Friday, July 30, 2010

Friend Friday: Blogger Jealousy

Happy Almost-To-The-Weekend Day, everyone!

 Katy received a suggestion last week that we look at the topic of blogger envy/jealousy for this edition of Friend Friday. These are things that I've struggled with my entire life; I've always had self-esteem issues.  It has more to do with kids in school than anything else; my parents are fantastic and always make me feel like I'm wonderful in their eyes. I have great parents!

 Anyway - on to this week's questions!

 1. How do you define jealousy?
From Dictionary.com:
a. jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.
b. mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.
c. vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.
d. a jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.

2. When do you find you experience a bit of blogger jealousy?
Almost daily, when I see everyone's cute outfits!

3. What types of blogs or which bloggers are you a little jealous of?
I tend to envy those people who have the know-how to make a living out of blogging so that they can work for themselves.  It's no secret that I would absolutely love to homeschool my daughter and be a stay-at-home mom.  However, we can't afford to live on one income and I have yet to find a way to work from home. I can't stand being on the phone (I have an iPhone and use it for everything EXCEPT making phone calls, unless it's an emergency), so I can't do anything that involves phone calls for hours. Blogging would be perfect for me but so far, it's not something that I can do to earn an income. Right now I'm blogging because I enjoy it and I'm really having a great time meeting so many wonderful people!

4. From the time we're little we are taught that jealousy is a bad thing, but it can also inspire us to be better. Have you changed the way you do things, the content of your blog, etc...as a result of what someone else is doing?
I'm constantly changing the way I do things (on my blog and in real life) because of something I see someone else do.  That's not necessarily a jealousy issue, it's more inspirational and an aspiration to improve. I do make changes based upon my own ideas too, though!

5. What is the best way to overcome jealousy in the blogosphere and in life?
If you have an answer to this, let me know!
 
That's it for this week!  Be sure to check out Katy's blog and see what all of the other Friend Friday contributors are saying!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How does your clothing size affect you?

The other day I was catching up on my blog reading and came across a post by Destrahan's Daughter.

She mentioned being able to fit into a dress size that she hasn't worn in quite a while and it made her happy. After struggling for most of my life to lose weight and again after I had my daughter, I can completely understand her excitement!

There was a time when I refused to buy a piece of clothing - or even try it on - if it meant that I would have to go up a size.  Size mattered to me.  A lot.

Now that I've gotten to a (mostly) comfortable weight, I've noticed how very much my clothing sizes fluctuate based upon brands and designers. I was recently asked a question on FormSpring about my height and size and answered honestly that I can't really give one size. It's always different.
 
I've gotten to the point now where if I have to wear a larger size, I'm (mostly) okay with it.  If I fit into a really small size (like a 4), I don't give it too much credence because I just don't trust designer sizing. It's highly likely that another label would call that same skirt a size 10.

Men have it so much easier with their clothes, because they typically go by inches. Why can't our clothing be sized universally? There needs to be some kind of regulation that designers need to follow when sizing their clothes.

Does it bother you when you find your "normal" size is too snug?  Do you feel a sense of elation when you "fit" into a smaller size than you'd normally choose? Why do we allow clothing designers to affect how we feel about ourselves?

Why can't we just be happy with how our clothes flatter our figures and not focus so much on what the size on the label says?

Daily MelWear: A Little Bit of Sunshine

I had no idea what to title this post.  The I looked down at the yellow in my shirt and figured this title works. :)

I had such a hard time figuring out what to wear this morning! I don't know why.  I kept thinking that I did want to wear this dress, but I really wish that I had a yellow cardigan or a simple pink one (my pink one is rufflicious and would be a little too much next to this pattern). This shirt came to mind but it's yellow with white stripes and I wasn't sure the pattern mixing would work. 



Well...you can't really see the stripes, you mostly see only the yellow. So it works.  Kind of.  The back is really the only part where you can see the stripes but my hair is long enough that it covers it for the most part.

How do you all put your outfits together?  Do you think of outfits for the entire week, do you pick one out the night before, or do you throw something on in the morning?

Today's outfit:

Dress: I have no idea. It was my mother's.

