February 2012 archive

Moving On Up

To get back to my original posts about my closet issues, the reason I have not written more on how I was planning on revamping the space is… we are moving!  Barring any unforeseen issues, we will soon be owners of a different house, same town.  Thus, no closet renos here.

(Image courtesy of marsretirees.org)
We have lived in our home for almost nine years now and while I’m excited about the prospect of a new home, I’m also very sad to leave our current home.
It has really been a huge part of life for us.  This was our first home when we got married, all of our babies were brought home here, our first Christmases as a family were here.  (Sigh.)  But I’m learning that a house is just a building.  Your family and the memories that you make are what make it a home.  And I know that we will have many more good times together in our new house.  But knowing that doesn’t always make it easier to say goodbye to an era.
I think what is the most difficult thing for me to overcome is the possibility that we may be leaving the baby stages behind us when we move.  While we still don’t know if our family is complete (trying to leave that in God’s hands, as He is ultimately in control), our babies are growing up.  And the older you get, the more you realize just how precious those baby years are.  In the midst of them, the dirty diapers, the teething and the sleepless nights, you feel they’ll be babies forever.  But those years are fleeting.  And I know that they need to grow up (and we can’t be young forever), but it’s still hard to see it happen.  There’s going to be a time really soon when my babies won’t want to crawl into bed with me and cuddle in the morning or let me kiss them in public.  And that is tragic.
Okay!  Enough with the sadness, now that I have bared my soul to the world about my kids, let’s focus on the excitement of the new house.  It has TWO walk-in closets (his and hers).  I know what you’re thinking, HERS AND HERS!  I’m pretty sure my husband could handle all of his clothes in the closet in the garage, right????  🙂
In all seriousness, I’m already concerned about where I’m going to house all of my shoes.  We all have a few vices, and shoes are one of mine.
I’ll keep you posted on how our transition goes and where I eventually do end up with my shoes (and if my husband gets dressed in the garage).  Be patient with me as the moving process soaks up time. And I’ll try not to cry every time I pass our old house….

Best of 2012 Oscars

Was anyone else a bit disappointed in the dresses this year?  While the show seemed much better (I love Billy Crystal), the dresses just didn’t seem like last year’s “Wow Year.”  Here are the dresses and hairstyles I liked best.
Best Dresses
Ellie Kemper-
Ellie Kemper - Armani Prive - Oscars
This dress was matchy-matchy with her hair and it looks a little more like a fall dress than spring, but I love a pattern. And this was pattern in a subtle, sparkly way. Very pretty.
Kate Mara-
Kate Mara - Jack Guisso Couture - Oscars
I thought this dress was very feminine and elegant. I think the color is spectacular on her. And it had fun details, like the belt and the little sleeve.
Gwyneth Paltrow-
Gwyneth Paltrow - Tom Ford - Oscars
I wasn’t a huge fan of this dress but she looks very regal in it.  And SO slender!  As we say in my family, she needs to eat a sandwich.  😉
Stacy Keibler-
George Clooney and Stacy Keibler
Who, you ask?  Oh just George Clooney’s latest.  Apparently she used to cheerlead and was also involved in WWF.  Hmm?…  I loved how this dress fit her.  She definitely looks like a trophy girlfriend.
Glenn Close-
Glenn Close
I thought Glenn Close really knocked it out of the park. If she had taken the jacket off, she might have been my best dressed. Wow. She really looks incredible. Again, I’m hoping to look half this good later in life!
Winner! Cameron Diaz-
Cameron Diaz - oscars
That’s right Jessica Biel, take that!  I’m sure Justin Timberlake was feeling a little sorry for himself when he saw Cameron in this dress.    The girl is almost 40 and has a rocking body.  She certainly showed it in this slim dress.  I loved how simple it was up top and how it had ruffles and sparkled on the bottom.  The only thing I would have changed would be her necklace.  I thought it needed a little more intricacy to it.  This one left something to be desired.

