Thursday, December 29, 2011

Check out this hot mama! Not only is she an amazing X mom (with a really great blog- She's a bargain hunter and cupcaketress!!! Check this out!!-
    • Dress $9.99 clearance and a cyber coupon, boot $12.99 clearance and end of the season, belt $3 Outfit total $$25.98

What, Really, is a Bargain?

My faithful friend(s) Merriam-Webster (MW) defines Bargain as 'an advantageous purchase' or 'an transaction, situation, or event regarded in the light of its results'. Umhmmm... remember back years (ok, just weeks, really, possibly just days as this blog is not so old) ago when I mentioned that we would discuss the pros and cons of buying one quality item vs a cheap thrill or multiple 'bargain' items? Remember how I stated (typed, whatever) that this was not a 'buy all you can bonanza', but a concentrated effort to spend less while still meeting your needs, still (most of the time...when you get some sleep and fix your hair) looking fabulous, while putting your money and time towards things that matter?

It's all come to a head- my fantastic cheap thrill $13.00 Bongo jeans from Walmart have a hole on the seam... right outer thigh, about an inch long. I'm sufficiently able with a needle and a thread (as long as it's on a seam, i.e. brown tiered skirt) to fix this little annoyance, but is this a sign of things to come?

They say (I don't know who 'they' are, but we all know them and have heard what 'they say' our entire life) that you can determine the actual price of an item- dress, tool, appliance- by dividing the cost by the number of wears or uses. I purchased the $13.00 jeans on December 10th... in the ensuing 18 days I wore them AT LEAST 5 times that I can remember, not always all day, but at least a few hours each time... and that might be a conservative estimate. Using our 'what they say' equation, the actual cost of the jeans at this point in time is $2.60... and extrapolating (whoa!!! math!!!) those numbers to a 1 year span with an average of 101 wears in that 365 day period, the 'cost' of the jeans would be $0.13 cents.

You might be thinking... well, a little time, effort, needle and thread- not such a big deal! Surely worth it to continue wearing the jeans, prolonging their life span and decreasing their total cost... yes?

We must have a control item (boy oh boy!!! Science and Math both!!! Together in one little blog about STYLE!!!!) Let's take my Silver brand jeans that I purchased in March of 2008- I spent $67.00 on them- a happy birthday to me splurge!!! and have worn them at least 2 times a week for the last 3, almost 4 years (minus the last 6 months of pregnancy and 15 more months of getting back to my 'normal' size). So ( more math, deep breath) Let's say that we had 46 months (march to march of 3 years=36 + march to december of this year =10) minus 15 too big months= 31 months with an average of 4 weeks each/ 2 wears per month for a total of 248 wears. $67.00 divided by 248 leads us to a 'cost' of $0.27 cents for my favorite, faithful denim pal, with nary a rip nor tear.

Sooooo (more math... in through the nose, out through the mouth) already using only 1 years time we can tell that the 'cost' of the cheap thrill is less than the 'cost' of the premium denim, and when you figure the 'cost' per year average of my Silver jeans (12 months, 4 wks/month, 2 wears/week) the 'cost' is $0.70 for premium denim compared to $0.13 for my cheap thrill.

TA-DAH!!!! But... but, but, but will my $13.00 jeans last 3 almost 4 years? if I'm already mending after 18 days will they make it through my rough and tumble wrestling/tackling crazy boys life? What about the repeated washing to remove smashed goldfish, squished grapes, and chewed then chucked chicken pot pie that, if I had to guess, is the cause (the repeated washing, not the well masticated meats) of the hole on the seam of my cheap thrill denim.

We'll have to wait and see... remember, MW, states that you can't really call an item a bargain until you've 'regarded it in the light of it's results'. Come talk to me in 2015 and we'll know for sure. Until then- What item have you worn for YEARS??? Was it a splurge or a steal? Do you think that price reflects quality or are you really just paying for the brand and all it's advertising? hmmm?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's all about Control

What, exactly, can you control? What you wear? Where you go? With whom you speak?

Growing up I had a good friend who wore very normal clothing in a very normal way... anytime she 'branched out' her mom would say "That looks like something Amy Maslan would wear"... and you can bet your sweet booty that her momma was NOT giving her a compliment.

