Sunday, August 31, 2014

How To Wear Leather Leggings Even If You Aren't A Model

I love the look of leather leggings. A little rock, a little chic. But since my body type is not the tall, skinny, thigh gap type, I decided to get some black leggings with a little leather embellishment and a lot of stretch. I found these super cute tuxedo style leather leggings while I was out and about the other day at Francesca's.

Sophisticate Chic: Casual, Comfortable and Stylish





How to Wear Leather Leggings Even if you don't have a models body
Leather Tuxedo Leggings: Francesca's , Oversized Cable-Knit Pullover Sweater: Kohls (clearance rack), Heels: Chinese Laundry (old), Handbag: Coach (old)


How to Wear Leather Leggings for Fall
how to style leather leggings
Close-up. Don't you just LOVE this little embellishment?
Minimal jewelry and this outfit is perfect for a day of cooler weather.
 
Remember, your smile is your best accessory, never leave the house without it!

~B

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible." Audrey Hepburn

Friday, August 29, 2014

Endless Summer

Yep, summer is officially over. Fall fashion is in full swing. But since it's still sweltering down south, I have one last summer style post wishing for an endless summer. Living so close to the gulf coast of Florida, we usually see hot weather all the way until November so this is a great cooler day out with the kids casual outfit.
silver sandals and boyfriend jeans

 
Shirt Vest: TJ Maxx (old)/White Eyelet Sweater: Lucky Brand /Boyfriend Jeans: Lucky Brand (old, like 7 years old, but here is a similar pair) /Silver Embellished Sandals: Nine West
 

 The eyelet pattern on the back of the shirt adds interest. Eyelet patterns always say summer.
 
 
I love the metallic sandals! And the clutch! Bought the clutch for $9 at TJ MAXX!! Can't beat that price to add a little flair to this outfit. 
 
 
 Have a great Wednesday,
 
~B
 
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." Winston Churchill

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wacky Wednesday: Update: The Escape Artist Hatches a Plan....

Fast forward one year to 2014...Or better yet the escape artist's parents have hatched a mastermind of a plan!!!! As I said in a previous post, my tenacious now three year old doesn't like to stay in her bed at night. She wakes her brother up and they throw massive parties at 3 am, i.e. screaming, jumping on the beds, all the toys thrown on the floor type of parties. So a year ago, The Mav and I decided to make a trip to the local Toys R Us to see what master plan of our own we could come up with to keep Baby in her bed. This was it. Literally the last resort......

June 2013

I really don't enjoy waking up at 5am, having to field calls from our alarm system provider (its bad enough to get these calls when we are out of town because a cat set the alarm off) while chasing my toddler in the front yard, so we installed this little doohickey on the front door. Since lil' Ms. Escape Artist can take those useless doorknob covers off (we've tried three different ones), unlock doors and deadbolts, this outta fix her.....




















The next issue was the parties at 3am. Since I am not one for locking her bedroom door (the Mavster voiced that he has no problem with this if it means he gets a few more moments of sleep, ugh men), this leaves locks for the front and back doors.

The door lock in the pictures works similar to those old chain locks except we didn't have to put a screw in the door PLUS she can't open the door a few inches and let the cat out or get herself stuck in the door attempting to escape!

I know what you are thinking. Putting off the inevitable are we? Why not just change to a toddler bed? My thought is, sooner or later I will have to face the inevitable but for right now I am happy living in my own world of her still being a baby. At least if she is contained in the house we don't have to worry so much. She is stealthy, too, she manages to get out of bed and to our room without me hearing on the baby monitor. What to do? That is still up in the air.....


August 2014

Update: The little escape artist baby in the crib is now a toddler in her own big girl bed who is still our little Houdini. We eventually found a lock for her bedroom door because she was still having parties at 3 am in her brothers room, who is now almost 8 and in 2nd grade....meaning he needs his rest to do his best at school. Updating this post now seems kind of silly but I had to let you know she is still escaping her room in the middle of the night, not nearly as often as last year but still she likes to party.