(Image courtesy of temptalia.com)
Best Hair
Stacy Keibler
I’m very into the sideswept thing lately and I loved how this wasn’t really an updo, but it gave her look a bit of drama.
(All above images courtesy of Instyle unless otherwise stated)

(Image courtesy of redcarpet-fashionawards.com)
I LOVE Cameron’s hair short.  I don’t know why the girl insists on growing it out.  She looks stunning with a great cut!
Winner! Viola Davis-

(Image courtesy of mystylebell.com)
While she didn’t win best actress, she certainly won best hair.  It was awesome to see her real hair.  It just shows how naturally beautiful she is.  And you don’t get that from watching her on the Help! Great color, great texture.  And her mama did it.  Love.
What were your favorites of the night?

Favorite Oscar Dresses of Past Years

My Top Ten Favorite Oscar Dresses
Mila Kunis-

Oh, I nearly died when I saw her come out in this dress last year.  She is so beautiful, but then she wore this amazing color.  I have a special place in my heart for lilac.  And the cut of this gown!  Geez.  This was the ultimate in sex bomb.
(Image courtesy of stylebistro.com)
Gwynth Paltrow-

(Image courtesy of msnbc.com)
Apparently she was going for easy here.  But to me it really looks chic and sophisticated in a modern way.  I love how it flatters her body and I also love the use of the broach at her hip!
Renee Zellweger-

(Image courtesy of People.com)
This one is from awhile back now, but I love the power of red.  I also love the use of the cut-outs and the open back.  It really was a siren look for Renee.
Michelle Williams-

(Image courtesy of itstruelove.tumblr.com)
This dress will go down in infamy for me.  You know how I love a good color and this is done so well.  I love the pop of red on her lips and the dark tone of her jewelry.

Cate Blanchett-

(Image courtesy of lavendarandlilies.blogspot.com)
While Michelle looked fabulous in mustard, Cate radiated in sunshine yellow.  While I really enjoyed her dress from last year, this dress is my favorite for Cate.  I loved the pop of color with the burgundy belt and bag.  I also loved the bling on her shoulder.
Penelope Cruz-
Penelope Cruz
(Image courtesy of InStyle)
How do you walk the red carpet?  In a color that flatters you (wow does Penelope look great in navy), add in some beautiful feathers and don a dress that accentuates your curves.  I’m not sure I’ve seen her top this dress yet!
Helen Murran-

(Image courtesy of divamayday.com)
This woman may define the word “style” as we know it.  Not only is she in the “upper” age bracket, but she oozes sexy, beautiful and chic.  It leaves all of those mother-of-the-bride dresses something lacking, don’t you think?  I can only hope I look half this good at her age!
Keira Knightley-

(Image courtesy of peoplestylewatch.com)
As with most of these ladies, it is seriously hard to make them look bad.  But this color flatters Keira so much.  She looks sexy and bold.  And that necklace really makes the whole look perfect!
Kate Hudson-

(Image courtesy of Instyle)
The queen of boho chic really looked all grown up in this dress.  It seems to me that it was the first of many sparkly neutrals to come down the red carpet in those years.
Charlize Theron-

(Image courtesy of blog.mjtrim.com)
Last but definitely not least is Charlize’s winning moment.  I’m not sure if it is the dress or the hair and makeup, or maybe just a combination of all three.  But she looked amazing, flapper-esk.
I hope you enjoyed my list.  Be sure not to miss tomorrow’s 2012 best Oscar dresses.
What is your favorite Oscar dress of all time?

