::Expose Series:: Personally Shopping - A Look at My Personal Shopping Experiences

I love shopping. I love shopping so much that I employ myself doing it for other people...and when I find the time, I do it for myself, too!

Just because I am able to pair that shirt with those pair of pants in this color, cut, and style - and tell you exactly what does work and doesn't work for your body type and lifestyle doesn't mean that when I hit the mall, that I don't struggle with the same fears and insecurities that paralyze you when you walk into a department store.

I wanted to start this Expose Series to show that in most ways, I am exactly like my clients. Some days I am so overwhelmed with life that I just throw on a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Other days I have no idea what to wear and stand wide eyed in front of my closet staring at rows of clothes and shoes and cry out, "I have nothing to wear!" Oh yeah, and the perfectly proportioned dress-able body? Sorry, that's somebody else's blog. Standing in front of my mirror squeezing my love handles is a daily occurrence.

But I'm determined to utilize the tools and skills that I have learned to make you be, look, and feel the best version of yourself.

So this is me. I'm exposing my fashion faux pas and the reality that I struggle too ...but I guarantee you...there is hope. If I can do it, you can do it - and I'm there to help you along the way.

So read on, blogger, read on. I'll be posting under the header "Expose Series." There I'll be blogging about what goes on in my life and mind when I am on a personal shopping trip for myself.

See ya there


I'm Back in Time for Friend Friday!

The internet has returned after a 9 day stint. That really puts a damper on a blogger! Oh yeah, and I was really distracted by the view from my new backyard...

It's no Jersey Shore, but it will do. 


Well, interestingly enough, that is the topic of today's Friend Friday discussion. 

1. How do you define jealousy?
          A desire for something that you feel you are inadequate in.
2. When do you find you experience a bit of blogger jealousy? 
          On a daily basis. I am jealous of their success, of their followers, of their prose, and of their recognition on a larger scale.
3. What types of blogs or which bloggers are you a little jealous of?
          I am jealous of the blogs that have hundreds of followers. Mostly fashion bloggers, since that is my field. I am jealous of the bloggers who have a better camera than I do and who look better in front of it than behind it. I am definitely jealous of The Busy Budgeting Mama! She's got it all...followers, a creative and clean website design, and she's a pretty great dresser.
4. From the time we're little we are taught that jealousy is a bad thing, but it can also inspire us to be better. Have you changed the way you do things, the content of your blog, etc... as a result of what someone else is doing?
          Yes, I definitely have. However, I wouldn't say that the changes have been out of jealousy. They've been more out of inspiration and a practical look at what makes their blogs tick. My blog design used to have a black background, but after visiting a lot of others' blogs, I saw that a lighter background was more attractive. I look at what makes their blogs easy to navigate and I try to imitate that.
5. What is the best way to overcome jealousy in the blogosphere and in life?
          You have to ask yourself why you are blogging. If you are blogging because you think that your life is more newsworthy than others and that you are the center of the internet universe, you are probably going to have a hard time getting over jealousy in the blogosphere and definitely in life. Purify your intentions. Blog because you want to be expressive or because you want to rid the world of fashion offenders and show men and women that their human dignity should be expressed in their wardrobe. Constantly evaluate and strive to improve. If you are jealous of someone's blog, ask yourself why. If it is because they have more followers, think of constructive and real ways to publicize your blog. You never know, maybe someone will end up being jealous of you


Where Have I Been?

Living underneath, around, and inside ALL OF THESE MOVING BOXES!

Just think - as uncomfortable and disgusted as you are to look at these pictures, I've had to live there and unpack it all!
However, through all of the chaos of moving this past week AND THE ABSENCE OF THE INTERNET, (I'm at Panera Bread right now) the view of Lake Michigan through my dining room window is worth it!

Oh yeah - and the walk around the block to the beach is pretty sweet, too!

So, for those of you who actually read this blog, I'm scheduled to be back online tomorrow sometime between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Thanks, Comcast - however, that thank you may be a little premature...


It's Not Always a Day at the Beach::Fashion Faux Pas on the Jersey Shore, Part III

Thanks for following along on this investigative crackdown of the fashion faux pas on the Jersey Shore! If you haven't seen Part I or Part II, you'll definitely want to check them out.

Now, without further adieu, prepare to be horrified and disgusted - and maybe embarrassed because you have either worn something similar in nature or are friends with an offender.

Much like the cast of Jersey Shore's attire, there is an obsession with too tight, scantily clad clothes - with some sort of attention grabbing verbiage on the backside!

3. Booty Don't

And just in case you didn't catch the wedgie caused by a thong on a mannequin (cause that's necessary), here's a close up.

You're welcome.

There's nothing beautiful about this backside, Bella.

A few things:
1) If it looks this bad on the mannequin, then it will only look worse on you. 
2) If you really were "royalty," you'd be dethroned AND
3) On the contrary, this does not make your rear look smaller - it makes it look wider. 

With the exception of a night full of peer pressure & poor judgment at my high school graduation's all night "Project Graduation," where some strange man for hire spray painted "Gina" and a megaphone on the backside of a pair of shorts, I have never willingly purchased any piece of clothing that would inevitably draw one's eye to the very part of my body that I'd like to hide!

