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Q&A- Maternity Style for Fall Wedding



Journee-Collection-Womens-CRUELLA-Faux-Suede-Peep-Toe-Pumps $35 at

I received the following question from a reader-

I have a wedding coming up. We are expecting and the options I have include a little black maternity dress. It has a simple cut- boat neck, a little more than a cap sleeves, banded below the bust, with pleats to accommodate baby. It’s not tightly fitted/clingy, but it’s also not the tent shape. I’m stuck on what shoes to wear, mostly due to the season. My options are red heels with a peep toe, classic closed toed black pumps, or black booties. What are your recommendations? Are any not season appropriate? Also, what are your thoughts on the leg- can I go bare or wear sheer black hose/black opaque tights?

Thanks for your help. -Ashlee

Thank you for your question Ashlee!   I too have only pretty much LBD options for a dressy maternity options.  But that doesn’t mean the outfit has to be boring!

Between the three options you listed, I feel the red shoes are most appropriate.  Black pumps are great for a funeral or in a business meeting but this is a wedding!  It’s time to celebrate.  I also love the bootie idea but they are trendier and funky.  For a wedding, you want dressy.

And my thoughts on the leg situation- if it is going to be at all nice out, I would hold out on wearing any tights until you absolutely have to.  Tights and pregnancy equals a complete debacle.  Not at all enjoyable!

Now, if you’re feeling strange about the red shoes, you can always wear a pair of fabulous red earrings or carry a red clutch or a red wrap.  Another thing to consider, matching your shoes to your hair.  It sounds silly, I know.  But a blonde could pass wearing nude pumps and as I know you have a beautiful auburn colored hair, your red pumps will look great!

I hope this helps!

Thanks!  Holly

If you have a fashion question, send it my way!

Diamonds, Tin or Aluminum

I know, I know.  I missed you yesterday.  I had a good reason!  Today is the Mr. & I’s 10 year anniversary.  And I was busy making a slideshow of our memories.

The traditional gifts for ten years are diamonds, tin or aluminum.  I’m expecting none of the above this year.  But I’ll leave you guessing which one would be the best gift.  😉

Happy anniversary honey!

Taken When We Were Babies

Taken When We Were Babies

Dream Come True

Some of you may remember that I have a long-time wish to drive around in my own personal beat up truck. Preferably mint in color. That dream came true for me a few weeks ago.
Let me introduce you to Stanley. He’s coming to a junkin trip near you!


That was my Grandpa’s nickname and this truck gives me a definitive grandpa vibe. I can’t wait to take a cruise in this beauty. He needs new breaks first…
Meanwhile, it truly is a dream come true for me.

And, in case you missed it, here is a little blogger link up I did this August. (I reference an old truck in this post.) These are some great bloggers that you’ll want to follow!

Style from the Sticks

Style from the Sticks

Hi there! It’s so great to meet all of you. I’m Holly Jirovsky and I blog at Style from the Sticks which is a fashion blog for busy moms on a shoestring budget.

A little about me- I live in Iowa with my husband and I’m a stay-at-home mom for three, almost four kids. I have an eight –year-old, a seven-year-old, a four-year-old and a new baby due in December. I have a background in the publishing and advertising industries and I love combining my two passions, fashion and writing.

While my blog is mainly fashion-related, I also dabble in home decor, lifestyle and parenting. I really enjoy being a part of Midwest Bloggers and having a network of local fabulous gals that I can go to ask questions and get together to learn more about blogging- in person.

As a busy mom, I know how easy it is to get stuck in the yoga pant rut. I create quick outfits for real life. I strive for affordability (keeping costs to less than $100), accessibility (these looks can be found your local mall, online or a thrift shop) and Photoshop free pictures. Thanks for letting me be a part of your weekend!

I’d love for you to follow me at: Facebook – Pinterest – Google + – Twitter – Instagram.


(I realized the Being Zhenya photo label and House of Turquoise got switched.)

House of Turquoise- I have to admit that I’m just as obsessed with the color turquoise as she is. And Erin and I share a love of white as well. Everything she pins on Pinterest is what I aspire my house to be.

Chic Street Style- I love the elegance of her outfits and the European flare she brings to the Midwest!

Urban Farmgirl- She had me at “hello” on her Pinterest board with a separate board just for old trucks. Someday I will get a chance to visit her shop.

Being Zhenya- I love thrifting and putting together outfits on a small budget. She inspires me to think out of the box.


Last week was a doozy!  And I’m sorry for missing you all a few days there.  I will do better this week, I promise!

I was recently asked about my international travel experience from a company called Smartling, they are a language translation software company, and what I would recommend about traveling abroad, etc.

So this is a little off topic for me, but a nice way to end the summer. Can you believe this is the last day!!!?

I can’t say that I have tons of experience traveling abroad.  But I have taken a trip to France in the last five years!

