Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Check It Out! Carissa Rose

Since the launch of A Working Mom's Closet, I've been contacted by several companies asking that their services and/or products be promoted to my readers. For those that have been following diligently, you may have noticed that I've had yet to feature a store, company or designer.

The reason is because I know your time is valuable. I appreciate the time you take to read the blog in the first place and for those of you that comment and/or email, to take that extra time out as well. I don't want to waste your time, so I try to comb through and review all offers and requests to ensure that they are what I would consider worthwhile to you, the readers.

With that being said, I bring to you my very first Check It Out! feature! I'd like to introduce you all to Carissa Brown, the designer behind Carissa Rose. Carissa designs a line of tops and dresses targeted specifically to women sizes 4 - 18 with D+ bustlines. She is also a mom to four children so she understands that funtionality is key!

If you've never heard of Carissa Rose, please take a look at her designs! She is so incredibly talented and I am in love with so many of her pieces.

Some of my favorites are this tunic and this pencil dress. Some of her favorites are below:

Norah Tunic - also one of my favorites!
Katerina Shirtdress

All of her pieces are so well-made and will flatter those of us who have a little extra in our bustline! Carissa also has a video demonstrating what the correct fit can do to flatter your proportions. To watch, click here.

Even if you aren't busty yourself, you probably know someone who is and who doesn't feel comfortable in most of their clothing. Introduce them to Carissa Rose!

Carissa has kindly offered my readers a 20% discount on any purchase from today through January 2nd. What a great way to ring in the new year, by treating yourself or a friend to a spectacular piece that will flatter like nothing else!

To take advantage of this offer, just enter the code WORKINGMOMS20.

I hope you enjoy browsing and shopping at Carissa Rose! I certainly did and would like to thank Carissa for her reader discount and creating such lovely pieces!

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please Keep Praying for Jamie

Hi everyone,

I got a text from Jamie's boyfriend that she is being moved to a hospice facility tonight. 

Please, please, PLEASE continue to pray for her. 

If you'd like to check out her CaringBridge site and maybe write a note in the guestbook, please click here.

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts!!!

Daily MelWear: The Versatile Cardigan

The thought had never crossed my mind to layer a cardigan underneath another piece until I saw another blogger do it.

Unfortunately, I can't remember who that blogger was! I wish I could so that I could link to her for you. I have an awful memory.

At any rate, this is my first attempt at it and it turned out okay. What I'm really excited about are the belt, ring and necklace! One of our gigs last week before Christmas was at an outlet mall with a Charlotte Russe. They were having a great sale so I picked up some accessories on one of our breaks. Yay!

These photos are proof that I have GOT to get a tripod for my iPhone. Normally my pictures aren't horrible but when I have to take them myself...ugh. And apparently I need to clean off the mirror more often. I need suggestions for a good iPhone 4 tripod. Or someone can send me a DSLR camera with a tripod! That would work too! Any takers? No?


Today's outfit:
Black Dress: Plato's Closet
Blue Zebra Cardigan: Wal-Mart
Black Leggings: Charlotte Russe
Black Boots: Can't remember
Black Belt: Charlotte Russe
Black Rose Ring: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: Charlotte Russe

{Maybe Charlotte Russe wants to sponsor me?}

Monday, December 27, 2010

Daily MelWear: Royal Purple

Well Happy Return-To-Work-After-Christmas Week!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday weekend. I certainly did! Christmas Eve was spent at my aunt's house with my mom's side of the family, watching my girl play with her cousins and we even had a surprise visit from Santa!!! THAT was fun to watch.

Christmas day was at our house, with my parents, brother & sister-in-law & their baby boy, Princess Girl, her dad and his father and my grandmother. It was a really nice day!

On Sunday The Princess went with her dad to visit his mom and then over to his dad's house. Through the miracle of FaceTime on the iPhone 4, I was able to watch her open her gifts! Then I spent the day cleaning out her room and doing laundry. It feels so much better to have all of that done now!

Now we're back at work! *Sigh* At least I really do enjoy my new job, so that makes it a lot easier!

Oh hey, did you see my post on Favorite Holiday Outfits? You didn't? Well click here and go see all the gorgeous pictures of my lovely readers!

And now I have a very, very serious question to ask you. I really need everyone to put some thought into this and not just blurt out the first answer that comes to mind.

Here's my question: is the correct term headband or hairband? Because I see headband a lot but I also say hairband a lot, too.

These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night, people.

Have a great day!

