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Fall Fashion Throwback to the 70s

You can tell from the back to school pictures on Facebook (1 1/2 weeks left!!) and the way the calendar refuses to stop speeding through August. I know you can’t tell from the weather (it is like 146 degrees here), but fall is right around the corner. While I am relishing every single second of summer, I must confess fall is my most favorite season. The falling leaves, the crisp air and THE FASHION!! I love fall fashion. There are some great trends around the corner.

One of my favorite fall trends is a throw back to the 70s. Check out these great looks:

 

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Kind of makes you want to grab a big floppy hat and a fringe bag doesn’t it? Don’t throw your skinny jeans away quite yet, but grab a few pieces that feel a bit groovy and embrace the flower child inside.

Many of these pieces are dry clean only, but don’t let that stop you from playing along with the latest fashion trend. Grab your Dryel and save yourself the hassle and the cash. You might remember I’m an ambassador for Dryel this year and I am still loving how easy it is to handle my dry clean only clothing. No longer do I have to live in fear of falling in love with an outfit in the dressing room only to put it right back when I see the care label. It also works perfectly to freshen up any vintage 70s finds you might hunt down that carry that nasty musty smell.

Still nervous to try it out? Grab a coupon for Dryel here and let me know what you think!

 

 

Change The World, Look Good Doing It #FTFClub

For some light summer reading (#sarcasmfont), I decided to finally tackle 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I can’t tell you how long I have had this book intending to read it, but absolutely terrified to do so. And I discovered that was for good reason. I cannot continue the same as before. Stupid convicting books.

One of the areas that hit home the hardest was fashion. I have never tried to deny that I have loved clothes for as long as I can remember. Honestly I still vividly remember a few of my favorite outfits from Kindergarten (sweater with little whales on it and jeans with rhinestones on the pocket-sigh). I had a jobs in retail in high school and college and I bought more clothes with my paychecks than anyone should ever admit in public. The trend continues to this day.

I justify it up and down, but I rarely stop to think about how much the money could be doing allocated in different ways (because I typically stay within budget, I can justify anything). I also rarely think about the truths behind my cheap fashion. Someone else is paying a very high price so that I can look cute. Sad.

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image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

Well. What if I could use my love of fashion and do good? You guys!!! I CAN!!!!

Fair Trade Friday is the brilliant idea of one of my sweet blogging friends, Kristen of We Are That Family fame. If you don’t know her full story you should really read her book Rhinestone Jesus or read her blog which will make you laugh and cry on a daily basis or check out her amazing ministry, Mercy House (well her OTHER amazing ministry). Clearly you need to know her. But anyway, she felt God calling her to help empower women all over the world and Fair Trade Friday was born.

Fair Trade Friday is a monthly membership club different than most others. It delivers a box of high quality items to your door by the first Friday of the month. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all over the world. 100% of the proceeds from each box goes to the empowerment of impoverished women as an avenue to introduce them to the Gospel. Currently they are working with 19 countries and helping over 1000 woman find employment, dignity and hope. Just one box employs an average of 7 women from around the globe!

I have been a member for several months (even before I was asked to be part of the blogging team) and I have loved knowing that the adorable earrings, bracelets and purses I wear are making a difference in someone’s life. Everything isn’t always my style but I simply pass on things to people I know will love them. And it isn’t always clothes in my subscription box either. I have received coffee, potholders, journals, notecards and more.

Fair Trade Friday

 

 

Listen to these amazing words from one of the many women who provide their wares for your boxes:

“Probably one of the most profound moments for me was in a mud home in Kenya talking with a woman we were buying paper bead bracelets from for a Fair Trade Friday box. She grabbed my hands and squeezed them tight. She looked me straight in the eyes and said,‘Tell the women in America that we need them to keep buying what we make. Tell them it is feeding my son and two daughters. Tell them not to forget us.’ I will spend the rest of my life reminding these marginalized women they are not forgotten.” – Kristen Welch, MercyHouse Co-Founder

Old Navy isn’t going to do that for anyone. In fact, it is most likely doing more harm than good (this is not a guilt trip, I am learning right along with you and possibly still buying from Old Navy just this week….. #keepingitreal). My favorite part is that each item in my box comes with a tag that tells me where the artisan lives and often times even her name. And just for a moment, I am part of her story. And part of God’s big old giant redemption story for us all.