My first phrase was 'I do!'... my way of telling my parents, brother, the neighbor or anyone in shouting distance that I would do it myself, and I would do it MY WAY! That came through in my clothing, in my choice of activities, in the books that I read (don't be thinking I was some wild and crazy rebel... bookworm is more like it, a nice, polite, bookworm)

I know a young man who wears shorts year round- come rain, sleet, snow, or hail, he has shorts on. I know a young lady whom I have NEVER seen without a completely 'done' face, including her beautiful false lashes that I adore and coveted and never would have guessed were faux until I saw her pull one strip right off in a meeting... I about fell off my chair!

These are our public 'faces', our online personas, the 'us' that we put out there for everyone to see... do I post the pictures that show my lumps and bumps and pudge? HECCCCCKKKKKK NO! Nor do I post when we've had an awful FX night- spitting and biting and fussing, not eating and surely not sleeping. What about days when something brings me down, when I'm sad and blue and filled with worry... my mental lumps and bumps and pudge spilling out all over my real life.

Look back at the first sentence- Your occupation might dictate what you wear, and speaking of gainful employment, that surely dictates where you go and when you get there and whom you speak to while you're there. Not saying you can't change jobs, move, and so on... but what can you change RIGHT NOW?

As a parent, I am WELL aware that my attitude, my state (calm, frantic, peaceful or frazzled) has a significant impact on my children's personality and mood. Same thing at work- When I am cheerful, in control and relaxed my patients and their family members pick up on my vibes and, hopefully/usually/eventually, we all move forward in a calm effective manner. I can't control how others treat me... and sometimes it's really, really hard not to pop off an obnoxious rejoinder or to jump on the stressed out train that carries many passengers and runs fast and furious in every medical setting I've ever worked.

I am working on that inner locus of control- the one that says 'Right now, I'm in charge of me... and my life is a reflection of the choices I'm making'. I can't change the past. I can't change my chromosomes, my DNA and the mutation that I carry that caused my sweet big boy's FX, but I can most surely work every day to ensure that his FX does not define him, does not define our family, and that the guilt and worry do not define me. I am in control of my attitude and how I react to the hugging, smiling, milestone accomplishments that he makes is just as important as how I react to the spitting, biting, fussing. Just as with my middle B and baby A, how I react to the boundary testing that 4 year olds do, the 'must have momma' drama that consumes many of my 1 year olds waking moments, and the sweet cuddles and amazing leaps that are being made, it all gets wrapped up into this crazy thing that is 'our life'.

My style is affected by my attitude... When I'm feeling bogged down by negative thoughts and emotions, I wear something safe... something that no one will notice- for good or for bad. When I'm feeling self assured and peaceful I'm more likely to branch out... I don't care so much if other's like my style because it's a choice that I have made that makes me happy (or a learning experience, either one).

So, ramble coming to a conclusion, focus on what you are in charge of- your attitude, your inner state, your locus of control. Decide how you want your life to be, then go after it. Don't worry if someone (or their momma) doesn't like how you look. Be at peace, be you.
Cheap Thrills Outfit #9-
Shirt- Limited, on sale + coupon $18.99
Scarf- Walmart, $7.00
Denim- IT brand, on sale at VonMaur 2007
(notice the '5 year rinse'?) $19.99
Shoes- Cato, zebra print and fabulous, on sale $9.99
Outfit Total- $55.97 plus tax

Cheap Thrills outfit #8

Cheap Thrills outfit #8 Sweater, Buffalo from TJ Maxx $19.99, Burnout creme shirt-Maurices 2008, sale $14.99, Creme Cami-Limitted 2008, sale $12.99, Corduroy skirt-Walmart 2007, $5.00, tights-Merona at Target $3.99, boots- $12.00 Kmart years ago. Outfit Total= $68.96

Go! Go, Go, Go, Goooooooo!!! With a list, of course

You’ve been patient… you’ve waited and wrapped and saved. You’ve given what you wanted to give, donated to worthy causes, maxed out your Roth IRA contributions and you still have a bit of change in your coat pocket, cash from your stocking, or gelt from Hanukkah that is yours to do with what you will… ahhhh (insert smiles here… and bubbles of excitement)

Deals abound this week and the selection is amazing so take 10 minutes and do some crafty planning and plotting for 2012.