Today's outfit:
Purple Long-Sleeved Tee: Target
Black Cowl-Neck: Plato's Closet
Purple Belt: Charlotte Russe
Black Pants: Charlotte Russe
Black Boots: Payless
Headband/Hairband???: Gift from my parents!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Favorite Holiday Outfits!

This holiday season has been incredibly busy as far as singing gigs go for me. I've had a gig almost every single weekend day and several during the week as well. It's been so much fun because I've had the opportunity to sing with more people, some I haven't seen in years, and sing music that I haven't performed in a while, too.

All that being said, it's left very little time (read: no time!) for me to attend any holiday events ( a guest - I've been to plenty as part of the entertainment!). I haven't been able to get dressed up and party! I'm missing the chance to see all of my friends in their favorite holiday sparkles, so I asked all of YOU to submit your photos for me to see and feature you on the blog. I received some GREAT submissions and I'm excited to share them with you!

This is going to be a VERY photo-heavy post, so grab a  cup of coffee (or glass of wine, depends on what time you're reading this), sit back and relax, and enjoy the glitz and glamour of these fabulous readers!

But first...I did have a few people ask to see what I'VE been wearing to these little holiday here goes nothin' with my "holiday attire". 

The first costume is what I wear on traditional Caroling gigs, when I sing with a quartet (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). The second costume is what I wear for gigs with a group called The MistleTones; we sing more contemporary and upbeat arrangements (normally I'm also wearing a scarf with the costume but I wore the actual outfit to work one day so I nixed the scarf). The third costume is for the Santa Sisters, a three- or four-part all-girl group.

Now on to the REAL stars of today's posts - YOU GUYS! :) 

First up is Franca with Oranges and Apples.  I am in TOTAL love with her simple black and gray ensemble with pops of red! A bright pop of color gets me every time but the way she incorporated it through the layers, tights and necklace is fantastic!

Next is one of my most favorite people (and bloggers!) in the world - Kimberly of Fashion Momma! I just can't even begin to express how HAWT and classy she looks in this outfit. So very sparkly, so very glamorous, and OH so chic with the blazer and black tights! Fashion Momma is Sexy Momma!

Now I'm pretty sure everyone knows Eek! She is so super sweet and look at her with her hubby! That tiered skirt is gorgeous, those heels are killer, the patterned tights are fantastic, the jewelry is perfect and she is simply glowing. It looks like they had a great time at their party!

This next picture is of my super good friend, Rachel. She and I were in a girls ensemble together in high school and through the power of Facebook and MySpace, have been able to keep in touch through the years! She had an event to attend around the holidays and asked me to go shopping with her to pick out an outfit. We had SO much fun and just look at how HAWT she is in this! Definitely a smokin' momma, for sure!

Next up is Amy from Amy Fashion Blog. Amy sent in two photos and told me to pick one - but I decided to show you both! The first one is from last year and the second one is from this year's event. I love that this year's outfit isn't too "holly jolly" with tons of red and green, but more modern glam with the black and white. You look awesome, Amy!

Now we've come to Danielle. First of all, I love the pink in her hair. Secondly, both of her outfits are so sparkly and shiny! Gold and silver are the perfect colors for holiday party outfits but can be difficult to wear without looking costume-y. Danielle did a GREAT job combining sexy and classy in these ensembles!

Look at Liz and how adorable she is! I love that her outfit is simple but so cute and super flattering on her. There are many different types of parties to attend and as she writes in her post, her event was a small white elephant gift exchange at work. This is the perfect work-appropriate holiday outfit! You look great, Liz!

If you haven't checked out Matt's blog, you have got to go there now! Matt is one of my favorite bloggers because I would probably wear pretty much any outfit he puts together. He has great style and this outfit proves it! He writes, "At the last minute, some friends had an informal gathering, and so I had the opportunity to dress up for it, and so this was actually worn to a party!" I love the shade of the dress and anything belted makes me happy. The necklace and pumps are fantastic and the cardigan is the perfect topper. And oh my word, those tights. I need them. :) You look awesome, Matt!!!

How much cuter can these two sisters possibly be?! Tricia and Jessica both also run their own style blogs (both of which I read) and they have impeccable taste. Tricia submitted this shot of the two ladies when they had a sister-date to see The Nutcracker (I'm so jealous!). They both look so festive, so glamorous and SO gorgeous! Hope you girls had a great time!

Our penultimate outfit is from Jamie of Thrifty Threads! She wore this to meet up with a fellow blogger - which I have yet to do. I feel like I'm missing out because I haven't met any other bloggers or readers in person yet! I think Jamie's outfit is simply perfect: a gorgeous dress, cardigan, belt and super cute t-strap heels! Love it, Jamie!

