Five Questions To Ask Before You Buy

We’ve all done it before – spent too much, or bought something because we really wanted it although it didn’t fit right, or bought something just to make a bad day better. I’ve probably done all the above. You know that guilty feeling you get once you get it home, or every time you see it hanging in your closet? There’s a name for that; it’s called “shopper’s remorse.”


Shopping can be like eating…sometimes we do it emotionally, and it’s not healthy. We need to realize that going shopping really puts us in a vulnerable place. A blog post I read on Already Pretty explained that when we go shopping, we become vulnerable to the advertisements competing for our attention, persuasive employees, the opinions of someone shopping with us, in addition to our inner voices.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is when the mannequin comes to life to convince her to buy the green scarf that she really can’t afford. It’s really her just imagination and her own inner voices. “It’s the only one left,” “It’s on sale,” “But it looks so good on you,” “You need it,” are the general arguments it uses to talk her into it. She gives in, but has to use multiple credit cards and borrow cash from strangers in order to buy it. Her unwise spending habits eventually catch up with her as the movie goes on.

On much rarer occasions, I’ll actually wish I had bought something that I put back on the rack. I’ll talk myself out of it in the store, and later really wish I’d bought it because it would go so well with the outfit I want to wear to such and such event. But like I said, this type of remorse happens much less frequently for me.

To keep yourself from wishing you hadn’t or wishing you had, stop and ask your reflection in the dressing room mirror a few important questions. 

1. Do I already have this, or something very similar?
It’s a good idea to have more than one of your basics, for instance, white or black tank tops. But how many red cardigans do you need? How many pairs of brown flats?

It is easy for us to be drawn to the things that we already own, because we like them. But we have to consider how often the new item will actually be worn. For me, it’s gray and navy blue shirts. I’m very attracted to those colors, but honestly, I don’t want to wear them every day of the week. I have to make a conscious effort to look at the same top in other colors and consider them, so that when I’m not in a blue or gray mood, I have something to wear.

2. Do I have something to wear with it?
I’m so guilty here. I tend to buy something and bring it home, only to discover that I only have one thing that goes with it. If that other thing is in the laundry, I’m out of luck. Then I have to go buy something else to match it.

Make it a habit to glance through your closet before you head out to go shopping. You’ll find it’s easier to remember what you already have to build outfits around.

And, before you get in the check out line, try to think of up to three outfits you could make with it. Can you dress it up for special occasions and down for everyday? Can it look professional and casual?

3. Is it worth it?
We know we’re supposed to buy quality over quantity, but that’s hard to do when staring at a 50% off sales sign at Target. In situations like these, we have to consider how long the item will actually last. Sure, those shoes might be cheap, but if they only hold up for a few months, it’s probably not worth it when you could invest your money in a pair that will last you ten years. Yeah, the Target shoes are cheaper now, but if you divide the cost by how long you’ll actually be able to wear them, it makes sense to buy quality.

Ultimately, you have to determine if it’s worth it. How much are you willing to spend on a dress you won’t wear very often? Is that top special enough to merit the price tag?

4. Is this the best time to buy it?
We talked before about savvy shopping. The longer you wait to buy something, the lower the price will go. But, you do run the risk of it being sold out. Have you looked for coupons for this store? Can you wait for a sale?

Also, since many of us don’t have unlimited budgets, think about what you really need right now. Tees might be on sale, but if you really need skirts, this is not the best time to take advantage of the sale.

5. Why do I want it?
So, why do you really want to buy it? Because it’s on sale, or because it looks good on you and you feel good wearing it?

It’s important to recognize when we are emotionally spending -shopping just to give ourselves a momentary high. That high won’t last, and it’s a really destructive habit. If you shop to relieve stress, you’ll just create stress by bringing financial woes upon yourself. If you shop as an escape from reality, well, reality isn’t going anywhere. And your credit card bill will definitely be real, even if it feels like a nightmare.

Image Source: 5 Ways to Control Emotional Spending

Don’t do that to yourself. You were made for more. Find healthy ways to handle your stress, anger, or disappointments. Call a friend and just talk. Take a bubble bath and do your nails. Dress up in the clothes you already have. Go for a walk or hit the gym. Write about it in a journal. Pray. Then pray some more. And trust God.

It’s Not Too Late
Returning something to the store feels like apologizing, admitting you’ve done wrong. Sometimes it needs to be done! Check your receipt to find the return policy. If it’s within a certain time frame, you might be able to return it.

If it’s a final sale, you’re out of luck. If it doesn’t fit you, doesn’t look good on you, or you already have several of the same, just pass it on to someone else. Or, sell it on eBay to get some of your money back.

More Info:

What shopping pitfalls are you most prone to? How do you avoid emotional spending? If you have other good questions to ask before you buy that I haven’t mentioned, tell us about it in the comments!

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How To Wear This Spring’s Makeup Trends {Giveaway}

Hello Beauties! I’m Tara, founder of Haute Lunch Beauty and Fashion Blog, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be writing a guest post for Scribbles from Emily! Today I want to show you all how to create a quick and easy makeup look that is perfect for spring and summer! 

