Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Zebra and Denim

Zebra and Denim
Zebra and Denim - by FFM on Polyvore.com

This little tee has been quite controversial over on JCA...what are your thoughts? Do you like it, or are you definitely not a *fan*? Did you get one before they sold out, or did you say *no way...not for me*?

White, Dark Charcoal, and the Zebra Tee

White, Dark Charcoal, and the Zebra Tee
White, Dark Charcoal, and the Zebra Tee - by FFM on Polyvore.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inspiration: *Anything is Possible*

If there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing,
IT IS NOW.

Not for any grand cause,
necessarily...
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your inspiration,
something that's your dream.

You owe it to yourself to make your days here count.

HAVE FUN.

DIG DEEP.

STRETCH.

DREAM BIG.

Know, though, that things
worth doing seldom come easy.

There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.

There will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up, and call it quits.

Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself,
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.

PERSIST.

Because with an idea,
determination, and the right tools,
you can do great things.

Let your instincts, your intellect,
and your heart, guide you.

TRUST.

Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.

Of working hard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lazy afternoons.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.

The start of something new brings the hope of something great, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wearing Today: 3.28.09

Wearing Today: 3.28.09
Wearing Today: 3.28.09 - by FFM on Polyvore.com

I'm on the Final Day of my Spring Cleaning Mission...it's been a total of 8 days now, and I am absolutely THRILLED to finally have it completed! Thanks for stopping by... I'll answer comments and questions from yesterday and today later on this afternoon or evening. :) Have a FABULOUS and BLESSED day! :)

My pants are a similar Gap pair from a couple years ago. The No Hassle Headscarf has a lot of yellow in it to go with the tank. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wearing Today: 3.27.09

Wearing Today: 3.27.09
Wearing Today: 3.27.09 - by FFM on Polyvore.com

A quick trip to the Bank, and then continuing with my Spring Cleaning...today is my *Deep Cleaning* mission (see my earlier post). :)

Spring Cleaning: My *Deep Clean* Mission Begins


With my Decluttering and Organizing complete, I now embark on my *Deep Clean* mission...curtains, windows, baseboards, and walls: here I come!!! I am armed with my Windex, and Magic Eraser. If you have never tried the Magic Eraser you really, really should because it is, well...MAGIC! This little *eraser* will remove just about anything: crayon, fingerprints, unknown substances, you name it, and it erases it...I have one in my house at all times.
If my *Deep Clean* mission goes as planned, it will be complete by the end of today, leaving tomorrow for my regular house cleaning...just in time for my *baby's* Birthday Celebration on Sunday. He will be 2 years old...where DID the time go???


What are your plans for today? I know several of you have posted that you are also Spring Cleaning...how are doing? Are you making a lot of progress?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wearing Today: 3.26.09

Wearing Today: 3.26.09
Wearing Today: 3.26.09 - by FFM on Polyvore.com

A day of running errands and taking two of my *littles* to appointments. My scarf is black with white rings from ON last year...couldn't find a pic. I actually managed to style my hair similar to the pic of Kate Moss in the David Yurman add. :)

Spring Cleaning: Letter from a *Fabulous Working Mommy*

Look Thirty-Nine
Look Thirty-Nine - by For P.L. on Polyvore.com


Kinzie Printed Calf-Hair Peep-Toes *Look 1*
Kinzie Printed Calf-Hair Peep-Toes *Look 1* - by For P.L. on Polyvore.com