~B

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Goodbye Summer Hello Fall: Spicy Chocolate Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of those foods people adore, especially during the hot months of summer. With summer and ice cream season coming to an end, I thought I would have a last hurrah to say sayonara to my beloved summer season and hello to fall. How better to transition to fall than to marry the texture and coolness of summer ice cream with the spicy fall flavors of cinnamon and cardamom!

This recipe is born from lots of trial and error with ingredients I know my family loves plus a little something extra to make it exotic enough for me to enjoy, too. Since I am sensitive to dairy, ice cream is usually last on my list of dessert choices. I do love the coolness of ice cream on a hot summer day, so I decided to try different types of "milk" to achieve an ice cream like texture. I found coconut milk made the "ice cream" creamiest. Almond and soy milk are too watery and make more of an "ice milk" which my family doesn't like. The resulting Spicy Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream is a combination of sweet and spicy, crunchy and creamy. Delicious!

I enjoy a great cup of chai tea. The kick of cardamom and cinnamon wake up my taste buds. I also enjoy exotic chocolates in flavors such as cayenne and sea salt plus chocolate covered almonds so putting these flavors in an exotic flavor like coconut milk ice cream made perfect sense. I tried several versions of this recipe and this is by far the best spicy chocolate flavor I have had the pleasure of tasting.

Spicy Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream

2 Cans Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
3 TSP Stevia Leaf Extract
1 1/2 TBSP Agave Nectar (or to taste)
2 TSP Each Cardamom and Cinnamon powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Almonds
1/8 TSP Cayenne (optional)
1/8 TSP Crushed Sea salt (optional)

Add all the ingredients but the almonds and chocolate chips to a saucepan. Stir well. Here is the key: slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Chill well. I let mine sit overnight. Once the mixture is completely chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and in 20 minutes prepare to enjoy. I have a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and add the chocolate chips and almonds during the last 5 minutes of churning. Devour immediately!

Spicy Chocolate Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream


......And its guilt-free! While I am not a registered dietician, I did add up the calories in this bad boy. I came up with about 120 per 2 cups!! Yes, I said it. TWO CUPS of ice cream under 200 calories.  Unheard of. So technically, you could eat the whole bowl and still be under 250 calories! That is so much better than 500 calories for two scoops of regular ice cream. Hurray!!

 
Happy Cooking!
 
~B







Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Style Files: Sporty Girl Style

black maxi and denim vest
Sporty Chic: Black Maxi/Denim Vest
As I posted last week, the kids are beginning another new school year and I am beginning something new too: Friday Fashion Style Files, ladies! I am really excited to share all my deets with you pertaining to personal style.

I spend a lot of time on clothing websites, Pinterest and other fashion sites spying all the new styles available by season. But alas, this girl does not have the body of a model so sorting through it all is a bit tedious. I am 5 foot 4 inches on a good day. I love my legs but unless I am wearing 5 inch stilettos, they don't go on for miles. I am top heavy and most well endowed women KNOW what I am talking about so wearing ANYTHING that draws attention to that area, makes this momma uncomfortable. Meaning those cute little crop tops and any sort of layering adds bulk. I would love to wear a chambray shirt with a cute sweater over it but it just isn't going to happen. Sometimes I want to wear a fabulous spaghetti strap dress or gauzy embroidered top aka festival style. Sometimes I do just to prove I can. Mostly, I move on to things that work for me.

My body type is a little bit sporty, a little bit curvy, a little bit boyish. Yes, I know. Ugh. Needless to say, with all that going on, styling is difficult for this girl. There are certain classics that are my go-to when I want to look and feel my most confident: shift dresses with a classic blazer and heels. I call this my classy, sassy and a bit smart a@#y, which is just the way I like my style. I also LOVE scarves. By that I mean I own no less than 20! Since I live in the deep south, ya'll, I make every excuse to wear one, since the weather rarely gets below 50 degrees all winter long. Scarves are an inexpensive way to make any ensemble look put together, add a little pop of color or bring out a little personality. Like this outfit I wore this week to my daughters open house at her preschool. By the way, it was overcast, that was my excuse for wearing the scarf on a hot August day. And NEVER forget the Ray-Bans! Always classic, always chic!

