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Halloween — Get Excited!

Halloween is always a good time. Kids love it for the candy and the dressing up and adults love it for… the candy and the dressing up. In addition, Halloween is a great excuse to go wild and crazy. It’s not too late to throw together a Halloween costume and have some fun.

When coming up with a costume, consider a couple of things….

1. What’s current? Miley Cyrus, the Beckhams, Duchess Kate, Suri Cruise, Chris Brown, Game of Thrones characters, and of course, anyone from Breaking Bad or the Walking Dead or Mad Men. Oops, and the Kardashians — great group costumes.

My first choice would probably be the Duchess Kate. A ladylike dress, a topper, and a baby — BOOM! Done. 🙂

2. What makes you happy? Being sexy or being comfortable? Personally, I am a big fan of leggings. So for the most part most of my costumes involve tights or leggings because I lean towards comfortable.

Here’s some great examples and past costumes…

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The Royal Family

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Judges from the Voice

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Roller Derby Girl

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Flapper

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Breaking Bad

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Back up singer

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Rachel Zoe

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Orange is the New Black

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Mad Men

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Zombie Prom

 

Really when it comes to Halloween it’s the same rules as every day fashion — have fun, be brave, and play to your strengths!

Happy Halloween!

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Mom jeans… silent but deadly.

Dear Mom,
This one is for you.

Love,

Your Daughter, Friend, Stylist, Truth-teller, Harshest Critic, Biggest Fan, and Sworn Enemy of the Am I too old for this conversation!

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My mom is rocking it. About 8 years ago, she really came into her own and started to really upping her fashion game. In the last couple of years she has been called up to the majors. She has never sacrificed her own quirky style to the whims of fashion or the whims of her opinionated daughter, but she also really does what Tim Gunn asks. She has made it work.

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There is a balance to be had between being the dorky mom…

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And being the too cool mom.

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I have three simple rules for my mom.

1. Don’t try to dress like anyone else. (Not your daughter or your friends or Helen Mirren or Diane Keaton)

2. Do dress for you. You love black knit dresses? It’s ok to have 20. Besides, the only way you were getting rid of them was from your cold dead hands.

3. Be brave. Try new things.

My mom and I created a shared Pinterest page (http://www.pinterest.com/impolkadot/mom-jeans-antidote/ ) which has helped her remain fresh and makes it easy for me to pass along ideas. Here are three of my favorites!

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Here’s a sampler of how easy it is to dress like a boss*** as a mom:

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Take a page out of my mom’s book. Be brave, wear things that make you feel on fire, and be yourself. I promise you will look fab. Way to go, Mom.

***Boss: 1. boss –

Incrediably Awesome; miraculous; great
Dude, did you see that chick? She’s fuckin’ Boss!
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Don’t be afraid to try…

I feel like whenever a new trend or fashion craze hits the stores we all get a little nervous. Can I do peplums? Would I look weird  in neon? Or, the real pitfall for us ladies, I don’t think my body will look right in those colored pants.

We are only as limited as we allow ourselves to be. When I shop with someone (in my personal shopper capacity), I ask for their trust and, really almost more importantly, their sense of adventure — the willingness to try on whatever I hand them. Who cares if it looks ridiculous, because what if it looks amazing? It’s hard not to go into the dressing room and be weighed down by insecurities or all of the perceived imperfections of our bodies and looks. I have been plus sized my whole life and I long to fit into regular clothes and be “regular.” I shop with my skinny friends, beautiful women who are size zeros, fours, sixes, eights, twelves, fourteens, whatever, and do you know what all of them have in common? Every single one of them says things like “I am fat right now” or “I feel bloated now, I don’t want to try on clothes” or “I wish I could get rid of this!” (inevitably while pulling skin off their bones and pointing to the alleged unsightly “fat”). Every single one of us has things about our bodies we would change. But our bodies are just that ours. And we have to own them. So when shopping for clothes, shop for who you are. Not just in terms of personal style but shop for the body you have.