4. A "Frayed" of Disaster

That's right, honey. Hide your face behind that hat. Don't show it in public with those pants on.

Why this outfit doesn't work:
               Because you paid for a full pair of pants and got half a pair of pants. Also, because it looks like Freddy Krueger crawled through your closet. And because if he didn't stop shredding up the thigh, more than just your leg would be hanging out. There is no possible place on earth that is an appropriate setting for these pants unless you just got released from cell block C. Ok, I'm done.

I'll give you some real reasons now:
               Wearing a pair of jeans like this means that you want to send a certain message. Unfortunately, people will receive the message that you want to give a part of yourself away easier than you should. This look also is cheap. Yeah, I said it. Even though there isn't much actual jean material left, the acid washing at the top is a dated style.

I do not have any pictures of alternative, appropriate outfits because that would mean I would just be posting pictures of my backside in jeans with nothing imprinted on them or of me just in a pair of jeans that doesn't have any fabric missing. It's that simple. I decided to spare you.

Instead...a tribute to the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore House!



Friend Friday! To Versatility and Beyond

Happy Friday! Welcome to another installment of Friend Friday, courtesy of Katy Rose over at Modly Chic. Fashion bloggers unite today to discuss a fashion topic relevant to what is current. Want to join in? Link up with Modly Chic and leave YOUR answers to these questions in my comment box. We are all fashionistas at heart. Don't be shy :)

1. What's your most versatile piece of clothing? How do you wear it?
            This is a tough question to answer at the moment since everything I own is packed up in boxes and ready to move! So I can't take a peek into my closet for a visual. I'd have to say that my most versatile piece of clothing is a blue, knee length, cotton summer dress. It has been worn as a beach cover up, an outfit for work, Church, trip to the mall, a day time party...anything! I pair it with a cardigan, an umpire waisted belt, sandals, or just plain as is.

2. What one piece should every woman own? 
            A structured & tailored modern gray or black blazer or boyfriend blazer. This can be paired with jeans, leggings, work pants, a skirt, or a dress!

3. What Summer trends do you love because of their versatility? 
            Sun dresses, by far! They are comfortable, light & airy, and colorful enough to rival the season.

4. What's the most creative combination you've put together from your closet? 
            Ugh! I wish my clothes weren't all packed up in boxes! I'll do my best to describe. Black leggings, Gray & White vertical striped shirt dress with a pinched waste to create shape, black umpire waste belt, black vest, & purple flats. I added a red heart long necklace and black button earrings.

5. If you had the guts you'd what items would you pair and then wear out in public? 
            Gosh, anything that I would deem too risky, I probably wouldn't want to wear. But, if given the choice, probably this! I will be purchasing some sort of romper this weekend, I just decided. I'd pair it with some wedge heels

I'm currently in NJ for a best friend from high school's wedding this weekend. I've also got a graduation party on Sunday. I'll be posting some updates on Monday.

Thanks for stopping by!



It's Not Always a Day at the Beach::Fashion Faux Pas on the Jersey Shore, Part II

2. Botched Up Beach Cover Up

Warning! The following photo is extremely unflattering and may cause you to gasp. 

What went wrong?
                   I think it's obvious, right? The bathing suit cover up isn't doing its job! It is exposing exactly what needs to be unexposed

What should've been worn...

Why this outfit works:
               Simple, it covers me up! It is great for a walk on the boardwalk, a walk down the beach, or a walk right off of the sand into a beachside restaurant. Remember, just because things are more relaxed on vacation, doesn't mean that fashion or style has to be.
              In these photos, I am using this garment as a bathing suit cover up. However, this piece is very versatile. The elastic waste band in the middle allows the garment to be pulled up into a shirt! I paired it with these shorts and a little tank underneath and wore it to a barbeque while on vacation.

My floppy hat fought with me to cooperate most of the time!

Tip: Look for pieces that can serve more than one purpose - including the one they were intended for (to actually cover you up)

Outfit Details:
Floppy Hat - H&M, $10.00
Cover up/Shirt - Forever 21, $20.00
Sandals - H&M

Stay tuned for Part 3!



It's Not Always a Day at the Beach::Fashion Faux Pas on the Jersey Shore, Part I

While our family vacation itself was great, it's not always a "day at the beach" with beachwear fashion. All week long, I had my eye out for fashion offenders. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the purposes of this post), the infamous Seaside Boardwalk is a breeding ground for faux pas. Through a series of posts, I'm going to show you three distinctly common Jersey Shore fashion flops - then I'll show you what they should've worn.

1. Vintage Boardwalk Disaster

What went wrong?
                   The entire outfit is a miss from head to toe. The ever true mantra that "shoes make an outfit" - yeah, these shoes will ruin any outfit. The short boot is back in style, however, the shape and style of the come back trend is much more sleek and modern and less combat boot.