1. Remember that spring is right around the corner, and while we are doing our best to live in the now, you probably have enough sweaters to get you through to May- eye everything on the clearance rack with a thought towards warmer days, while keeping in mind that styles will change and the new color palettes will be coming out within the next few weeks.. Think Black and White and Green and Blue and Yellow- black and white are year round basics (uh huh, you COULD write this blog too!), and spring is always full of greens and blues and yellows.

2. Birthdays- Toys will be on sale this week- really, really, really on sale. Buy 1 or 2 things that you know your kiddos will love when their birthdays roll around… you could think about next Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza, but remember storage is limited and tastes change as children grow.

3. Do you have a fantastic pair of shoes/pair of pants/sweater/skirt etc etc that sits in your closet because you don’t have anything to wear them/it with?? take a mental picture with you and scavenge for something that will make that item work, and hopefully go with a few other pieces in your closet as well.

4. We’ve had a rather mild winter here, but soon enough I imagine we will be hammered with snow/sleet/freezing rain and possibly left over reece’s peanut butter cups falling from the sky - Coats are on sale. Make sure you buy a news paper to have every possible store coupon to combine with the 50-60% off mark down and you could soon be in possession of quite a bargain.

5. If you don’t have enough wrapping paper/bows/storage containers- nows the time to make those purchases. Again, think about the events coming up- buy paper that works just as well for birthdays as it does for holidays. Clear storage containers work well for organizationally challenged folks such as myself, and remember to clearly mark all tubs with detailed information to cut down on time spent rummaging.

Just a few of my favorite places that are offering amazing deals:

Crazy8- (the bargain momma’s gymboree) everything in the store is 11.99 and under

OshKosh and Carters- take 20% off all clearance for sales up to 85% off original prices

Children’s Place- Today only 30% off everything making sale items up to 80% off.

Target- everything’s on sale… electronics, clothing, toys etc

Old Navy- up to 75% off in stores

Loft- 50% off everything (excludes some new merchandise… )

Pier 1- up to 50% off decor - think ‘winter’ vs. ‘Christmas’ to have items that can be displayed from December- March

That’s the fluff and flutter for today- come back tomorrow for meaning and depth :-)

Cheap Thrills outfit #7

Cheap Thrills outfit #7. Cardigan- clearance plus coupon $9.99 Gap Outlet, Dress- George $19.99, Walmart, Belt $7.00, Walmart- not pictured tights, 2pack $3.99 from Walmart, Boots not a cheap thrill :-) Outfit Total minus the boots- $40.97

Cultivate Kindness

t’s a busy time of year… really, it’s just plain busy no matter what time of year it is (insert a smile… might look a bit like a grimace, but trust me, it’s a smile). With all this merriment and joy and love and candy canes, it’s easy to find your energy tank tipping towards empty, maybe even well below the E and into the red.

Stress comes from the good and from the bad, small challenges or setbacks gather momentum and weight until they’ve grown into stones in your belly- spewing acid in your esophagus and tears in your eyes. Hormones don’t help-seriously, mother nature, NO ONE should have that time of the month from december 20th through the 27th… geeesh.

So, to combat this stress and help realign my focus, I am actively working on kindness. To clarify, I’m working on kindness towards myself. I’m pretty good at being kind to others… it seems to come naturally, I had amazing parents and others in my life that showed examples of wonderful care and empathy, willingness to help physically or lend an ear. I can honestly find a compliment for each person I meet- and I love to make people feel good about themselves!

What I’m not so good at, is being gentle, caring, and empathetic towards myself. These pictures on this blog? Holy cow, more pictures of myself than I could probably find in the last 24 months put together… and honestly? the ONLY pictures I have of ONLY me—— and I could pick them apart bit by bit by bit. Seriously, I have THIGHS, people! and my hair- time for a change!!! And what speech pathologist do you know who has 1 nonverbal child, 1 child with a frontal lisp, and 1 child who has yet to consistently use 2 word phrases even though she’s almost 2???

