SAHM Style- for DailyBuzz Moms 9×9 Fall Into Autumn!

What the whah?  Did she just use the terms “stay at home mom” and “style” in the same sentence???

Oh yes she did!

You might think that those two terms are mutually exclusive, but I beg to differ.  You have to wear something, right?  So why shouldn’t it be something cute?  Nobody likes to look at a shlumpy mess, especially when that shlumpy mess is in the mirror.

I think we’ve all been there, I know I have.  We sold our old house and moved into our current home right after my little one was born, and between the barely two-year old, the infant, and the sale/purchase/move, I don’t think I put on a drop of makeup or wore anything but a nursing tank and yoga pants for a good six months.  It was depressing.

But a new season is upon us!  It’s the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf (maybe a colorful autumn one?) on your style.

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, and I think that stems from when I was a kid and my mom would take me back-to-school shopping.  What better way to get ready for the season?!  Come on, let’s go shopping!

Now, there are some issues of practicality to consider.  As a stay at home mom, you are likely to be spending a lot of time on the floor, as well as coming into contact with a lot of messes, so comfortable, durable, and machine-washable fabrics are key.  I am also kind of a cheapo a bit frugal with certain things.  And if you are like me, and spend most of the day on your feet, then you’ll be wanting good quality, flat shoes.  But that doesn’t limit you to sweats and ratty tee shirts!  You can have lots of fun and feel good about yourself, while still getting the job done, with these super-stylish tips and tricks.

Let’s start at the top, with hair.  In my humble opinion, bangs are a SAHM’s best friend.  With two little ones, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around with styling my hair, so a longer length that I can throw up in a ponytail, messy ballerina bun, or side braid works best.  Bangs elevate this look from, “I just finished three miles on the treadmill,” to “I just had breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

1/2/3/4/5

Start with a good cut from a pro (I have mine done just two or three times a year), and when the bangs get a little long, sweep them to the side or trim them yourself, it’s easy!  Just follow this tutorial:

Next comes bra.  I know they feel good, but sports bras are for the gym, ladies.  They are not flattering and they will not make you feel your best.  I just picked up this jazzy little number and it couldn’t be more comfy.  It’s so cushy and soft!  It holds everything in line so nicely, without a single pinch, and the straps are U-shaped and padded, so they don’t slip off the shoulders.

Bali Intimates One Smooth U

A good bra will make you stand up a little straighter and look more polished.  And a little lacey embellishment goes a long way towards making you feel pretty.  Ok, now that everyone knows what kind of underwear I have on, let’s move along, shall we?

As for tops, I mostly stick with jersey knits that can be layered and/or topped with a cardigan as the months get cooler.

jersey knit tops and cardigans

But lately I’ve been eyeing some cutie-patootie button-downs with a little bit of stretch, like these:

Collared Button-Ups & Sweaters

I think they’ll be perfect for fall, and when it gets even cooler, they’ll look sweet under a sweater with the cuffs and collar peeking out.

Don’t forget the accessories!  They do make the outfit, after all.  It only takes a few extra moments to pop on some cute earrings, a watch, and a bracelet or two, and those extra moments make all the difference.
watches, bracelets, and earrings
Bonus points for a statement necklace!
statement necklaces

Or, another great option for fall is the drapey scarf.

drapey scarves for fall

So warm and comfy, and a fun print will liven up your whole look…

As for bottoms, I love a good pair of leggings for days when you really want to be as comfortable as possible, and sometimes I’m known to rock a pair of sweats, but only if they’re dressed up on top, with a little bling and some cute shoes.  But I mostly find myself in jeans.  A good dark skinny, a comfy boyfriend pair, a trouser style, and a couple of fun colors, and you’re off to the races.  Although I have been loving the sixties mod pant for this season!  I may have to indulge myself…

Jeans and Pants for Fall

Add a fun belt for an unexpected hit of color, pattern, or texture, and you will look so polished!

belts

Which leads me to my favorite topic, SHOES!  In the early fall, I’m all about a cute sandal or some ballerina flats.  Definitely look for something with some embellishment: some sparkle, pattern, or a contrasting hit of bright color.

early fall shoes

As the weather cools down, I look for something that comes up a little higher on my foot, so I can wear some little no-show socks under, for extra warmth.  I’m loving the oxford/brogue style, as well as some sparkly Toms, or a little loafer or moc.

