My Favorites: Ashley and The Polkadot Alley Boutique

Having lived most of my life in Dallas suburbs, I never thought I would be saying, “Yay, I can’t wait to go shopping in Lubbock!”.  I met my wonderful husband while attending Texas Tech in Lubbock, so we travel there often to visit family and attend football games, but I never dreamt I would be itching for a trip to Lubbock so I could go on a shopping spree at The Polkadot Alley Boutique.

My college friend and sorority sister, Ashley, is the founder and let’s-be-frank “mastermind” of a little gem in the West Texas desert called The Polkadot Alley and has been on this journey since 2008.  I’m proud to know and support this woman-owned business because I’ve seen Ashley follow her dream and work tirelessly to support a business that takes time and dedication.  She is also a loving wife and mother with three precious children, so you can say she’s an inspiration and role model to all.  Ashley has been so successful with her online store and storefront boutique that The Polkadot Alley has been featured not only on the local Lubbock news and TTU Alumni magazine, but also in worldwide news publications like The New York Times.  The internet boutique business is booming, and Ashley was there at its inception, helping to bring fashion to young (and not-so-young) ladies all over the states!

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Even though the models featured in The Polkadot Alley are geared towards the college crowd, do not let this deter you from exploring all of the wonderful pieces they have to offer!  And if you are in the Lubbock area, go visit her boutique where you can browse the fabulous store, and maybe she will let you peek at the warehouse in the back where she has tons of racks of shopping heaven!  I’ve been known to get lost back there for hours.  Hehe…

I want to share with you some of my favorite summer and fall looks from my recent shopping sprees at The Polkadot Alley and introduce you to Ashley’s wonderful store:

Blog Summer Outfit
I LOVE Summer!!!

The Pink Romper.  I know what you’re thinking, rompers can be super scary.  I picked this romper out for fellow 3NonBlonde Amanda to try on and she threw it back over the fitting room to me.  I thought, “Why not?” and proceeded to squeeze into this amazingly flattering shorts romper.  I immediately loved this romper because it has a flirty hemline that gives it a little more length so that my booty doesn’t hang out the back.  Ashley’s store has tons of romper selections, but this has been my favorite so far.

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This romper pattern reminds me of fireworks!

The Crop Top.  This is the first legit crop top I have bought and worn in my life!  Ashley carries it in like 5 other colors and I’m regretting not getting one in each.  I have received tons of compliments on this crop top and have worn it with a black pencil skirt and also with shorts.  It’s an easy piece to dress up or dress down and the neckline has a beautiful embroidered pattern on it.  The Polkadot Alley has a store full of crop tops and now that I’ve mastered my confidence in them, I know I’ll be looking for more.

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Crop tops for work? Yes!
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And also appropriate for Cancun!

Two Dresses for Any Season.  One of the many reasons I love The Polkadot Alley is they have many color and length choices.  Sure, I love short minis and dresses, but now that I’m 36(!), I am acutely aware of office and leisure appropriate clothing.  This is exactly what I was thinking when I spotted this delicious coral dress that hits the knee.  Ashley has it in like five different colors and also in a floor length style.  I’m too short for floor length, so I fell in love with this length because I could easily throw a cardigan or blazer on it and dress it up for work.  It’s a great color for any season.  The other dress I feel in love with was this 60’s inspired white dress with flower detail.  I traveled for work recently and wore it on a plane ride and it was pretty comfortable.  It’s a perfect A-line and doesn’t cinch but also doesn’t make you look frumpy.  It’s perfect!

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This color is yummy.
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Why yes! I am auditioning for Madmen!
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Fierce for fall

The T-shirt Dress(es).  Finding two t-shirt dresses that fit in length and width was a miracle in itself.  I am really thanking the fashion Gods the flared dress look is in this season.  It helps me find pieces that fit without worrying about things being way too small.  Anyway, the plum dress I found has pockets, which I love!  The black t-shirt dress is just so soft I want to live in it.  I bought it this weekend and have already worn in three times.  The week is not over, I may wear it again!  The versatility of the t-shirt dress is the reason I convinced myself to get both of them.  I can already picture throwing on a pair of boots, scarf, and moto jacket to make them fall worthy.

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Comfort, pockets and style…
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I want to live in this dress. It’s super soft.
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Perfect gameday dress!

I hope you enjoyed learning about The Polkadot Alley and find yourselves furiously searching the website for a new outfit!  Let us know if you have previously shopped at any online boutiques or if you have shopped at The Polkadot Alley.  I would love to hear your comments!

Social Media for The Polkadot Alley:

Facebook

Instagram

Blog

Online Store

Happy shopping!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Elisa & Babyzilla Makeup Tutorial!


We’re on YouTube people!!  You know how I recently fell in love with makeup and all things wonderful for face beauty?  Well, now Babyzilla has joined in the fun so we decided to do a beginner’s makeup tutorial and share with you on YouTube how we get ready everyday.  Disclaimer…I don’t let Babyzilla wear makeup everyday, she’s only allowed to “play” makeup with me and sticks to chap sticks and glosses on a regular basis.  After all, she’s only three and I want to keep her that way!