                  Also, summer is the wrong season and the boardwalk is the wrong scene to be wearing a black, lace-up, closed toe ankle boot. If you want to rock the boot, try it with a pair of skinny jeans...in the fall...or winter.
                  As for the outfit itself, it is clear to see that her shorts don't flatter her figure. They are too tight around the toosh. The shirt and vest look like they are straight out of a 1990's bar in Texas. The fringe on the vest and worn leather should only be on a saddle bag of a motorcycle. Usually a floral pattern that repeats a series of small flowers dates a garment. And black on the boardwalk in July?

Here's what should have been worn...

Why this outfit works:
                 My roman style sandals are definitely summer boardwalk appropriate. They are really comfy (after breaking them in and one bad blister...) and are a neutral color that grounds my outfit and can be worn with most colors.
                 My shorts have a wide band bottom cuff which help to create a nice shape that is figure flattering.
                 The "western" style collared shirt is lightweight enough to wear on a warm day, but also kept me warm from the breeze off of the ocean. It is a perfect updated way to wear the 3/4 length sleeve shirt like our masquerade mishap from above.
                 Finally, the colors of my outfit are definitely seasonally appropriate. Purples and greens are the most flattering colors on me, so this shirt is something I wear a lot...a lot.
                 I'm obsessed with that bag! I use it every day and take it everywhere. I love the neutral color and its size. Its over the shoulder ability makes it unobtrusive and easy to carry.

Here's a closer look at some essential pieces of my outfit AND a view of Lake Michigan near my new apartment!

Outfit Details
Sunglasses:: ?
Sandals:: H&M
Collared Shirt:: Forever 21
Shorts:: NY & Co
Satchel:: H&M

Stay tuned for Part 2!



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Family Vacation on the Jersey Shore - Photo Recap

My family and I just spent an awesome week down the Jersey Shore for vacation. We couldn't have had a better week! Weather was just right, we spent time with lots of good friends, and relaxed just like we needed to. Here's a recap of our week!

That's me outside of the MTV Jersey Shore House! Go Snooki!

Stay Tuned for an upcoming series - "It's Not Always a Day at the Beach - Fashion Faux Pas at the Jersey Shore."

G J A 


Friend Friday!

I am so excited to be participating in my first Friend Friday! Fellow blogger, Kate Hinderer, over at Modly Chic, geniously devises fashion relevant questions for fashion bloggers to answer and share their wisdom. 

This week, we are discussing vacation fashion. It is a perfect topic, since so many of us are either just getting back from vacation or packing to go on one. Whichever one you are, chime in on the comments and let me know YOUR answers to these questions.

1. Are you going anywhere this summer that will require a suitcase? Thankfully, yes! If you pack a suitcase, that inevitably means a trip to (hopefully) somewhere relaxing and fun. I just returned from a 2 1/2 week trip across half of the country. We had a somewhat rather complicated travel itinerary. This required me to be smart with my packing. We drove from Chicago to an overnight in South Bend, IN ::2.5 hrs:: - from South Bend, IN to an overnight in Steubenville, OH ::5.5 hrs:: - from Steubenville, OH to the Jersey Shore ::6 hrs:: AND back! I had to pack for a total of 4 one night stays and a week and a half in New Jersey. I made it easy. I packed one large suitcase for the bulk of the trip, but packed one small overnight bag with all the essentials. This way I did not have to lug my huge suitcase in and out of the car for just one night. (Unfortunately, my boyfriend wasn't as packing savvy as I was...)

2. What are your 'must-pack' items? In addition to what items the individual trip demands, I always pack one pair of dark jeans, a black and gray cardigan, and one pair of flats. Inevitably, I will end up going somewhere that blasts air conditioning or in the case of my recent trip, an early morning ocean sunrise. The jeans and cardigan are perfect for that. The cardigans also work to paired with shorts or a skirt for some extra warmth.

3. Do you have any travel packing advice? Definitely roll all of your clothes. Pack only one set of PJ's - you don't need a variety of sleepwear. Remember that you can wear jeans and shorts more than once without washing. Plan your outfits BEFORE you pack! This way you can see that you can wear one pair of shorts 3 different ways and cut down on the bulk.

4. What one item should every woman pack when going on a vacation? 
PEARL EARRINGS! Especially for a beach vacation. They are simple, elegant, and unobtrusive. I wore them every day on the beach and out to events at night. They finish every outfit and work with any style. I think of my dear friend, Lorelle W., whom I've never caught out of her pearl earrings - even at our early morning breakfast get togethers! Pearl earrings will keep you feeling beautiful and remembering your femininity even with sand between your toes!

5. When it comes to makeup how much of your collection do you pack? What do you take? What do you leave behind? All of my makeup is stored conveniently in an organized and transportable bag all of the time, so I just pick up the entire thing and throw it in my luggage. When it comes to how much makeup I wear every day - beachwear makeup is is nothing but sunscreen. However, I like to have all of my makeup with me in case of the occasional dinner out or barbeque.

::This site is AWESOME by the way - personalized makeup bags - so many styles and colors to choose from! Stephanie Johnson - Travel Accessory and Bags::

Let me know your comments and thoughts!

Stay tuned for a full blog post on my vacation to the Jersey Shore and the do's and don'ts of beachwear! You won't want to miss it!