Top Five Most Memorable Oscar Dresses of Past Years

It’s hhhhhhhhhhhhhh-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Ah the Oscars.  Two years ago at this time I was standing in a hospital room while my midwife rubbed my back and coached me through my labor pains.  Where was my husband and my support people?  On the couch relaxing and watching the Oscars.  🙂  Even the midwife was making dress comments!  (I’m not sure yet to this day if they were just trying to get me to focus on the dresses and less on my uncomfortableness and if so, they know what this girl likes!)  The good thing was that my own baby girl was born that night!
This story should show you the power of the Oscars.  There have been years that I’ve missed it.  But the dresses live on whether or not you watch.
Here are a few of my most memorable (look tomorrow for my favorite Oscar dresses).  I wish I could say that I saw Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley, but I don’t have those moments.  Here’s what I do have-
Top Five Memorable Oscar Dresses
Gwyneth Paltrow-
Gwyneth Paltrow 1999 Oscar
(Image courtesy of accesshollywood.com)
Geez.  Was she engaged to Brad here or dating Ben?  I forget.  But I remember this dress before she was even half the star she is now.
Julia Roberts-

(Image courtesy of thecheapgirl.com)
I was not a huge fan of this dress.  I thought the hem in the front was too short, but I must have been the only one who seemed to mind.  This was a dress that you don’t forget, regardless.
Hillary Swank-

(Image courtesy of classylittlestylejunkie.com)
Again, not a huge fan of this dress either (I thought her back was a little too thin scary!) but it does down in Oscar history.
Halle Berry-

(Image courtesy of fashionindie.com)
This was a pretty memorable night at the Oscars and Halle’s dress did not disappoint for a dress that will easily be forgotten!
Bjork-

(Image courtesy of getoffmydress.blogspot.com)
If you say “swan dress” we all have this image still ingrained in our minds.  ‘Nuff said.
Stay tuned for more Oscar dresses from the past and the 2012 dresses!!

BSS- Fountain of Youth

Hold. The. Phone.  The search may be over.  I think I have discovered the fountain of youth!  Or at least a product that I really, really love this winter!!!!
For this Beauty Shop Saturday, let me introduce to you a product that’s been on the market for awhile but is new to me- Bio-Oil.
UNION-SWISS Bio-Oil 2 oz
(Wal-Mart $11)
I recently purchased Bio-Oil because I keep reading about it in magazines and thought it might be fun to try on my stretchmarks and scars (yes, I’m willing to admit my body’s been through a lot!).  And while I can’t say that I’ve seen any visible improvement in those (I haven’t been using it that long but maybe it would work better on new scars?), I decided to try it on other places of my body and see what the results were.  So I used a small amount on my face and feet and elbows.  And I have seen DRAMATIC difference in how soft and hydrated my skin is.  My skin feels like a baby’s bottom, no joke!
While the verdict is still out on the stretch marks (some are six years old, if it helps those I really think I may be on to a miracle ointment!), I highly recommend this product for dry skin.  It really helps soften and hydrate that dry flakey winter skin, even chapped lips!
This product is not like applying baby oil to your body. The oil is very fine and if you use it sparingly, it won’t grease you up.  The only drawback I have found is the application process. It is a true oil, so it runs out kind of fast. But a little goes a LONG way!
There are claims that since it contains mineral oil, it clogs pores, it’ll make you break out, the oil will just lay on top of the skin. I’m not sure if these claims have any substance to them. All I can tell you is what I’ve experienced. And so far, it has been wonderful!
If you need a break from the winter dryness and want to feel like you have the skin of an infant, I recommend checking this out!
Style from the Sticks is not a dermatologist.  Use at your own risk.  🙂

Q&A- Five Things

I received the following question-
Holly, what are the 5 things (besides unmentionables) you wear over and over again? I will tell you mine as well. 🙂 1. Zanadi (sp?) dark skinny jeans ($20 gordmans) 2. gray buckle boots ($34 Target) 3. Cardigan of any sort 4. Fun earrings nearly everyday 5. Mascara-every day!