This was such a fun video to make and only afterwards when I was editing did I realize how expressive Babyzilla’s face is.  Sassy pants all the way!  I hope you like our “look” and at your request, we would be happy to do more makeup tutorials or any kind of Mommy and Me videos you may want to see of me and Babyzilla.

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Our completed look…I still think that lipstick looks better on Babyzilla!
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Get out of my spotlight Mama!

Below is the list of our beauty products:

What’s your daily makeup routine?  Do you have any tips and tricks for us?  Do you play “makeup” with your daughter?  Share in the comments section and enjoy the video!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

My Favorite Things: The Microsoft Band II

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Babyzilla and I love practicing bad yoga poses

Now that I have graduated to calling myself a “runner”, I have been dropping subtle hints to my husband Michael that an ideal Birthday present in July would include a fitbit to help me track my runs.  Michael is strategic when it comes to presents, so I was utterly rocked off my seat when he and the kids gifted me with a small box the Friday before Mother’s Day with a little special something that turned out to be the Microsoft Health Band II!!!

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I have to be honest and I had no idea what the MS Band was, but I knew it was something techie and cool that would help me track my workouts.  After having the MS Band for a week, here is my list of reasons why I fell in love with the rubber bracelet that is currently my new obsession.  If you don’t know anything about the MS Band, it’s basically the love child of an apple watch and a fitbit.

#4 Digital presence:  Internet dashboard and MSBand instagram.  I love data and anything that provides me with graphs and statistics.  The dashboard for the MS Band is a numbers geek’s dream.  You can look at information in so many different ways you could literally spend hours looking at your data.  On the other hand, the msband instagram presence feels like it’s in its infancy stage which makes me feel like I’m an early adopter to something badass.  Most of the msband instagram posts include a latin Jon Snow look-a-like that is apparently a body coach that smiles during all of his workouts.  I’ve been a part of the nike+ instagram community for a while, so I am very excited to see where the msband community takes me.

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#3 MS Band App:  I looooooooove the MS Band app.  It syncs up to your iphone and uploads all of your information so you can view all of the information on your dashboard instantaneously.  You can check your stats immediately and see whether you broke a PR or not.  If you are a runner, you can view the splits, heart rate and elevation data from your run.  With the GPS tracker, you can view your route and create new ones.  You can also search for workouts available through the app that you can download to your MSBand and follow.  It’s freaking amazing!

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so much data to look at!

 

#2 Tracks Everything:  The MSBand tracks sleep, running, walking, golf, biking and all of you activity throughout the day.  There’s so much information that it provides you with that you never even knew you needed.  I’ve always wondered just how restful my sleep is and now I can look at my deep versus light sleep and see how restful my zzz’s really are.  I don’t golf or bike so I don’t really know or care how these functions work.  I do care about setting my step goal that I can track and cross check with my iphone stats to see my progress.  It also does things my iphone doesn’t track like my awesome beginner’s yoga poses with Babyzilla.  I mean, who wants to carry a freaking iphone to track everything when they can be hands-free and wear the awesome MSBand bracelet???

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#1 I’m Emotionally Attached.  I misplaced the charger and almost had a breakdown.  Michael watched me and laughed as I stated how my band “dying” would result in lost data of my steps/run/heart rate.  Also, it’s much more resilient than the Apple products like iphone and ipod.  I used to have an ipod a decade ago and basically broke it when I put it in my sports bra and it couldn’t take all that sweat.  The MSBand is not waterproof but it’s water resistant and definitely holds up to water better than the ipod and iphone.  The last thing I do each evening is set it to “sleep” mode and it tells me “Goodnight”.  By the way, on an average night, it takes me five minutes to fall asleep.

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The MS Band is now an every day accessory

If you want to see other reviews, take a look at this in depth view from another user.  Let me know if you have a fitbit or MSBand and if you love using it to track your daily activity.

Epic Mom Guilt and Embracing A Little Selfishness

There’s no such thing as a perfect child and therefore the fairytale that is a perfect Mom does not exist either.  Motherhood is different for everyone and survival is the goal for everyday – not Pinterest perfect, gluten-free muffins for breakfast and not homemade outfits from recycled curtains – let’s just say that Babyzilla is known to have a bag of Cheetos puffs for breakfast.  As a mom, I try to set lofty goals for myself but not too high in order to avoid disappointment later.  After all, my everyday goal is to not lose my temper too badly and avoid causing permanent damage to the kids, and that I’ll make it home with all kids in tow so I can put those little dictators angels to bed and have a bottle glass of wine and possibly catch some Netflix with Michael.

In all Mommy honesty, we have all those days where we hide in the bathroom to get an extra 2 minutes of Facebook viewing while risking a toddler going out the front door.  Just kidding…the seven year-old was watching her.  Oh, I mean, my unicorn was….

Shame Lady GOT

I want to share with you my top not-so-perfect-Mommy practices in order to (hopefully) let you have the honest conversations with fellow mommies.  The point is, the idea that a mommy has to be everything and do everything is not realistic (even with a badass partner like my husband!) and I refuse to emotionally beat myself up based on what some Pinterest mommy board tells me.  If you drop by on any given day, you will find that my house is probably messy, we are eating sandwiches for dinner, and someone may be skipping bath night because I want to relax and maybe run to the gym.  Mommy tip…dry shampoo works on kids too!