This season, citrus, jewel tone, and pastel colors are showing up everywhere, which is great because these colors look fabulous on eyes, lips, and cheeks! Although brightening up your makeup may seem risky to some, this tutorial will help you do it with confidence and ease!

Before I get started on the application, I want to talk about the products I used to create this look. By no means do you need to use the exact same products. Any brand will do, so long as the colors are similar and the products serve the same purpose.

1-6. Eye Shadows from Tarte’s Spring Greening Palette

1. Warm Rose

2. Teal

3. Bronze

4. Pale Pink

5. Lime Green

6. Lilac

7. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef

8. M.A.C. Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Blush Baby (peach-colored)

9. Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Face Primer

10. Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

11. Tarte EmphasEYES for Brows in Taupe

As you can see, eye shadow, lip color, and blush are key to updating your look this season, but there are a few other products I think are important to mention as well.

First, I want to talk about primers. If you’re like me, you’re usually in a hurry to get out the door, and adding a step to your makeup routine is the last thing you want to do. However, adding a primer to my makeup routine was one of the best moves I’ve ever made. Why you ask? Well, that’s because in the long run, it saves me both time and money! Face and eye primers create the perfect base for makeup, saving me time by allowing me to achieve the rich pigment I want from my blush and eye shadow quickly. Primers also save me money because I can use substantially less product every time I apply my makeup. If those reasons aren’t good enough on their own, priming also makes your skin and makeup look satiny smooth and keeps your makeup looking fresh all day! I think I’ve made my point. 😀

The other product I want to point out that I think many people overlook is an eyebrow pencil. This year, there is definitely a trend toward fuller, more natural eyebrows. An eyebrow pencil helps fill in thin eyebrows and gives your eyes a nice frame so they can really pop! Brow waxes and powders can be used instead of an eyebrow pencil, but I recommend pencils because they allow for easier, more precise application.

Now that I’ve talked about some important but often overlooked products, let’s dive into the tutorial! Of course, you always want to start your makeup application with a clean, dry face. From there, prep your face for makeup application with your face and eye primers, then apply your foundation and/or powder as you normally would. Now for the fun part!

Step 1: Apply Blush. For this look, I’m using a pastel peach colored blush from M.A.C., but anything similar in color will do. Apply blush from the apples of your cheeks up to your temples. Also apply a little blush to your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and your jaw line to even out the look and give you a nice, sun-kissed glow! 

Step 2: Apply Base Eye Shadow. I’m using eye shadow #4, which is a pale pink. Again, any pale pink eye shadow will do. Apply this shadow from just under your eyebrows all the way down to your eyelashes. A fluff brush works best for this, but use whatever you have on hand. 

Step 3: Apply Eye Shadow to Lid. For this step, I’m using eye shadow #5, which is a lime green! To avoid fall out, dab the eye shadow onto your lid before blending. I like to use a thick eye shadow brush with short bristles for this step (such as M.A.C.’s 214 Short Shader Brush), but again, use what you have.

Step 4: Apply Eye Shadow to Crease. Here I’m using eye shadow #2, which is teal in color, to line the crease of my eyelid. To avoid getting too much shadow by your tear duct, start in the middle of the crease, then work your way in. After you’ve lined this half, go to the outer corner of your eye (think of an imaginary line from the end of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye- this is where you want to start this time) and finish lining the rest of your crease. To finish, simply blend the color from the crease up a bit (approx ¼ inch) on the outer edges of your eyes. This three step eye shadow application is very versatile and helps your eyes look big and beautiful! 

Step 5: Apply Eyeliner and Mascara. For this look, I used a silver green eyeliner from Sephora and Physician’s Formula PlentiFull Mascara in black-brown. This season, using colored eyeliners is definitely trendy, so don’t be afraid to try out a few new shades. Plus, eyeliner pencils last a long time, and are often inexpensive! To line your eyes, start in the middle of your upper lash line (never line inside your lash line as this could cause eye infections) and work your way in, then go to the outside of your upper lash line and work your way back to the middle. On the bottom lash line, just start at the outside and line to the middle of your eye. Lining only the outer half of your lower lash line will make your eyes look bigger than if you line them all the way. Finish off by curling your lashes and applying a coat of mascara. 

Step 6: Fill in Those Brows. Using my Tarte EmphasEYES brow pencil, I filled in the outer edges of my brows since they are a little sparse. Be sure to use a brow pencil that is approximately the same color, or one shade darker, than your brows. Also, be sure to smooth out those brows with a brow brush once you’re finished filling them in! 

Step 7: Line Your Lips. For this step, I’m using an Ulta Contour Lip Pencil in Rose because I’m going to use a coral colored lip gloss. Using a lip pencil that is slightly darker than your lip gloss will help give a nice, defined look to your lips, which is especially important when using light colored lipsticks or glosses.