Yellow/White Shirt: Macy's

Black Mary Janes: Wal-Mart

Necklace/Earrings: Wal-Mart (gift from a co-worker)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daily MelWear: Same Thing Only Different

I've worn this dress before in a very similar way.  This time I decided to throw in a little more pattern with the cardigan. 

I really love animal prints. A lot. 

So the cardigan is different, the belt is different, the jewelry is different...but the dress with a belted layer on top and the shoes are the same. Is this different enough or a little too much of the same thing?

For some reason, my mind is completely blanking on different ways to style this dress for the office.  I'm sure there will be more options once fall and winter arrive.  I do have some casual ideas.

Once again, I'm behind in my blog reading so I may not get to comment as much as I usually do.  There are just so many awesome blogs out there that I think I subscribe to too many in my Reader, so I get behind if I don't check it every single hour of every single day! And I just don't have that time.  Today is going to be a busy day but I'll try to get on and read when I can.

How do you all narrow down your subscriptions?  How do you stay caught up on reading and commenting (or are you as behind as I am)?  What are your absolute favorite, must-read fashion blogs?

Today's outfit:

Purple/Gray/Black Dress: Plato's Closet

Gray Leopard Cardigan: Wal-Mart (clearance!)

Black Belt: Kohl's (came with a shirt)

Gray Pumps: Payless

Jewelry: Wal-Mart

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You've got questions? We've got answers!

I don't even remember whose advertisement that's from.

I just wanted to let you all know that I've added a box on the right side of the blog where you can ask me questions on FormSpring!

FormSpring is such a fun website. I don't get asked a whole lot of questions, but it's fun when I have some...so ask away! And it can be anonymous too!  Although I'd really rather know who you are. I want to get to know everyone!

You can also go to my FormSpring profile page to ask a question (and see others I've answered) by clicking here.

Hope you're all having a great day! It's not Monday anymore, that has to count for something!

Daily MelWear: Tube Tops at Work?!

This shirt is not really a shirt.  If you've been a reader for a while, you might remember that this is actually a skirt.  I decided to try wearing it as a shirt a few weeks ago.

Since then I've wanted to find a way to make it office-appropriate.  I think throwing a jacket and belt on top worked pretty well!

Although now I'm re-thinking this jacket.  It's a little big and might be due for replacement soon.



End result: I like this just as much as a skirt as I do as a shirt.  Now I want to find more pieces that can be reinvented like this! I want to go shopping...who's coming?
 
If you're on Facebook, don't forget to check out and "like" A Working Mom's Closet

You can also follow me on Twitter!

One more thing: the lovely Hillary of byhillary has joined the Mad Men Casting Call contest. Go vote for her!




Here are a couple of ways that I've worn this skirt before:
 














Today's outfit:

Shirt/Skirt: Target
  
Brown Jacket: Kohl's

Brown Pants: Charlotte Russe

Brown Belt: Salvation Army

Brown Studded Heels: Wal-Mart

Pink Necklace/Earrings: Beya

Monday, July 26, 2010

Daily MelWear: Pink and White

You GUYS. Guess what? I finally got a statement necklace! (I know, woo-freakin-hoo for some of you who've had some for a while. I'm usually the last one on board.)

I had some time and a little bit of cash at Target the other day.  I went through their clearance stuff, took a bunch of things into the dressing room, most of it fit and looked okay...but I didn't love any of it.  Not a single thing.  So I put it all back! Yay me!





I ended up going through the girls' clothes and getting some clearance things for my daughter, and I also found this necklace on clearance in the jewelry section.  I love this!  It's got a modern vintage feel to it (ya like that oxymoron?).  I have a feeling this is going to be seen a lot.  I need more statement necklaces, I really like them!

My baby girl wasn't feeling well this weekend (she had some sniffles, sneezes and coughs) so we didn't do too much yesterday.  On Saturday I had the baby shower and then the birthday party; we took her to dinner that night. Sunday was a lazy day (albeit a little bit frustrating at one point). 
So today's outfit revolves around this necklace. I had to wear it right away.  That's how I am with all new clothes, I usually can't wait to wear them.  I just can't even fathom people who have things in their closets for days/weeks/months that haven't been worn.  How do you do it?  When I buy something, I buy it because I love it and I don't want to wait to wear it. 