Last but not at all least we have Cathy, who writes the blog Minister of Style. I absolutely LOVE the color purple for the holidays and this dress is perfect! Her wrap adds some elegance and the peep-toe pumps are super sexy. You are stunning, my dear!

So there you have it! I must say, I really do have some of the most stylish and beautiful readers ever! You guys all look fantastic and I'm so honored that you chose to submit your holiday photos to be featured on A Working Mom's Closet.

I hope you've all enjoyed seeing these pictures as much as I have! This might be one of my favorite posts; hopefully I can do more reader features in the future!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daily MelWear: Pink and Turquoise

The latest on Jamie is that her lung infection is gone, but the leukemia has quickly spread to 60%. A group of my Caroling friends sang to her last night and I heard she enjoyed that, so yay! Please continue to pray for her!!! A miracle is all we can ask for right now!

Today I have another Santa Sisters gig in the afternoon so I had to wear the black leggings and black tee as part of my outfit. I figured a black skirt would work and added the pink cardigan and turquoise necklace for some color.
And check out these boots!!! Aren't they just the cutest?! I bought them last Saturday during one of our outdoor mall gigs. Those are the best: sing, shop, sing, shop. Awesome. My feet were getting tired wearing the heeled boots so when I found these with a little heel and rosebuds, I just couldn't take them off! I really couldn't, I bought them while I was still wearing them. :)

I'm working on my Favorite Holiday Outfits post to share with you! I can't wait for you to see everyone!

Hope you're having a great week!
Today's outfit:
Black Sparkle Leggings: Big Lots
Black Skirt: Ross
Black Tee: Charlotte Russe
Pink Cardigan: Plato's Closet
Turquoise Necklace: Wal-Mart
Black Rosebud BootsBelk

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily MelWear: Added Coverage

Thank you all SO much for your prayers and thoughts about Jamie.

We had a prayer vigil for her yesterday afternoon at 1PM and then her roommate and I went up to see her for a few minutes. She is SO strong and positive and encouraging and beautiful. I'm amazed by how she's so uplifting to everyone around her, when we're supposed to be uplifting to her.

A quartet of Carolers has a gig near the hospital today so they offered to go sing to her (thanks Carol S.!!!). I'm so grateful for that sweet, sweet act of kindness that will surely lift Jamie's spirits even more.  

Right now we are all praying in agreement that Jamie will be supernaturally, miraculously healed because the doctors have agreed that when that happens, it will not be their doing because they've done all they can. So many people are going to have a testimony, not just Jamie, but everyone who knows and is praying with and for her!

Thanks for letting me say all that!

Today I wanted to wear these gray leopard tights because I haven't yet and they're really cute. I bought them on one of our gigs in a mall during a break. I love mall gigs. This is why. :)

I kept everything else pretty simple. It was actually supposed to be only the black dress with the tee underneath, but then the neckline started to sink lower and I didn't feel like it would be okay at my office so I threw on the turtleneck. Besides, who doesn't like more color?

The gray pumps with the gray leopard tights keep my legs from looking too stumpy. I hope.

Thanks to everyone for your holiday outfit submissions! I'm going to work on composing the post over the next day or two and hope to publish it before Friday. You all look great, I'm so excited to share you with everyone!

Hope you're all having a great day! Keep praying for Jamie!!!

Today's outfit:
Black Dress: Plato's Closet
Purple Tee: Plato's Closet
Teal Turtleneck: Goodwill Boutique
Gray Leopard Tights: Icing
Gray Pumps: Payless

Monday, December 20, 2010

Checking In With A Request

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was incredibly busy but lots of fun.

I'm not doing an outfit post today because there are too many other things happening.

The most mundane is that I'm sitting at the courthouse in another step towards our divorce. We're both playing on our iPhones and hoping this doesn't take all day. We were kind of hoping to be in and out. How naive are we? :)

And now for my request (and the least mundane thing happening). If you follow me on Facebook or twitter, you may have heard about this already.

My friend Jamie, who is only in her 20's, has been battling leukemia for a little over a year. She's had two bone marrow transplants and several rounds of chemotherapy. The doctors just informed her that there is nothing else they can do...and they're saying she has only days to live.

Jamie is so, SO special and strong and positive and is such a beautiful person. I am asking everyone I know to PLEASE pray for her. I know that with God all things are possible and where science is out of options, God's options are limitless.

Thank you all for reading and hopefully praying with us. I'm planning to be back with regular posts tomorrow. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daily MelWear: Criteria

Oh, this outfit is not a favorite.