Step 8: Apply Lip Gloss or Lipstick. This season, bright, opaque lip colors are definitely in! There are many opaque lip glosses available now, such as the coral colored gloss I’m using from Revlon, but lipstick will work fine, too. Fill in your lips with color, and if you do use a lipstick, finish them off with a thin coating of gloss to give them some shine!

The finished look: 

Here is a closer look at my eye color so you can better see how I applied and blended the three shades: 

Now that you know how to create this look, you can play around with different colors to create fun, flirty looks that are perfect for spring. For example, here is the color scheme I used…

But you could also use this pastel color scheme to create another beautiful look: 

This latter color scheme uses the same pale pink eye shadow (#4) as a base, a lilac eye shadow (#6) for the lid, and a rose eye shadow (#1) for the crease. I would combine this eye color combination with a watermelon colored gloss and a slightly darker blush, such as Benefit’s Dallas, which is a rosy bronze.

As I hope you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to look beautiful and trendy! This entire look took me less than 10 minutes to create, and I used products I already had in my makeup drawer. Even if you don’t have some of the colors necessary, you can pick up a few new eye shadows, new blush, and some new lip gloss for less than $20! I hope this tutorial gives you the knowledge and confidence to try some fun new makeup looks this season. Thanks again to Emily for inviting me to share my love to makeup with you all, and good luck with this week’s homework!

xoxo- Tara 

Emily here: Tara, thank you so much for this very thorough and informative post! I’m glad I knew an expert I could call on to write about this topic! I don’t know about the rest of you all, but I sure learned a few things. Tara manages to share great tutorials, tips, and inspiration several times a week, while going to school for a PhD in psychology. In fact, today she’s defending her Master’s proposal! Be sure to check out Tara’s blog and cheer her on, and check out the wealth of information in her archives!

For your information:
Here’s where you can find the products Tara used, and some similar ones:

Real Colors Smolder-Eyes Shadow Palette Trickster
Blush Rush
Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer
Beautique Brow Pencil Natural Blonde
So, I was really looking forward to last week’s homework, but I got swamped with my class projects and didn’t actually have time to do it. I’m guessing something similar might have happened to you too. So, if you’d like to still do last week’s homework challenge, go for it! I’d love to see what you come up with!
In case you do want to do last week’s challenge, I’m keeping this week’s homework simple. As simple as 1-2-3-4.
1. Wear one clothing item that you haven’t worn since you bought it, or that you haven’t worn for a very long time. These items can be called closet orphans. Here’s a fabulous post on wearing those orphans from Already Pretty.
2. Wear two jewelry items all week. Yes, even on those ordinary days. Earrings count as 1 item, so you could add a necklace, bracelet, ring, or any combination.
3. Wear three different types of bottoms this week. I wear jeans almost every single day, so this week I’m going to try to wear jeans, shorts, and a skirt or dress. The purpose of this is just to get us out of our clothing ruts.

4. Wear four different styles of tops this week. If you tend to wear tee shirts every day, this one is for you! Mix up your sleeve length, add a button up, go sleeveless, or whatever else you can come up with!

To give you some accountability, snap a picture of yourself in the mirror, or of your outfits. Choose one to share on the Scribbles facebook wall, or make a collage of them and share it with us.

This Week’s Giveaway

If today’s post made you wish you had some new makeup, this week’s giveaway  is your chance to get some for free! I’m giving away:

An e.l.f. Essential All Over Color Stick from Eyes, Lips, Face (e.l.f.) in lilac petal. You can use this color stick as lipstick, blush, or eye shadow! 
e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Color in Nouveau Neutrals. These colors flatter a variety of skin tones and the neutrals match with almost any outfit. 
e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish in clear, and another one in Passion Pink.
And in case you’d rather pick out your own colors, one reader will win a $10 
What can you get with $10?  A LOT. You could get powder, blush, mascara,  eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipgloss, nail polish, concealer, an eyelash curler and a makeup brush all for $10. E.l.f cosmetics is proud of offering quality cosmetics at unbeatable prices, and it seems that they always have some sort of promotion going on. I just bought one of their e.l.f. Essential Get the Look Sets sets for $5, and it had five items inside. I’ve loved their mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and I’ve used an eyelash curler for the first time in my life since it came in the set. 
Today only, if you spend $15, you can get a free mini makeup kit that contains 27 different items by using the coupon code MINIFREE. But if you’d rather wait and see if you’ll win this week’s giveaway, there will probably be another coupon code by then!
One reader will win the All Over Color Stick, two nail polishes, nail buffer, and the Nouveau Neutrals eyeshadow. A second winner will receive the $10 gift card!
Here’s how to enter: 
1. Leave a comment on this post. You can let us know what your makeup routine is, or what you hope you’ll win. {1 entry}
2. Follow Scribbles From Emily blog. Leave a comment if you do!{1 entry}
3. Share this giveaway on twitter or facebook. Be sure to tag Scribbles From Emily! {1 entry for each}
4. Do this week’s homework. Any one of the four options works.{10 extra entries!}
By the way, the three winners from last week are:
Evianne, Pawsitive Life, and Bean! 
Happy May everyone!
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How To Shop Savvy

In a poll on the Scribbles From Emily facebook page, the majority of you said that your biggest hangup when it comes to fashion is that it’s too expensive. Agreed. When I saw that this sweet little silk dress costs a whopping $1,169, I almost choked. But that’s the sale price, it’s 65% off the original $3,340.