You could probably write those sentences yourself, huh? Insert X for my Y and off you go- STOP!!!! Don’t do it!!! Take a deep breath and tell yourself something honest and true that is wonderful about who you are right now- not 10 pounds from now, not 2 months from now… right now. Find something on the outside -for that immediate superficial buzz- then take another deep breath and find something on the inside that you ARE, something you DO, something that is AMAZING. It might feel tricky… so let me start.

1. I have good eyes…not my vision, that stinks, but I like my eyes, and I like that I can speak, eloquently, with my eyes.

2. I keep trying- My big kid now uses his go talker to communicate his wants and needs because I would not stop trying/working/nagging with the pictures, individual buttons, sign language, iPad apps etc etc… and my middle B knows where his tongue belongs when he says /sssss/ and will do it, independently and consistently, in time, because we work in front of the mirror and he likes to get stickers and we go over and over and over lingual placement… my baby A is talking more and more and more and we continue to model and provide a language rich environment with all electronic distractions turned off even though that makes for a lot more work for mom and dad and gram and grandpa…

Your turn. Don’t start with the bad, skip it completely and give me something that is wonderful about yourself. Tell me something that others might miss… look hard at your soul, your deep down self, and give me the goods.

Work hard… be kind.

Cheap Thrills outfit #6

Cheap Thrills outfit #6- Shirt- Converse $19.99 on sale at Target, Tank-$12.99 on sale at Maurices, 2008, Denim- same ones! $13.00 at Walmart, Boots- again! $12.00 at Kmart many moons ago.

Middle B- priceless treasure, arrived 2.19.2007

Progress Made... Be Present

Remember a week or so ago when I started this blog- there were places, important places, I wanted my money to go. To update, and keep myself honest, progress is being made! I’ve signed up to run (don’t be crazy, I’ll be doing a lot of walking) the 2012 Illinois Marathon- ( for me the 10K) for Landon’s Dragon Slayers/ St. Jude.

We increased our annual donations to the NFXF, and FRAXA. We’ve made our family reservations for Grizzly Jacks Water Park to enjoy a 2 night stay before Christmas- the focus here being on spend less, do more.

I’ve even been to the mall and not succumbed to the well researched, well funded hype and ambiance… only buying what I had gone in looking for- gifts to send to those in scary situations. I feel a little, no… I think it’s true to say, I feel a lot calmer and happier this year. I’ve bought local and handmade- not for everything, or even as much as I’d like, but more than last year. I’ve followed the ‘one less’ gift mantra as written about by an amazing momma whose sweet daughter is battling cancer.

Will my kids notice a drop in the sheer volume of gifts they’ll receive? doubt it- baby A is going to love her tricycle, middle B will be absolutely fired up about EVERYTHING, and big boy A will glance at, then gently set aside all new toys in favor of his v-tech book that he’s had since he was 18 months old. Hubby and I will be PRESENT.. we will focus on playing with our beautiful babies, enjoying toys new and old, focused on the people that our children currently are NOW.. in the present.

I’m working on that… on living in the here and now because you have no guarantee, no promise for tomorrow. Your kids, your parents, your friends, will value your presence, your focus on the NOW, and the memories made far more than they will any item you could wrap up and give. Be here… live now… be present.

Dressed for Hope

So what do you wear when you’re going for Hope? Do you dress up- to convey confidence, purpose and assuredness that Hope and Science will collaborate and that all will be well? Do you go casual-secure that Hope knows your heart, and Science has done it’s due diligence, and no special outer trappings are necessary?

Tomorrow is a big day for us. My big kid A begins the STX209 study at Rush University… we have 2, count em, 2!! blood draws. 2 times that we will have to hold our sweet son still so that a teaspoon or so of blood can be siphoned carefully out of his big little body and analyzed. Sweet A will have a physical, B and I will have questions to answer, forms to fill out… and then, the unknown.

Unknown to us, unknown to the amazing DR. EBK… will we get a placebo or the real deal?

