuff

Stay tuned for the details from our shopping trip!

I clipped  the photos for the inspiration boards from InStyle, Redbook and Lucky magazines.

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The Ween-ager Stage

A few weeks ago my adorable coworker, Brittany, came to me… frustrated.

She’d been shopping for clothes and NOTHING fit (welcome to the club, right?)

“Where were you shopping?” I asked.

“Macy’s” she answered. But with more prodding, I discovered, she’d been browsing the JUNIOR’s department [insert gasp].

Well, there’s your problem.

She’s 24 and in that weird stage between being a teenager and a woman (when you’re getting your master’s degree, but still shopping  at Charlotte Russe.)

Girl, you grew a booty in undergrad, and I’m sorry but….you can’t shop there anymore.

This is not something to bemoan. It’s something to celebrate!

It’s time to welcome new fabrics into your wardrobe like cotton, jersey knit, and linen! Time to embrace even sizes like 2,4, 6 and 8!

Sure, you can “fit” into a 9, but your ass crack is going to hang out a little. And let’s get a handle on those love handles, shall we?

It’s a tough transition, I know.

Retailers call it “misses.”

I prefer to think of it as “ween-ager” – because you really do have to wean yourself off of the teenage shopping mentality. I’m almost 30, and I still incorporate pieces from Forever 21 into my wardrobe.

The trick is knowing the kinds of pieces (like probably not pants) that you can get away with – without the other mommies at the park talking shit about you.

Even if you’ve got a bangin’ body, it’s probably best to say goodbye to crop tops, daisy dukes, super low-rise jeans (or super high-waisted jeans for that matter. Your camel toe wasn’t cute then, and it’s not cute now.) And definitely none of those sweatpants with words on the butt.

“Juicy” has a whole new meaning after you’ve had children and peed your pants a few times.

I convinced my young grasshopper to let me take her shopping.

I made Brit this Boho Chic Outfit-Board for days when she's feeling uninspired!

I made Brit this Boho Chic Outfit-Board for days when she’s feeling uninspired!

I told her to bring $200 and block off 4 hours for trying on clothes.

Before we left, I asked her a few questions about her style and what kinds of items she wanted. I also assessed her closet to see what she already had and what she needed.

Together, we turned “Blah Blah Brittany” into “Boho Chic Barbie!”

Click here to see photos from the makeover!

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Bathing Suit Shopping and “Side Ball”

Nothing makes you wanna kill yourself like shopping for a bathing suit.

Shortly after I had Colt, my mother convinced me to start shopping at Bealls Department Store. I guess she was implying that my days at Victoria’s Secret were over.

At Bealls, I found a cute coral one-piece that has been my go-to mommy suit for two years now.

But the elastic has dry-rotted, the seams are torn and the crotch is pilly.

A few weeks ago, I decided to return there – hoping to find another industrial strength suit to last until 2018.

But Todd has been begging me to buy a bikini. I think he’s realizing he may. never. see his wife in one again.

The thought must be terrifying.

So after trying on 75 bathing suits with no luck, I finally find the “Jessica Simpson” section at Bealls. Yessssss. She gained like 100 pounds with her kid, right?

Sure enough. I try on a killer blue bikini, and I love it. I’m no Adriana Lima, but it’s not bad. Not bad at all.

Todd and Colt mosey over toward the dressing room, and I swing open the door – certain Todd will pass out when he sees my smokin’ hot…

He looks confused. Staring.

Suddenly Colt cries, “Mommy it’s too small!”

Right.

Later in the week, I’m in Target trying not to spend $200 (impossible), and I notice The Cutest Bathing Suits Ever.

They come in the following sizes:

X-So f*&king small this wouldn’t fit my toddler if he were a girl.

So NOT much bigger than the XS.

My one a$$ cheek could not fit inside the bottom of this bathing suit. Maybe they are referring to the TV show?

Laughing at this top, which is CLEARLY mismarked. No boob bigger than a B cup could fit in one of these triangles.

X-Lo and Behold. This one fits.

XL bathing suit

XL bathing suit – Thanks a lot Target

Now… I am a size 6 in the morning… and a size 8 at night.

I’m not asking to fit in a petite small, but an EXTRA LARGE?

What about the rest of America? Where are they shopping?

Target is supposed to be a store for The American People.

I can only assume that the people in China assembling our bathing suits have started sizing them to fit their bodies.

Do men have to worry about these things? Things like Uniboob, Muffin top or Camel Toe?

Of course not.

When is the last time you heard your husband complain about squeezing his manhood into a neon-colored sling or checking for “side ball.”

They just slide on a pair of elastic-waisted shorts in a subtle-colored breathable fabric, and the mesh nest inside cradles their privates.

Nothing is squished or mashed or strung together. And they have pockets!

And I’m pretty sure if they’re medium sized, they just buy a “medium” size. Which is probably the same regardless of store or state or assembly plant location.

My head is swimming with the injustice of it all.

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Oh, For the Love of Money

Can't Put a Price on Great Friends!

Can’t Put a Price on Great Friends!

This past weekend one of my besties got married at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

I knew it was going to be a high class affair, and I also knew I’d be spending some time with my just married, child-free friends who still have money… and abs.

I prepared in every way possible. I bought a new dress (albeit a $24.99 dress from Forever 21), purchased new accessories, got my hair cut and a professional spray tan. Todd and I wanted to arrive a few hours before the wedding, so we could spend some quality time drinking adult beverages with our friends by the pool.

We pulled up to the Valet Parking at the hotel. This was the moment I’d been dreading.

We got out of our 2001 Toyota Camry  – carseat in the back, grape juice stains on the upholstry. Please ignore our growing collection of happy meal toys on the floorboard, I thought.

