Thursday, February 27, 2014

Plus Size A-Line Dresses (Under $50)

I love a good full-skirted A-line dress. I spend way more time ogling over  dresses on Modcloth and Eshakti. In the spirit of yesterday's Jess Day-inspired post, I am sharing with you some of my favorite A-line picks under $50.

ModCloth Plus Dresses · Jessica Howard Dresses · Jessica Simpson Day Dresses

 I love seersucker for spring and summer, so this Jessica Simpson Seersucker Dress is an awesome option. I've never tried any of  Jessica Simpson's plus size line because it's a little expensive for my budget, so this dress being over 50% off and under $50 makes it a great option for me!

Torrid is having an AMAZING sale right now- Buy any 4 apparel or shoes and get 40% off. This Torrid Blue Dress is under $40 and totally included in the sale.

The cheapest dress on my list is this Merona Blue Dress from Target. It comes in 4 different colors and is clearance priced at $11.97! I can buy all four if I want!

This Modcloth Garden Gambol Dress has a cute bicycle print and is over 50% off. It comes in sizes up to 4X and is a really cute option.

I love this NY Collection Color Block Dress! It's awesome for cooler weather right now with tights and boots, but I know it would look great with the raspberry flats I bought at Old Navy back last summer.

Another Jessica Simpson Floral Print Dress, and this one is even cheaper than the first! It looks a little short in the photo, but it's my experience that most dresses are hiked way up on models to show off their super long legs!

I wore a Spense dress last Easter, so I really like the brand, and this Spense Short-Sleeve Wrap Dress is a classic and flattering silhouette. I really want it.

I love the colors of this Modcloth Lace Overlay Dress. It's another piece that I think works for all seasons!

Can you tell I'm really into floral prints right now? This Jessica Howard Floral Print Dress is usually $96, but it's on sale right now for under $40. I love the cream-colored background, like a lot!

I guess I'm really into lace right now too. I think the ribbon belt on this Modcloth Drama Fair Play Dress makes the whole outfit!

I've got an ASOS giveaway coming up soon, and this ASOS Geo Print Dress is definitely on my wishlist!

It's cheesy, but I love reading Modcloth's dress names. I wish I could have that job. I want any dress that has a book-themed name, but this Modcloth Literary Bruncheon Dress is cute to boot, and only $38, which leaves me plenty of money for actual books!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Zooey Deschanel is my Spirit Animal

After spending the months of December, January, and most of February binge watching Breaking Bad, Dexter and Bates Motel on Netflix, I (and my dreams) needed something a little lighter. So I decided to try out New Girl starring everyone's favorite, or least favorite, "It Girl" Zooey Deschanel. Until watching the series I thought she was pretty insufferable, but damn it, now I think I am in love with her!

To steal Zooey's signature look as kooky Jess Day, you need a cute printed dress, a brightly colored cardigan, and cutesy shoes and jewelry. Pretty much the entire contents of my closet. A couple of weeks ago, Eshakti was offering a "Buy Two, Get One Free" sale, so I snapped up three ZD-worthy A-line dresses, including this beyond adorable key print dress with a sweetheart neckline. I love Eshakti for their complete customization options and the kitschy prints that are available. Unfortunately, some prints sell out quickly, so this particular dress isn't available any more.

Dress- Eshakti (print currently unavailable)
Cardigan- JC Penney's (Old, similar here)
Shoes- Payless (Old, similar here)
Jewelry- Premier Designs (buy here)

In addition to a cute dress, you need a few more things to complete the look. Scroll over or click on any of the photos below to see purchase info!

Monday, February 24, 2014

True Blue Friendship and Blue Jeans

It's not every day that a company contacts me and asks me to talk about my best friend!  I mean how cool is that? So when J.Jill contacted me about sharing their True Blue Friendship Challenge for February, it was just too good to pass up! This month J.Jill is celebrating friendship and denim with it's True Blue Friendship Challenge and an awesome giveaway for the blog.

I met my best friend/soul sister, Callie, the first day of new teacher orientation in the summer of 2008. It was not love at first sight actually. We both thought the other was a snooty know-it-all, not necessarily untrue, mind you. But a rather rocky start to a loving and lasting friendship! By Homecoming week, we were best buddies, and over the years we have gone on vacations together, gotten matching best friend tattoos, gotten our noses pierced, and so many other fun memories!

One time we had a caricature drawn of us. This was when I realized I looked like Fran Drescher. It was disturbing.