Mid-fall shoes

And when things get blustery and cold, it’s nothing but a cozy boot for me.  I love the moto style, the riding boot, or a little cowboy bootie, especially with those leggings I’m so partial to.  I’m also considering a pair of Sorel’s for the snowy season… wouldn’t want to slip and fall in the car line at preschool dropoff!

late fall shoes

It’s amazing how much warmer you feel with a little leather around your ankles!

And finally, for the bag.  Don’t neglect the bag, SAHM’s.  You have a lot of essentials to carry around with you, so you need a good bag.  It can be an afterthought, or it can be a thing of beauty that elevates your whole look.

fall handbags

I’ve carried a lot of slouchy totes and hobos in this past, but now I’m all about structure.  Besides having a cleaner and more polished look, it keeps your junk more organized!  I love a classy, understated neutral, or a bright color that complements the other items in your wardrobe or completely contrasts.  I just ordered the little turquoise number and I can’t wait to see how it pops against all my navy and red…

Mix and match your picks from this post and you can’t go wrong.

plum, leopard, and gold

You’ll be turning heads at the grocery store…

stripes, red, turquoise

…taking compliments from all the other moms at school…

hot pink, black, and kelley green

…and putting a smile on your hubby’s face when he walks in the door at the end of the day.

red, white and black with brown accents

** just click on the little thumbnails below the collage if you want to purchase any of these featured items.  I won’t get paid, but I’ll still thank you for making the world a prettier place. **

dressed-up sweats

FYI, none of the clothing items in this post are more than $90.  The most expensive watch is $135.  The shoes, boots, and handbags are all under $200.  And none of these outfits will get mad if you do a little light housework in them.

Green, Gray, Navy, with Orange

Here’s to a great fall!

And don’t forget to check out DailyBuzz Moms on Thursday, September 27th, 2012, for a special “Top 9” featuring YinMom YangMom plus eight other bloggers’ awesome ideas to help you Fall Into Autumn!

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Anti-Depressant Lip Gloss

Let me preface this by saying, modeling for yourself, and then putting the photos up for the world to see is seriously the most embarrassing thing in the world.

I have to say, I kind of hate Fall.  I know I’m alone here.  When I was a kid, I had extreme anxiety over going to school.

So, now when I feel Fall weather coming on, it sort of subconsciously brings me back to those days.

Plus, I have an old drafty house with oil heat, so I dread all those oil bills.

She loves it!

This year, however I feel a little differently about Fall.  Brooke is in Kindergarten now, and she absolutely loves it.  She’s helping me change my attitude about school.

Also, I’ve figured out a few tricks to keeping warm in my house.  A small space heater and a heating pad are making me feel very happy (but also a little bit old, oh well…).

And lastly, never underestimate the power of looking hot in the Fall! I recently did a little shopping for beauty products, and they’re helping me stay positive. I’ll tell you about them one by one!

First, let me just share with you, the ultimate, absolutely best lip gloss I have ever used. If I buy something more than once, you’d better believe it’s because it’s fantastically awesome.  I’ve just purchased my second tube. What is it, you ask?  It’s NYR Organics.  Not only does it make you look and feel pretty, but it’s full of healthy, safe ingredients.  And, it smells so nice, not too strong, just lightly citrusy.  And it tastes nice.  It’s awesome.

Here are more awesome things about this magical lip gloss that cures seasonal depression:

– It gives you lips a sheer wash of very flattering color (no matter which color you use, I swear, they all look good on everyone) that can be layered for more impact.

– It sort of dries on your lips, so it stays, but your lips just feel hydrated and smooth.  I have lips that can get dry and flaky, and there’s something in this gloss that keeps that from happening.  It protects them!

I call this one Blue Steel.

– The tube makes it really easy to put on while you’re driving.  I’ve used glosses that have a little brush thing, and you need a mirror.  The kind you put on with your finger is a mess and you need both hands.  The fact that it’s easy, makes me put it on even when I’m rushing, so I always feel put together.

The color I just bought is called Damson, and it is so perfect for Fall.  I’ve had 2 people stop me and ask what I’m wearing.  That is good!