And try not to be so hard on yourself. We all have bad days and every so often we see pictures of ourselves we don’t mind. Shoot for more of the latter and less of the former. One way to be more fearless is to embrace trendiness. You don’t have to go crazy or spend a ton of money. Have you been to Target? I mean come on!

If you follow this blog you know that I went to bed Sunday with peplums on the mind. I think my first instinct with peplum was: Oooh, helllll no. My widest part is my middle. And fitted on my rear? Are you crazy? Then the trend just wouldn’t die. Finally, I caved. I tried on a dress with a peplum. (Yeah, followed my own advice!) I loved it. I thought that silhouette really accentuated my curves. I feel sexier and confident and if I am being honest (which I generally endeavor to be… especially to you my legions of followers), that’s a new feeling.

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I discovered a passion for neon last summer when it got hot. Neon is too bold for a professional workplace. I am not working out. I don’t want to stand out that much, I am more comfortable in black, that’s too much color for me… stop me if any of this is you! It’s not. It’s about what’s the right color for you! My VIP Bestie put together this outfit and rocked it hard. You can see her confidence jump out of the pic. It’s the right bold neon for her! For me, it’s a chartreuse number from Old Navy. I wear this dress and I get compliments from strangers. A lady in line with me at Starbucks told me that the color was meant for me and that I glowed. I am not saying this to brag (she says while dusting off her shoulders), I am telling you this as proof that sometimes outside the comfort zone is where it is at!!

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Y’all, we are not models. It’s truth time. But we are unique and beautiful in our own rights. Don’t be afraid to strut a little. Bold pants are a blast — they dress the heck up out of a black T and they can be sassy and fun. Don’t just take my word for it:

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I am stepping down off my soap box now. But I do hope you are all inspired to be a little more brave tomorrow. Send pics!

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Sunday Night Blues –

I suffer from the Sunday night blues routinely. I love my job but there’s something about the end of the weekend which is tragic and exhausting. I never finish everything I wanted and I never feel like I have had enough time during the weekend.

Even though today was pretty close a perfect day (cleaned my house, got a pedi with my bestie, dinner with my gma, and some serious lounging time), I find myself in my usual place: moping about starting another week before the weekend. Pathetic, right? One of my favorite ways to get inspired to start the week is to browse Pinterest for style inspiration.

Tonight, Pinterest showed me (like a magic eight ball) peplums and the color red…

MRW’s attitude about peplums is why bother? They are just a flash in the pan fashion trend. Well, love, I think you need to surrender to the trend because it’s been a couple of seasons and they are still going strong. I think peplums are a great way to jazz up an outfit and look good on everyone. Are you curvy? Awesome, the peplum just accentuates those curves (and if you’ve got ’em, flaunt ’em!). Are you not so curvy? No problem, here’s a peplum to help create some curves for you.

It’s peplum time!

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My other source of Sunday night inspiration comes from the color red. (PS: that sounds like Sesame Street when the episode is brought to you by the number 7)

Let’s talk about how much FUN you can have with red. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Red can have huge impact in a shoe or a lip or a belt. You can go crazy with a dress or you can get a lot of bang for your buck with the aforementioned lip, belt, or shoe.

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And if you combine the two:
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In the morning, I can’t wait to combine peplums and my red inspiration. Stay tuned. Or try it yourself (and send me pics!!!!)

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30 Before 30

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I turn 30 in about 15 months. To mark the passage of time and to guarantee that the next 15 months involve me living life to the absolute fullest, I challenged myself to come up with a list of secret dreams, adventures, wishes, (important if not sexy) tasks, and things that just sound fun.

Everything on the list falls into one of three categories… something to see, learn, and/or do.

My list has a ton on it and it’s not going to be easy but I have already started on a few things and it feels great. My plan is to start by posting the whole list. Then periodically I will post about what, how, with whom, and where I have done the things on the list.

Each post will bear the banner:

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Drum roll please…….