I could try harder to “do it all” but that would mean that I would have to be more selfless, and I refuse to give up myself.  Yep, I would rather have an hour at the gym and live with a messy playroom.  I can walk away from that playroom and not look at it all day.  I have to look at myself in the mirror and it will be a constant reminder that I didn’t take care of myself and hit the gym.  As a mom, I have to constantly weigh decisions based on everyone’s needs and sometimes, I am more important.  And, that’s ok.

Behold, my top three shameful Mommy behaviors that I’d like to say I’m going to change but I probably won’t because I accept that I am allowed to be a little bit selfish:

#3.  Daycare Hair.  I’m not capable of mastering simple hair styles.

Isabella Hair copy

I was blessed with a full head of thick, wavy hair that I can straighten, curl, or do anything with.  Unfortunately, I only really learned to do my hair two ways…down, or up in a ponytail.  I used to think that having a daughter would motivate me to learn how to braid and do all of the cool, girly hair styles you see on Pinterest.  Um no.  That did not happen and I struggle with doing anything with Isabella’s long locks besides plopping a bow in it or pulling it up in a ponytail.  Her daycare must see my struggle too because ever since Babyzilla began going there, she comes home with beautiful braids and hairstyles that I could never learn to do on my own.  One morning, she even told me not to mess with her hair because she was going to get it done at school.  Oh my.

#2.  Co-sleeping.  Sometimes, it’s just easier to coral them in one room.

Clones sleeping

Babyzilla and Antonio are both lucky to have their own bedrooms with queen sized beds.  But, they usually end up together in Antonio’s room.  Bedtime is tricky because on a good day, it only takes twenty minutes for people to settle down while on a bad day, this could take hours.  We let the kids sleep in the same room because Antonio is obedient about turning off the lights and following the routine we ask him to do.  Then lately, it never fails that Babyzilla comes crawling into our master bedroom at 5 AM and snuggles in between us.  I’m not getting up at 5 AM to do anything much less fight a threenager on going back to her own room.  I value my precious sleep moments that early in the morning and so I often have a tiny person wrapped around my head like a cat.

#1.  Mommy Doesn’t Cook…My Daddy Only Cooks.  When my son was in Kindergarten, he proudly presented me with an “All About Mom” booklet that he had worked on for Mother’s Day.  The results of the first page sent me through a roller coaster of emotions and made me realize the way my child sees me through his eyes is so much more simpler than how I see myself.  The page read:

Antonio Kindergarten Mothers Day

So, my immediate reaction to the cooking comment was that it is true (kudos to Michael) and then I proceeded to laugh at the squash comment because i don’t even remember the last time I ate squash.  I am a chocolate and bacon type of girl.  Almost three years later and my son will now say that cooking is done 50% by Daddy and 50% by Mommy.  Yay for Blue Apron!

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Healthy eating and an active life style are important things I am trying to teach my kids, but I won’t ban McDonald’s from our diets…only the “chicken” nuggets.  I have slowly in the past couple of years embraced this whole cooking concept and we do cook for about half of the week.  Kitchen is closed on weekends unless someone wants to get fancy and make pancakes.

Guilt, shame and feelings of insecurity are things every mom struggles with on a daily basis.  Instead of focusing on the things I can’t do, I try to accept my faults and focus on the Wins of the Day as Kendra has so eloquently suggested to all of us.  Sometimes, those wins include reading bedtime stories and goodnight hugs and kisses.  Other times, it means celebrating that I squeezed in twenty minutes to workout.  A good litmus test on getting perspective is always hearing my son pray at night.  No matter how much I discipline him or nag him about everyday “stuff”, he always thanks God that I am his mother.  That and the fact that he says I’m sweet as pop tarts.

Antonio Mothers Day K

 

Getting Over My (non)Runner’s Shame

I’ve gone through a running journey that will (God willing) probably continue for the rest of my life…yet for a long time, I refused to label myself a “runner”.

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My SIL Jennifer is my runspiration…I literally run after her!

I took up running when my sister-in-law Jennifer was looking for a running buddy and I was interested in losing some weight, and have been hooked ever since.  No matter if I’m training for a marathon or barely squeaking by on 5 miles a week, I have finally gotten over myself and admitted to myself that I am a runner!

I go through phases when I stop running altogether but I will still read about running, look at other runner’s instagram posts, and even sit and think about speed training programs.  Yet, even when I was looping White Rock Lake (only real runners do this on Saturdays) at the butt crack of dawn, I was somehow intimidated to call myself a full-blown runner.

Why?  I’ll tell you why…I was stuck on this idea that runners had to look a certain way.  They had to have those long, thin limbs that make them look like they can get carried away by the wind at any moment and they don’t have anything that jiggles, flops or bounces.