FTF-Change-the-World

 

image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

Is it possible my love of fashion can change the world? Fair Trade Friday thinks so. They like to say, “Change the World, Look Good Doing It.” And even if I didn’t get a single item that makes me “look good”, I can think of a million other really stupid ways to blow $30 that doesn’t help a woman across the world put food in her child’s belly.

If you too want to be a part of making a difference, please consider becoming a part of Fair Trade Friday, either by getting on the waiting list for the original box subscription, by ordering a one-time box, or by joining the Earring of the Month Club. Or consider shopping other fair trade items in the Mercy Shop to benefit Mercy House. You really can’t lose.

I received a one-time box as part of the Fair Trade Friday Blogging Team in exchange for telling you about this service. I was a subscriber long before that and love the chance to get to share about such a great organization. 

When The Good Wife, Dryel and Superfandom Collide

I’m not even going to pretend that I am not naturally inclined to get rather obsessed with shows. But there are shows. And then there are shows. The Good Wife absolutely had me at hello and has not missed a single beat. No shark jumping, no mistakes, no dull episodes. It is one of the most perfectly crafted shows on TV. Hyperbole? In this case I don’t think so.

So I was crazy excited when I found out that as part of my year long partnership with Dryel I was going to be able to interview the Emmy-nominated costume designer for The Good Wife, Dan Lawson. I may watch the show for the riveting plotline, but believe me, I have noticed the clothes. I am not a working woman, so suits aren’t really my jam, but I know stylish when I see it and man is that cast stylish. Dan is so talented that he has even developed his own line, 35-DL.

I will confess, I probably should have spent my time interviewing him about how to build a great work wardrobe, how to keep yourself looking professional but stylish, or how to keep clothes looking their best. But because I am such a fan girl I pretty much spent time asking him about characters on the show. Oops. We’ll get to the non fan girl questions at the end of the interview.

Here is my interview with Mr. Lawson:

  1. What is your background that led you to costume design? Well, I studied costume design in college.  Then, of course, one gets out of school and starts questioning everything.  But I absolutely knew costume design was my calling when I saw the Merchant/Ivory film, “A Room With a View”.  I was truly moved by the story that the clothing told in that movie.  I was such a nerd, I even wrote the costume designer to say how much I loved her work.  Of course, she didn’t write back, but I knew that was what I wanted to do nonetheless.

    “Fashion” really came into play later when I started working in television on such shows as “One Life To Live”, “Lipstick Jungle”, “Kings”, and of course, “The Good Wife”.  TGW in particular was the perfect marriage of costume design and fashion for me.

    I studied at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  It was a dream to get to attend that school.  I started out thinking I was going to act, but that quickly went away when I realized that I just got way too nervous any time I had to be on the stage.

    Then I discovered that as a costume designer, I kind of get to play all the parts in my head and think about all the characters and their feelings and situations and story arcs, etc.  I had a director once tell me that he loved working with me because I paint using fabric and clothing.  I love the idea of that.

    Anyway, I then got my MFA from Rutgers University in theater design.  I spent the next couple of years designing very off-Broadway and regional theater productions.  I got to assist one of the great legends of costume design, Patricia Zipprodt during the first season of Tony Randall’s National Actors Theater in NYC, which was an amazing experience.  Eventually, I had the opportunity to assistant costume design on ABC’s “One Life To Live” and although I had no TV experience, the designer hired me because I was enthusiastic and very willing to learn.  From there I went to designing indie films and assisting in prime time TV.  Finally, while I was associate costume designer on NBC’s “Third Watch”, I was promoted to costume designer and that was pretty much that.

    I did have the incredible luck and opportunity to assist, in my opinion, one the greatest costume designers of all time, Albert Wolsky, on “Across the Universe” and “Revolutionary Road”.  Albert really changed the way I thought about costumes and how I approached design.  He continues to be my mentor and idol today.

  1. Have you worked on other things besides The Good Wife? I designed for regional theaters and off off Broadway shows.  I have been the assistant costume designer on movies like “Enchanted”, “Across the Universe”, “The Bourne Ultimatum”, “Revolutionary Road”.  I have worked on “Law and Order”, “OZ”, “One Life To Live”.  I have designed numerous pilots along with TV series.