Tonight's gig is for the Santa Sisters, which requires black leggings, black boots and a black long-sleeved tee to wear underneath red tunics.

I don't particularly feel like changing, so I wanted to find an outfit that could incorporate those things except, oh WAIT - it's Thursday and that means jeans at work. I don't have to wear them but I promised a co-worker that I would, so that she isn't the only person wearing jeans. :) Now I had to add jeans to my list of required pieces.

I would have worn my skinny jeans but I don't think I would've been able to zip up the boots over leggings AND jeans.

So I'm wearing black leggings under my jeans, black knee-high boots and a black long-sleeved tee under my purple sweater. I was almost going to wear another black sweater on top of this but I really wanted more color in this outfit, so I picked the purple.  I don't have very many sweaters to choose from.

If only I could have worn anything at all that I wanted from my closet, without having to incorporate so many specific pieces into one outfit. That woulda been nice. Eh, oh well. And then I couldn't find any jewelry that made me happy with this sweater/neckline. Geez. I'm whiny today, sorry! :)

I'm getting some REALLY great submissions for my Favorite Holiday Party Outfits Post! Please email me your photos so that I can include your sparkles!!! My email is {aworkingmomscloset at gmail dot com}.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Today's outfit:
Jeans: Kohl's
Black Tee: Charlotte Russe
Purple Sweater: Target
Black Belt: Kohl's (came with a dress)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily MelWear: Pop of Color

Well hello, Wednesday!

I don't have a whole lotta time today (normally I post by around 8 or 9AM, and it's already 2PM now!) so I'll make this brief.

Actually, I don't even have much to say! We had an office breakfast this morning, then we had to meet to discuss last night's board meeting, then we had to get ready for our update meeting at noon today, now I'm finally at my desk for a little while and have to leave early for a caroling gig tonight. Whee!!!

Don't forget to email me your favorite holiday outfit/party dress photos! My email is {aworkingmomscloset at gmail dot com}. I'll post them all next week and link to your blog if you have one. If you don't have a blog, email your photos to me anyway! I want to see!

And have a great rest of the day!

Today's outfit:
Black Pants: Ross
Purple (?) Tee: Plato's Closet
Gray(ish) Sweater: Plato's Closet
Black Belt: Ross (came with a dress)
Black Flat Boots: Ross

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Daily MelWear: To The Board Meeting We Go...(and a call for pictures!)

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a good Monday. Ours was fun with the holiday open house. And we have TONS of leftovers! Yay!

Today will be just as fun because the IRB Chairperson is taking our office to the Cheesecake Factory for a Christmas lunch! Then we have the board meeting tonight. My very first board meeting ever. I'm not doing anything this time except watching; I may eventually run the computer or take minutes at future meetings. Yipee!

Professional dress is required for the meeting, so I pulled out another pencil skirt and wore my blazer again. That always makes me feel like I'm dressed appropriately for meetings. I think I need a larger blazer wardrobe, though!

My shirt has red and black stripes so I added the red belt and pumps, then for more color I threw on the turquoise necklace. I love red and turquoise together!

With all of the gigs we have going on this season, I don't have a lot of holiday events to attend simply as a guest. I don't get to go shopping for holiday dresses or see my friends dressed up. I need to live vicariously through all of you, so what I'd like to do is compile a post of your favorite holiday party outfits! They can be your own outfits/party dresses or they can be someone else of whom you've taken a picture (and obtained permission to use said picture!) at a party. Submit your pictures (you can submit up to two) through next Monday, December 20th and I'll post them next week. I can't wait to see them!

Today's outfit:
Black Pencil Skirt: Ross
Shirt: Wal-Mart
Red Belt: Salvation Army
Patterned Tights: Forever 21
Red Pumps: From my mom
Turquoise Necklace: Beya

Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily MelWear: To Be Festive and Pick A Winner!

Hi friends!

How was everyone's weekend? We had a really good one. We had a gig on Friday night, then Saturday was spent shopping while The Princess had a day with her daddy, and then her daddy and I had a gig that night. On Sunday we took her to see Grinchmas at Universal! She LOVES the Grinch. She says, "Mommy, he was mean but then his heart grew bigger and now he's nice!" My parents bought her a stuffed Grinch that she uses to blow kisses to everyone.

I love that little girl!

Last night my friend Nicole came over and we spent the evening making pumpkin dip and candy cane cupcakes for my office's holiday open house this afternoon. Betty Crocker I am not, so I'm thankful for her help!

With the open house today our boss wanted us to dress "festive." So...festive AND professional since it's still a work day? Hm. Okay.