Packing for that trip was stressful for me.  I didn’t want to show up looking like your average tourist.  But I had little experience for how real French people dress.  That left me staring at my closet unsure of what to take.

I ended up packing several skirts and also several pairs of shoes that went along with a color theme.  If you pack all of your items in the same color family, you can easily mix and match however you need to.  I rolled each item in my carry-on so I could fit as much as possible and the items weren’t so wrinkled.  And I never checked a bag so that I knew I would have what I needed when I arrived.

If I had to pack for the trip again, I wouldn’t change much except my shoes.  Find THE absolute most comfortable pair of shoes you can find for the daytime, while still remaining stylish.  Jogging sneakers or flip-flops are not a great way to make an impression and peg you for a tourist immediately.

Our trip was in June.  The weather was moderate temperatures and sunny days.  I was nervous about all I had heard about the French and their attitudes but was excited to travel internationally and to see the most beautiful city in the world.

Of course, part of that nervousness was the language barrier.  But many of the people spoke at least some English.  I do recall on the plane sitting by a Parisian couple who had just returned from a visit to the U.S. to see the Grand Canyon.  I was discussing with them what things to see in France and I asked about Notre Dame.  Here in the states, most people pronounce this- No-Ter Daim.  They had no idea what I was talking about because of my pronunciation. And when they figured out what I was referring to- No-Tre Dom, they laughed and laughed.

Sitting by this couple on the plane and interacting with them really helped me feel more confident about my travels.  They gave me tips on what to see and do, where to eat and what to expect.  I recommend engaging in some conversation if at all possible with some locals before you get to your travel destination.

I also really enjoyed eating out because in France, that is what you do for your evening entertainment.  It took several hours to eat a meal and that’s just not the case in the U.S.  It was nice to sit down after a long day of walking and touring and enjoy a meal and some company.  And while in France, I had to enjoy the wine.  But I also loved the fresh bakery items every morning.  Their pastries are so much lighter and less sweet than in the U.S.  And the chocolate is much, much better.

We only encountered rudeness a few times.  One of those times was the concierge of our hotel.  He was not very helpful when we were asking for directions.  Also, our taxi drive on the way back from the Eiffel Tower tried to scam us for more money.  I recommend walking as much as possible when in Paris.

We crammed in so much siteseeing in a week’s time that it was hard to enjoy it all.  Next time I visit France, I’d really like to spend the majority of my time in Paris, visiting places that I had to skip over the last time.

Overall, we had a successful trip. My recommendations are to give yourself time to relax and enjoy where you are.  And of course, look stylish doing it!

Last Weekend of Summer Break

We have come to the end.  As much as my kids drive me crazy and having a routine will be good for them, I’m disgusted to say, summer break is almost over.

This is the time of year, more than any other, that I reflect on time passing.  People make resolutions for New Year’s and birthdays come and go, but the end of a summer means much more to me.

It means my kids have taken another year towards independence.  Which is great!  But also sad.  And it means that the time will come when they will be out with their friends and won’t want to hang out with mom and dad.  It means riding their bikes down the driveway won’t be good enough and before I know it, we’ll be transitioning to mopeds and cars.  I’m another day closer to leaving them in their dorm room for the first time, with some strange kid, to return home to a house and heart that will have a hole in it.

I am so lucky to have each summer together, this special time of making memories and doing whatever our hearts desire.  I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Goodbye summer.  I will try not to be sad and remember that change happens whether you want it to or not.  I will put on a brave face and try to conjure up what it was about fall I used to like so much.

Thanks for another season of memories kids!


Chivalry Is Dead Folks

I’m supposed to be enjoying the last few days of summer vacation with my kids.  But something happened the other day that bothered me enough that I felt the need to write about it.

Let me preface this whole story by saying that I try to instill, especially in my boys, chivalrous acts.  It doesn’t always stick.  But I try to emphasize opening doors for people, carrying heavy bags, asking if someone needs help.  These are not necessarily acts they see on a daily basis at home but we try.  I want them to grow up respecting the women in their lives and being ready and able to help however it is needed.

Most relationships at least begin by the guy being chivalrous.  If they don’t, that is a sad state of affairs.  But somewhere along the way, things lapse into laziness or bitterness.  I want to raise boys that maintain these small acts of kindness even when the romance fades.

Enter in, what happened on our way into the state fair.

I was walking through a sketchy neighborhood into the state fair with my eldest son- of whom doesn’t miss much.  The Mr. and my youngest two were ahead of us and since I’m quite a bit slower at this point, we were separated.  The sidewalk was very narrow and as we approached the fair, several people got in-between us.  One was a family with small kids and then there were two guys…

Let’s be more descriptive- two shady characters.  One was a tall, very fit man that I would never want to see in a bar fight.  The other was a chubbier, scragglier individual.  They were close enough to us that I was catching a bit of their conversation.  And what I heard sickened me.