Black Maxi: Wet Seal, Denim Vest: 1969 Gap,  Scarf : Walmart, Sandals: Target


Hair AND close up of my Walmart find: Black and white tribal scarf with an added neon scarf two for the price of one!
 

DIY Purple Nails: Plum and Done by Gelish (here)



Don't forget the accessories, including manicures! My one subtle luxury item for the outfit: My own Tiffany Heart Bracelet (here) and don't settle for a fake one. Real is the ONLY way to go. Besides what is better than actually going to a Tiffany's, picking out what you want and then watching them gift wrap it for you in the signature Tiffany blue box and white ribbon. It was an experience I will NEVER forget. It was an anniversary gift from the Mavs.

Leaving you with this final word. Your smile is your greatest accessory. Don't forget to put it on before you walk out the door. I saw this quote the other day and it is very true: "Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it."

HAPPY FRIDAY, LADIES!

~B

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Style Files: Chic Back-To-School Shopping Tax-Free Weekend

HOW TO WEAR FLOWER PRINT SHORTS
BLUE PRINT SHORTS/DENIM SHIRT/WEDGES
Yes! It's that time again! Back to school! Baby girl starts preschool and Little Man starts 2nd grade next week. I can't believe it is here already. Since the state I live offers a tax-free back-to-school shopping this weekend, I am taking advantage of it. Do you know if your state offers tax-free and if so, what items are tax-free? Click here for a list of tax-free weekends by state. She lists each state, dates and specific items available tax-free.

Since I am going back to school shopping, I might as well look chic doing it, right? I figured this would be a great opportunity start another one of my loves on my blog, FRUGAL FASHION!

I have a serious confession to make, I adore fashion and personal style. Another reason to LOVE Pinterest and all the fashion viewing I can do on a daily basis. One of my main concerns about fashion: it is not about the expensive clothing, purses or accessories but about how I can pull together full outfits with what is in my closet or what I have spent about five minutes rummaging through the sale racks to find. Since its tax-free weekend, which includes up to $70.00 in clothing per purchase, why not check out the sale racks? With the chic and cheap in mind, I have just one question. How much money do these fashion bloggers make if they are posting almost daily a new outfit focusing on expensive or even inexpensive brand name clothes, shoes, purses and accessories? I don't know, but I am not going into debt for style.

My idea of style is making the best with what you have. Meaning stay within a set clothing budget and don't go overboard. I LOVE luxury handbags just like the next girl, but finding the funds to purchase said handbag monthly or for that matter, yearly, is non-existent in this economy. I do, however, believe that first impressions are everything and that every woman regardless of age needs to know her body type well enough to know how to buy and dress to feel confident and never compromising personal style for trends.

Since I have a fashion budget to stay within, my mantra: chic but cheap. Meaning it needs to fit within the confines of my budget but also be chic, classic and of good quality. I look on Pinterest for style inspiration to help with a few stipulations: the outfit must have at least two key pieces I already own, then try to make the outfit my own using various accessories in my closet.  I will attempt to do these "fashion style" files every Friday as I do tend to put together one "new" outfit per week with clothing and accessories I already own and occasionally with something I just purchased.

Keep in mind I use my phone to take these pics so they aren't the greatest but you get the gist. This is what I wore today for a day of school shopping with my little man. I paired this with a brown tote bag. I hope this inspires you to dress in a way which makes your confidence shine through.

Shorts: Clearance Lucky Brand/Shirt: Old Navy / Belt: Target/ Shoes: American Eagle

Happy Tax-Free Shopping! Back-to-school is always fun! Do you have any plans to do tax-free shopping where you live?

~B