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The reality of the sport of running is that runners come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors.  And that is what made me fall in love with running.  It’s inclusive of everyone, regardless of bodytype, and the results are undeniably good for your health.  It’s one of the only sports where you can literally go out to a park, or where ever, and join a runner’s group and no one will think you are a freaking weirdo.  They will welcome you and say, “Oh hi, what’s your PR goal?”.  Then, they will proceed to ask you about your nice running pants or shoes.  Amazing, because this actually happened to me when I joined a running group!

That’s when it all clicked for me…I am a runner.  I started looking around and found these incredible, yet normal people like me that are running like the hilarious genius of Kelly on Run, Selfie, Repeat and the mold breaking covers of the Women’s Running magazine that dared to look like this and this, and I was further inspired to show my pride for the running community that I belong to.

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Running for the past ten years has helped me overcome post-baby weight, served as therapy for stressful job situations, and helped keep my sanity when life’s pressures are threatening to spill over.   Not to mention it brought me closer to some of my dear friends like the other two NonBlondes!  My unicorn will often tell me to, “Go for a quick run” when he sees the crazy behind my eyes.  He would rather spend an hour putting kids to bed on his own than having me be a miserable mess all night because I didn’t get to put in the miles.  So, I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t matter where or how or why I run, and the important part is that I continue getting out there and proving to myself that I am a runner and I’m actually kind of good at it!

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Running the half with my sister Rocio while 3 mos prego with Babyzilla
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Antonio at a Color Run 🙂

I’m currently in one of my running modes where I run often, but not for long distances.  I can’t seem to balance my time between life’s responsibilities well enough to get away for hours, so I cherish anytime I can get to hit the street or gym treadmill.  I mostly run on my own, but lately, I’ve had the luck of bribing having the company of my sisters or my friends and other times it’s just me and Babyzilla in the stroller.  I used to run half marathons and even ran one while pregnant with Isabella and then shortly post-baby, but that goal is not in my short term future.  Instead, I try to make the most of every short run that I get and keep pushing myself beyond my limits.

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Babyzilla is often my running buddy!

So, if you live within a twenty mile radius of North Dallas and need a running buddy, let me know!  Do you like to run races?  What’s your best PR?  Are you a closet runner like I was?  Share your stories with us in the comments section.

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Not Your Mom’s Shorts: Summer Style

 

Rules are meant to be broken, right?  Or at least bent a little…or a lot!  When I turned 35, I was suddenly hyper aware of the clothing I was choosing when I went shopping.  In the back of my mind, that annoying little voice of “fashion rules” kept telling me I needed to choose age-appropriate clothes and sensible shoes.  Well, I decided I didn’t give two effs about that voice and I refuse to style myself in Mom jeans and flats.  I love shorts and unless these legs turn into an atlas map of veins, I will wear them proudly.  And since the weather has technically transitioned into Spring, I ran to Francesca’s and found the perfect shorts outfits to kickoff the season! And they were having a bogo half off sale!

Before we get into the fabulous pieces I found at Francesca’s, I want to share with you a piece advice I practice when getting in the mindset of shopping…

Don’t compare yourself to anyone…At 5’3 and not 120lbs, 99.9% of the models pictured in the stores I shop at look nothing like me.  This does not deter me from trying on outfits or make me shy away from stores.  Sometimes, I miscalculate and the waist of a dress falls way too low or a hem doesn’t fall right, but you will never know how something fits unless you try it on.  Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and take pictures with your phone so you can examine your look.  And don’t buy anything unless you LOVE IT and it makes you feel FABULOUS!

Cher Poloaroids

My favorite looks this season came from Francesca’s.

Peplum chambray and woven shorts.  Peplum is my absolute favorite because it is both flattering and comfortable.  Paired with some ultra short bottoms and you are ready for summer fun!  These shorts have a little peek-a-boo knit side panel which lets you dress them up or down.  And the best part about these shorts (besides the elastic waist) is the price…under $15!

Shorts 01

Shirt: Francesca’s chambray peplum (similar) $34

Shorts: Forever 21 crochet paneled shorts $12.90

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Olive green embroidered shorts.  Olive green is my latest obsession and I have recently made several purchases in that color.  These shorts from Francesca’s are so soft and feel like pajamas.  They are high-waisted and have that cute front tie, but you can wear them with a crop top or with a long, flowing shirt.  They are so versatile and the embroidered details provide a more feminine look to a classic style.  I liked pairing them with my tan wedges to elongate my gams.  Hehe.

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Shorts 03

Shirt: Forever 21 striped crop top $6.99

Shirt: Francesca’s Veronica scalloped tank $28

Shorts: Francesca’s Olive Kadie embroidered shorts $24.99

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Chambray shorts.  There are so many different kinds of denim shorts from short cutoffs to long, long culottes.  These high-waisted, belted chambray shorts are very comfy and can also be paired with a tucked in or untucked shirt.  I really liked the untucked look for a casual yet put together look for weekend wear.  It’s a great option instead of throwing on cutoffs and a t-shirt.  Pair them with a pair of sandals and your’e ready for a busy weekend!