-Kelli

Thanks for your question!
Originally I was going to post your answer in my fun facts about me questions that I’ll be debuting soon, but I thought my answer would be best served in a post.
Here are my five things I wear over and over again (just the dailies):
1) Makeup-
It just doesn’t happen that I leave the house without it. Period. 
2) Sweaters/cardigans/hoodies-
I’m always chilly. 🙂
3) Earrings-
If I’m not wearing earrings, I’m in a slump. They are like my underwear. They are essential.
4) A hat/hood and gloves/mittens-
Rarely will I be seen without them. I guess my mama taught me right. (That and I have very sensitive ears after my ear drum ruptured once.)
5) This might be lame and a given, but my wedding ring-
I don’t ever take it off unless I’m so pregnant it won’t fit. 
Wow. Those were not very exciting. So here’s a different list of my five things I’m currently obsessed with:
1) My black over-the-knee riding boots-
When I wear these, I feel very much like I’m in a Loft ad.
2) Fun spring coats-
I’m so over my winter coats already!
3) Statement necklaces-
I don’t have many, so they get rotated a lot!
4) My high-waisted flared leg jeans-
I’m trying not to wear them more than twice a week! But it is so fun to relive the 70s.
5) Anything with a bright color-
I’m pretty brave when it comes to fashion, even if it means that I’ll make a mistake or two (or three). Life is too short to wonder what other people will think of your clothing. Experiment and wear what you want!
That list was much more fun!
Holly

Q&A-Wax On, Wax Off

I received the following question (it must be question week I guess, awesome!)-
So I had a reversible hair mishap today and I thought of you and your blog!! Have you ever tried a mousse wax? As in, a hair product that is mousse with wax in it? I’ve used wax before on the ends of my hair when it’s cut shorter like it is now, and I love how it separates, chunks and helps the style. So, I thought I’d try this mousse wax, but I used too much my first time! It was ridiculous! I actually had to stick my head back under the faucet and re-shampoo my hair and start over. Second time around I used my L’anza root boost stuff followed by a LOT less of the Kenra Mousse Wax mostly on the back and ends of my hair. MUCH better result! Might not be an “every day” product, but definitely will come in handy when I want a bigger ‘do with some texture and hold.
Have you had any experience with this type of product? I know with fine hair like mine it would have a tendency to be weighed down or look greasy with a product like this at the crown or near the roots, so I’m not sure what I was thinking when I applied it like plain ol’ mousse!
Anyway, just curious about your experience with this. LOVE reading your blog. You’re doing a fantastic job!

-Jen
Thank you for your question!  And the compliments!!
I didn’t have a mousse wax story, but I do have the product.  So I set out on trying to recreate your hair mishap.  And let me just say, yes, you are correct.  You should not apply mousse with wax in it all over your head.  Uck. I had to rewash my hair too!  I had a bottle of Pantene Moussing Foam Wax (now discontinued) in my cupboard.  It is amazing what strange products I have that I never use; I am a product junkie.
I do think that a mousse wax would be a good product for those of us with fine hair to bulk up the bottom half, especially those with shorter hair that want an choppy, textured look.  Kind of like this look from Dianna Agron from Glee-
Dianna Agron - 8 Fall Haircuts We Know You'll Love - Shaggy Bob
(Image courtesy of InStyle)
If I did this look, you’d think I just gotten out of bed and hadn’t brushed my hair yet!
My hair is getting longer now (and therefore pretty limp), so I think I will be shying away from the wax.  But since my hair has been so many different lengths in the last few years, you have reminded me why I had this in my cupboard anyway!
I think I’m a true hair chameleon.  I love to change it up and am easily swayed by the most recent hair cut on a movie star.  I chopped it pretty short last year after the Oscars (I can’t wait to see who wears what this year!) because I was in love with Cate Blanchett’s hairstyle- see below.  I told myself this year that I would grow my hair out according to how much weight I lost because I just don’t think I look very good with a round face and full hair.  It really puts on length to my face I don’t need.  So I’m pretty much stuck at shoulder length right now.  🙂
…Maybe this product should come with a warning label- do not apply like regular mousse?!!!
Holly
(Image courtesy of theage.com.au)