Really, those of you who can do that, how do you do it?  I kind of wish I could have a little more patience and self-control! 

Anyway, it started with the necklace.  I knew I needed a simple shirt to let the  necklace stand out but I couldn't think of one. I did decide that I should wear this white skirt with these nude snakeskin heels.  These have been hiding for a while because they're too big since I lost the weight, but I bought those heels guards at Target and they fit a little better now.  Good thing because I love them.  So I went with the white skirt, these heels, the necklace...and this pink tee was the best I could come up with. It's a little too casual, I'm not real fond of the v-neck, but I figured with the snakeskin belt and white cardi, it'll work for the office. 

Cardigans make almost anything work for the office, don't they?

Wow, I'm awfully wordy today.  Sorry! I'm done!

Today's outfit:

Pink Tee: Target

White Cardigan: Target

White Skirt: Gap

Nude Snakeskin Heels: Payless

Snakeskin Belt: Salvation Army

Necklace: Target

Earrings: Wal-Mart 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On a personal note...

I published a new post on my personal blog, for those of you who might be interested.

It's a little bit of a mommy pity party. Click here if you'd like to read and maybe offer some advice.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daily MelWear: A Baby Shower!

 My friend Shannon is having a baby!!!  She moved up to TN (I'm in Florida, so everything is "up" to me) a while ago and not long after, announced that she and her husband are expecting.  

Seriously, she barely looks pregnant.  That's not fair.
I haven't seen her since she moved but her mom threw a baby shower for her friends and family here in town, which was great. She looks amazing!  She's tall and beautiful to begin with, but pregnant?  She's glowing and has the cutest little baby bump.  I love it!  I've missed her, it was so great to see her, to meet some of her family and to see a couple of my former co-workers from Calvary (hi Debra and Faye!).

The outfit is one that I've worn a few other times but I've never photographed for the blog.  I love this outfit to pieces.  It's comfortable and easy and it makes me feel put together. I love the purple and turquoise together. This dress is one of the most versatile pieces that I own, I just love it. 














After the baby shower, my husband, daughter and I went to a birthday party for our friend's daughter's first birthday. So much fun! 

We ended up going to Macaroni Grill for dinner and then came home to put the baby to bed early and relax.  Now I'm trying to catch up on reading and commenting on blogs, but I'm exhausted and may have to put that of until tomorrow or Monday.

So what did you all do on Saturday?

Today's outfit:

Purple Dress: Plato's Closet

White Belt: Kohl's (goes with a dress that's too big now)

Floral Flats: Target

Turquoise Necklace/Earrings/Flower Pin: Beya

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friend Friday: Fitness

To see what all the other Friend Friday bloggers are writing about fitness, visit Katy's blog and check the links!

1. When you hear the word Fitness what do you think?
Sweat. Strength. Health. Vitality. Energy.

2. Do you have a workout routine? What's your favorite way to workout?
I work out at home.  When I was in the process of losing the baby weight, my routine consisted of walking for 30 minutes in the gym at work during my 30-minute lunch break and twice weekly sessions with a personal trainer.  Now that I've been at my goal weight and I just want to maintain and tone up some more, I've been doing the Insanity workout.  I just don't have time to go to the gym (and I like to eat during my lunch time now!).  I wake up at 4:30AM Monday-Saturday so that I can exercise, shower and be ready for the day by 7AM to either leave for work or get my daughter up (she usually wakes at 7AM). Sundays are days off.  Sometimes I skip working out on Saturdays in favor of sleeping till 7AM!

Some of my other favorite workouts are The Firm (that's how I lost weight after I got married) and almost anything by Leslie Sansone (for days when I want to exercise but I need to take it easy). 

3. To you, what is the purpose of exercise?
To burn calories, tone and strengthen muscles.  To keep my heart strong.  To sweat. To breathe. To energize.  To stay healthy and become healthier. 

4. Do you think it is possible to be feminine and still work out?
I think to work out IS to be feminine.  Women are strong. Working out only reinforces that. I especially believe that women should strength train.