This outfit is actually one that I've worn as a costume for some of our contemporary group gigs (as opposed to dressing like a Dickens-era caroler). It's comfortable and I personally think it's pretty cute. For gigs I'll usually wear a sparkly black scarf with it for a more winter-ish look.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for! Or...something like that. :) I used to choose a winner for the giveaway, and the winner is...

Julia of Polka Dot Biker Shorts! Congratulations! Now we have matching necklaces! Or we will once I send yours to you. I'm going to try to email you but if you read this before I get a chance, send me an email with your address! My email is {aworkingmomscloset at gmail dot com}.

I need to give ML a HUGE thank you for sponsoring my first giveaway ( well as my second and third and fourth and...). She sent me a ton of great pieces so I have more giveaways coming up!

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Today's outfit:
Black Pants: Charlotte Russe
Red Tank: Forever 21
Black Velour Jacket: Charlotte Russe
Black Booties: Payless
Black Bow Headband: Icing

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friend Friday: Let's Connect

Katy, the brain behind the Friend Friday phenomenon, received an email this week suggesting the topic of reader connectedness - so here are the questions and my answers!

1. How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success of your blog?
I think the ability to make your readers feel connected is important to any blog. If I have zero in common with a writer, I'll typically scan their blog every now and then but the ones that I read on a regular basis are the ones where I feel some kind of connection, either personally because we've chatted somehow or because their style is similar to my own or we just have things in common.

2. What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader bond?
I try to create a bond by responding to comments either through email (if Blogger lets me reply to comment notifications; sometimes when I click "reply", the address for the commentor is a no-reply@blogger... address instead of their actual email) or by commenting on their own blog. I really LOVE getting questions on Formspring, that's another great way to connect and I especially love getting emails from readers and getting to know people through email conversations.

3. What is one way you could improve this connection?
I'm not sure. I don't feel like I'm connecting with quite as many readers as I'd like to (I would really love to get to know every single one of you!) but since I don't know how to get in touch with each person (I don't even know who reads my blog if they don't comment!), I can't really connect more. If you have suggestions for how I can improve the connection, please let me know!

4. Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer-reader bond? Why?
Hmmm. Well, I think Katy has done an awesome job just by coming up with the Friend Friday idea in the first place and then implementing the Google group! GENIUS! Then there's Kendi with her 30 for 30 challenge that creates an entire community of participants as well. I think creating a common bond/theme among readers/other bloggers is key.

5. What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to your site in the first place?
Um...I don't really know! If I had a good answer to that, I'd probably have a lot more readers. :) I'm still learning as I go so if anyone has good tips, I'm listening!

Reader connectedness is part of the reason I started a blog to begin with! I'd love to connect with each of you. Please feel free to send me an email any time at {aworkingmomscloset at gmail dot com}, ask me a question on Formspring or follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Daily MelWear: When the Cat Returns...

Actually, we're not even sure whether or not our boss will come in today or if she'll take a day to rest from her trip. Just in case, I wore one of my highest necklines!

Aaaaaaaaaand as I typed that, she pulled up. :) Yay for high necklines!

This is one example where I think booties that come higher up on the ankle cut off my leg line. I've said before that I kind of enjoy being short. I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't think tall automatically equals more beautiful so I don't focus too much on making sure I avoid things that camoflouge my shortness. However I'm not sure that cutting my legs in half is particularly attractive.

At any rate, I wore them with a shorter length dress so hopefully that helps a little. It's hard to see how great the red booties pop with the black and white outfit in these pictures, you can see the real shade of red in the close-up shot. I adore these shoes. I've never worn them with anything other than pants or jeans before so the cute details were never seen. Isn't that sad?

I've also realized that I'm going to have to invest in some slips. All of my tights are making my skirts and dresses ride up and that is NOT fun.

By the way, have you entered the giveaway yet? It ends on Sunday night!

Today's outfit:
Black/White Dress: Macy's
Black Tie-Neck Sweater: Forever 21
Black Tights: Can't remember
Red Booties: Payless

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Daily MelWear:Leopard Booties!

Did you see that I posted my very first giveaway yesterday? Go enter!

I am SO in love with these shoes. I do think I'm a little too short to wear them with skirts or dresses, because they come up a bit higher and would cut my leg line in half, but they're great to wear with pants and jeans!

That's really all I have to say today! Have a great day, everyone!

Today's outfit:
Black Pants: Charlotte Russe
Black Long-Sleeved Tee: Charlotte Russe
Purple Cardigan: Plato's Closet
Leopard Booties: Charlotte Russe
Black Belt: Ross (came with a dress)
Necklace: Gift from a friend