Floral-print plissé silk-chiffon dress by Luisa Beccaria
Luisa Beccaria Floral Print Dress on The Outnet

So yes, fashion can be very, very, VERY expensive. But it doesn’t have to be.

You just have to be a savvy shopper.

Today I’m going to share with you my top tips for shopping savvy, both online and in store. 
1EbayI just recently discovered the addicting joys of eBay shopping! After a few attempts, I won an auction of 12 new with tags or new without tags Old Navy tops for $30. Through Groupon, I got a $15 eBay gift card for $7 a week or so earlier, so with the shipping included, the final price came to $24, $2 per shirt! There is SO MUCH on there that it can be overwhelming, so here’s a couple excellent how to posts that will get you started. 

    • How to Shop on eBay from Already Pretty. I read this post before I got started, and it helped tremendously. Especially the tip about making sure you don’t bid more than you can pay, especially if you’re bidding on more than one item at a time!
    • How to Bid, Win, and Save on Ebay from Haute Lunch. I read this post after I’d started eBay shopping, and Tara shares some great reasons to use eBay, as well as some new tips that I’ve found to be very helpful. 

2. Ebates. I first heard of ebates through the Frugal Living blog community. When you navigate to stores through the links on the ebates site, you can earn “cash back” on your purchases. If you’re going to buy something online anyway, it makes sense! It’s easy to sign up, and almost every store imaginable is on there, including eBay! I haven’t used it much, and so far I only have 9 cents coming to me. But I’ve heard from a lot of other bloggers who have saved big time using it. In addition to cash back, ebates also lets you know of sales and special coupon offers for around 1,200 stores.

3. Store Websites. I have found that sometimes stores put merchandise on sale that you won’t find in the the store. Also, many times they offer special discounts and web exclusive sales. So if there’s a store I really enjoy going to, I always visit their website.

4. Email Lists. If I really like a store, I sign up for their emails. Yes, it’s one more thing cluttering up my inbox, but some stores offer exclusive email coupons, such as 50% off at Modcloth, or 40% off your entire order at LOFT. And my favorite, free jewelry with any purchase from Charlotte Russe. I love the emails from Francesca’s Collections, not only because they always have big coupon discounts, but because they’re so pretty! They’re almost like scrapbook pages.

5. Amazon. Did you know there’s actually a lot of clothing for sale on I didn’t until I started reading fashion blogs, and over and over, people mentioned getting items on Amazon. The bonus of shopping here over eBay is that you don’t have to bid (even though on eBay you sometimes have a “Buy it Now” option too). Since there’s a lot to sort through, make your search as specific as you can. I’ve used Amazon to find a particular color of tank that I just can’t find in stores. Plus, if you use Swagbucks, you can earn $5 Amazon gift cards just by searching with the swagbuck search bar. 

In Store
1. Goodwill. Ok, so you all know that I’m a big fan of Goodwill. Sometimes I approach Goodwill as a hunter: I look for specific things, such as a ladle or spice rack. But other times I go as a gatherer: I browse the housewares looking for unique objects, I browse accessories and shoes, and I dig through jewelry looking for vintage finds. Now I always look through the dresses, and sometimes other clothing items catch my eye. I do not walk each row and sort through all the tops and bottoms. That’s just overwhelming to me. I only venture in there if I’m hunting for a specific top or bottom. Many Goodwills have weekly sales on a certain color of tag or a certain week number, and sometimes everything in the store is 50% off on Saturdays. Keep an open mind when you go, and you’ll be amazed at what you find. 

2. Consignment stores. Sometimes these are similar to Goodwills, but usually they sell nicer items, and sometimes they sell brand names only. To find shops in your area, look through your phone book, or try One of the benefits to shopping at consignment stores is that you can also sell your clothes there. That way you can make a little shopping money.

Here’s a great post on shopping at thrift stores: 
Rebecca Van Ommen/Lifesize/Getty Images
3. Estate sales/Garage Sales. Here in Arizona it seems that garage sales run year round, except when it’s really hot in the summer. I have yet to go to a garage or estate sale when I actually have money to spend, but I hope to soon. I’ve heard so many stories from other bloggers about the amazing vintage finds they get at estate sales. Garage sales often run cheaper than Goodwill, and many times they are a great place to buy children’s clothes or maternity clothes. 

4. End of season sales. When the first daffodils are finally blooming, who really feels like shopping for sweaters? Not me. But, that’s when I find the lowest prices!  Each season, stores come out with their new lines, and the old ones go on sale. The longer you wait, the lower the price. I watch the store emails I get, since they always announce their new seasons, and then I know it’s time. Sometimes I might not get to wear it until next year, but then it’s always a nice surprise to get it out and wear it for the first time. I’ve bought a few Anthropologie sweaters this way; I’ve paid $20 for sweaters that would otherwise cost upwards of $80. While it can be hard to feel in the mood for buying off season clothes, get in the mindset of gathering, not hunting, and I think you’ll be very pleased with the prices you’ll find. 