Q&A- Saddle Up

I received the following question-
I noticed you had on brown, no heel, leather boots that I thought were really cool. I’ve been looking for no-heel boots all winter (as cheap as I can get them). I’ve looked in the usual places, Kohls, Payless, Penneys – where did you get yours?  Also, see what you can find some like it for me.  They don’t have to be ‘real’ leather – your’s look like it – and I think most do w/o having to pay the price. Thanks Holly!
-Sandy
Thank you for your question and the compliment!  My boots are actually from Payless and they were featured this fall on my 28 Days of Style (look for the spring edition coming soon!).  These boots are no longer available, however.
Womens BrashWomen's Zippy Riding Boot
What you are looking for is mostly likely riding boots.  They are so versatile!  They can be worn with dresses and skirts, plus over and under jeans and pants.  And no, there is no need to spend a bunch of money on the real thing.  But sometimes at this point in the season, you might be able to find the real thing on the cheap!
This website is a great one for cheap boots.  And they have many different styles of flat boots that come in different colors.  I was introduced to it by a fellow blogger- http://www.gojane.com.  Here are some I found on that site that I thought looked very similar to my boots-
exposed zip back riding boot
Exposed Zip Back Riding Boot $32 from GoJane.com
The only problem is, this late in the season, I couldn’t find your size!  I think they are pretty well cleared out. Ladies, if you wear a size 5 or 6, you may as well clean house!!
Here is a pair I found at Macy’s and they are so cute!  They are from INC (International Concepts), Marty Boots and they are on sale right now for $60 (if you like them, I would hurry!).
(Sorry I couldn’t get the picture here!)
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/inc-international-concepts-shoes-marty-boots?ID=596380&CategoryID=25122&LinkType=#fn=HEEL%3DLow Heel%26SIZE%3D8%26sp%3D2%26spc%3D148%26ruleId%3D27%26slotId%3D137
And here are 84 boots in your size, under $100 at 6pm.com-
http://www.6pm.com/women-boots/CK_XARCz1wE6BM4TohV6AtQEggECoRjAAQHiAgYYAQIPBwc.zso#!/women-boots/CK_XARCz1wE6BM4TohVqAQN6AtQEggECoRjAAQHiAgcYAQIPBwcN.zso
And there are 63 results on Endless.com under $100 in a size 8.  Endless has a great return policy and always free shipping.
http://www.endless.com/Womens-Shoes-Boots/s/ref=topnav_sd_womensboot_gw?ie=UTF8&node=242261011&pf_rd_r=1RB56RVY2MB9ZJPT574D&pf_rd_m=AF16NM0QF9TKW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=homepage&pf_rd_p=1344840282&pf_rd_s=headernav2#__priceHigh%3D10353%26node%3D242261011%26nodes%3D242274011%26sort%3Drelevance-fs-browse-rank%26sizes%3D519631011%26bootheight%3D2290212011%26rnid%3Dprice%26ref%3Dsr_nr_pri%26pageCode%3Ds
And you can also try Piperlime.com too, but I couldn’t find any I liked in the $60 range.  If you want to spend more like $80+, they have lots of options.
Those are the places I would check out.
I hope you find a fabulous pair!
Holly

Q&A- Shades of Pale

I received the following question-
I am needing to start the hunt for a dress for my stepson’s wedding. I’m not so much concerned about finding something I like or that flatters me as I am about the color.
Here is what I know…
The bridesmaid dresses are short and cute and are in a sangria color. It’s kind of a fuchsia/purplish/pinkish color.
The guys (including my husband) are wearing grey suits. The groomsmen will have sangria colored vests. My husband’s will be grey (I think).
The bride is wearing ivory. The mother of the groom is wearing a charcoal grey color. The mother of the bride has yet to get a dress, but says she is looking for something in a champagne color.
My husband says to wear black, but with the guys wearing grey….I don’t know…I feel like it’s a little down and out and dreary for me to wear black?? Even the girls will be wearing nude colored or silver shoes. So no one is evening accessorizing with black.
I thought about silver. But then my husband and I will look like we blend together if we are both wearing grey/silver. And I would prefer to stay away from charcoal and champagne if that’s what the other mother’s are wearing.
I have asked my stepson and his fiance and they truly do not care.
Help!!