Lucegirl, who is a client of mine thought you might be interested in taking your Spring Cleaning to a new level, and asked me to post the following **testimonial** in the event anyone out there needs help 'Shopping their Closet'..." *On the topic of Spring Cleaning, I just wanted to throw out to all you followers of FFM, that I recently enlisted her to **virtually** clean/organize/upgrade my closet. Starting the end of last year, right around the time of TURKEY, JINGLE and HOHOHO...I went a little nuts, okay a lot nuts. I had just given birth to my second son and nothing cures the post-partum blues more than a little, okay, a lot, of retail therapy (but I am not totally to "blame" - thank you J Crew Afficionada!). The boxes started arriving, and I found myself with a big giant mess on my hands. I love to shop, but I am not a fashionista. I stumbled upon FFM's blog one day of fierce research about how to assemble a J Crew outfit and "ah ha" - the magic of FFM and Polyvore. So I contacted FFM and said "Can you help me bring order out of chaos?". Specifically I needed "Mommy outfits" (pajamas and flips not a good look) and "Professional outfits" for returning to work (I am an attorney). FFM is as gracious a person you will ever know. She completely transformed my wardrobe and is a delight to work with. We are geographically distant, so this was all accomplished on-line. Her consulting rates are very reasonable, and I am getting so much more wear out of items I didn't know what to do with, so it is definitely worth it!! Now getting dressed is EASY and FUN!!! I printed out all the sets and have them organized in a binder for easy reference in the morning (slightly OCD I know but with 2 little kids it's necessary...). So, I thought I would invite you all into the "closet" she made for me. Also, I live in Southern California, so many of my sets can be worn year round ...Enjoy!*

To get a peek into Lucegirl's closet, click the following links:
Closet Makeover for a *Fabulous Working Mommy*
, Resort Vacation , Resort: Husband , Resort: The Littles , as well as many others .

I want to personally say a big THANK YOU to Lucegirl for taking the time to write this. She is an absolute joy and pleasure to work with, fun and adventurous, as well...a true *Fabulous Working Mommy*! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

*Spring Cleaning* Continued...

Ok...so I am STILL at it. Yesterday didn't go as planned...instead of completing the Master Bath and laundry, I ended up working on the office area, the living room, taking the boys outside to play for an hour, and then made a trip to Walmart after my hubby came home from work. I only choose Walmart when we need toiletries and household supplies (on top of groceries), because I find the prices at our local Walmart to be lower than Publix or Target. Funny thing about Walmart...it seems to be like a black hole of time that sucks you in and spits you out 3 hours later, yet it seems as if you've only been shopping for 30 minutes, or so. This actually happened to me last night...it was one of those weeks where we were out of EVERYTHING, not to mention that Sunday is my *baby's* 2nd birthday, so I was also shopping for the celebration, and I ended up coming home 3 hours after I had first left the house...INSANE!!! So today will be the Master Bath and the laundry...they are the last 2 steps before I begin my deep clean. I am enlisting the help of my two oldest to finish the laundry. They are required to help with the towels and their own clothes...sorting, folding, and putting them away. Tomorrow will be a day off from cleaning due to my 3 year-old's Physical Therapy appointment, and my 5 year-old's Dental appointment...still a very busy day. Too bad I don't feel like this about laundry...it would make for a much more enjoyable day. ;) My 3 year-old was up most of the night, so he and I are both running on very little sleep today...NOT a good thing at all.
I am making a lot of progress, which feels really good. Luckily the rooms weren't in that bad of condition, because I did this right before the Holidays, and kept up with it pretty well...maintaining is the key. Thank you for all the encouraging posts! I will get back to blogging fashion related topics, as well as styling new sets soon...I finally see the light at the end of my *Spring Cleaning* tunnel, so it won't be too long before my mission is complete. :)

I hope you all have a beautiful day! Do you have anything special planned? Have you decided to start your *Spring Cleaning*? Have you already finished? Please feel free to share your story. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update on Spring Cleaning

Well, believe it or not: I am STILL Spring cleaning, and that is why I haven't been blogging as much the past couple of days. Like I said, trying to accomplish anything with 4 boys (3 of them age 5 and under) in the house takes a minimum of 4 times longer than normal. Anyways, I started on the boys' 2 rooms on Friday, and finally finished them, as well as the Dining Room late Saturday afternoon.

Sunday I moved to the Master Bedroom to start on it, and finally finished just the closet by the end of the day. (Not too bad considering all the meals I made, diapers I changed, etc. all day long while in the cleaning process). Today I worked on dresser drawers and my jewelry...I'm thrilled to say both of those tasks are completed.
I will admit that I have a lot of jewelry...I love it. I think the right pieces can *make or break* an outfit, and help pull a look together, too. I store most of my jewelry in jewelry boxes, but today I created a place to store some of my necklaces using a corkboard and pushpins after seeing sparrows and sparkles blog about it here . I thought it was a really creative idea and easy to accomplish so I did the same thing, and love the way it turned out. I think I will pick up a second corkboard to store the rest of my necklaces, as well as some of the bracelets.



