Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New

Oh, I'm just going to go ahead and say it! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I know we've got a few hours left in 2012, but I'm wearing sequins, so it's time to par-tay!

Sequin Sleeve Blazer- Eloquii c/o Gwynnie Bee
Tunic- Sequins & Pearls at Simply Be c/o Gwynnie Bee
I've been looking for a flapper-style dress for a couple of weeks now, but so many of them are cost or size prohibitive that I was beginning to get discouraged. I have an event coming up that encourages flapper attire, and I knew a beautiful beaded and sequined dress would also be perfect for New Year's Eve, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw this Sequins & Pearls tunic on Gwynnie Bee's January New Arrivals Pinterest board. It is almost exactly what I have been looking for!


I'll be honest since graduating from college and getting married and having a kid, the idea of partying all night isn't always the most appealing thing. However, a chance to wear a sparkly dress and go to dinner with friends? Now that is right up my alley. Add to the worldwide celebration, the fact the New Year's Eve is also my sweet husband's birthday, and I am willing to brave the crowds and the craziness for a fun night out. 


I'm going to talk New Year's resolutions later this week (when I come up with some that I won't break within the first two weeks!). But for now I'm just going to enjoy my night. And my sequins.

This dress is the bee's knees!

Gwynnie Bee Free Trial- Expires Tonight:
Until midnight tonight all NEW subscribers are eligible to get a free, 30-day trial subscription (up to 3 items at a time) Cancel on or before your 30 days are up and you won’t be charged (You will have to send the clothes back!). New Gwynnie Bee Guests, request an invite (the site is invite-only at this time), tell them that Hems for Her referred you, activate your account, browse around and give it a try. You will receive an email with the invite and the trial instruction. If you want more information about Gwynnie Bee, here's a good intro post.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Year in Review: Hits and Misses

I've seen a ton of "Best of" blog posts over the past few days, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to do one myself for Hems for Her. Finally, I asked myself if I enjoyed reading others' posts, and I do. Then Audrey talked about the evolution of personal style. I have had that very conversation several times in the past few weeks.

 It's extremely interesting to look back and see what you were wearing a year ago. So much of it is totally cringe-worthy. It would have been way easier to pick "Worst of" posts like Marion, but my ego isn't quite as ironclad as hers! So here it is, five of my favorite looks from the year that was 2012.


Little White Dress:

I got a ton of wear this year out of this awesome Marilyn-esque dress from Dorothy Perkins. Pairing it with turquoise here was my favorite, but here and here are two more I really loved.



Animal Print:

Animal print was another big fashion trend with me this year, and it was fun to go back through and pick out my favorite look. I picked this one with a cheetah print shirtdress from Old Navy and mint green accents, but I also loved my leopard print. A lot.



Kiyonna:

I've been a member of Kiyonna's Blogger Brigade since January, and I haven't worn a thing I didn't totally love. However, I think I will always have a sweet spot for my first dress from them- the red Harlow Faux Wrap Dress. For two of my other favorite Kiyonna looks check out this post or that post.


Skinny Jeans:

One of my very first posts was about the wonderfulness that is the SKINNY JEAN. I love them. I wear them all the time on the weekends and casual days at work. Here's one of my favorite casual work outfits, but check out typical weekend wear and just one of many colored denim posts from 2012!



Bird Prints:

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you've probably realized that I am a little obsessed with bird prints. Put a bird or an owl on it and it MUST be mine. Usually it's a hit- like this bird print shift dress or this birdy blouse from Old Navy, but there have been some misses along the way. Take for example, this God-awful dress. The print was amazing. The cut and style- embarrassing. As soon as I saw these photos, I got rid of the dress. So for my final favorite look of 2012, I share with you one of the WORST outfits I wore this year.


So what look or trend are YOU most embarrassed of this year?

Monday, December 24, 2012

We Wish You a.....


Friday, December 21, 2012

Golden Apples

See that apple necklace and those cute golden apples on my top?
They inspired today's post.
That will be important later!

So this is a totally random post today, but between the cold that has knocked me on my butt this week and the craziness of closing out the school semester, I am running pretty low on coherent thoughts. When I was in 8th grade, I decided I was going to be a singer. Hey, I was in 5th grade choir, so I was practically a trained professional. In the shower I would practice my singing and my future Grammy award acceptance speech.  Things were pretty legit.