I know this is just scratching the surface of being a thrifty shopper, so feel free to share your best tips in the comments, or even share links to posts on the subject. How do you save money on your shopping? What’s the best bargain you’ve bought recently?

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Dresses from Shabby Apple

How to Choose Colors that Flatter Your Skin Tone {Giveaway}

I hope you all had a lovely Easter!  Brian and I enjoyed the Easter breakfast, choir cantata, and drama at our church yesterday. Brian was in the drama, and it was definitely out of his comfort zone, but he did a great job! I was so proud! 
Alright, now we are week two of our fashion series. This week we will focus on shopping, and there’s a new giveaway and a new homework assignment, but wait ’til the end of the post for that. 

PhotobucketBut first, I feel like our discussion of style personality and body shape isn’t complete without talking about colors that look good with our skin tone. This has always been tricky for me. I have a hard time knowing if something is washing me out or if it isn’t “my” color. So I learned a lot from researching for this post!
To determine which colors flatter you, the first step is to find which “season” you are. Skin tones are divided into four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. 



  • You have pink or blue undertones.
  • Your complexion could be pale white, yellowish-olive, or dark. 
  • You have dark eyes.
  • You have dark hair. 

Good colors:

  • bright, striking, and pure colors
  • White, red, bright blue, bright pink, and bright yellow are good choices
  • Jewel tones, such as dark red, emerald, and teal are also flattering.
  • Avoid subdued oranges and pale neutrals, such as beiges. 
  • Your skin has golden undertones.
  • Your complexion is creamy white or peach.
  • Generally, you have blonde, strawberry blonde, or red hair. 
  • You have freckles and rosy cheeks. 
  • You have blue or green eyes. 
Good colors:
  • Warm colors like peach, coral, golden yellow and golden brown.
  • Light colors, such as pastels, are flattering.
  • Blues and greens, especially aqua and teal, bring out the red highlights in your hair and accentuate your eyes.
  • Watch out for dusty hues, such as rose or dusty blue. These can wash you out. 
  • Like winters, you have blue or pink undertones.
  • Your skin is pale and pink.
  • You have naturally blonde hair, or naturally brown hair. 
  • You have light colored eyes. 
Good colors:
  • Pastels and  neutrals with warm, pinkish undertones.
  • Lavender, plum, browns, and rose.
  • Avoid orange and colors that are too golden. 
  • You can wear bright colors as well, such as hot pinks, bright blue, and green.
  • You have light brown, dark blonde, or red hair.
  • Your skin has golden undertones.
  • Unlike springs, you have brown or hazel eyes. 
Good colors:
  • Choose colors with gold undertones.
  • Camel, beige, gold, orange, and dark brown flatter your skin, hair, and eyes. 
  • Avoid dark colors with blue undertones, such as navy.
  • Jewel tones such as plum and teal are flattering.

Universally flattering color:
  • Eggplant.

Amethyst from

More Info

The rest of this week, we will be talking about shopping. On facebook, several of you responded to my poll about fashion hang ups, and by far, the biggest hang up was the expense. So this week, your homework is to shop your closet! 

You will need:
  • A timer
  • A clean, large, flat surface, such as your bed or floor.
  • A digital camera
Here’s how it works:
  1. Set a timer for 30 minutes. 
  2. Dump your drawers and closet onto your bed so that you can see everything you have. I know it makes a mess, but it is the best way to really see what’s there! (Don’t include your shoes or accessories at this point)
  3. In the time left, see how many combinations you can come up with. You can do tried and true combinations you wear all the time, but try stretching yourself to come up with new outfits.
  4. Snap a quick picture of each one! 
  5. After the timer runs out, look through your pictures. Pick your favorite NEW outfit, and add accessories and shoes.
  6. Take a picture of yourself wearing it, or if you’d rather not post a picture of yourself, just take a picture of the outfit. Then post it to the Scribbles From Emily Facebook wall so we can all be inspired by you! Let us know how many combinations total you came up with.
Once the picture is downloaded to your computer, go to Scribbles wall and choose “Photo” and upload. 
There are several benefits to this exercise. You get to see all that you have all together, and you will come up with new ways to wear what you already have. This helps prevent you from buying things you already have. You also might find items deep in your closet that you’ve forgotten about. 
Taking a picture of each outfit helps solidify the outfits in your mind, and gives you a visual reminder. I’ve read about women who put the pictures of their outfits into a photo album and keep it by their bed. In the morning, they flip through it and pick out what they want to wear that day. If you have trouble finding something to wear, maybe you should give that a try! 
This Week’s Giveaway
For this week’s giveaway, I actually shopped my bathroom cabinets. For some reason, people love giving me body spray. I’m just not a body spray person I guess, because I’ve never ever used it! I’m also not a hair product person, I keep my hair routine simple and use as little product as possible. So, this week I’m giving away: 

All this!