Tomorrow I move to the Master Bath to declutter makeup and toiletries from the cabinets, and while I would love to move immediately to the office area...I will instead tackle the mountain of laundry that is apparently going nowhere unless I do it. I will continue to diligently work each day this week until my Spring Cleaning mission is complete. Once the declutter and organizing stage is finished I will then start the *deep clean*...curtains, windows, baseboards, walls, etc. It is an exhausting process, but extremely rewarding when completed, and I know that it blesses my guys (even if they don't say so).
How is your Spring Cleaning coming along? I know some of you were just finishing up, while others were yet to start...I would love to hear your progress. :)

Inspiration: Strength

You are stronger than you think, remember to stand tall. Every challenge in your life helps you to grow. Every problem you encounter strengthens your mind and your soul. Every trouble you overcome increases your understanding of life. When all your troubles weigh heavily on your shoulders, remember that beneath the burden you can stand tall, because you are never given more than you can handle...and you are stronger than you think.
~ Lisa Wroble ~

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Have a Beautiful Day!

*Don't write your name on sand, waves will wash it away.
Don't write your name in sky, wind may blow it away.

Write your name in hearts of people you come in touch with.
That's where it will stay. * - Author Unknown


May you all have a Beautiful and Blessed Sunday! :)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

SPRING AT LAST!!!


Well it is official...SPRING IS HERE AT LAST!!! How FABULOUS!!! I have brought my white pants and capris out of their Winter *storage*, and plan to start wearing them this week. I am also on a *Spring Cleaning and Reorganizing* mission which started yesterday, and will last through the weekend. Well, probably into next week since it takes about 4 times longer to accomplish anything with 4 energetic boys, but I will not stop until my mission is complete! The boys' rooms are the main area that needs the true *clean, declutter, and reorganize* attack since they have been learning to clean their rooms themselves. This has lead to toys hidden under beds and dressers (making the floor clear is apparently their goal) that are now being pulled out and sorted with my help. I also plan to work on my closet, moving the Winter items to their *storage*, and rearranging all of my Spring and Summer items into either complete outfits, or else by color...it will all depend on how I feel when I actually get to it.
I personally think it feels liberating to get the *clutter* out, and reorganize everything...it somehow makes the house easier to clean and keep up with, too. I know it doesn't sound like a fun way to spend the weekend, but I need to get it accomplished while I feel motivated to actually do it. ;) I hope you all have a FABULOUS and BLESSED weekend!

Do you participate in Spring cleaning? Do you also declutter and reorganize? Do you have any tips or techniques you would like to share?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Instructions: How To Sew a Blind Hem


A big *THANK YOU* goes to Stacie for sharing the information for this post. After reading yesterday's blog on jeans, she was kind enough to forward her instructions and pictures on sewing a blind hem to share with all of us. Thank you Stacie!

*A blind hem can be done at a tailor for around $15-20 but is actually pretty easy to do yourself if you have a sewing machine!

Step 1) First determine what length you want your pants to be; depending on what shoes you are likely to wear with them - heels or flats. Measure from the existing hem on the pant what amount of fabric needs to be taken up. Because you will just be folding the fabric in you will need to take the amount you need to shorten and divide in half. For example if you want to take two inches off the length; make your fold 1 inch wide.

Step 2) From existing hem fold pants as shown in picture and iron them; making sure they are folded evenly the whole way around and pin if necessary.

Step 3) Using your sewing machine; stitch all the way around the pants with a straight stitch keeping as close to the hem seam as possible.


Step 4) Turn pants right side out and iron, iron, iron. The pants in the pictures are the Watson's with a regular inseam but they were just so long I had to hem them a bit. I also took out the cuff which is not necessary but I prefer them that way. (its hard to take a good pic of your pants hem yourself!)