  1. Most of the cast of The Good Wife is in suits most of the time. How do you keep that from getting stale? I keep it fresh because I let the story dictate where the wardrobe goes.  The characters’ looks are always changing as the stories change and that keeps the wardrobe alive; it’s like another character on the show.

  1. How do you match the look of the character to what is going on in the plot? When I read the script, sometimes I know immediately what piece I want to use in a scene.  Other times, I have to research and really think about it.  For me, it’s all about telling the story.  So when I shop or go through the closets, I’m always thinking about what will tell the story in the best way.  Of course, there are lots of elements that come into play when designing costumes – some things conceptual and some things are based in reality, things like what the weather is going to be, what color are the walls, is the actress tired of wearing a skirt all the time, do I need multiples for a stunt or photo double, what’s the budget, etc.  The list goes on and on.  A lot of these things I just think about automatically.

  1. Kalinda has a decidedly sexier look than the rest of the cast but still has to look professional. How do you keep that balance? I ask myself if she looks like she stands out (in a bad way).  I like to keep her look as “high end” as the lawyers, but since she is not a lawyer, I want her  look to delineate her and make her seem like the role she is playing.  She definitely has a more overt sexual vibe to her and it’s important to play that without having her look cheap or trashy.  It’s amazing what a hint of cleavage and high leather boots can do for the imagination.  I think people think they see a lot more skin on Kalinda than they actually do.  It just seems like she’s showing more because of how the actress plays the role and because of the sensual materials used in her costumes.

  1. How would you define Alicia’s style outside the office? Upscale casual and probably a little conservative.  Jeans and a good sweater or blouse.  She even goes into that preppy world a little.

  1. Are most of the clothes the cast wears custom? Or off the rack? Most of the principle men’s suits are custom made.  Some of the ladies things are custom.  Certainly the pieces that come from my line, 35•DL  are custom.  I also partner with companies who will specialize looks for me for the show.  Akris will do that.  Style Paris will do that.  number 35 and 35•DL certainly do.  Karolina Zmarlak will too.  On the other hand, I think we are pretty good at shopping and sifting through all the stores to find those unique pieces that help define our characters and tell the story.

  1. How many outfit changes does a character go through in a typical episode? The number of outfits per episode is completely dependent on the episode.  This season Alicia has had episodes where she has only had one look for the whole episode.  She has also had episodes where she has had 12 or 13 changes.  I would say in a given season, Alicia usually has somewhere between 150 and 200 outfits.  We do 22 episodes.  So the number of changes adds up quickly!

  2. If you could only pack 5 items in your fashion survival kit, what would they be? 

    Female:  the perfect skirt (pencil or “A”); a versatile blouse; a well-heeled pump that is comfortable (not an easy thing to find, but well worth the effort of looking!); a nicely maintained bag – not a backpack; a simple, elegant earring that goes with everything

    Male:  a well fitting suit; a white dress shirt with a nice crisp collar; a good leather belt; a classic dress shoe that is comfortable; and, like the ladies, a nicely maintained bag – not a backpack

  3. Why did you decide to start using Dryel on set and how has it helped you? Dryel has become a great alternative for us to dry-cleaning and laundering because of how safe it is to use on our clothing.  Since it won’t shrink, fade or stretch garments, it is the perfect cleaning item to use between days of wearing the same costume, even between scenes on certain days.  It also saves us money because we aren’t sending the dry-cleaning out as much as we normally would.  It’s also a great product for freshening up those thrift store finds that come with that special “thrift store” funk.

It was interesting to me that he uses Dryel for the exact same reasons I do. Although I must admit I never thought about it for getting the “funk out”. But it really does leave your clothes smelling fantastic. So much better than that weird dry cleaner chemical smell. And it is so crazy easy to use.

I seriously found the interview fascinating and it made me realize how much thought goes into clothing in our favorite shows. I also asked him some top secret plot questions that I don’t want to share with you in case you take my advice and start binge watching the show. But if you are caught up you know I HAD to ask him about a recent plot twist that came out of nowhere. What a fun little perk of blogging!