Rusk Priming Creme
Jergens sample of Cherry Almond lotion
Japanese Cherry Blossom body splash from Bath and Body Works
Japanese Cherry Blossom cooling mist from Bath and Body Works
Sun Ripened Raspberry body splash from Bath and Body Works
Two Ojon Hair Revitalizing Mists (weightless leave-in hair conditioner)
Sea Island Cotton body splash from Bath and Body Works
Love Spell body spray from Victoria Secret
Rusk W8less Plus (extra strong hold hairspray)

And, this Ralph Lauren bag.

Because no body needs that much body spray, I’m going to pick THREE winners this week. 

Here’s how to enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post answering the question, “What colors look best on you?”
For extra entries:

  • Leave a comment letting me know which three giveaway items you would most like to receive. {1 entry}
  • Do this week’s homework. {10 entries}

Out of 37 entries, Last week’s winner of the headband from Handmade and Lovely was:

Kasha Sue!

Bracey will have your headband in the mail shortly! Congratulations!

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free shipping on all orders of $50 or more at phil

Chit Chat

Today I just want to sit here and chat with you. How’s your week been? I want to hear about it. Can I tell you about mine? It was one of those weeks.

One of those weeks when I have more good ideas than I have time, and I’m in an almost constant state of distraction. I have notebooks and sticky notes everywhere to write them down before I forget them!

Yep, school’s been tough. I’ve been up ’til midnight several times this week. Tuesday night I was up until then, and then got up at 6 a.m., worked on ONE CLASS all day. All. Day. This particular class is killing me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great class, but two units a week – Mon. Tues. Wed. for unit 1 and Thurs. Friday and Sat. for unit 2 – is just too much!

I’ve been working hard on this fashion series, and that’s been fun! I’ve been up late at night and early in the morning just planning and working out details, like what the weekly challenges will be, how to organize the posts, and when to have the giveaways. I’ve got one giveaway and one guest post in the line up so far, and I’m working on finding more giveaways. I think you’re really going to love the prizes! I’ve come up with a name for the series: Fashion 101. Fashion for Dummies was taken already, haha!

I’m learning about designing logos and color theory in school. It’s really fascinating! I’m also creating a website for a final project, which is kinda not going well, because I honestly don’t think I learned much in the class. Not a good feeling, when you have to teach yourself how to do things on the final.

I’m figuring out how to bid on ebay. I could write a whole post about it, and I might! I finally won an auction. I scored 12 shirts for $30, and with a $15 off gift code I had, I got it all for $24-with shipping! I can’t WAIT until they get here!

Also, Wednesday when I was having a really rough day, my crossbody bag from PB and J Boutique arrived! LOVE! Definitely cheered me up!

So yes, this week has been a fight for joy. I’ve been faced with the choice between joy and frustration, stress, and anger more than once, and I definitely didn’t always choose well. When I did make time to take a deep breath, I noticed all the little ways God was showing me He loves me. A few examples from my journal:

  • A hummingbird in flight
  • Rain!
  • My plants are growing and still alive
  • A letter from a friend
  • Making new friends
  • A breathtaking sunrise
  • Brian’s work is going well
  • Brian buying me black cherry sherbet
Brian has been a huge help! He’s done some laundry, dishes, and made dinner at least twice in the last week. I don’t know what I’d do without him! 
Here’s us at an ASU baseball game last weekend:
Now that I’ve been to a game, and bought an ASU tee shirt at said game, I feel much more like an actual ASU student! 
Speaking of that game, it was the most fun at a baseball game I’ve ever had, and I love baseball games! The fans were great! In front of us sat an older couple with season tickets and a younger guy they’d given free tickets to, with his teenage daughter. The older lady was fascinating. At one point the dance team was selling calendars to raise money for a trip, and several of the girls came over and gave this lady big hugs. Apparently, they work out at the same place, and this lady is kinda a grandmother to them. She explained to the guy and his daughter that she’d decided to start running two years ago, and was doing half marathons. She’s probably in her late 60’s to 70’s. 
That inspires me. If she can start running and in two years be doing half marathons at her age, I think I can learn to run for at least one mile! 
My running has gone well this week: I’ve gone twice. Last week I was in so much pain after the first run (which was like a slow jog for a block) I couldn’t run anymore, but this week I’ve done a lot better. I know I’m getting stronger already, and it’s really encouraging to see such fast improvement! 
So enough about my week. What’s going on in your life? How was your week?

What We Need To Hear

 After peeling off another too-small shirt I’d squeezed myself partly into, a familiar wave of thoughts crossed my mind: You’re fat. And ugly. Nerdy with a side of Geek. 

When I was shopping with my mom and sister last weekend, it seemed that store after store had run out of normal people sizes. I could find fours, twos, and zeros aplenty. And a size I hadn’t seen before: double zeros. Extra-extra small. Who could ever wear that size?! Well, my sister could. That’s who. 
I felt too embarrassed to leave the dressing room. I compared myself and found myself lacking. If only I had smaller upper arms. If only I had smaller boobs. Then….