This is a nice way to hem designer/premium jeans since you aren't actually cutting the jeans and you are able to keep the original hem and stitching in tact. If you decide you want them longer at some future date the stitches are easy enough to take out and re-do.*

Thank you again to Stacie for sharing this fabulous and informative information with us...you ROCK!

I also want to add that Stacie currently has designs in her store Approprie on Etsy.com that is now officially open for business...be sure to check it out. :)

Do you think you will try sewing your own hem? Have you attempted your own alterations before?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jeans: My Personal Favorites

Up until just very recently, like within the last year, I was never much of a *jeans girl*. I have always opted to wear a skirt, capris, chinos, or dress pants. I have never found jeans to be all that comfortable and could never find a pair to fit my body type right, either...that is probably the main reason for my lack of enthusiasm for them. This being said: I have recently become a more *frequent* jeans wearer after discovering a couple different brands and styles that really work for me, so I thought I would share them with you. :)

First I'll start off by saying that my hip/thigh area is the part of my body I like the least. It is the first place I gain weight, and the last place I lose weight. I have always struggled to find jeans and pants that fit well because if they fit my thighs, the waist is too big, and if they fit my waist, the thighs are too snug. So now instead of stressing about it, or trying to fit into a smaller size to fit my waist, I simply dress to *fit my hips and thighs*, and then have the waist tailored. Btw, I also have my *Favorite Picks for Pants*, but that will be another post on another day.

So back to the Jeans...here are my personal favorites that I actually own and wear on a regular basis:


GAP Essential Jeans which can be purchased
Here at Gap.com. They come in 3 different washes...I have the Medium tint for more casual looks, as well as the Dark Tint when I want to go a little dressier. The Essentials are fabulous for women who are curvier through the hip/thigh area, and don't necessarily look great in bootcut jeans. The cut is generous not only in the hip and thigh, but throughout the entire leg without flaring out at all. I would also say they are a mid-rise jean. They are my *go to* pair.

My next pick are the J.Crew 5-pocket Trouser jean and can be purchased Here at JCrew.com, but now appear to only be available in the Tall size. I have seen them back on the website regularly, so if you are interested in getting a pair just keep checking back.The rise on this pair is a tad lower than the GAP Essentials, but definitely NOT low-rise or extremely revealing. They are actually very flattering. They are fitted a bit in the thigh with a nice, not too wide trouser leg, and the dark color is very flattering, too. The dark denim rubs off, so be sure to wash them inside out at least 2 times before wearing them next to anything really light in color.


My third option for jeans are the J.Crew High-Heel Flare jean (aka the *mom jean* on JCA) and can be purchased Here at JCrew.com. I have them in the Clean Indigo wash and love them. They have a mid-rise that helps to *hold in* and cover any tummy issues. The thigh is fitted to the knee with a slight (not overly exaggerated) flare below the knee. The denim also rubs off, so be sure to wash inside out a couple of times, just like the Trouser jeans. I wore them under my little sundress last Friday, making the dress into a tunic. You can see the picture of that look in this post . Here is the pic of the HHF from the J.Crew website:

I do own a pair of Skinny jeans, but usually need to be having a *Skinny Day* in order to wear them, so the 3 options in this post are the pairs I wear on a regular basis.

Are you a *jeans girl*? Do you think jeans are comfortable? What are your *go to* pair? Do you prefer light, medium, or dark wash?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

*Casual Chic* Looks for Spring and Summer

I've received numerous emails from women, including stay-at-home moms and working moms who want to achieve a *casual chic* look for everyday and/or weekends, while still remaining comfortable, so I thought I would devote a post to the subject, and pull some sets from the Polyvore archives. The sets were created based on actual or similar pieces I own and wear...they are comfortable, easy to create, yet *pulled together* at the same time. I will be creating more looks as we move into Spring and Summer, but will also be *shopping my closet* with the pieces I have in these sets.
Simple Dressing
Simple Dressing - by FFM on Polyvore.com
Mommy *Casual Chic*
Mommy *Casual Chic* - by FFM on Polyvore.com
Jackie in Honey Glaze and Suzannah in Black Silk Taffeta

Jackie in Honey Glaze and Suzannah in Black Silk Taffeta - by FFM on Polyvore.com