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Shorts 06

Shirt:  Forever 21 V-neck cami $1.90

Shirt: Francesca’s Jessica solid blouse $34

Shorts: Francesca’s chambray shorts (similar)

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Oh my, it’s skorts!  If you are a child of the nineties then you probably had a pair of these babies.  These skorts are girly and also very comfortable and I love them in navy.  A perfect solution for a date night on a hot, summer day when you don’t want to wear regular shorts but also don’t want to commit to a dress.  Let’s face it, some dresses or skirts can really restrict your dance moves.  These skorts are the perfect solution for functionality and cute shorts.

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Shirt: Francesca’s Jessica solid blouse $34

Shorts: Francesca’s Kalea printed skorts $24.99

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

I can’t wait to wear all of my new Francesca’s outfits this spring and summer season!  What kind of shorts do you like to wear?  Do you dare put on those tiny shorts like I do?  Let us know in the comments!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Jackets, Joggers and Jeans: How to Dress Your Man

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Joggers are here to stay

Floral Hawaiian shirts and pleated Dockers.  That was my husband’s outfit of choice when I met him fifteen years ago.  We were twenty years-old and in college and Michael didn’t even own a pair of jeans!  He’s a smart, witty, kind guy who is basically an IT genius but he has zero interest in clothes.  So when he mentioned he would love for me to help him out in this area, I knew we were meant to be.

I’m lucky enough to have a guy who is willing to be my blank slate when it comes to fashion for men.  I try to keep his look “timeless” by picking classic patterns and colors and not picking things that are going to go out of style.  Michael understands my passion for fashion and his only rule is, “Please don’t make me look stupid”.  He’s willing to try skinny jeans, joggers and cardigans.  And he also doesn’t mind being inspiration for his clone Antonio.  Somehow, these two don’t mind twinning.

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#Twinning

There are a few basic rules when dressing a guy.  Comfort, cut and style.  The most comfortable fabric is cotton, so I tend to stick to mostly cotton pieces that will not chafe or rub.  Cut is important because like women’s clothes, men’s clothes can differ greatly in size depending on the brand or department store.  Familiarize yourself with brand fits by trial and error and yes, you have to drag your man to the store every once in a while so he can get a good fitting.  I hardly ever take Michael shopping anymore because I stick to what I know works for him…Nordstrom’s, Banana Republic Outlet store and Gap.  Style is a tricky one to explain.  The best way I can describe it is don’t put your guy in an outfit that doesn’t reflect his personality.  Michael is the kind of guy that can pull off preppy or hipster-inspired outfits, but I wouldn’t dare put him in biker outfit or a Axl Rose inspired ensemble.  Unless it was Halloween of course!

Halloween 2015
Why, yes! Those are leather pants on both of us!

When it comes to fashion, I find inspiration browsing through Pinterest.  Here are six Pinterest inspired men’s fashion outfits that I asked (O.K. bribed) Michael to model (Thanks babe!).

Dressy shorts.  Just because your man is in shorts doesn’t mean it has to look sloppy or like he’s about to do yard work.  I found this dapper shorts and sweater look on Pinterest and put Michael’s outfit from existing pieces in his closet.  I dressed it up by putting Michael in a wrinkle-free button down shirt, but your guy could easily just wear it with a t-shirt underneath.  It’s all about comfort!

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Shorts don’t have to be boring.
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Feeling a Zoolander moment.

Shirt:  Banana Republic Outlet $51.99

Sweater: Banana Republic Outlet (similar) $47.99

Shorts:  Kohl’s Urban Pipeline $24.99

Shoes:  Canvas slip on shoes $45

Jogger inspiration because guys in joggers are hot.  You can dress them down or up and they are appropriate for almost any occasion.  I bought Michael a pair of joggers online and asked him to keep an open mind while trying them on.  After a moment, he said they felt comfortable and he was glad he didn’t have to wear a belt with them.  Success!  So, joggers may not be for every guy but if you’re man is willing to go out of his comfort zone and try them, you may get lucky like I did.  And to be honest, I think they are way better than cargo pants.  No matter how old a guy is, if he’s wearing cargo pants, he always looks like a little kid.  #notafan

Below are three ways your guy can wear joggers.  A simple polo paired with a pair of joggers looks casual yet stylish.  For a more rugged look, put your man in a flannel in joggers.  Again, he can be comfortable by keeping his shirt untucked and wearing sneakers.  For a dressier look, put him in a clean and crisp button down shirt with a pop of color.  Volia!

 

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Embrace the jogger look!
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Flannel + joggers = perfect
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Babyzilla photobombed our photoshoot!

Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet Polo $21.99

Shirt: Plaid Flannel (similar) $24.99

Shirt: Gap Wrinkle Resistant standard shirt (similar) $59.95

Pants: Gap Utility Jogger $59.95

Shoes: Calvin Klein Chukka boots from Nordstrom’s $120

Jeans and a Blazer.   Every single guy out there should have a pair of nice jeans and a blazer they can throw on for a date night or special occasion.  Jeans and blazers is a classic yet sophisticated look for any guy.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a nice blazer…we found this awesome style and cut at Kohl’s!  So, get your Kohl’s cash and coupons and start shopping.  The point is, your guy can wear a nicely tailored blazer and a t-shirt and jeans and still look like a rockstar.

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Grilling and modeling. We know how to multi-task.