Double blind placebo studies are fantastic… unless your a patient in the study who has HOPE, serious Hope for this scientific endeavor. Personal, tender Hope held close to your heart, Hope that this will help your baby be more himself, less hampered by the lack of protein caused by the mutation on his X chromosome. The mutation that you, his momma, unknowingly passed on to him.

The amazing, fantastic, blow my mind part of this situation is that after the 6 week study, we automatically qualify for the extension period- meaning, whether we had the placebo or the actual drug, after 6 weeks we get to take the real medication- the real deal- and see if it helps our A or not.

We can handle 6 more weeks- Hope is patient…and Hope is strong… and Hope stands on the shoulders of Love. And Love knows that whether the real deal works for us or not, sweet A is our amazing son… and no matter what, he always will be.

Cheap Thrills outfit #5

Cheap Thrill outfit #5- Sweatshirt $19.99, on sale in the boys department of Kmart, Denim $19.99 IT jeans on sale at VonMaur 2007, Mizuno running shoes… not cheap, but surely a thrill.

Why write? Why style? Why deals?

We have pictures from when I was a little girl… a fancy slip serves as my ‘dress’, i have on a castoff pair of my mom’s high heels, a fab-u-lous bag from a garage sale ( i think) and a beautiful white lampshade on my head. And? and a HUGE smile on my face… I totally rocked that look.

I can’t remember a time that i didn’t like to think about clothes, to mix and match and play dress up.To create outfits that made me *feel* a certain way… that enabled my imagination to take me one step closer to whatever I was focused on doing, whomever I was focused on being.

We have another picture I can vividly recall- my brother and I sitting in a cardboard box- swim goggles and winter hats with ear flaps on, scarves tied jauntily around our necks… obviously :-) we were pilots. There’s one when I was 12- my first leather jacket, the beautiful (eek!) brown suede with the ribbed cuffs… I have my hair brushed to a shine, my eyebrows slicked into place with vaseline, and this time a half (mysterious?) smile as I worked hard to project that ’ I know ALL about… um… whatever it is that you teenagers know ALLLLL about’ kind of look.

This might have led me to a blog like this… but I think I probably know why, NOW, I’m writing about shopping, writing about style, writing about bargains and deals and cheap thrills.

I have an amazing son with Fragile X Syndrome. When my sweet big boy A was born, we didn’t sleep…. I mean REALLY didn’t sleep- no more than 18 minutes at a time before he would wake and have to be soothed/rocked/nursed back to sleep. As he aged I started to notice other things that were different about my babe, and by his 6 week appointment I had started asking my doctor questions about his development. By 6 months we were in the Early Intervention System, by 8 months he was receiving PT, OT, ST and DT. By 14 months we had seen a Developmental Pediatrician, a Pediatric Ophthalmologist, a Pediatric Neurologist, a Geneticist, an Audiologist, an Otolaryngologist, a Pediatric Cardiologist, and Radiologists for MRIs.

I might not have been able to help A crawl, but I could make sure he had the cutest outfit in the world. I might not have been able to help him talk, but maybe, just maybe this toy would catch his attention and spur those elusive sounds out of his sweet mouth.

By the time we received A’s FX diagnosis, we were 4 months pregnant with our second child.. so we had an amnio and waited, and waited, and waited- because FX is a hereditary genetic syndrome, and our unborn baby had a 50/50 chance of receiving my affected X, a 50/50 chance of having FX.

I can’t really tell you my exact mental state at this point in my life… I was tired, exhausted really, and filled with worry. I wouldn’t cry in front of my family, so I cried in the car, I cried in the bedroom as I put our laundry away. I cried in the shower. I wouldn’t call my friends because I didn’t want to have to answer questions about my sweet son or unborn babe… I was in a pretty rotten place. I don’t know if anyone other than my husband, mom, or dad knew how i was feeling… I smiled and laughed out in public, we went to football games and basketball games and baseball games ( a *perk* of being married to the A.D. ) We took our dog for walks… long, long walks.

Finally, after what felt like YEARS, we received the news that we were having another son and that he had received my unaffected X. Relief, joy, hope. Slowly, slowly through the years… I got my happy back. Clothes, style, the thrill of a bargain- they make me happy.