5. What do you think about the people who are workout obsessed? (You know those women at the gym who spend 4 hours working out and have more muscles than some men.) 
I think to each his (or her!) own...but there's more to life than exercise.  HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can accomplish as much and provide the same health benefits in a shorter amount of time.  For some people, exercise IS their life because they teach or they're weight-lifting competitors or whatnot. For those of us who don't make a living in the fitness industry, there needs to be a balance.  Too much exercise can counteract your efforts to reach your goals. The key is everything in moderation. 

Don't forget to check out the other Friend Friday bloggers' answers on their blogs!  Head to Katy's for the links.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daily MelWear: Thief

{EDIT - I added more pictures and now the layout is all wonky.  None of my paragraphs are new paragraphs, everything is running together and I don't know how to fix that.  Grrr.  Hopefully my husband can sit down with me sometime to show me some actual HTML to make it look right. In the meantime - I'm sorry!}

I'll admit it: this is a blatant copy of someone else's outfit. 

The bigger problem here is that I can't remember WHO the person is! I have a horrible memory.  Seriously, when I hit my "Golden Years," it ain't gonna be pretty.  "Wait, who am I again?"

Oy.

So anyway, I saw someone else wear the skinny pant with the striped top and black blazer.  I thought it looked really great on her and that I would try it. 

She looked better. 

(By the way, if you're her {and I hope you'd know if you've recently worn pretty much this exact outfit}, please let me know so I can give credit and link to you!)

Everybody dance! Points to whomever can guess what movie that's from!
This morning was a little hectic and rushed.  I had to leave early because we had a meeting at work.  My mom called (today is her birthday - happy birthday, Mom!!!) because her car wouldn't start so she couldn't come get the baby and we had to get the baby up so my husband could bring her to my mom's house. Then when I was putting our laundry into the washer, something fell out of the clothes onto my arm - that ended up being a ROACH. 
Oh, ew.

So since I think this other mystery blogger looked so much better, I would have changed into something different if I'd had more time, but I didn't.  Soooo I didn't.  Oh well - I still like the concept of it. 

I did button the jacket once I got to work, I think that helped to define my waist a little which was my biggest issue with the ensemble, but I didn't take any pictures here so you'll have to envision that.

(While you're envisioning, could you also envision that I'm holding a HUGE cup of coffee with Coffee-Mate Amaretto Creamer that I can no longer find anywhere in my state?  I could really use some more caffeine right now and I miss my creamer. K, thanks.)

{EDIT - I ended up taking some pictures with it buttoned because...well...I decided to make time to do that.  I like this outfit MUCH better now!}
Have a great day, everyone!!!
Today's outfit:

Black Pants: The Limited (from my mother-in-law)

Black/White Striped Shirt: Macy's

Black Blazer: JC Penney

Red/Black Pumps: Payless (from my mom)

Black Necklace: Wal-Mart

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daily MelWear: In the Garden

Whew!  Today's outfit feels much more like ME. 

Thank you SO much to all of you that left comments, validations and suggestions on yesterday's post.  I appreciate every single one of them and am filing the suggestions away for future outfits! Thank you!

After feeling so meh yesterday, I decided to wear something girly today.  I really like this skirt and have so many outfit ideas in mind for it. 

Even though it doesn't have any green in it I figured with the flowers, the green shirt works.  Added a brown belt, brown studded heels, and yay! I feel much better now. My next plan with this skirt is to style it for a more casual environment.

 
Last night my husband and I took our daughter to Wal-Mart for a couple of things and then to dinner at an old-new Mexican restaurant (old because it's been there for years, new because we've never gone before).  It was such a fun night!  Usually on work nights we come home, have dinner, spend a little time with our girl and then it's bedtime.  What a nice change of pace to have dinner out and do a little bit of shopping on a weeknight!

What's your usual weeknight routine? Does it make you feel refreshed to do something different on a weeknight or does it make you feel "off"?



Today's outfit:

Green Blouse: Kohl's

Floral Skirt: Plato's Closet

Brown Belt: Salvation Army

Brown Studded Heels: Wal-Mart

Pink Necklace/Earrings: Beya

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily MelWear: You win some, you lose some...

And today, I lost.