The list ==>

  1. Dye my hair purple.
  2. Lose 30 lbs.
  3. Ride a Motorcycle.
  4. Be in control of my student loans
  5. Finally get that tattoo.
  6. Embark on an epic road trip.
  7. Pay off credit cards.
  8. Cook my way through a cookbook (I’ve chosen Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics).
  9. Blog more – 300 posts and new forms of media.
  10. Learn to sew.
  11. Save $3000 ($200 per month).
  12. Take cooking and/or baking classes.
  13. Learn how to snow ski or at least give it a try.
  14. Learn how to play poker.
  15. See at least three national parks.
  16. Learn how to meditate.
  17. Experience high tea.
  18. Make my own limoncello.
  19. Go to the Florida State Fair.
  20. Read the top 30 novels of all time.
  21. Get more involved with the community – 30 hours minimum.
  22. Become scuba certified.
  23. Go to more awesome concerts.
  24. Go berry picking and make my own jam.
  25. Take photos in photobooths.
  26. Host a dinner party.
  27. Watch the top 30 movies of all time.
  28. Go on a camping adventure. 
  29. Write a children’s book.
  30. Finish everything on the list.

If you know me, you know that my absolute favorite one is going to be #30. I love nothing more than lists! And of course, I really really love checking things off of list.

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Easy Dinner – Vegetarian Special

Tonight I had a bit of a girls night with two lovely ladies from work. We had a devil of a time deciding what to eat. One of us was vegetarian, one has a weak appetite, and the other has difficulties making decisions (that’s me). I was standing in the produce section at Publix after counting out what I believed to be 15, but turned out to be 14 lemons, and it occurred to me that we should have pasta primavera. It’s easy and you can throw whatever odds and ends of vegetables you might have laying around.

I brought squash and zucchini, P contributed the sauce broccoli, asparagus and kale, and T brought pasta and an onion. The vegetables were sauteed with olive oil and spices of your choosing tossed with neutral red sauce and a can of tomatoes. P thought we should have used tomato paste instead so that it wouldn’t be as liquidy. I thought it was delicious. This is a great easy, healthy, and delicious. However, perhaps best of all, this dish uses the leftover veggies that can be difficult to place in a menu. We opened a bottle of wine, ate delicious veggie pasta, and enjoyed an impromptu ladies night.

What an easy meal! Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best…

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For dessert, the simple theme was kept alive with Reese’s Puff treats. They could not be easier to make (and to eat).

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium and then add a small bag of small marshmallows and stir until melted. Then remove from the heat. Just add 6 cups or I like to eye ball it at about 4/5’s of a box of Reese’s Puffs. Stir is all together and lay out in a dish coated in butter or butter spray. Coat your hands with that same butter and pat down the top of the bars. Let sit for a couple of hours and then cut it into delicious squares. Best part, pretty guilt free. And did I mention how easy they are to make. I had never made rice krispie treats until this weekend. Since then I have been totally inspired. I have made rice krispie treats, smores treats, and now, Reese’s Puff treats. So much marshmallowy goodness. You should try it too. I guarantee that these are crowd pleasers. (I got the Reese’s Puffs BOGO so this was also the cheapest dessert ever!)

You don’t have to eat fancy to be delicious. I rate this girls night a success!

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30 Under 30 Teaser

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As a true lover of lists, I decided to sit down and write out the things I wanted to do before 30. I turn 30 in about 15 months. I wanted to make sure that everything was doable, positive, and in my control. To whet the appetites of my many readers (mom, P, VIP Bestie, and my aunts), I thought I’d do an epic teaser post of just the beginning of one of the items on my list.

When you see this bar , expect the post to be list related!

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No. 18: Make my own limoncello.

Tonight I took the first steps (with the help of some kind, patient friends) towards making my own limoncello. I plan on giving it to my dad as a Christmas present (so don’t tell him about it). Here are some teaser pics:

Lemon’s being zested and a mysterious giant jar.

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Recipe and explanation to follow… Brace yourselves, blogosphere 30 under 30 is happening!