See how I purposely didn’t clean the mirror or fold the laundry? It’s for effect, TOTALLY intentional. 😉

If you want to try this, pretty please order from my rep, Jennifer.  She is awesome, so pretty and nice, and she helped me decide on which color to buy.  She is good, and here is her website:
https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/jennifer_mariano
And more specifically the link to the glosses would be:
https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/jennifer_mariano/area/shop-online/category/lip-gloss/

Happy Fall! xoxo

Product Review: Levi’s Curve ID Jeans

When did we somehow become ok with spending $150 or more on jeans?  Seriously, I don’t understand how it happened.  One day, I was all, ok, I’m comfortable with spending around $65 for a decent pair of jeans, and then, somehow, some fashion magazine must have gone viral in my brain and almost actually convinced me that I needed to spend three times that in order to really get a nice, well-fitting pair of jeans.  Thank goodness I’ve come to my senses.  I mean, they are JEANS, people!

So, I needed some new jeans.  (Despite my best efforts, my waist has a mind of it’s own and it is slowly and steadily widening.  Maybe it has something to do with being almost 40.  Yah, I’m sure it’s nothing to do with eating cookies.  It’s gotta be the 40 thing.)  Mr. Allie was nice enough to give me the night off from my full-time job of mothering two rambunctious boys, so that I could cruise around the local outlet mall.   There are lots of stores there where jeans can be purchased, including Joe’s, Juicy, Lucky, J. Crew, and a Nieman’s outlet with all the priciest chi-chi brands.  I was ready to spend whatever was necessary to minimize my figure flaws and fit me comfortably.  Comfort is key when you are almost 40.

Here is a little bit about my figure type:
overall petite (just a little over 5′-0″) with a high waist
hips a bit wide
a poochy tummy, which is the area I am most self-conscious about
kind of a flat butt

I wandered into the Levi’s store and began perusing the monster wall of jeans.  Curve ID is the women’s line that Levi’s seems to be most proud of.  You can choose from three leg styles:  Skinny, Straight, or Bootcut.  Then they have three rises:  Low, Modern, or Classic.  Finally, they offer four shapes:  Slight Curve, Demi Curve, Bold Curve, or Supreme Curve.  I was a little overwhelmed by all of the options at first, so I asked an employee, how do I know what shape?  He asked if my jeans ever gap at my lower back, and I said YES! and he said “Bold Curve.”  Ok.

A few minutes later, another  salesperson told me he could measure me for an exact fit.  Eeeenteresting!  Ok, I would love for you to do that for me!

A few minutes later, lots of measurements had been taken, and I was sent to the dressing room with size 27 demi curve, in an assortment of rises.  The jeans were a perfect, and comfortable fit!  I only had to decide which rise I preferred.  (Modern, btw.)

To make a long story short, the second salesperson at Levi’s gave excellent service.  He made careful measurements and hooked me up with exactly what was right for me.  He took his job seriously and I came away from the store feeling as though I had just had an in-depth denim consultation at an expensive boutique.

And now for the kicker:  The jeans cost $49.99.  If you buy more than one pair, they’re even less than that.

Go to a Levi’s outlet store and get fitted for a pair of jeans for less than $50 bucks!

Or, if you already know your size and shape, the Levi’s website is offering 30% off skinny jeans until 8/12/2012.  Also, free shipping on orders over $100.  Use the coupon code SKINNY30.

**I am in no way affiliated with Levi’s, and the views expressed in this post are purely my own.  I have received no compensation for this product review.**

Food in Jars, and Let’s Go Shopping!

If you are a food nerd (such as myself), or a pinterest enthusiast (such as myself), then I’m sure you have noticed the ever-growing trend of food in jars.

I have listed my reasons for serving desserts in Mason jars in outline form, as follows (told ya I’m a nerd):

I.  Mason jars as perfect serveware
A.  Sized for individual portions
B.  Lidded
1.  for spill-proof transport
2.  so you can save some for later
C.  Heat Proof
1.  you can bake right in them
2.  you can pop them in the microwave to reheat later
D.  They are so freakin’ cute.

Now that I’ve given my opening arguments on serving your next dessert in a jar, I’d like to take this opportunity to do two things:

1.  give you a little teaser about my upcoming post for Cherry Crisp in a Jar (it’s going to be so great!  ;oP
2.  share a very exciting announcement:  I am now taking part in a program called “Amazon Associates”!

You can click on this link: http://astore.amazon.com/yinmomyangmom-20

and browse around my shop, looking at some of my favoritest products.  There are a few kitchen products in there now, so be sure to order those so you are all ready to make Cherry Crisp in a Jar with me.  And, I also have some of my best beauty products in there too, from my recent posts on Beach Beauty and Backyard Barbecue Beauty.