Trouser Jeans and Apple Blouse- Old Navy
Mustard Cardigan- JC Penny's
Wedges- Payless
Apple Necklace- Maurice's

I also spent a lot of time imagining and planning out my album cover and name- you know, this was before iTunes when people actually looked at album covers and names.  I was going to name my awesome debut album "One Bad Apple". Yep. Digest it. Embrace it. Love it.


So "One Bad Apple" was going to have a bad ass cover, of course. It involved me in a super-futuristic outfit (think silver aluminum foil-type pleated mini skirt and a baby doll tee - mid- 90s, y'all!) climbing a ladder to pick apples from a tree. The tree was going to be silver and robotic looking and the apples were going to be golden. Ironically, in this tree full of golden apples, I was going to be picking the one perfectly ripe, perfectly red apple. Oh, eighth grade Katie, you were so edgy and cool ;)

 I wish I had Elena's artistic ability, so I could provide an illustration- can I commission a piece, Elena? (And go congratulate her on her exciting news!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That's a Wrap



Going through my closet over the weekend, I realized I have a serious lack of the color blue in there. So when I saw GB's new December arrivals, I couldn't wait to brighten things up with this IGIGI Paisley Print Faux Wrap Dress (retails $128). Too often in December, I turn to red and black as my dressy colors of choice, but the blues, greens, and purples in this dress are equally glamorous. I was excited to pull out my summery mint platform shoes for a mid-winter occasion. Also, I didn't realize I have gotten translucent in the past few months, so that was really fun to notice!

Igigi Dress c/o Gwynnie Bee


New arrivals are available to ship today! If you are interested in a great Gwynnie Bee deal, then BEE (ha!~ See what I did there?!) sure to check out this blog post from last week for all the details on how to get one month free!


P.S. Did you win that awesome Kiyonna Giveaway?!? Check it out!


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Monday After

"Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted"-- Aldous Huxley

As a blogger it is tough to find a justification to post in the wake of a national tragedy. It feels so pointless and superficial. It feels disrespectful. It feels dumb. I'm sure there are other bloggers struggling this morning as to what to post, and I am not judging them for whatever decision they make.  But as a mother of a kindergartener AND a school teacher, I am going to have to save my fashion musings for another day.

School shootings have always terrified me. My generation has grown up in a world of too frequent occurrences like the one that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary Friday morning. There were shootings before my senior year of high school, but the Columbine shooting, a month before I graduated from high school, is the one that affected me the most. And while I never once felt unsafe in my high school, the very notion that someone (or multiple people) could come into my "safe place", my sanctuary, and destroy innocent lives, is something I have struggled with for years.

Now as a teacher, I see things from the other side of the coin- what IF this happened at my school? What if I found myself in the nightmarish situation of fending off an attacker and protecting my students? What would I do? We practice lock downs. Since Columbine, most schools have survival plans laid out "in case of emergency". But what would I do? How would I react?  I have never once felt unsafe in my high school as a teacher, but I'm sure if you asked any of the teachers in Newton that question, they would give you the same answer. We take this for granted.

Every morning, Curtis takes Sean to school. That's been the arrangement since he started daycare. It's on Daddy's way to work, so Daddy takes him. Every morning, I get my goodbye hug and kiss from Sean. Sometimes he stops me right before I walk out the door for "one more" hug and kiss. Sometimes I rush him through it. We've already said goodbye. I'm running late.

 As I picked Sean up from school Friday afternoon (driving over the speed limit the entire time even though I knew he was safe, tears streaming as I listened to radio reports on the ages of the children killed), and smothered him with hugs and kisses, I was so thankful. I have another chance to see my child. To love my child. I wonder if any of the parents in Newton rushed out the door with their second goodbye kiss. I wonder if any of them were running late or were preoccupied or just not living in the moment. I wonder how they felt Friday afternoon. Were they like me- relieved that they got a second chance? Or will they spend the remainder of their lives regretting that final good-bye? We take this for granted.

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."-- G.K. Chesterton



Friday, December 14, 2012

Love at First Sight


I've been bragging about this Kristin Miles sweater I borrowed from Gwynnie Bee for going on two weeks now, and my love affair with it is not weakening. I have spent the majority of the fall season searching high and low for a tribal sweater. But all of my searching has been in vain. Either the sweaters were too costly or too small. It wasn't looking good.


Then I saw Gwynnie Bee's December New Arrivals on Pinterest and this sweater.It was pretty much love at first sight!This sweater is so cozy and comfy, and it's a dead ringer to a super expensive Anthropolgie sweater that sold out at over $188! This is just another thing I love about my Gwynnie Bee subscription. I had never heard of the Kristin Miles clothing line until I saw this sweater and now I am eyeing several cute pieces.



You know the drill! Now through the end of this month, all NEW Gwynnie Bee subscribers are eligible to get a free, 30-day trial subscription (up to 3 items at a time)! No risk, no commitment at all. You just have to sign up for the trial prior to December 31st. Cancel on or before your 30 days are up and you won’t be charged (You will have to send the clothes back!). New Gwynnie Bee Guests, request an invite (the site is invite-only at this time), tell them that Hems for Her referred you, activate your account, browse around and give it a try. You will receive an email with the invite and the trial instruction. Existing Gwynnie Bee guests: you are also eligible to receive the 30 day free trial. You can use your current guest account to browse, then go to the “subscribe” part of the site to activate your trial. Remember to tell them Hems for Her referred you so you can get the trial! As a reminder, this works with plans up to three pieces at a time.

If you are obsessed with blogs like I am then you are seeing Gwynnie Bee all over the place. I am so happy when I see the pictures other bloggers post and when I hear from women about how much they are enjoying it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What's the Buzz on Gwynnie Bee?

Can I ask you a personal question? It's one most of you probably don't want to answer truthfully. I know I sure didn't!


How much money do you spend on clothes?



I really admire bloggers and real-life people who shop only at thrift stores or put themselves on shopping freezes. That takes serious determination. I have a little bit of a shopping issue (more on this very soon), so I spend way more than I should. Blogging, for me, just made a bad situation worse. The more I got into style and fashion, the more I discovered things I had to have. However, for 2013 I am vowing to cut WAY back on my clothing budget.

How am I going to do that? Two words for you. Gwynnie Bee. I have posted several times about this New York-based company that specializes in Clothing Without Commitment for women size 10- 26, and I am still enamored with it. Hands down this is the best way for a fashionista to save major money.

Quick review of Gwynnie Bee and how it works. You request an invitation. They send you your log-in information. You browse, shop, and fill your virtual closet with any of the hundreds of clothing items they offer- dresses, tops, skirts, sweaters, jackets, with new arrivals coming in every two weeks. They send the clothes. You wear the clothes and when you are ready for new clothes, you simply send the old ones back (pre-labeled returns included). If you are familiar with Netflix, then you already know exactly how GB works.



Let's do a little math. Say you spend $100 on clothes each month. How many items do you get? One high quality? Ten $10 pieces? How often do you wear those items? Most woman are familiar with the cost per wear concept. If you're not, here's the formula: 

cost of the item divided by the number of times you wear it 
= the cost per wear.

With Gwynnie Bee's subscription service you can spend $100 a month and get 5 high quality brand items delivered to your home. Wear them as long as you want or send them back the very day you wear it. With a revolving shipping system, as soon as you tell GB you are sending back an item they start packing up your next one. There's very little down time between shipments. This is invaluable to you because imagine how many pieces you can get in a month's time. Ten? 15? More?



Never again will a special occasion dress gather dust in your closet. Borrow one from Gwynnie Bee's closet and send it back for something else. There is a price point for literally everyone- from $35 up to $159 (15 items at a time!!!!). Maybe you are one of my readers not sure about trying it out? Maybe you are worried about a contract or using your credit card online? I want you to put your mind at ease and give it a chance.

I have a great opportunity for you. Now through the end of this month, all NEW subscribers are eligible to get a free, 30-day trial subscription (up to 3 items at a time)! No risk, no commitment at all. You just have to sign up for the trial prior to December 31st. Cancel on or before your 30 days are up and you won’t be charged (You will have to send the clothes back!). New Gwynnie Bee Guests, request an invite (the site is invite-only at this time), tell them that Hems for Her referred you, activate your account, browse around and give it a try. You will receive an email with the invite and the trial instruction. Existing Gwynnie Bee guests: you are also eligible to receive the 30 day free trial. You can use your current guest account to browse, then go to the “subscribe” part of the site to activate your trial. Remember to tell them Hems for Her referred you so you can get the trial! As a reminder, this works with plans up to three pieces at a time.

I really hope you will join me and save money in 2013 with Gwynnie Bee. I really believe this is something that one you try it, you too will love it and you will want to keep you subscription! If you have any questions at all, please ask in the comments below or contact me via email, Facebook, or Twitter. I would love to talk with you! I definitely don't want you to hesitate and miss out on something that you will LOVE and will save you money! 

Note: I do receive a commission on all who sign up for Gwynnie Bee and stay with them past the 30-day trial.  However, I write about them so much because I truly believe in this company and what they offer to plus size and cusp-sized women.  Anything I write I write from my heart with full honesty.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Risque Business (and a Kiyonna Giveaway!)

Top c/o Kiyonna
Skinny Jeans- Old Navy
Booties- Cato's

Wowza! Am I right? Looking at this top, you might think that this was a totally impractical option for my wardrobe. But you'd be TOTALLY wrong. This Tessa Multi-Way Top from Kiyonna can be worn three different ways- as a bateau top with a slight cowl-neck, off both shoulders or off to one side. Wardrobe versatility is so important for someone trying to save money and stick to a budget (more on that Monday!). This is a top that can easily go from daytime to nighttime. 



I wore the shirt off my shoulder (excellent for showing off that little bit of ink) for a sexy and really flattering date night look, but I've also paired it with a pencil skirt for work. Kiyonna is one of my favorite retailers, but also an amazing sponsor for Hems for Her.


Kiyonna is so awesome, they are giving one of my readers a $100 gift certificate to go towards any dress, top, or skirt in the shop. I have so many women who comment that they love Kiyonna's clothes, but cannot afford them. This is a great opportunity to get a little something pretty at a fraction of the price!

To enter simply fill out the form below (there are only TWO steps, not 200!!). You can tweet DAILY for extra chances to win. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fringe Benefits

Last week I posted a Save or Splurge blog about fringe boots. Over the weekend, I was able to style them. The boots are super comfortable and crazy fun to walk around in! Rows of fringe swishing and swaying with every step really puts some pep into walking around!

Ignore my crazy blurry alien hand!
Cardigan and Boots- Kohl's
T-shirt and Skinny Jeans- Old Navy

During the fall months (of which I feel like the Deep South only *really* has one month of fall), I cannot get enough of jeans, over-sized sweaters and knee high boots. There are simply not enough days in the weekend. At school we are only allowed to wear jeans on Fridays (fringe benefit, get it?!), and sometimes that can be a total drag. Every once in a while, I'll sneak a black skinny jean into my weekday mix or a nice trouser jean on a Thursday. But really, I'm a rule follower.



So what's a girl who loves jeans, but is afraid to break the rules to do? Why she posts weekend photos of herself in jeans on a Wednesday. Just to live vicariously through that weekend rule breaker! Friday, where are you?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Lace Up

Lace in still on trend for fall and winter this year, so I was really excited when Kiyonna sent me this beautiful Juliet Wrap Top. It is a fully functional wrap top, not a faux wrap, so I was able to adjust it perfectly for both work and dinner afterwards with my husband (wink,wink).


The lace detailing is so delicate and feminine, and I loved pairing it with this ponte skirt from Target. I think it will look equally great with a pair of skinny jeans and tall boots as well. On the hair front, I have had short hair for 10 days and I have probably worn it 10 different ways! You gotta love that! With my long hair, I wore it pretty much one way- down and curled, so it's nice to have some versatility. Who would have thought that short hair could be versatile?

Top- c/o Kiyonna
Skirt- Target
Shoes- Forever 21
Watch- Kohl's


I would love to find some old-fashioned "Gift of the Magi" style hair combs and some awesome head bands as well, just to add some interest into the hair. I am still getting used to fixing it every morning, but other than that I love it. All last week teachers where in and out of my room. "I heard you cut off all your hair, and I just had to come see it for myself!" Over and over again. At first I felt like I needed to explain myself and make excuses for why I did it- which now seems totally crazy.

Later this week, I'll be back with an awesome giveaway with Kiyonna- so lace up, it's going to be an exciting ride!

Needs cool hair combs!

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