Disclosure: I’m a Dryel Ambassador and have a year long partnership with them. I was compensated for my time in creating this post. 

 

Spring Style With Carter’s

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation. #SpringIntoCarters

Some of the brands I have become most loyal to have been because I first partnered with them on my blog. Carter’s would probably be at the top of that list. This is my third time working with them (see Spring and Fall 2014) and now they are my absolute favorite brand to buy for my son. Not only are those clothes trendy and hip but they hold up INSANELY well with a really active boy. All for a crazy affordable price.

Since all of Silas’ clothes are suddenly looking like he is preparing for a flood (seriously he is growing like a weed) I was excited to head to our local Carter’s store to pick up some new spring favorites. Now we just need spring to show up soon. As Silas gets older he has opinions on his clothes and it was quite adorable to watch him wander through the Carter’s store pointing to exactly what he wanted. It is clear his taste leans towards athletic and preppy (as long as it isn’t too preppy- I could not talk him into a bowtie for Easter no matter how hard I try). I’d say he has pretty darn good taste.

Sporty

Sporty Green

Shirt, Shorts, Shoes (similar)

Sporty Black

Shirt, Shorts

To me the sporty trend is all about clothes you can play hard in. But just because you are playing hard does not mean you can’t look good. Carter’s sporty clothes are brightly colored and can easily be mixed and matched. Can we have a moment of silence for these shoes. We got them last year right before school and Silas has worn them pretty much every day since (and the boy plays HARD). Just last week they got holes in them. They cost under $20 and I was HEARTBROKEN to see that Silas has grown out of Carter’s shoes.

Casual

Blue Stripe

Shirt, Shorts

Tiger

Shirt, Jeans (on clearance so check stores)

Let’s ignore the fact that my son’s legs are practically glowing they are so white. It’s been a long winter. The first outfit is just a great summer basic. And that shirt will pair fantastic with khakis while we wait for it to warm up. The second outfit is Silas’ favorite of the whole haul. I actually got the jeans on a second trip to Carter’s when I was spending the $20 of rewards I got from the first trip. I got them on clearance and love that they are a skinny fit and a light grey.

I also love that all of Carter’s pants have adjustable waist. With Silas growing so fast I went a size up in everything so they will last longer. While his pants literally fell off when I first put them on, a quick adjustment and they were perfect. Their clothes hold up so well I think I can get a few seasons out of these.

Preppy

Preppy Blue-Grey

 

Shirt, Pants

Blue Preppy

 

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Gingham

 

Shirt, Shorts

The first outfit absolutely kills me because he is so proud of the fact he put it together. He almost struts when he wears it. The second outfit isn’t his favorite but I love it so much. It totally reminds me of an outfit I had with a similar print but with whales instead of sailboats. It just felt very 80s preppy to me. The last outfit I desperately wanted to pair with a bowtie for Easter but Silas looked at me like he was a teenager and I was his super uncool mom. If only he knew how hip bowties were. I’m still working on him.

I had $100 to spend and was AMAZED at how far my money went when combined with Carter’s amazing sales. I also had a 20% off any $40 purchase so that took even more off my total. And as I stated above, I also earned cashback because I am part of their rewards program. Besides great outfits for spring make sure to check out their Easter shop and their swim shop so you are all set for the upcoming seasons.

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You too can take advantage of the 25% off Carter’s coupon. Plus through April 5th, the entire site is 50% off (as well as other incredible markdowns and sales in store). It is perfect for last minute Easter shopping and stocking up on spring essentials such as tees, shorts, tunics, leggings, tops, polos dresses, skirts & swim. Check them out at your local store or online at Carters.com.

What is your favorite look from the spring line?

Simplifying Your Beauty Routine

So let’s be honest: Looking good has always been pretty important to me. But spending a lot of time fluffing and primping in the bathroom isn’t really a luxury you have when you have kids. Even now when my kids are older and I have a little more peace and quiet in the bathroom I still can’t spend hours in there unless I want to lose them to God knows what piece of technology. I am also pretty cheap when it comes to makeup so I am not one to spend $50 for eye shadow at the local department store. Simple and affordable is the name of my makeup game.