Amy
Thank you for your questions Amy!  
Here are my thoughts.  I agree that you may feel uncomfortable in black as the guys are not wearing that color.  And that is definitely the safe choice and the one that would most commonly be a no-brainer.  
I’m thinking that since the color scheme is dark grey, ivory and wine colors, that I would try a neutral (obviously not champagne so you don’t match the groom’s mother).  That leaves you with these choices- chocolate brown, navy, white (duh-NO), silver or gold.  I don’t think brown or gold are the way to go with this color scheme.  So that leaves you with either a navy or silver dress.  
There are many shades of grey (whiter shades of pale, like the song).  So don’t opt out of that color just yet.  When looking for my sister’s 25th anniversary, I was sure I wouldn’t find any silver dresses.  But there are LOTS of them out there, especially cute and sassy short ones.  And they come in all different greys- white silver, dark charcoal, almost taupey greys, etc.  Here are a few (and I only shopped one store!)-
Donna Ricco   Side Shirred Dress
Donna Ricco Side Shirred Dress from Von Maur on sale $99
This one is almost champagne, almost silver-
KM Collections by Milla Bell Cap Sleeve Taffeta Dress with Beading
KM Collections by Milla Bell Cap Sleeve Taffeta Dress with Beading from Von Maur $190
If you just hate the idea of being in the same color family, go with navy.  Navy is always a safe bet and will look sophisticated in just about every color combination.
Here is a navy dress that would look wonderful-

Jessica Howard Gathered Jewel-Waist Sheath from Von Maur $100
This dress is simple, classy and very understated.  Plus you could wear it to many other places!
Try to imagine the how the colors will go together in pictures and that will help you choose your dress.  Below is a collage of images I found online of a wedding with close to this color theme.  Do you want to blend into the background?  Look coordinated?  Stand out?
Purple bridesmaids but what tux colors? :  wedding fall wedding purple october Comic Book Themed Wedding Reception Tables Groom Wears Grey Suit Funky Fuchsia Tie Beautiful Bride In Ivory Strapless Wedding Dress
(Image courtesy of weddingbee.com)
I hope these images give you some examples upon which to shop.  Be confident in whatever you choose!  And enjoy the day!

Spring Preview

I’ve been waiting and watching and here are the spring trends that I’m actually going to participate in.

Pastels-
I’m really in love with a few colors, the first being seafoam.  It is everywhere lately.  And I love it.  It is one of my favorite colors and now you can actually find it on clothing this season- yea!  I’m also loving lavendar.  There is a specific shade that is really beautiful to wear.  And who doesn’t love coral!  These colors will soon be found in my closet!!
Pinned Image
(Found on Pinterest, from amxipanxi.blogspot.com)
Pleats-
A beautiful pleated skirt is on my must-have list for spring.  Pleats are a combination of ladylike and little girl.  They are perfect for Easter and springtime.  This trend makes me want to buy knee-high socks and patient leather shoes, okay almost.
Image 1 of ASOS Waisted Dress With Pleat Skirt
(Asos Waisted Dress with Pleat Skirt on sale $32)
Sparkles for day-
Take your metallics and sequins into the office with soft colors and subtle sparkle.  It’s now okay to shine all the time.

(Kohl’s Apt 9 Embellished Satin Tank $25)
High waists-
I love a high waist.  It must my nastalgic feelings for the 70s.  But I think of a combination of Ally McGraw, the Breck girl and Wonder Woman.  Put on something high waisted and I feel transformed to a time where all the pictures have a yellow ting to them and the appliances were olive green.  Sigh.
 (ModCloth’s Trade Secret Pants $85)
Here are my top picks for spring.  Will you participate in them?

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