I strongly, STRONGLY considered not posting this outfit this morning. I do have a couple of reserve outfits that I could've posted.

However...part of the reason that I started this blog was to learn and grow and how am I going to do that if I don't throw in the bad stuff that desperately needs help? Such as this outfit. 

I feel awful in this. My thought for today started with the pants and the blouse because I wanted to wear red and brown together, and sometime in my thought process I decided turquoise accents would work well.  Red, brown and turquoise is a color combination that I haven't tried yet but I like it in theory.

I also wanted to throw on a long cardigan and belt it, but my long cardigan ended up not being very long. I tried a short-sleeved jacket and no.  I tried a brown cardigan and again, no. I threw on this blazer and figured it was the lesser of all the evils. 

Then I went for shoes.  I tried red kitten heels and nope. Tried leopard flats and still no.  I was out of time so I grabbed these nude kitten heels, ran outside for pictures and that was it.

I am so grossly uncomfortable that I can't even explain it.  I totally wish I could go home and change but I can't.

This is where I desperately need all of you! Please help me with this.  What exactly is wrong with this outfit?  I can't put my finger on it, I just know that the entire outfit doesn't work for me.  Is it the pants, are they too short, too tight? What could I have done to make this better? 
Pant detail

Today's outfit:

Red Blouse: Wal-Mart

Brown Striped Pants: Kohl's

Brown Blazer: can't remember

Nude Kitten Heels: Target

Turquoise Necklace/Earrings: Wal-Mart

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daily MelWear: Pink Lady

Happy Monday, everyone!  {Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?}

Hope you all had a great weekend.  My daughter and I drove with my parents to the beach for a mini-family reunion.  We were able to spend time with some family that we only get to see once a year or so, and we also finally got to meet my cousin's wife and their son!  My cousin is in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii, and their son is just over a year old.  He's so stinkin' cute!  We had a great time and the plan is to do it again next year and hopefully every year from now on. 

And my goal is to be able to spend more time next year! We really only had one morning at the beach, then we went to the pool, and that was it! The trip was too short. 

How was your weekend?  What kinds of fun things did you do?

Today's outfit is using more pieces that were tailored by Lori.  She really did such a great job!  I'm so grateful!

Normally I'd think that the length on this skirt is too long but with the heels, I kind of like it.  It has a very demure look to it, I think.  The ruching on the sleeves and the ruffles on the collar of the shirt are fun details.  I was going to wear my new polka dot belt but I thought that might be a little busy next to the details of the shirt.

I really like how the soft pink of the shirt plays with the deep color of the shoes.  A few months ago I never, ever would have put the two items together.  I would have thought they didn't match and the only thing that would work is black heels.  Not so anymore!  I really like the two shades of pink together!  Although I consider the shoes more of a red/wine color than pink, but they look pink with this shirt. 

My co-worker today said that I made her think of the Pink Ladies in Grease.  That makes me giggle.  I love that movie!

Today's outfit:

Pink Blouse: Dots

Black Skirt: Kohl's

Wine Rosebud Pumps: DSW

Black Belt: Kohl's (goes with another shirt)

Black Necklace/Earrings/Bracelets: Wal-Mart

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friend Friday: Mix and Match

A lot of bloggers - including Katy, our sponsor of Friend Friday - are participating in Kendi's 30 For 30 Challenge.  

I'm not, although now I kind of wish I was.  Maybe when she does the next one.

Anyway, the challenge is to take 30 pieces from your wardrobe and remix them into 30 different outfits.  You can't use any items outside of the 30 that you picked, although accessories like scarves and jewelry are fair game and unlimited.  Shoes are part of the 30, so they have to be included in your total 30 items.

Katy's questions this week are centered around remixing outfits.

1. What's your most versatile piece of clothing? How do you wear it?
Oh...hm.  That's a tough question.  Most versatile? Probably my black and white shift dress.  I've worn it belted with a cardigan for work, with heels for church and dinner, and I could probably wear it with flats for a casual day out although I haven't done that yet. I can't wait to try it with a turtleneck and tights in the winter! Why am I thinking about winter outfits already?!

2. What one piece should every woman own?
A little black dress!  I do wear mine a lot and I love it.  That's another versatile piece that can be dressed up or down, in warm or cool weather. 