Shirt:  Boss Sharp Fit Check Dress Shirt from Nordstrom’s $125

Blazer:  Haggar’s Suite Jacket from Kohl’s $100

Pants:  Gap Skinny Fit 1969 Jeans $69.95

Shoes:  Calvin Klein Chukka boots from Nordstrom’s $120

The Gingham shirt.  If you don’t know what gingham is, it’s the picnic blanket pattern and it’s extremely timeless and fresh on guys.  A gingham print shirt is a must for any guy of any age and it looks amazing paired with jeans.  Michael is wearing the black version of the Gap skinny jeans and it’s a very 50’s inspired look.

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Gingham…that’s hot
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Gingham and BBQ…and Babyzilla

Shirt:  Banana Republic Outlet Gingham Shirt $51.99

Pants:  Gap Skinny Fit 1969 Jeans $69.95

Shoes:  Oxford shoes from Banana Republic Outlet (similar) $148

Dress Shirt and Chinos.  Work clothes don’t have to be boring.  Chinos that fit can make a difference between looking outdated and looking like a young professional.  Pair them with a button down crisp shirt and some dress shoes and you’re ready to tackle corporate America.

MK Look05a
Business casual with style

Shirt:  Urban Pipeline button down shirt (similar) $24.99

Pants:  Banana Republic Outlet Chinos $44.99

Shoes:  Cole Haan Wingtip dress shoes (similar) $129.90

Classic blue dress shirt.  The dress shirt has made it to the weekend.  Michael is wearing a pair of comfy chinos and a chambray dress shirt to show how you can keep it casual and look like a boss while manning the jalapeno poppers.  The great part about the weekend is you can wear dress shirts and not have to tuck them in.  This act alone makes the shirt look appropriately casual while also serving as an alternative for a t-shirt.  I can tell you right now Michael has no idea what chambray is but he does know this button-down blue shirt looks good and feels great.

Another great thing about the dressy blue (chambray) shirt is how you can take it from a casual look to a dressy look.  I paired Michael’s chambray shirt with a bowtie and a long coat and it creates a completely different look than before.  Simple acts like tucking in a shirt or putting on a blazer can completely change an outfit.  Pretty cool, huh?

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Weekend casual just got fancy
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Bowties and jean…oh my

Shirt:  Banana Republic Outlet tailored chambray shirt $51.99

Pants:  Banana Republic Outlet Chinos $44.99

Coat:  Zara (similar) $299

Shoes:  Cole Haan chukka boots (similar) $120

Does your guy have style?  Or, do you help him look his best by taking over the shopping duties?  Tell us your favorite men’s fashion trends your guy likes to wear and your favorite stores to shop.

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

My Favorite Things: Zulily Online Shopping

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Babyzilla’s Flash t-shirt was originally meant for Antonio…oops, I misread the size chart

I hardly ever have time to shop at an actual department store, so I do quite a bit of online shopping.  When Babyzilla was just a baby, my mother-in-law  suggested I take a look at Zulily’s website because she had recently signed up and there were so many adorable kid outfits at reasonable prices.  It just took one browsing session to hook me onto Zulily sales.  If you are not familiar with Zulily, it’s an online store where you find heavily discounted products (clothes, shoes, health & beauty, toys, furniture, etc.) everyday and each collection is only available for a limited time.  They have unique styles you would not usually find in department stores and also familiar brands that you would see in department stores.  If you are thinking of buying from the Zulily website, I have some tips on how to maximize your shopping experience.

Tip #1: Zulily packages take a while to get to you, so order way in advance.  Zulily does NOT have two day shipping, like Amazon Prime, so you may have to wait anywhere from two weeks to a month to wait for your order.  It’s not that bad, but if your’e like me, you want instant gratification and also procrastinate so you order things at the last minute and expect to get them yesterday.  That’s not going to happen with Zulily so you may as well place your order, forget about it for two weeks, and then find yourself pleasantly surprised when that package shows up in the mail.  Last September, I ordered some Halloween outfits for the kids and I was tracking the package which seemed to have gotten lost.  I called the Zulily customer service number and the folks gave me a credit for my items and were extremely apologetic.  The items finally showed up and then I had some credits to spend!  I have placed about a dozen orders with Zulily and this was the one time I had a shipping incident.

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Babyzilla often picks out her own outfits, so I will browse online with her to get her stamp of approval. Antonio, not so much.

Tip #2: Kid sizes run small, so make sure to size up.  Most of my Zulily shopping has been for my daughter and son, so I’m not familiar with how adult sizing compares, but the kid’s clothes does run small.  My kids are both big for their age so I often get one to two sizes bigger than what they usually wear.  Especially with tops.  I once ordered a Flash t-shirt with the intent on buying it for Antonio and it ended up fitting Babyzilla.  So, make sure you pay close attention to the size chart and go up from there.  I would much rather have a larger item than a smaller one because then I would at least be O.K. knowing the kids can grow into it.  There’s not much you can do with an article of clothing that is too small besides exchanging it or giving it away.  I have not had to exchange anything from Zulily and I’ve been sizing up since the beginning.