Pieces of their conversation went something like this-

“She’s a good-enough lookin’ girl.  I mean, she’s not…  But she could easily come in here and make $2000 a night hookin.'”

It’s 11:00 a.m. on a Wednesday at the Iowa State Fair.  My faith in humanity plummeted to the ground.

My first reaction was to back the hell up and put as much distance between these two and myself and my boy as possible.

My second reaction was to look around for any kind of security.  I mean, I realize these two were just “talking” about this, but it couldn’t hurt to have them followed?  Unfortunately, I could not find anyone nearby.

My final thought was a feeling of helplessness.  What if these two are part of some sort of sex trafficking?  How could I get help to this woman they are referring to?

I was thoroughly disgusted.  I realize that this problem has been around since the beginning of time.  But how could these two, who were older than I am, sit there and talk about women in this manner?  How dare they?  And to be so bold, in the middle of the day, around families. I wanted to throw up.

That brief conversation just about ruined the day at the fair for me.  I kept my kids close. They always went to the restroom with us.  They never left my sight.  It reinforced for me the evil in the world and how it is all around me, all the time.

I’m sure I did not handle this in the best way possible.  I’m sure there was something I could have done.  The shock of it all took awhile to register.  And by then, the two disappeared into the fair crowd.  I’m not sure I could even point them out in a lineup since I was looking at them from the back.

The incident gave me much to think about.  What would the mothers of these two think about this conversation? Would they care?  Would they be mortified?  Are they proud of what their sons have become?

It just reminds me of my determination to instill in my boys how to treat women.  They are not objects to be sold.  They are to be respected.  God gave man his helpmate and partner. She is to be loved just as he loves himself.

Then, the very next day, without mention of any of this, one of my sons opened the car door for me and carried my grocery bags.  Completely on his own.

And that gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, for a select and lucky few, chivalry won’t be dead.



Family Pictures- Part II

So this recent opportunity…

My family posed for some stock pictures for our local hospital.  These will be pictures they can use in their advertising.

Hospital Photo

Hospital Photo

We arrived color coordinated as a family for our pictures in the morning.  The kids were forewarned that not only were these pictures but they may have to do a little acting in them.  Not all of us visit the ER or the doctor with big smiles on our faces.

While you can reason to some regard with my two oldest, it is hard to prepare a four year old to what is about to happen.

And the shooting begins.  Kid one does well.  Perhaps not the best acting skills I’ve seen, but for the first time on the “set” we’ll give it a B.

Kid two is up next.  Let’s just say that I won’t be dragging any of my kids out to Hollywood just yet.

And then we come to kid number three.  Oh dear.  Things start off slow.  Number three wonders just why should she smile at said nurse that she doesn’t know.  Was there something funny to smile about?  Mom has to stand behind the nurse to even get her to look in that direction.

But things get worse.  A family shot is taken but they want to finish with number three and a doctor alone, after having the sheltering of the family all around.  The doctor is a very gentle and sweet guy but number three wants nothing to do with him.

Begin mommy sweats.  I have come completely unprepared to bribe number three.  And I’m not even sure what kind of bribery this undertaking would require.  Ice cream? Lollipops?  A trip to Disney?  What could entice my youngest to just even look at the poor doctor?

Number Three

Number Three


Enter mommy and daddy frustration.  What should be a simple task is just not to a child. While the shoot wraps up for our family, I was left feeling all sorts of emotions- frustration, anger, embarrassment.  But also grace.  There is only so much you can expect out of one too young to understand.

So after we were home and dressed in our uncoordinated clothes, number one and two went off to celebrate their acting debuts.  And I was left to explain as best I could why number three did not get to join.

I think she ultimately got the message.  But so did I.  We both apologized and I figured I had to just let it go.  And that is what forgiveness, even for four year olds, is all about.

Meanwhile, I’m not going to be scheduling family pictures anytime soon…

Family Pictures- Part I

Not until you are a mother do you understand the nightmare that family pictures entails.

It starts early.  You work around breastfeeding at the JCPenney studio, traveling 30 miles with an infant around naptime to time your picture session just right and hoping that new outfit won’t get spit up on.

It gets worse.  Suddenly you have two.  A toddler and an infant.  Getting a three year old to smile at just the right time.  Hoping the baby won’t have a meltdown.  Photographers who don’t have children freaking them out with a furry puppet that plays peek a boo over and over again.

And then you hit the worse time of all, multiple ages.  You begin sweating before you’re even dressed for pictures.  Planning what to wear for more than four people gets harder. Your oldest has hit the stage where every picture needs rabbit ears or a tongue sticking out.  Whining and I’m bored faces are coming from everyone, even your spouse.

Family pictures are never fun.  And typically require a trip to time out, even if it is only for mom.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about a special project we did as a family that involves family pictures.

And then we’ll plan a few outfits for your next family group shot.  That is, if you’re woman enough to go there.

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