The Valet was compassionately pretending not to notice how lame we were. He politely took the keys and smiled.

I patted the hood. “Be good to her,” I said and winked at him.

At that moment I felt exactly like Cousin Eddie on Christmas Vacation when he told Clark Griswold he’d like to get him somethin’ real nice for Christmas.

I swallowed my pride and continued inside the grand entrance. Ahhh. A fresh start.

The pool was wonderful, our friends were wonderful, the Bloody Marys were wonderful and the wedding… was perfect.

The next morning we returned to the Valet to retreive our car. The same guy was working. Just my luck.

We turned in our ticket and waited. And waited. And waited. They must have parked that car at the Rays Stadium two miles away.

Suddenly amidst the Range Rovers and Bentleys, appeared the most beautiful car I’d ever seen. (No, not our 11-year-old Camry) but a red Lamborghini with tan leather interior. The engine purred.

The driver exited the vehicle. While he donned fancy Italian leather slippers, Seersucker shorts and a freshly pressed collard shirt, he was a chubby man (approx. 4-foot-11) with small patches of pubic-like hair on his head and chest.

His passenger, on the other hand, was breathtaking. Tall, blonde, tan, thin. She wore a red sundress with tan Manolos and a Birkin (was she intentionally matching the car?) She wasn’t a day over 25.

I imagine this man had a wife at one time. Probably a small Albanian woman who gave him four beautiful children. She’s overweight and tired.

I looked at the model passenger and turned to Todd, “Do you think she loves him?” I asked.

“No. But she loves that purse.”

Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t do a few questionable things for a Classic Black Chanel Flap Bag, but screwing a small Albanian man isn’t one of them.

I realized that while I might be wearing a Lily Pulitzer dress from a consignment store, carrying a mom-sack from TJ Maxx, wearing Target sandals and driving an antique car, I have a great life. And a pretty hot husband.

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My Love/Hate Relationship with Spanx

Funny things happen to your body after you have a baby.

Even if you get back to the same “size” you were pre-pregnancy, your parts are all in slightly different locations.

Things are a little…. longer…and a little… lower…than they were before.

Not only do you have an actual baby to worry about now, but you also have all these jiggly bits to manage.

Look at the ridiculous size of this shape wear

Look at the ridiculous size of this shape wear

For example, it is now part of my nightly routine to spray tan myself with L’oreal Spray Tan in a Can.

Todd still hasn’t caught on to the routine, and seems to always walk into the bathroom right when I’m completely engulfed in a fog of aerosol and carrot oil extract. Annoyed, he goes stumbling, coughing, out of the room.

He likens it to Chemical Warfare Training in Marine Boot Camp when he had to wear his gas mask. Don’t be so dramatic, I say.

Sure the spray tan makes me smell like a bag of oven roasted peanuts, but I feel like a sexy bag of oven roasted peanuts. The other downside, of course, is that my wrists and ankles are perpetually orange. But trust me, I look at LEAST 10 pounds skinnier.

Another new product in my bag of tricks is my Spanx body shaper. A nude-colored sausage casing meant to suck in and smooth down. I actually bought my first piece of shape wear when I was pregnant. The store clerk, who was clearly from Brooklyn and thus brutally honest said, “Trust me, you’re gonna need this.” She also told me not to buy the white pants. So right.

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event (this event shall remain nameless in case any of you happened to have been there.)

I was determined to wear a very form-fitting black dress, but I knew I needed a little…smoothing.

Seeing as how Colt is almost 2-years-old, I figured it was time to retire the maternity Spanx and purchase a new pair.

So I bought a size small at my local Stein Mart and joyfully returned home. I opened the box….and pulled out what looked like a pair of bike shorts… for a Cabbage Patch doll (see photo. I’ve taken it with Todd’s flip-flop for size relativity).

It’s going to take an act of God to get my fat ass in this, I thought.

Several minutes of hoisting, grunting, stretching and finagling, and I was in.

I turned to my floor length mirror to survey the results.

Damn. I looked awesome, I thought.

Only problem was…

I couldn’t breathe.

I mean. not. even. a. little. bit. Short shallow puffs were all I could bear.

But I was so determined to wear my little black dress sans cottage cheese, that I convinced myself to wear the Spanx anyway. They’ll loosen up, I thought.

(But that’s the thing about Spanx – they don’t loosen up. In fact, that’s the whole point.)

So I went to the event and 30 minutes in, I was in Severe Pain. My stomach was caving in on itself and I was feeling lightheaded from not really breathing for the last hour. Could have been the omelet I ate, I thought. Maybe it’s food poisoning.

I’ve always been one to make excuses for fashion. What shoe size am I? Depends on how cute the shoe is.

But this was getting unbearable.

Finally, I’d had enough. I went to the bathroom and wrestled those Spanx offa’ me. I’ll control you, Control Top, I said out loud.

Only problem was… I wasn’t wearing anything underneath the shape wear. Mmmm, quite the conundrum.

See, I am ALWAYS in favor of underwear. I am not one of those girls that likes to be free and breezy. Ever. In fact, the Granny-er the panties, the better.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and so I stuffed those Spanx into my purse (yes, they fit in my clutch) and walked out of the restroom with my head held high.

Just keep it together, I thought. Literally.

Luckily, Sharon Stone didn’t make an appearance, and I made it through the event unscathed.

I guess the moral of this story is that women go through a lot to look good.

We pluck and Spank and tan just to feel normal, and it only gets more involved after babies. So be nice to us.

If you see a woman at dinner looking pale, give her a break. Buy her a drink.

And tell her she looks fabulous.

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