3. What Summer trends do you love because of their versatility?
Eek.  I don't really know how to answer that.  {I feel kind of dumb.}  I can't really think of a trend that strikes me as versatile. Maybe scarves because they're so easy and breezy but they can be used to keep the chill off indoors where the AC is blasting.  Of course, as I say (type?) this, I only own one scarf.  That's pathetic. I need more scarves.  Really. 

4. What's the most creative combination you've put together from your closet?
Oh, here's another good question.  Oh wait! Most creative! Okay well then I'd have to go with this outfit. I was SO proud of myself for coming up with this reincarnation for that skirt and it WORKED. The joy!

5. If you had the guts what items would you pair and then wear out in public? 
From my own closet?  Oh I don't know. If I had the guts, I'd try wearing a romper.  But I don't think I could pull that one off so I'm not going to try. :) I'd really like to try more exciting color combinations, I tend to stay on the safe side and stick with just two colors, maybe three.  I've seen some people wear four or five different colors and it looks fantastic. 

So that's it for this week's edition of Friend Friday!  I'd love to hear about YOUR most creative outfit. Tell me! I need inspiration!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daily MelWear: Wonder Woman

 At first I thought this outfit made me feel like Super Girl, but then I realized that I feel much more like Wonder Woman. 

I'm a little unsure about the blue and red together.  I think I would like this more if I had a red cuff or necklace to tie it in more.  The outfit feels a little bit boring to me but I'm not quite sure how to make it more interesting, short of adding a belt which I seem to do EVERY day.  I don't want to be boring!

The blouse and slacks are both "old" clothes that came back tailored by Lori!  They fit perfectly now.  I'm so glad I didn't have to give them up.  This blue is so gorgeous and I love the gray color/material in the slacks. 

Yay!
Today's outfit:

Blue Blouse: can't remember

Gray Slacks: Kohl's

Red Pumps: my mom (Payless?)

Necklace/Earrings: Wal-Mart

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daily MelWear: Purple and Gray

Hi everyone!

Thank you for all of the happy and positive thoughts you've been sending my way.  Things are still really hard but your positivity is encouraging and contagious. :)

For any of you that don't know, I struggled with losing the baby weight after my daughter was born.  It was extremely frustrating and when she was about 2 1/2 years old, I won a contest (the Moms Get Fit Giveaway) through the local newspaper.  I, along with two other fabulous women whom I've grown to adore, won 12 weeks with Medi Weight-loss Clinics and 20 sessions with a personal trainer (along with some other prizes - for the full recap, click here for my "I won!" post and continue reading the subsequent posts).

Anyway, there were some clothing items that I really liked but after I hit my goal weight, they no longer fit.  Enter: Lori! She is the wife of my husband's friend, James, and apparently she is good at absolutely everything.  She mentored me when I was trying to get into face painting (my husband is a balloon artist on the side so I tried to learn Face Painting to supplement that business - but I just don't have the extra time to learn and practice) and then come to find out, she's also a fabulous seamstress! 

Heh.  The little things you don't know about your friends.  So, in exchange for my many, many face painting supplies that I'm not going to use anymore, she agreed to tailor some of my old clothes that I just didn't want to get rid of.

This jacket is one such item.  I love the professional look of it because it's a simple black blazer, but the 3/4 length sleeves adds some style and makes it much easier to wear in warmer weather.  I've missed this jacket so!  It's the perfect addition to dresses like these, to make them look more professional and office-appropriate.

I can't wait to wear some of the other newly altered pieces!  

The dress is another Plato's Closet find from this weekend.  I love the fact that the waistband isn't the hard elastic like some of my other tank dresses; rather, it's a soft, stretchy cotton.  The colors of the skirt are so pretty, I love the muted purples and gray together.

By the way, if you're on Facebook, don't forget to join A Working Mom's Closet there too!

I think this post has been wordy enough.  Here's today's outfit:

Purple/Gray/Black Tank Dress: Plato's Closet

Black Blazer: JC Penney

Purple Belt: Salvation Army

Gray Pumps: Payless

Purple Necklace/Earrings: Beya