I think I have gotten to a point where my beauty routine is very streamlined and I am really happy with how it makes me look. I never look super made up, but I think I am making the most with what I’ve got and hopefully keeping a lot of the signs of aging at bay. ps. I have no intention of denying that I am getting older and firmly believe that aging is a beautiful and natural process. But I also hope to age as gracefully as possible along the way. Can I get an amen?

Meijer Beauty Box

Spring cleaning seems like a great time to ditch old makeup that doesn’t work for you anymore and try some new products that might suit you better. So I was super grateful when Meijer sent me a box of goodies to try. Because I buy almost all of my makeup from “drugstore” brands, I was excited to find some new products that have seamlessly made their way into my daily routine. I always find it super interesting what makeup works for people so hopefully you will enjoy learning a bit about my beauty routine.

Skin Care:

I confess, for most of my life I have taken HORRID care of my skin. Like go to bed with makeup on, never washing my face horrid care. Silly Jilly!! This past year as I am barreling down on 40 I have begun to take my skin care a bit more seriously. I wash my face twice a day and use an anti-aging serum and moisturizer. I also found that giving up gluten made a HUGE difference in my hormonal breakouts. Like I don’t even have them anymore. Hallelujah!!

I wash my face with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. It has been around forever, is super gentle and does its job. I follow with a serum. Right now I am digging L’Oreal Revitalift Daily Volumizing Concentrated Serum. It is supposed to add a bit of firmness and fullness to aging skin and I feel like it really works. I follow with L’Oreal Revitalift Daily Volumizing Moisturizer. Did you know that skin care products work better in conjunction with products from the same line? They are meant to work together. I don’t always follow this rule, sometimes I get distracted by other products, but I try to keep things in the same line as much as possible.

Face Base:

Now that my skin is prepped I like to do the base of my face. I consider this primer, foundation, concealer and contouring bronzer. This seems like a lot of steps, but it is really quick and I find my makeup stays on much better if I do them all. You can read about more about my primer cheat of using Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel in this old post. I still swear it works just as good as the expensive stuff. For foundation I tried out the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Powder I was sent by Meijer, but honestly I have been using loose mineral powder foundation for a few years (various brands) and that is what I am most used to and I love the way I can easily control the coverage. Currently I am using the Sheer Cover line which I was sent a sample of about 6 months ago. I also use their contouring bronzer as well, just under my cheekbones. For concealer I have tried them ALL and haven’t found one I am head over heels about, but right now I am using L’Oreal Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer. I like how quick and easy it rolls on and it does a decent job with my dark under eye circles. I also use it to prep my eyelids for shadow.

Eyes:

I am quite a novice when it comes to making my eyes look good so I just stick to a very VERY simple look. I use Milani Shadow Eyez in Champagne Toast all over my eye lid. It is a chubby crayon so it is pretty idiot proof. Then I line my eyes with Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in black. I will say I invested in the Bobbi Brown eyeliner brush which is super expensive, but does an amazing job of getting the eye liner exactly where I want it. Recently I have added and extra step and I use an angled eye liner brush to sweep L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Eternal Black over my liquid liner. It allows me to get really close to the lashline and really sets the eye liner so it doesn’t migrate as much during the day. I finish with a few coats of mascara. These days I am flipping between L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara and Maybelline Lash Sensational.

Finishing Touches:

To finish off I apply Maybelline New York Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer under my eyes. Yes, two concealers. This one is more of a highlighter and brightener and takes the final edge off my dark circles. I don’t always use both but I always use this one. (quick tip, don’t just sweep it under your eyes but in a v shape down to your cheekbones). Then I add a quick swirl of NYX Blush in Pinched on the apples of my cheeks. I have piles and piles of lipstick but lately I have been grabbing Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in berry or nude. Not the most long-lasting, but I love the way it looks and feels. I also was sent some L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Spray and Makeup Extender and have been trying it out a bit and really do think it makes my makeup stay on longer.

Meijer Beauty

So typed out that kind of seems like a lot but it really is quick to apply and gives a very natural look. And as you can see, it is all stuff you can buy at your local Meijer.  As you can also see I apparently have had a thing for L’Oreal products long before Meijer sent me a few products to try. I think I should become their new blogger spokesperson along with Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez. I’d fit right in.

How do you simplify your beauty routine?

This post is sponsored by Meijer and I was given promotional products to facilitate this review.