Be sure to check back often because I’m sure I will be adding lots of other fun stuff in there!

Shopping with your besties is so much fun…!

Product Review! Allie’s Highlighter

I went and bought the L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter that Allie recommended in her post; Backyard Barbeque Beauty, and here’s my review!

Normally I use MAC’s Studio Finish concealer, which is described on their website as being “discreetly opaque”.  I’d agree with that, so I’ve become accustomed to that type of thing.

This highlighter is much lighter in texture than MAC, and it is also much lighter in color.  They only have 3 colors, which I’m guessing is because they’re sheer enough to go on any skin tone?

It does cover surprisingly well, pretty close to that of MAC’s concealer, however it took a little longer to blend, and I had to use more of it.  It definitely does give your skin a luminous, smooth quality though, and I really like that.  Sometimes MAC gives more of a greasy look.

All in all, I like it, the price is good and I’d probably buy it again, but I’ll keep my MAC on hand for days when my skin is more dry.  Thanks for the recommendation Allie!

Backyard Barbecue Beauty

So now that I’ve given away all my beach beauty secrets, I thought I’d follow up with a few more summer makeup tips, for those times when you still want to keep it light and breezy, but maybe just want to play up your features a bit more.

If you haven’t already read my post on Beach Beauty, well… what the heck are you waiting for?  Don’t waste another minute feeling a) drab and colorless, or b) runny, creasey and cakey, in this heat!  Just because the mercury is high does not mean you can’t look pretty.  Beach Beauty is the perfect starting point for your best summer look.

…ok so now you’ve read it right?  You know all about my DIY bb cream and the most universally flattering blush and how to pretty up your pucker while preventing labial ephelides?  Cool, ok, so then you are now ready to hear about how to make the most of your peepers without looking (or feeling!) too “made up.”

Much as I love my beach beauty face, there are times when it doesn’t completely cut it.  I may not want to wear a lot of eye makeup on the beach, but how about all those fun backyard barbcues?  Once the sun goes down a bit, the shades come off, there’s a soft breeze blowing and maybe a little margarita buzz…  It’s nice to flash a little sparkle in your Mr.’s direction.  So, start with your beach beauty-ful face and dial it up a notch with these easy steps.

Luminizer, aka Illuminator, aka Brightener.  Every brand has their own version, and this is my favorite:

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat

…however, it is a bit spendy, and, also I have to go to the mall to get it.  For some strange reason, my five- and three-year old boys don’t enjoy makeup shopping at the mall.  (???  I know, right?)  So, right now I’m using this:

L'Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer, Fair

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter

…and guess what?  I can’t even tell the difference.

I dab a bit on the inner corners of my eyes as well as the undereye area, and pat it in with a fingertip.  It’s a lot lighter than concealer, and it doesn’t settle into fine lines at all.  It perks up your whole face!  It’s like a power nap in stick form!

Next step:  waterproof eyeliner.  The most budge-proof formula I’ve ever used has to be Make-up Forever.  MAC is also good.  But, again, mall.  Maybe something like this:

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Pencil, Black Brown 202

Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner

I like it in a really dark brown, and I just apply really thin little dashes along the upper lashes only.  It just makes your lashes look thicker and darker, which is something I really need, being a ginger with blond-tipped eyelashes.

The last step is optional, depending on the level of make-up-ed-ness you are after.  It is mascara.  Here is my favorite:

Maybelline Great Lash Lots Of Lashes Washable Mascara, Very  Black

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes

…and a post on why I like it so much.  But for those really steamy days, something like this is a great option:

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

It just darkens your lashes and helps them to stand out more.  And, it won’t run or flake.  And, you can use it on your brows too!

Now you are all set for some backyard summer party time!  A fresh-faced, natural look that feels weightless, protects you from sun damage, and flatters!  Have a margarita for me ;oP

Beach Beauty

Ok, so right now, in my part of the world, it’s not quite ten a.m. and already the temperature is in the 80’s.  By mid-afternoon they’re saying it’s going to feel like it’s in the triple digits.  What kind of a kook would even want to bother with makeup on this kind of a day???  Maybe a freckly, pale, reddish-haired kook?

My name is Allie and I am a ginger kid.  I am also terribly vain, most of the time, and I simply cannot set foot out in public with all my worst flaws on display for the whole world to see.  Even on the hottest, most humid, melt-your-face-off days, there is something in me that just can’t resist a little something to brighten up my appearance.