Tip #3: Extensive brand selection is their strong point.  I used to shop at several local boutiques for Mudpie items until I started noticing Zulily carries the same exact brand, at a discounted rate.  Why would you want to pay more for something you can get for less money online?  I felt a twinge of guilt for no longer shopping at the boutique but my pocketbook won that battle.  On the flip side, they also carry very well known department store brands like Spanx and Jessica Simpson in their collections.  I recently bought Babyzilla two Jessica Simpson bathing suits and Antonio a Nautica sweater at discounted prices that were way below store prices.  Again, there is a whole world of adult clothing and furniture and many other things that I have not yet experienced at Zulily because my shopping has been focused on children’s clothes.

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Antonio’s Nautica sweater is one of my favorite purchases
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Antonio’s Swag T-shirt by LC Trendz
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Babyzilla’s Jessica Simpson ruffle bikini

Tip #4: Last Chance Deals and Ready to Ship!  Two gems from Zulily online shopping are Last Chance Deals and Ready to Ship products.  As indicated in the name, Last Chance Deals are sales which are nearing their end and you need to get a move on if you would like to purchase.  Ready to Ship! deals are marked with a rocket and will ship within two days of ordering.  These items are meant to be “fast track” items that can get to you in a much quicker timeframe than normal Zulily sales.

Tip #5: Utilize their great website and app.  I have the Zulily app on my phone and I can shop, track, and view my latest orders from the palm of my hand.  This can be a little dangerous if I have some time to kill…The order status on their website and app make it very clear to see the status of your orders.  This is helpful when you’re like me and you forget when you placed the order and need a reminder on when to expect that fun Zulily package.

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In summary, buying kid clothes from Zulily has been a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience for me so far.  I will continue to find frilly outfits for Babyzilla and cool t-shirts for Antonio.  My next adventure on Zulily will be to buy myself something.  Have you ever shopped at Zulily?  What is your favorite online store to buy from?  Happy shopping!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Valentine’s Day Shenanigans

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Us. I LOVED my Bloomindale’s dress!  Yes, I totally copied J from J’s Everyday Fashion!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just about couples.  About six years ago, a tradition was started with my sisters when we decided to do a couple’s Valentine’s Day celebration which includes a fancy dinner and possibly dancing…we call it Valentineapalooza.  At the time, we were trying to coordinate babysitters (ahem, my parents) and it just made sense to all go out together instead of trying to coordinate who would get to go out for Valentine’s Day.  Plus, we love hanging out with one another, so we knew it would be extra fun to go out as new parents and have a good time celebrating together.

The formula to a successful Valentineapalooza consists of of four things:

1. Great company -Valentineapalooza #6 took place in Lubbock, Texas and consisted of six couples we love dearly, but don’t get to see enough.  Your group definitely doesn’t have to be this large.  And if you’re single, your group can consist of all ladies.  This can be done with a co-ed group that are not necessarily couples either.  It’s really up to you.  The point is to plan a fun night out with a group that you love. And to have fun!

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Our entire group in front of the Texas Tech Club

2. Fancy dinner – Reservations for Valentine’s Day must be done very far in advance, especially for larger groups, so make sure your group can make a decision on a place to eat and book it ASAP.  We had the pleasure of having a connection to The Tech Club and got to dine overseeing an amazing view of the Texas Tech football field.  Also, our group was large enough to be accommodated with a private room, so we had a cozy time.  When your daily dinner plans consist of Chick-Fil-A takeout or quick, homemade meals, this is quite the treat.  Getting waited on hand and foot on this special night makes us feel like kings.

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Fancy dinner time! Check out that view.

3. After hours fun – There are several options for after-dinner fun.  This year, ours consisted of taking a limo and riding to different destinations for drinks and dancing.  We chose to get a limo because it made it easier for all of us to travel together and also to avoid drinking and driving.  In previous years, we stayed at a Marriott hotel that was walking distance to The Shops at Legacy where there is an abundant night life.  The point of Valentineapalooza is to get out and have fun, so there’s many options for after hours activities.  At the end of the night, we took our limo to Whataburger.  Yes, we are so classy.

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Limo fun

4. Kid-free hotel stay – I don’t know about you mother’s out there but at my house, kids get put in their own beds and somehow our three year-old always wanders over to my bed and ends up being my backpack for the remainder of the night.  A Valentineapalooza hotel stay without little people waking me up in the middle of the night or at the butt crack of dawn is like heaven to both my husband and me.  We had the luxury of staying at the Overton Hotel which is located right across the street from The Tech Club.  As parents, we can’t even shower or take a bathroom break without little feet following us around.  Having a long, hot shower and taking my time putting on my makeup without getting it swiped by Babyzilla was nice.  Michael took a long nap while I got ready because that’s what he does when he gets a moment to slow down.  I watched the news instead of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It’s the small things people.

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My husband is The Flash

Valentineapalooza has become a tradition for us and we plan to continue planning it for years to come.  I also want to say that for my husband and myself, it’s important to make this event about us and enjoy each other’s company.  We typically have a Kid Valentine’s Day celebration prior to our Valentineapalooza date night event because we love our kids too.  Do you have special Valentine’s Day you would like to share with us?  Are they kid-free or kid friendly?  Share your ideas with us in the comments.