Every day, EVERY DAY, we have struggles with FX. Every day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, my work involves people who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, who are fighting cancer, recovering from strokes, battling dementia. These issues are real, and heavy, and take serious work. Style, clothing and deals? That’s my down time, my break from reality, my escape.

So if you’re still reading, thank you :-) I don’t judge others on their style or clothes- many of those I love the most wold be hard pressed to tell you the last time they REALLY concerned themselves with the trivial business of what they put on their body. Your soul, your heart, your mind, your personality- that’s heavy. your clothes? that’s light… very, very light.

Truth in Cyber Space

if you’ve seen me more than 3 times in a 2 month span, chances are you’ve seen me dressed much as I am above. Hair in a knot on top of my head, sweatshirt, jeans and my runners. When we walk, visit a playground, scramble around at the Replex, or play who knows what in our backyard, I’m dressed for speed and comfort… and, in the spirit of truthfulness- I look this way at the grocery store, the library, and sometimes work as well!

Some days when the alarm goes off at 430 a.m. and I hit snooze, and snooze again… and maybe snooze again.. I don’t take the time or make the effort to work too hard on my style. You could substitute scrubs for jeans and my sweatshirt and there you have ‘amy at work’ at least 40% of the time. I do try for business attire the other 60%… or a relaxed, eclectic mix of casual and business attire that falls into the ‘i don’t mind if this gets sputum, pureed carrots, snot or other bodily fluids on it’ category… and really, as I type this, I would guess that if you exchanged ‘mashed up gold fish’ for ‘pureed carrots’ you have a category my entire wardrobe falls into :-)

BUT… portions of this outfit still qualify as a ‘cheap thrill’- The sweatshirt $19.99 on sale in the boys department at k-mart, the jeans $19.99 IT jeans from the sale rack at VonMaur in 2007, and my mizuno running shoes… not a cheap thrill, not even 5 cheap thrills rolled into one, but worth every single penny I spent on them.

You never know where you might find a deal… the point of this blog originally revolved around children’s clothing, but after close to 250 attempts to get my children to change clothes/smile at the camera/remain STILL FOR MORE THAN .25 SECONDS, I decided that I’d better change lanes and go with momma clothes instead. Maybe you’ve noticed that many of my clothes are close to4-5 years old. Whatever I’ve spent on my clothing, I’ve spent 7 times as much on clothing for my children. Bins and boxes and bags that have been saved or passed down, given to friends, friends of friend, and whomever else I know or might have met that has just had a child. The clothes have come from walmart, kmart, target, old navy, vonmaur, nordstroms, macy’s, and every catalog i’ve ever received. During these buying sprees, i’ve found that when I’m at a healthy weight for my body, I fit into a L or XL in the boys department!! T-shirts, sweatshirts, cool button downs that I can layer- all at very reduced prices. So look around, bargain hunters- you may find something new and fun in an unexpected place!!

Cheap Thrills outfit #4

Cheap Thrills #4- Shirt $9.99 Walmart, 2008, Tank $14.99 Loft, 2009, Pants $16.99 Norma Kamali for Walmart, 2010, Booties 19.99 J.C. Penny and the only item bought this year-2011! Outfit Total- $61.96

Cheap Thrills outfit #3

Cheap Thrills outfit #3- cropped black cardigan- 3+ years old, Old Navy… guessing no more than $15.99. Dress- $18.99, clearance rack plus coupon at Kohls, tights- 2 pack of no nonsense $3.99 from Walmart, Boots… not a cheap thrill… had to happen sooner or later.

Does this picture look a bit different?? That’s because it was taken by my 4 year old middle B vs. my newly 36 year old Hubby B :)

The Trend is Your Friend

I don’t gamble… but I do listen to sports radio, lots and lots of sports radio. Whenever they talk about betting a game they-the personalities, the NFL experts, the NBA players turned broadcasters etc. etc- they all talk about the trend. They say ‘the trend is your friend’ meaning, look at the past to predict the future. I’m sure any fashion expert, or really, any PERSON over the age of 20 is well aware that trends come and go and come again.