Soft Fuschia and Honey Glaze...so Sweet.
Soft Fuschia and Honey Glaze...so Sweet. - by FFM on Polyvore.com
Jackie and Piper
Jackie and Piper - by FFM on Polyvore.com
Mommie *Casual Chic*
Mommie *Casual Chic* - by FFM on Polyvore.com
Black, White, and Honey Glaze in Spring

Black, White, and Honey Glaze in Spring - by FFM on Polyvore.com

Another great option is an embellished tee under a cute little blazer or jean jacket with cropped pants or bermudas...I'll be creating sets with these pieces in the near future. :)

Beautiful Havona

Beautiful Havona
Beautiful Havona - by FFM on Polyvore.com

Havona *Casual Chic*

Havona *Casual Chic*
Havona *Casual Chic* - by FFM on Polyvore.com

The Havona Tank

The Havona Tank
The Havona Tank - by FFM on Polyvore.com

The shoes look great IRL with the color of the top.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Product Review: J.Crew Havona Tank

Now for the J.Crew Havona Tank, item #12966, retailing for $128.00, and part of the J.Crew Collection. I had intially planned on reviewing this last week, so I took some IRL pics but they turned out blurry and the lighting was bad. I am posting one of the blurry pics now because I don't know when I'll get the chance to take anymore since this week is an extra busy one...sorry for the bad photo quality and the *auto adjusted lighting*. At least with this one you can get a good view of the fluffed up flower and overall fit. The tank arrived in a clear plastic bag with no special wrapping at all. It is 100% silk organza and has a bit of a stiff feeling to the fabric (common for organza). I am wearing the size 0 and it fits nicely through the bust without being tight on my hips. I have on a nude bra and white pants in the pic. The tank is fairly sheer, but I did not feel it was immodest without a cami underneath it. The nude bra does not show a lot through the fabric, but the white pants do show, as you can see in the photo.
I also paired it with my Jackie Cardigan in Honey Glaze and it looked really beautiful. It also looks great tucked in with a metallic gold skinny belt, and isn't too billowy in the bodice to feel uncomfortable when doing so. I actually feel like I should be on a Resort vacation in this top and don't think it is overly practical for my everyday life. Also, even though I had fluffed the flower, it was starting to droop by the time I had taken a couple of photos, and I would actually contemplate removing it if I were to keep the tank. I DO think it is absolutely gorgeous IRL, and I would really like to keep it, but will have to wait for it to go on sale, unfortunately.

Here is a pic with a closer view of the beautiful braided neckline.
Are you considering the Havona Tank? Do you think it is worth paying full price, or would you wait for it to go on sale?

*J.Crew Inspired* Fireball Drop Earrings from Nordstrom Rack

Back on March 6th in the My Shopping Bag post, lcsmom mentioned that she saw a pair of earrings at Nordstrom Rack that look just like the J.Crew Fireball earrings that were on my wishlist. She said they were priced at only $15.97, and even offered to go back to the store and pick them up for me. I received them a couple of days later, and must say that I was absolutely THRILLED!!! They are so stunning IRL, and the price was much better than the $45 that J.Crew is asking for them. Here are a few IRL pics of the Nordstrom *Crystal Collection* earrings:


Here is a pic to help get an idea of the size. The safety pin is 1.25 inches long and each earring weighs .1 ounce.

Here are the earrings on me, along with the Havona Tank (which I ordered with the Free Shipping code to try on for size, but will have to return with hopes of purchasing on sale...I am wearing the size 0). Sorry again for the picture quality...Here's the pic of the actual J.Crew Fireball Drop earrings from the website:

I am absolutely thrilled with my Nordstrom Rack earrings and think they are a Fabulous alternative to the pair from J.Crew. THANK YOU again lcsmom for getting them for me! :)

What do you think? Do the earrings look like the J.Crew pair to you? Would you wear the less expensive alternative to achieve *the look for less*?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Inspiration: *Sculptor's Attitude*

Sculptor's Attitude
by Author Unknown

"I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friend or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provide shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a GREAT DAY……unless you have other plans."