Then what? I’d be beautiful? Loved? Accepted?
I know better than that. But sometimes I forget. 
As I sat on the bed that evening, looking through the pictures from the week, another wave of self-depreciating thoughts washed over me. I decided to be brutally honest. 
“Babe,” I snuggled up to Brian. “I’ve felt really, really, ugly and unattractive all day. I just need to know that you still love me and you think I’m beautiful.” 
Brian is good at making me feel loved. His reassurances helped. Then the next day, I read a post from Without Adornment, “Self, You are Beautiful,” and I realized, “I’m not alone.” Her post led me to Jill’s I Am Beautiful Project. I love how God brings you just what you need at just the right time! 
“Contrary to what the world claims, Beauty does not diminish with time; Beauty deepens and increases…true beauty comes from a depth of soul that can only be attained through living many years well.” –Stasi Eldrege from Captivating

“The Lord delights in those who fear Him, 
Who put their hope in His unfailing love.” 
-Psalm 147:11
I need to be reminded. Often. 
And so do you.

Since I have no finished craft projects to show you as the result of my spring break, I wanted to show you the results of the shopping that my mom, sister, and I did instead. It wasn’t easy to take any of the pictures in this post. For one, because I don’t have a tripod or someone to take the picture for me, and two, I couldn’t get very good lighting on most of them. But aside from the mechanics, I had a hard time not being critical of how I looked. I had to be reminded of God’s opinion of me. I had to silence those if only and not enough voices.


Note: The items I bought are in bold, the rest are things I already had.

Outfit #1.

Brown sweater from Anthropologie
Black tee from Vanity
Teal scarf from Walmart
Skinny stretch jeans from Target
You can see what I mean about having troubles with the lighting. But I wanted to include that picture because it shows the scarf better than any of the others. 
It’s a very long, soft, and comfy sweater. Perfect for cozy, rainy days, like the one we had last Monday.
My mom actually bought this for me. It was on sale for $20!
Outfit #2
Gray shirt from Loft
Navy blue tank from Old Navy
Jeans same as above
Shoes from Payless Shoes Store

 I love this shirt. It’s very light and flowing, and gray is one of my favorite colors. It too was on sale, and I think it was worth the $30 I spent on it. It will also look good with pink, and I wore it earlier this week with a bright yellow tank. So there’s a few outfits with it I can make, just by switching the tank.

Outfit #3

Pink and Gray top from Francesca’s Collections
Gray tank from Old Navy
Rose bracelet from Claires
Same jeans and shoes

Pink has really grown on me lately! Especially pink with gray. This shirt is so soft and silky, and it has a nice swing to it. I’m having trouble coming up with other outfits, unfortunately. I bought this before reading about coming up with three outfits you can wear with it before buying it. 
Outfit #4

Pink flyaway sweater from Francesca’s Collections
Gray shirt from Loft
And the same jeans again

 This sweater was on sale for $11! It’s become one of my all-time favorite things to wear. It’s kinda interesting, because it is super long in the front!

See what I mean? But in the back it’s a normal length. So I often tie the front, and that keeps it from getting caught on things. 
Outfit #5

Retro dress from Goodwill
Belt, I don’t remember
Along with all the fancy shops we went to, I took mom and Evi to my Goodwill, and I found this dress. No else seemed to think it was as awesome as I did. I mean, look at the color! It’s gorgeous! And it pretty much fits me! Compared to my other project dress, this one’s not bad. 

You all had great suggestions for my other dress. Once I get my sewing machine figured out, I will let you know how it goes. What do you suggest for this dress? I’m thinking making it shorter. I do love the sleeves, but I might have to make them shorter.
Over and over, I have to tell God the same thing I said to Brian, “I just need to know that you still love me and you think I’m beautiful.” 

What about you? What helps you silence those voices?
Special announcement: I’m in the final stages of tweaking my new blog design! I hope to have it up and running within the next few days, so maybe next time you’re here, things will look a little different! 
Also, because of the wonderful comments and questions I’ve received after Wednesday’s post, I’ve got a few more fashion posts in the works for us fashionably challenged people. Let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like answered, and I’ll work them in!
Smart and Trendy Moms

8 Fashion Tips I Learned This Week

Maybe it’s because spring is in the air. Maybe it’s because we got our tax refund back, or because I cleaned out my closet. It could be because my mom suggested I make an appointment with a style and wardrobe consultant. 

Whatever the reason, I’ve been drawn to blog posts, articles, and live chats about fashion this week, and I’ve learned A LOT. It all started with an email from The Frugal Living Community on Blog Frog, announcing their Twitter party and a live chat. For those of you who are not social media moguls, Twitter parties are when we all tweet back and forth discussing questions from the host of the party, and every tweet contains a hashtag (#) with the subject of the party. A live chat on Blog Frog works just like MSN instant messenger. Both are fun, and they give out fabulous prizes. In fact, I won the grand prize of this crossover bag!