I ran into Forever 21 (why? we’ll get into that at a later date) and I swear I was in the costume room of a bad/retro/ 70’s disco flick. Polyester paisley maxi skirts paired with faux suede vests- fringed vests… and shoes, oh my goodness the shoes… the platforms, the huge buckles, the break your ankle if you jive the wrong way shoes. And down the hallway, in Gap- a much more sedate, grown up store, thank you very much- echoes of the same trends- a hot pink maxi skirt, tunic tops with geometric necklines, and large chunky fisherman sweaters.

Same trends,different interpretations- and that’s what *style* is all about… you, taking whatever is out there, whatever you found at the mall, on line, at the thrift store or vintage boutique… and making it your own. Interpreting what the fashion industry has decided is ‘trendy’ into an everyday look that makes you happy- at least I hope it makes you happy (we’ll talk about that later, too).

Today, as I typed my blog address into the web browser… incorrectly… and came upon ‘Babes on a Budget’ a cool, hip blog about what celebrities wear and how you can interpret that in your own life, I saw that “MUSTARD YELLOW IS EVERYWHERE” and I thought.. mmmhmm… might be everywhere but will NOT be on me… and I was right, because the one piece of clothing with any mustard yellow on it could easily have been the topic of yesterday’s post- a silky sheath dress from Kohls with a dark blue background/leopard print and a huge paisley (SEE!!!!) design/border all along the bottom in mustard yellow and gray- the dress has been put on at least 10 times and never made it past the front door. So, in the spirit of this blog, I wore it today- using MY favorite trend of the moment- opaque black tights, almost knee high grayish boot, and a small cropped black cardigan that’s at least 3 years old from old navy (see a trend? :)) And I loved it… it’s different, funky, and comfortable… in fact, I loved it right up until I wore it to our family fun night, when, like any sane person, I decided that an old pair of blue jeans, hair pulled up in a knot on my head, and a loose comfy top would have been much more appropriate for chasing 3 kids around a packed gym full of people, cookies, and craft items.

So follow your heart but give the trend a try… it might make you happy, and that, my friend, is stylish indeed.

Sale, Sale, the Gangs all here!

So everything is pretty much on sale… but what’s really, REALLY a bargain? Not the 15% off, that’s for sure, and not really the buy 1 get one 50% off because even those non math lovers amongst us can figure out that it’s only 25% off each item… I want BIG sales, BIG deals… minimum with sale + coupon of 50% off. Today Old Navy is offering some pretty sweet deals- some sweaters on sale with an additional 30% off when you use the code ‘holiday’, bringing the total down from the original price of 32.50 to $10.50 ! Not a bad deal for some thing that you can dress up or dress down as the mood strikes- and I’m guessing, based on loads of past experience, you might find an even better deal in the store! As most company’s now have ‘2 separate stores’- one brick and mortar, one online, the prices are sometimes, read ALL THE TIME, different. If you go into Gap, you may find the same item marked down a bit more than it was online, or you might not find it all… because if it’s on sale it might be sold out- such is the plight of the bargain hunter.

Loft currently has 50% off EVERYTHING online only, which, if you’re a seasoned shopper, you know it means that soon enough everything IN the store will be 50% off as well. I subscribe to every email from every store I’ve ever shopped at. When I’m not ‘shopping’ for anything, they go into the ‘coupon’ folder in my hotmail account to be browsed through at my leisure and to remind me that patience is a virtue… everything eventually goes on sale (smile).

If there’s a particular item you want, good search it first to check out your options (and if you don’t have a charity that you are partial to, I’d love for you to use FRAXA of the National Fragile X Foundation :)), go to the website and check the price, call the store and ask if they have a better offer- factor in shipping, or for those stores further away, think about gas and drive time.

And now for the BIG question- if it’s on sale- really, really, really, on sale… and it’s cute/amazing/unique… but I don’t NEED it… should I buy it? Should I take that $10 and give it to St. Jude instead? You can only wear 1 skirt at a time, (well, i guess you could wear more, and if you do and it looks fantastic, post a picture so i can see it) and if you have one at home that you love, that will go with the button down, the sweater, and the batwing lace blouse.. Put it down, walk away, and give yourself a mental hug and a pat on the back- then IMMEDIATELY, go online and make your donation. Do good, have less. Be fantastic inside and out.