We've celebrated many New Year's Eves together, and we have the Instagram pics to prove it!

We like to take selfies!

We like to dress up like twins!

Callie's my go-to girl. Not only is she my closet friend, she is also my hair stylist and my fashion consultant. She is my first call when I need advice on a new book to read or what shampoo to use. She fixes my hair for all special occasions, and I make her dinner once a month. 

Like best friends, blue jeans are tough to find, and the good ones last forever and get better with age! J.Jill is revamping their denim collection, focusing on using quality fabrics and artisan styling to create comfortable and flattering denim looks.

Authentic Fit Slim Boot-Cut Jeans -- These create a lean silhouette. These jeans have a slimmer, slightly flared leg opening creating a flattering, balanced fit for both shoes and boots, and the higher rise is perfect to tuck in shirts and maintain a smooth silhouette --.Jill recommends a brightly colored button up with cami underneath. If you'd prefer a longer top to create a long,lean line - try an A-line shape cardigan that mirrors the flare of the jeans. 
Slim Boyfriend - This type of denim is like your favorite boyfriend jean but now more straight and streamlined for a more feminine fit. Straight fit through hips and thighs for a silhouette that flatters every body. J.Jill's tip - play with both proportions and volume with the slim boyfriend, both slim and fuller-volume tops work well. A streamlined top has a slimming effect (especially in black!) over the straight shape of the slim boyfriend jeans, whereas fuller tops create a visual balance with the straight bottom.

Tried & True Slim Ankle - These were inspired by the classic and timeless ankle silhouette, and conform beautifully to a woman's shape with the ankle-length seam falling in just the right place. Pair with a longer length top with either a little or a lot of volume -- either works! Try tunic for a slim, lengthening effect, or a more voluminous sweater over a stretch cotton tee for a flattering layered take.

Tried & True Slim Leg - These jeans are super flattering thanks to J.Jill's cotton-stretch fabric for a great fit, recovery and comfort. The dark color elevates the look, and the slim leg looks great with heels, flats or tucked into boots. These jeans are a perfect complement to tops with an A-line shape or hem interest. Pairing them with an anorak would make for a classic look with balanced proportions, or try a high-low hem to create interest on top while slimming and elongating the bottom.

I am sharing with you TWO ways to win BIG with Hems for Her and J.Jill!

How to Win of J.Jills Facebook Page:

JJill is  running a True Blue Facebook contest They are encouraging people to post photo of themselves and a friend to J.Jill’s timeline and tag it with hashtag #jjilltrueblue, or upload a photo of yourself and a friend to instagram with hashtag #jjilltrueblue and tag J.Jill’s instagram (@JJillstyle). JJill will select one person each day to receive a gift card for a pair of jeans for themselves and a friend and a grand prize winner will receive a two $250 gift cards – one for themselves and a friend.

How to win on my blog Hems for Her: 

Comment below and tell me about you true blue friend.   One follower who comments will be selected to win J. Jill jeans for themselves and their true blue friend! How great is that??!!

Disclosure: I will be compensated for this post as a member of J.Jill Lifestylers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Button Down Foxcroft

When I thought this look on Pinterest, I thought it was really modern and smart. Then my husband said I looked a little like Sister Mary Robert from Sister Act. And that kinda took the wind right out of my sails. Then I remembered how awesome Sister Act is and all was well again!

Does you see it?

Do you??
This Foxcroft top is great as a layering piece. It's more played down, a supporting act if you will, than in my first outfit. I like how it added a different feel to the basic shape of a shift dress, and how the belt broke up the line a little bit.  I had a couple of questions about the "no-iron" feature of the shirt. So far, so good. I mean I wouldn't wad it up in the button of my purse and expect it to come out crisp, but it's perfect coming out of the dryer. Or if you left it piled up with the rest of your clothes because you are forgetful. Or lazy.

Shirt- Foxcroft (Buy Here)
Dress- Old Navy (Buy Here)
Shoes- Forever 21, old (similar here)
Belt- Old Navy (similar here)
Jewelry- Premier Designs (Buy Here)
Or too busy watching Sister Act. Whatevs. Don't forget to enter to win the free shirt from Foxcroft! The giveaway ends tonight at midnight! Scroll down to enter. And enjoy this while you are entering the giveaway....

 You're Welcome!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 17, 2014

Brands I Buy: Coldwater Creek

This IS NOT a sponsored post. Just me, talking for free, about a brand I really like. If you click on any of the pieces I featured I will receive a small (usually about two to five cents) payment, but that's all. Here's my disclosure page for more information.