Of course, there are certain instances where nobody, even the vainest of gingers, wants to feel or look heavily made up.  (The beach, for instance?)  I absolutely lighten way up on cosmetics on a day like this.  So, if you are also freckly and pale, and maybe have some cellulite or stretch marks you aren’t so proud of, read on for some of my best summer beauty tricks.

Everything to do with summer beauty, for me, begins and ends with a little bronze.  I’ve been a fan of self-tanner since way back before most people ever even heard of it.  There used to be this stuff called QT…?  If you remember QT give me a shout in the comment section…  Anyhow, now you can get self-tanner any- and everywhere, from every suncare brand imaginable.  If you have never tried it, be not afraid.  They are absolutely goof-proof.  If you can apply body lotion, you can do self-tanner.

Now, I gave up on ever looking “tan” a very long time ago.  To any other gingers out there reading this post, you are never going to look like Jennifer Lopez.  That’s not what this is about.  This is about not blinding people with the glare coming off your pasty-white ass.  It’s really a public service.  Also, I have found, that a little bit of a glow goes a long way to minimize any unevenness in your skin tone.  Light Bulb!  Bye-bye cellulite!  See ya later, stretch marks!  Freckles, I’ll be seeing a lot less of you, too!  It can even make you look thinner!  It’s a miracle product, I’m telling you.

As for brands, I have tried so many, and I really don’t think it matters much.  They all do pretty much the same thing, for me it mostly comes down to the fragrance, price, and where I can buy it.  I go through a lot so it’s nice if I can pick it up while I’m at the grocery store or on a WalMart run.  Right now I’m using Sublime Bronze, (which has some shimmer in it, FYI), but I also like Neutrogena Micro Mist for hands-free application.  When I’m really feeling lazy and I don’t even want to have to wash my hands after.  Which, btw, don’t forget to do, or you will end up with the weirdest orange palms, and everyone will know your secret.

So now on to my favorite summer beauty secret, which I call “homemade BB cream.”  If you are a beauty junkie, such as myself, then you’ve probably noticed the latest thing on the market: BB cream.  It’s basically just a tinted moisturizer on steroids.  They have a lot of serum-y ingredients, like anti-oxidants and peptides, and a lot of them are a bit like primers, smoothing out the skin’s texture.  Usually they have a bit of sunscreen in them too, but beware: it’s not nearly enough for a ginger.  I like a 50+ full-spectrum sunblock.  I don’t need any more freckles, that is for sure.

Ok, so what I like to do, after washing my face with a baby washcloth (great trick, it’s the perfect amount of exfoliation and you can buy them anywhere for so cheap), is put a pea-sized drop of each: burqa-strength sunblock, self-tanner, and an all-in-one foundation/primer in the palm of my hand, rub them all together, and smooth all over my face like moisturizer.  One step.  Done.  Evened out and protected, with a little bit of glow to boot.  For my skin, that’s all the moisture I need, especially in the summer when I tend to be a little oilier anyway.  I use a richer cream at night if I feel like I need it.  You can use whatever your own favorite products are, or you can try what I’m currently into, which is. again, based mostly on price and what is nearby and easy to find:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 100

Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer SPF 100+

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion, Deep Natural

L’oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanner

Hard Candy Just Face It One Step Foundation, Medium

Hard Candy One-Step Foundation

So, that covers moisture and protection, but I also like to rosy up my cheeks with a bit of Benetint, which is, hands down, the most universally flattering blush on the market.  You will look like you just came in from a run.  Healthy and fresh.  And, it’s a liquid, so it just sinks right in and never gets cakey in the heat, like a powder or cream might.

Benefit Benetint 

Other than that I just like a little something on my lips, for moisture, shimmer, and also, preferably, for extra sun protection.  I’d rather not end up with any more labial ephelides, which sounds gross and embarrassing but it’s just a fancy word for a freckle on your lip.  I like orangey-reds, peaches, and corals with my skin tone so here’s what I’m using now:

CoverGirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm, Coral 230

Cover Girl Natureluxe Gloss Balm, SPF 15

And, last but not least, a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses.  The bigger the better!  For more sun protection, and for glamour!  And you can skip the heavy eye makeup… in this heat, it will never last anyway…

What are your favorite summer beauty products?  Leave a comment at the bottom of the post and share the wealth!  Don’t we all love a good recommendation?