PB and J Boutique, $49.99

I think they picked me because I said this bag is a great improvement on the fanny pack. Or because I mentioned I only own two purses, one for spring and summer, and one for fall and winter.

At both of these virtual parties, we discussed current trends, how we were incorporating them (or not), and shared tips and ideas on how we made fashion frugal.

Now, I’m not the most up to speed fashionwise. Some of these may be old news to you, but I have a feeling I’m not the only fashionably challenged out there! So without further ado, here’s what I learned last week:

1. Flared Jeans Are Back (but skinnies are still in)

Some of you may be cheering, but when I found this out, I was crestfallen. I just embraced the skinny jean trend. Here in AZ, and from what I’ve seen of California, everyone wears skinny jeans, regardless of size or shape. So I finally decided to try on a pair, and loved them! And now I find out I’m just a little behind. The experts and designers agree, 70’s flared high waisted jeans are already on the market. The good news is that flares flatter everyone, and skinny jeans aren’t going anywhere…yet.

2. The 70’s Have Returned (in a 2011 sort of way)
I had an inkling that this was happening, and now it’s been confirmed. Good news for you if you liked them the first time around, and still have some wide legged pants and floppy hats hanging around.


3. You Can Mix Brown and Black
And brown and grey, as it turns out. Check out this post from Already Pretty on how to mix neutrals.

4. Pink is Hot
Honeysuckle pink, actually. It’s been named “Color of the Year” by Pantone, replacing the turquoise of last year. It’s a bright pink, “Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day with nothing “everyday” about it,” they say. 


5. Wedges and Chunky Jewelry Are In
Unfortunate for me, because I don’t really like either. I have a strong aversion to heels, although I’ve been told wedges are much easier to walk in.

Forever 21. I actually don’t mind this pair so much!

I don’t know if a ring like this is very practical for me, but it is pretty.

Forever 21 $4.80

6. Always Buy What Fits Now, Not What You Hope Will Fit Later
I’m all for being optimistic, but when shopping, that’s dangerous. If you don’t want to be potentially wasting your time and money, buy what fits you now. After all, if you do loose those extra pounds, many times you can get it taken in.

7. Envision Three Outfits With it Before Buying It
This little tip will revolutionalize the way I shop, helping me make the most of my purchases and stay away from impulsive and repeat buys. I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy items I like, and get home to discover I don’t have anything to wear with it. Then I have to buy more so that I can wear the first item. If I stopped to assess what I already have, I can build off of it instead of around a new piece. I learned this from an article on Already Pretty about Shopping Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them. There’s several more good tips in that article too.


8. We All Learn By Imitating 
I learned this from one of my textbooks actually. Aristotle says:

“Imitation is natural to man from childhood…he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation. And it is also natural for all to delight in works of imitation.”


 When you think about it, we learn to speak by imitating what we hear, we learned to write by tracing letters. Fashion, at it’s core, is imitation. That’s why the same styles are cycled and re-cycled over and over.

Fashion sense isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something learned – through imitation.

This brings hope and a challenge. Hope in that I, and you too,  can dress in an attractive and confident manner even if it’s not natural to us. Challenge, because we have to choose who to imitate.

As believers, we need to take every thought captive, so that we don’t fall prey to the world’s lies that we have to look a certain way, or we’ll be unloved. We must remember that the world values outward appearances only, but God looks on the heart, where true beauty lies.

What’s your philosophy on fashion? What have you learned about fashion lately? Do you have any tips to share with us?

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Determine Your Decorating Style

Ever wonder how to define your decorating style? I have! I have such an eclectic mix of French country, shabby chic, traditional, and modern, that I don’t have any idea what to call it! So when I saw this quiz on How About Orange, I jumped at the chance to find out my style. This is what I got: 

“Park Avenue Cocktail”
A quite life… more simple, with your priorites in place. Your kitchen is your prize. Decorative, finished… elegant. In an exotic dream you sleep – sheer curtains, silk, and satin. Like the painter’s brush, your composition is done in living color. A lady like table suitable to a royal wedding. Afternoon caffeine breaks to change your point of view. Pre-war, upper east side attitude. Bookcases, reading nooks and private studies provide a learned atmosphere at home.
Suspected Park Avenue Cocktail
– Marlene Dietrich
– Audrey Hepburn
– Frank Sinatra

I’m so flattered that I share the same tastes as Audry Hepburn and Frank Sinatra! How awesome is that?

I’m shocked at how accurate this assessment is, when all I did was pick a few pictures. Simplicity, check. Elegant, check. Silk/satin in the bedroom, check. Painter’s brush, check. Feminine, check. Coffee, double check. And bookcases, reading nooks, private studies, check check and check.

Works for me!

There are over 20 different styles, so I know you’ll want to take the Style Maker Visual Quiz to find out your style too! I’m curious, so after you do, come back and tell me what you got, Ok?!

P.S: The winning comment of the DaySpring Giveaway is….#1, Honormommy! Congratulations!!!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

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