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Let’s Do A Makeover!

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I have been styling the same Cover Girl Classic Pink blush since I was fourteen.  It’s kind of my thing.  In my journey to improve my health and well-being, I also thought I would makeover my look.  So, I decided to get a Sephora makeover!

To give you a little bit of background on my current situation, it basically consists of what I call grocery store makeup.  I don’t typically go to fancy department stores and get MAC makeup or invest in ridiculously expensive creams for my face.  I think it’s because my Mom doesn’t ever wear makeup and neither do my sisters and I’ve just never ventured out to discover it.  You could say I’m sort of a makeup virgin.  So, this is where the other two of the Three Non Blondes stepped in.  I recently joined them to a visit to Sephora and was immediately overwhelmed, excited and mesmerized by the beautiful palettes, lipstick tubes and rows and rows of colors in that very strategically lit store.  I didn’t pull the trigger then, but the curiosity definitely sat with me for a while.

At Christmas, my unicorn gifted me with a $100 dollar gift card to Sephora and I knew what I would do with it – makeover!!!!

My “Before” look consists of lots of pink blush, sparkly eye shadow, mascara and lip gloss galore.  I may throw in some eye liner every once in a while for a date night but I never, ever experimented with lipstick…and I really wanted to.

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My Sephora Makeover...was not what I expected.  It was crazy busy and my beauty consultant was late and then rushed.  I didn’t know what to expect so I agreed to let her take charge and ended up with two inch thick eyebrows and an aged look.  The looks on my friends’s faces was priceless!  I love their honesty.  On the other hand, Kendra walked away with a sweet date night look that looked amazing with her red hair.  Before leaving the store, my friends led me to some of their staple products and I was able to walk away with new toys to play with at home.

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Before my makeover…so excited!
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After…Me – sporting crazy eyebrows. Kendra – looking fabulous!

Once I got home, I found myself with tons of new makeup thanks to my new purchase and a TON of donated makeup from Amanda.  I wasn’t sure where to start so I did what every person in my situation would do…I went to YouTube.  There, I found a makeup goddess who calls herself Dacey that I am thinking of following on twitter and instagram because I’m convinced we could be real friends.  After all, her makeup is fierce, flawless and fabulous.  I’ve spent the past week sitting on the couch next to Michael watching her videos and attempting her looks.  Here are my favorites…

YouTube look #1: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Makeover

Sephora Look 1
Fresh look with pink lipstain, subtle blush, and neutral eye shadow

I love this look because it introduced me to lip stains and liquid eye liner.  Here’s the list of products I used to create the look:

  1. Too Faced Melted Lip Stain in Melted Candy
  2. Stila All Day Eyeliner
  3. Urban Decay Naked Eye Palette in Virgin, Sin and Toasted
  4. Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana
  5. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

YouTube look #2: Smokey Eyes

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Smokey eyes for beginners…I understand why people get eyeliner tattoos

The smokey eyes were not as dramatic as the one on the video because I’m still working on my blending technique.  Plus, I don’t have the patience to blend a bazillion colors with dozens of brushes.  Small steps people.

  1. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rose Pink
  2. MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Unlimited
  3. Stila All Day Eyeliner
  4. Urban Decay Naked Eye Palette in Virgin, Sin and Creep
  5. TreStique Shadow Crayon in Aspen Pine
  6. Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana
  7. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

YouTube look #3: Red Lips

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Vavavoom red! It was life changing, can you tell?

I absolutely LOVE this red lip gloss.  I haven’t gotten the chance (or nerve!) to wear it in public yet but I’m hoping to very soon…maybe on Valentine’s Day…

  1. NARS Velvet Matt Lip Pencil in Cruella
  2. London Lippy Butter in Come to Bed Red
  3. Stila All Day Eyeliner
  4. Urban Decay Naked Eye Palette in Virgin and Half-baked
  5. Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana
  6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

YouTube look #4: Same as Red Lips Tutorial but for Daytime

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I can do this all day people!

This look is basically the exact same with a more subtle, pink lipstick.  It’s a very easy daytime look that I feel comfortable wearing to work and it doesn’t require a tremendous amount of time.

  1. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rose Pink
  2. Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Celestial
  3. Stila All Day Eyeliner
  4. Urban Decay Naked Eye Palette in Gunmetal as eye liner on bottom lid
  5. Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana
  6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

What I’ve Learned…is how improving my outward appearance has come at a time when I am trying to make other changes in my life, and it’s refreshing.  My outward appearance may not have changed that much, but I feel a twinge of budding confidence when that lip stain touches my lips.  See, my lips were my enemies when I was little.  I absolutely hated having big, pouty lips.  When I was a little girl, other kids made fun of them and I felt really self conscious.  So, I kept them subtle and bare.  As a teenager, I embraced my full lips and glossed them until they had a reflection of their own!  Now, I feel like I’ve finally learned how to dress those big, pouty lips while also properly making over the rest of my features.

Do you have any makeup tips for me?  What are your favorite products?  Do you like shopping at Sephora?  What is your favorite feature of your lovely face?  Share with us in the comments section!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig