Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm Bringing Sexy BACK

On days, like today, when I feel like all I've done is washed load after load of vomit-covered laundry, I am thankful that I have photos that prove that I am a hot chick, not just a frazzled and very tired mom. Last night Sean climbed in bed with me and proceeded to puke all over every square inch of available bedding. He ate lots of tater tots at dinner; don't make me tell you what that resembled. 

Before the night was over he had puked three more separate times, including puking all over me in the guest bed as well! When will I learn to shove him off the bed like a heaving cat?! But Saturday, blessed Saturday, I was hot. And clean. And not covered in vomit.

Saturday we went on a real date. There was dinner. And a movie. And concessions. And this sexy Trixxi dress borrowed from Gwynnie Bee (new here? Gwynnie Bee intro post right here!). This is definitely a step out from what I usually wear. 

The top part of the dress was sheer and there is this crazy hot cut-out on the back. Let me tell you about big boobs and cute cut-out designs on the back of dresses- you never get to wear them! There's no way I can go anywhere without a bra, heck, I don't even mind sleeping in one, so I am always a little bitter about cute little dress with cute little backs.

But check me out!

I'm bringing sexy BACK... get it?

I am in love with this dress. It's really amazing how much a piece of clothing can change the way you feel about yourself. In 31 years of living, I have only once worn a dress with a pretty back and that was junior prom in 1998. I have missed so many years of cute, fun dresses. If I had been shopping, I probably never would have given this dress a chance. But with Gwynnie Bee, I am able to try so many different brands and styles without worrying about returning things I don't like or wasting money on items I will only wear once or twice.

Gwynnie Bee gives me the freedom to fill my "virtual closet" with dresses and tops and other clothing pieces that I would be too afraid to spend money on. And many times I realize I love it. I am constantly redefining my style thanks to GB. I feel like I've had an opportunity to try edgier pieces like this, and by trying I've realized I like them, and they make me feel good! This dress s going to soon be making the move from my virtual closet to my actual closet!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hey, Sexy Lady... A SWEET Giveaway

Nobody does sexy for curvy bodies like Kiyonna! In fact it was during my Valentine's Post last year that I first stumbled across Kiyonna's website, and what can I say? It was love at first sight!

Kiyonna specializes in pretty little things for ladies size 10 and up, and when I started looking for my Valentine's Day dress, I didn't have to look far! But because the ladies at Kiyonna are so sweet, they are giving away a $100 gift certificate to one Hems for Her reader, so you can pick out your own hot number for Valentine's Day (or heck... any day!)

Entering is super easy. Simple follow the directions below. You have multiple entry methods to increase your chances of winning and they are all super easy. You have until next Monday, February 4th to enter, so hurry up!

P.S. My Valentine's Day dress is pictured here! Wanna take a guess?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 25, 2013

Romance Reigns

Yesterday Curtis and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary (here's last year's post about our relationship), and it was such a great day. Not to get mushy, but seriously, you guys, getting to celebrate waking up every day with your best friend is awesome, right?

At this point in the game, we are over trying to out romance each other. Sometimes the little things matter more. I made him breakfast. He went out late Wednesday night to buy bananas because I was out and couldn't make my green smoothie. We had a laid back dinner last night (my mom kept Sean), roamed Barnes and Noble, and came home to crash on the couch. Who says romance is dead?

Kiyonna Lace Top
Wide Leg Trouser Jeans (same, similar, similar)
Wedges (OLD, but similar and similar)
Speaking of romance, isn't this lace top the very definition of romance? I have struggled with how to wear it, and I couldn't be more pleased with how this combination turned out. If you don't own a pair of wide leg trouser jeans then you are truly missing out. They automatically add polish to a simpler outfit or they can balance out pieces that are a little over the top.

A word of caution with wide leg trouser jeans: watch your proportions! When you are wearing something so voluminous on your bottom half, you want to balance that out with a closer fitting top. Also unless you are just blessed with mile-long legs ( so jealous of you!), you will have to have these pants hemmed, but it is so worth it. Some really stylish women buy two pairs- one is hemmed to wear with heels and the other with flats. Now that's a great idea!

I'm feeling like I could say way more about wearing and styling trouser jeans... I'm thinking a separate post. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

There's a First Time for Everything

I'm going to let you in on a little secret right here. This is the first time I have EVER (EVER) worn a sweater dress. My mom brought it to me the other day after her latest thrifting expedition, and originally I just tossed it in the floor. A few days later it was cold and I was looking for something warm, and I remembered the sweater dress.

Luckily, sweater dresses don't wrinkle. And officially I am in love!

Cowl Neck Sweater Dress-Thrifted (similar here, here, or here)
Wide Belt (similar here or here)
Black Riding Boots (Here and Wide Calf options here )

Sweater dresses are awesome. I'm not sure what I have been waiting for, but now I am obsessed. While this dress is thrifted and old, I have included some affordable cowl-neck options in my links above. I may have also added some options to my virtual closet as well.

In other, totally unrelated news, I thought Curtis did a wonderful job with these photos, so I decided to update my About Me page with some new photographs.I mean, do you ever look at photos and think to yourself, "Damn, I look good!"? Well, I do. I guess that's why I'm so great at blogging really because that happens A LOT ;)

 Since I was updating I rewrote my About Me as well. I've been really productive lately. Now about that pile of clothes in the floor....

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Hems for Her’s Disclosure Statement for more details.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Little Pep(lum) in my Step

Peplum continues to hold strong in the world of fashion. I haven't allowed myself to go crazy with the trend because I kept thinking it had to be on its way out, but fashion forecasts are saying it's still going to be super hot for spring 2013 as well. I know lots of women who find themselves intimidated by peplum, afraid that it will make them look wider, but personally, I find peplum to have the opposite effect. I think when used correctly, peplum is universally flattering.

However, as a woman who has struggled with self esteem issues in the past, I understand the reluctance to try something different. To step out of your comfort zone is a scary proposition for many women. At the same time, I KNOW it is one of the most liberating things you can possibly do for yourself. How scared do you think I was the first time I wore RED tights to work? Teenagers are brutally honest, and brutally cruel, so I had to deal with them, along with coworkers. But something magical happened.

I got complimented. A lot. So  many girls (and grown women!) came up to me, telling me how great I looked, how much they loved it, how they wish they had the courage to try something different. The next week I noticed a quiet girl, the very definition of a wallflower, in a similar outfit, right down to the bright red tights. And she was beaming as friends and teachers told her how great she looked. She thanked me that day. I have never forgotten.

Goofy Face, Awesome Clothes
Peplum Top- c/o Gwynnie Bee Pencil Skirt- c/o Kiyonna
Red Tights- Target Red Shoes- Cato's

I am continuing my partnership with Gwynnie Bee into 2013 (see my intro post for more information), and I am thrilled. This is a company I believe in. I love getting emails from readers showing me their Gwynnie Bee creations, thanking ME for giving them the confidence to step out of their comfort zone and try something different and new. I love interacting with other Gwynnie Bee subscribers on Facebook and Twitter. A year ago, I would have been too scared to wear peplum, and now here I am telling you how great it makes me feel to stand out from the crowd.

I encourage you to break out of your shell and try something you've never worn before. Maybe it's red lipstick (or red tights!). Maybe it's a pencil skirt or a form-fitting dress. Maybe it's a peplum top. Gwynnie Bee is a great way to try something new, and it's truly "Clothing without Commitment." If you don't like it, if you don't feel like a million bucks, all you have to do is return it and try something else! If you'd like to try out Gwynnie Bee for 2013, follow this link for an invitation and an exclusive offer to get one month free.

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, January 18, 2013

Best. Week. Ever.

So, in a nutshell, this week has pretty much rocked my face off. Monday I (sadly) missed school to go to a couple of doctor's appointments. While multiple weight checks and vials of blood taken, in addition to a flu shot and EKG for my faulty heart, isn't exactly a "good" time, it did mean I only had a four-day work week. Frankly, that's ALWAYS a good time. Right?

Tuesday... I'm struggling to remember. Oh, yeah, I got to host detention after school. That was not best week ever material; however, now I'm don't have to deal with that anymore. Wednesday is a blur.

Yesterday, it snowed. Now I know that's pretty normal for most of you, but down here in the South, snow shuts things down. We had ENTIRE counties with every road shut down. We had massive exoduses (exodi?) from public and private schools alike. I was like a kid and not a teacher when the principal announced we were dismissing at 12:30.

That means I jumped around and yelled at the top of my lungs, in case you were wondering.

All OLD Old Navy on the body today

Sean and I spent Thursday afternoon playing in the slushy snow and drinking hot chocolate and watching TV. He got out of school early, so he concluded that we were having the "funnest day ever"! I was inclined to agree.

And school is starting late today. I don't have to be there until 9:30- That means I can sleep TWO hours later than usual. Ummmm, it doesn't get any better than that trust me.

Except- we don't have school Monday! Woo hoo! BEST.WEEK.EVER.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

See Jane Write

Recently I discovered a local networking organization called See Jane Write. It's a group of like-minded awesome women writers in my hometown, and the creator Javacia had put together a panel discussion on community journalism and the role of bloggers. I was so impressed with Javacia's dedication and the hard work she has put into this group. It was inspiring to sit in a room full of women (and some awesome men as well) passionate about writing. It reminded me of my college journalism classes, only way, way cooler.

And I was way better dressed. And maybe slightly buzzed from a high gravity beer from a local brewery. And nervous as hell.

Can I tell you that when it boils right down to it, I am the biggest chicken! I am socially awkward and very nervous in new situations. And I sweat. Not like armpit sweating, but forehead sweating. Lots of it. In nerve-wracking situations, I start sweating like a marathon runner. It's really embarrassing. But we are friends, right?

Dress- Eloquii c/o Gwynnie Bee
Shoes- Forever 21

I may have been nervous as hell and glistening with lady dew, but I looked AWESOME. I borrowed this eloquii dress from the ladies at Gwynnie Bee (here's my intro post), and I didn't want to send it back. I loved it that much. However, since they have my home address, I figured I better send it back. Don't worry- no pit stains!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why I'm Glad My Husband Doesn't Write a Fashion Blog

"Cool dress," Curtis commented the other morning when I slipped on this Cha Cha Vente number from Gwynnie Bee. "You look like an aerial view of an oil spill on a lake. You know what I mean?"

Thank you. I think....

The face I assume I made when my husband said I was dressed like an oil spill

My husband has humored my many whims and fancies for years now. He is super supportive and loves me at any weight and in any clothes. He is quick with a compliment, usually without being prompted. But sometimes men just don't get it. I didn't want to look like an "oil spill"; I wanted edgy.

I would have never chosen this dress for myself a year ago (heck maybe even a couple of months ago!), but when I saw Allison wear it, I knew I needed to at least try it out. Looking back at the photos, I wish I had sized down in this particular brand, but hey, you live and learn!

Cha Cha Vente Dress c/o Gwynnie Bee

Style is always evolving and changing. I know this because I have been documenting mine for over a year now. I definitely have a much edgier, rock'n'roll style than I did when I first started blogging. But sometimes even I am not 100% convinced about a piece of clothing. That's why Gwynnie Bee is so great. I can have the piece sent to my home, try it on in the privacy of my own room, get feedback from the husband, and plan an outfit or send it back. A dress like this, while lovely, is what I would consider a special occasion or one time wear item. If I had paid full price for the dress (around $90), I would have worn it once or twice and then never again. It's not a versatile piece, and it's very memorable, so I couldn't wear it once a week like true closet staples. "Hey, you are wearing that oil spill dress again. Cool...." I think GB is worth the subscription price simply because of the variety you get to experience.

One of the biggest questions or concerns I hear from readers about subscribing to Gwynnie Bee is sizing. They offer clothing starting at Medium/Size 10, so there is something there for almost anyone. While some people "poo-poo" the very notion than a size ten is "plus size", the fact remains that the fashion industry consider it the threshold between straight and plus size. So if you are a reader toying with the idea of Gwynnie Bee and you are a "cusp-size" (10,12,14), check out Tara at Penniless Socialite. She would never in a million years be considered plus size, but she is loving Gwynnie Bee's options for her. Additionally, each item on the website has a sizing chart specific for that brand, as well as reviews. If you still have questions about fit, customer service is second to none and more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.

And I can promise, they will NEVER say you look like an oil spill!

Note: I do have a free subscription to Gwynnie Bee and receive a commission on all new subscribers who mention Hems for Her when signing up.  However the choice to wear the clothes and which pieces is all mine, and I promote and support Gwynnie Bee because I honestly believe in the company and the service they provide.  Good people, good company, and good fashion for plus sized and cusp-sized women!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ain't No Sunshine

I swear, it feels like the sun hasn't shone here in at least three weeks. Every day since Christmas Eve, it has been gloomy and gray. And sometimes it becomes very difficult to keep your attitude from becoming gray and gloomy along with the weather. That's when cranberry-colored pants come in handy. How can you frown when your bottom half is brilliantly blinding?

I am really big on the idea of "Fake It Till You Make It". Want to crawl under the covers and sleep for two days, but you can't? Well, then, you need to open that closet door and find the brightest, most obnoxious thing you own (obnoxious in a good way, of course!) and wear it proudly. I wear clothes all the time that fit in that category. I feel accomplished if a student says my geometric print dress makes his eyes hurt or if someone kinda does the walking double take in the halls when I pass them in the morning.

"Good morning!" I chirp in this high-pitched sing-song voice. If you don't want to have a good morning, so be it. But you aren't going to bring me down, just like the weather's not going to bring me down. I'm in cranberry pants, yo!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I am typing this while holding my breath and crossing my fingers, hoping that my computer will last long enough to get it posted. You see, over the weekend, my lifeline, my beloved laptop, has decided to turn on me. One minute I’m obliviously surfing the web, the next minute the “Blue Screen of Death” is mocking me. I hadn’t even heard of BSOD (that’s what those of us in the know call it) until Friday night, and here I am fervently hoping that a trip to the “computer doctor” will be successful and inexpensive.

Top- Loft
Scarf- New York & Co.
Skinny Jeans- Old Navy
Booties- Target

Technology and I have a contentious relationship. We always have. I have long believed that I was born in the wrong era. I love the convenience of technology, but I don’t understand it one lick. It’s a little embarrassing, really. I just expect it to work. Turn it on and do what you need to do. Same thing with the TV, the DVR, the cell phone- just work, dammit! I turn into a spoiled, petulant child when something stops working- pouting, crying, stomping, the whole nine yards.

The extent of my repair knowledge is equally pitiful. Restart or ALT+CTRL+DEL. That’s it. Don’t ask me about error codes or programs or kernels or dump files or whatever. I am just going to look at it and whine, “Why won’t it work? Why?!?!” All of this is to say, clearly, I have become too dependent upon the technology available to me. I still have computer technology available to me in the meantime, but as of right now, I cannot predict how long I’m going to be adrift in the ocean, alone without my beloved Toshiba.

I fair thee well, kind readers. And I hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tweed Between the Lines

As a school teacher, I struggle with January being the "new year" even though the calendar clearly states that fact. For me the new year begins about mid-August when school starts back. That time of the year is my fresh start, my new beginning. In August I discussed my "New Year's Resolutions", so I thought I'd take some time to check-in and see how I'm doing so far- five months later.

Pensively reviewing the year that was 2012
In August, I resolved to work out three days a week, and honestly, I've done a pretty good job with this resolution. I started working out, quietly and with no fanfare back in July, not for reasons of vanity, but for a variety of self-inflicted health issues, and since then I have lost 25 pounds. I don't exactly enjoy working out, but I don't dread it like I used to either. In 2013, I am bumping up my commitment to working out FOUR days a week. I know I can do this!

I also resolved to pick up Sean and make dinner at least two or three nights a week. While I wasn't perfect with this resolution, I did much better than I have in the past. Sean likes going to the gym with me. Curtis and I plan out our meals over the weekend and do most of the prep on Sunday, so it's a lot easier to decide to eat at home, instead of the dreaded drive-thru dinner. Go me!

Jeans and Boots- Old Navy
Top- Loft
Tweed Jacket- Thrifted, no tag
My final resolution was school related, and this is one I still need to work on. Teaching is definitely rewarding and gratifying, but it is also exhausting and aggravating and frustrating. It's a thankless job; I don't care what anyone else says in the contrary- they are full of crap. We are expected to raise children because too often their parents won't or have given up, but often our hands are tied with bureaucracy. Okay, I'm going to stop ranting now. I want to focus on what I CAN change and what I CAN do for the rest of this year, instead of stressing out about things that are completely out of my control.

I'm also going to be trying out a few different things on the blog this year, as I continue to grow and mature as a blogger. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading- whether this is the first time or if you check in daily, weekly or monthly. Thank you for contributing on my Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for commenting and following. I appreciate more than mere words can express!

Now go out and kick 2013's butt!
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