I was surprised at the amount of interest shown in my Coldwater Creek pants I wore in Friday's post Valentine's Day to Date. I think many women still equate the brand with matronly styles, and while there is plenty of that, they've got a lot of affordable, on-trend items available as well. I first discovered Coldwater Creek last year when I was partnered up with Gwynnie Bee, and I loved everything I tried. It was only natural to start buying from them as well.

One thing that Coldwater Creek has going for them, that many other brands are still lacking, is a great women's selection. Sizes go up to a 3x/24, so while they don't have extended sizes, the amount of variety is still pretty impressive. I am also a sucker for a good sale, and right now they are having a great President's Day sale- 40% off of all new items and sale and outlet pieces marked down 50-70%. Here are some pieces currently in my shopping cart. But be warned, sizes are limited, and the sale ends at midnight, so don't dilly-dally too long! (Hint: If you click on a picture, it will take you to the Coldwater Creek website, so you can explore available colors and sizes!)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day to Date

While Curtis and I just celebrated our ten-year anniversary, I still love a chance to go out to eat and celebrate! I know many people who bad mouth Valentine's Day, and I totally get it, but I'm just not one of those people. Give me some chocolate and some flowers and a good meal and, well, I will start gushing about how much I love "love"! I guess deep down I'm just sappy!

Because Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, I will be working a full day before we head out for a romantic meal. I thought it would be fun to show you what I'm wearing, and how easily I will "fancy" it up for dinner with my husband.

The basics stay the same:  red top and shoes and black bottoms, but the additions of bright red lipstick and more necklaces make the second look more date-night than PTA. This Lace Wrap Top from Kiyonna is perfect for Valentine's Day, and I love the added modesty the lacy black panel adds to the V-neck collar.

Daytime Details: Hourglass Lace Top from Kiyonna (Buy Here), Ponte Holly Pants from Coldwater Creek (Buy Here), Red Flats from Old Navy (Buy Here), Jewelry from Premier Designs (Buy Here)

Date Night Details: Hourglass Lace Top from Kiyonna (Buy Here), Pencil Skirt from Kiyonna (Similar Here), Red Heels from Cato's (Similar Here), Jewelry from Premier Designs (Buy Here)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Not So Boring Button-Down (And A Giveaway!)

I dare you to find an article about cultivating a wardrobe or must-own wardrobe staples that doesn't include the basic white button-down dress shirt.  The thinking seems solid- it's a piece that can be mixed with a multitude of other separates; it's a perfect neutral backdrop for other pieces to take main stage, it's iconic and classic in every single way.

Now I'm never going to look like Audrey Hepburn in a white button-down. I grew out of that waifish, gamine phase in seventh grade, long before I would have considered a dress shirt as daily wear. But I was really, really into bodysuits (among other horrible 90s' fashion atrocities). Anyway, I digress.... There are many reasons why I've never owned a white button-down shirt. Let's look at them:

           1. I'm messy and a white shirt seems like a mess-magnet 
 2. I'm lazy and a white shirt requires lots of ironing
3. I'm busty and white shirts always gape and pull

So when the ladies at Foxcroft Clothing invited me to try something from their Women's Plus Collection, I originally shied away from the white button-downs. But there were so many different options- cuts, sleeve length, shirt length- I felt my will weakening, and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of my very own white button-down dress shirt. I felt like such a grown-up.

Here's the low-down. I picked the fitted, 3/4 sleeve top. I liked the open neckline and the flipped up cuffs- it felt a little more feminine and fun that a long-sleeved option. Because the shirt is cut for true women's sizes, I had no problems with gaping between the buttons or anything annoying like that. The only real problem I had was trying to figure out a way to style it. I had really pigeon-holed the white button down and considered it a piece of a traditional business suit. To only wear this shirt with a power suit is to do it a huge disservice! I created a Pinterest board for some of my favorite looks, and I will be sharing these looks with you over the next couple of weeks.

I first decided to pair the shirt with a full maxi skirt. In my head I imagined a more practical version of Carolina Herrera's daily uniform. I layered the button-up over my Old Navy maxi dress I bought last summer and belted it at the waist with a wide belt. I thought this was a really sophisticated, glamorous look, and I am excited to try it again with some slightly different proportions.

hems for her white button up Foxcroft review and giveaway
Top- Foxcroft (Buy Here)
Dress styled as skirt- Old Navy (Buy Here)
Belt- New York and Co. (super old, Similar Here)
And now for the really exciting part! Foxcroft is sharing my enthusiasm for their shirts by giving away one shirt to a lucky Hems for Her reader! The contest is super easy to enter and you have multiple chances to win! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Dangerous Combination

You know what's worse than throwing up at school?

Throwing up at school TWICE. I know this because I did it yesterday. And it was every nightmare I ever imagined as a teacher. I felt miserable all day, and during my last class of the day, the dam finally broke. Literally. The only upside to the experience was that I managed to make it to a toilet.

So yesterday found me sitting at home-sick, bored, and feeling sorry for myself. Hence the post title. This is a dangerous combination for me. I'm over winter and the cold and tights and pants and boots, so I found myself doing a little on-line shopping. I've never done a post like this before (sorry if you hate it!), but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at some of the springy pieces I bought, in my moment of weakness, of course.

Old Navy Maternity Clothes · Old Navy Petite Dresses · Old Navy Flats

I also might have bought a few dresses at Eshakti over the weekend. So weak, I swear! They were having a great "Buy Two, Get One Free sell", and like I've already mentioned, I'm totally over winter.

Forties Style Chambray Dress                  Sash Waist Cotton Dress            Vintage Key Print Sweetheart Dress

So I'm thinking I probably don't need to buy any more dresses for spring! And I probably don't need to get sick again.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Currently: Crushing Papaya

It's been months since I've done a "Currently" post, and since I just did a major brain dump for Friday's post about our recent "Snowpocalypse", I thought it would be fun to play catch up!

Papaya Necklace- Premier Designs

 Thinking about:  How quickly Sean is growing up! It seems like only yesterday, I was struggle with a newborn and then an 18-month-old and then a two year old and so on. Now he's just practically a man! We were watching the Rugrats movie instead of the Super Bowl last night, and he was so upset that Chucky didn't have a mommy. He just loved and cuddled on me the whole time, and I know that thise moments are fleeting and will be gone before I know it. It makes me so sad to imagine him as a teenager or a man my age. I want him to be my sweet little boy forever! It's tough being a mom.

Feeling:  I'm a little stressed about this week at school. We missed three and 1/2 days last week, so we've got a lot of catching up to do. The kids will be crazy from being out for so many days. While I LOVED the time off and being at home with my boys, it's always a struggle to get the kids back into the "school groove" after being out. I'm going to need a Five-hour energy before this day is done!

Tunic- Target (similar here)
Skinny Jeans- Old Navy (buy here)
Boots- Westwood Footwear (buy here)

Watching:  After absolutely destroying Breaking Bad in December, I turned my attention to Dexter. I didn't have Showtime when it originally aired, so I am watching it from the beginning. I am almost finished with season five, and I absolutely love the character of Dexter! He is so awkward and even though he is a cold-blooded killer, I can't help but sympathize with him and cheer him on!

Reading:  At any given time, I am reading three or four different books. What can I say? I love to read! Right now i am working my way through a couple of different books. I am reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first novel in the series that inspired Dexter; I guess I just can't get enough of the serial killer! 

I am also reading In the Heart of the Sea. This book recounts the sinking of the Essex, a whaling ship that was hit and sunk by a huge sperm whale in 1819. The crew survived the attack, but the horrors that follow are just insane. The crew survives for months adrift in the ocean. I don't want to ruin it for you, in case you decide to read it. The Essex actually inspired Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick, which we just finished studying in class, so I love getting to add these real-life tidbits to class discussions. Oh, and, Chris Hemsworth is currently filming a movie based on this story, so read up!

 I am also reading Liane Moriarty's The Last Anniversary. I loved her newest novel, The Husband's Secret, and while this one isn't as good as that one, I still really like her writing. (BTW, these aren't affiliate links. Just linking to the novels, in case you are interested in them!)

Crush Bracelets, In Vogue watch, and Stacksational BraceletsAll from Premier Designs

Looking forward to:  A little road trip with my sister-in-law at the end of this month! Can't wait to tell you more about it as the date gets nearer.

Making me happy: My new Papaya necklace and bracelets. We are coming up on my third spring of blogging, and coral is still a huge color, and I, for one, could not be happier. I love all things coral, and just bought this dress from Eshakti because I think it will look so great with this Papaya necklace from Premier Designs. You will be seeing it around here a lot as it starts warming up, just my little Groundhog's Day prediction!

So what are you "currently" up to?!?

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