Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Friday, February 28, 2014

Shop with a friend!

Ask her for the truth. And don't offended when she gives it to you. There is a lot of value in a friend who can tell you that your butt really looks too big in that pair of pants or that a color is unflattering with your skintone.

(I had to remind myself of this concept when my husband gently told me the other day that my shirt was not long enough for my leggings. He knows I would want to know, and I do!!!… so, it was only for split-second, that I thought about being offended. :-)

This is my buddy, Heather. 

I only thought I was a thrifty shopper until I met her a few of years ago. This wonderful girl, introduced me to the fabulous world of Goodwill stores. I was always way too overwhelmed to walk into one, to actually find anything. It's partially my lack of patience and attention span, so it's a whole lot more fun to be distracted by good old-fashioned girl talk while we browse. :)

The other day, she went into our local Goodwill, and one of the guys who works there asked her where her sister was… Clearly, we are there too often.

Heather is awesome. Well, she's awesome anyway, but shopping with her is really awesome! She knows what I love. She spots flowy blouses she knows I'll love and steers clear of anything I would have to iron, because she knows how much I hate it.

She also happens to be a spectacular friend. You should be jealous. :-)

Some tips I've learned from this girl.  Take the time to try things on!  I hate to try things on, but she pretty much makes me do it every time we shop together.  I usually end up being glad I did.  Also... you can never have too many gray staples.  :)  Gray is great to mix and match with colorful accessories.

The key to secondhand shopping, is to go often.  Their merchandise changes constantly. There was a day I could not have done that. The reason that most of my clothes came from Target when my sons were still home through the day, was because I was all about one stop shopping when they were little. If I could pick up a cute pair of jeans the same time I needed to pick up peanut butter and laundry detergent, that's exactly what I did. But that stage of my life is over, so I can do things a little differently since all of my kiddos are in school now.... Not that I'm not still always at Target... and not that it stops me from browsing the clearance racks when I'm actually there to pick up toilet paper! :)

PS. It also helps a ton to have a very understanding husband who doesn't really mind when I ditch my housework to spend the day shopping with my friend. :-)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Evening out with my sibs

This was my little ensemble for an evening out with my brothers and sisters.  Told ya there would be lots of jeans!  :)

I'm tall-ish... but probably not QUITE tall enough for "long/tall" length jeans.  Don't care.  That's how I  buy them anyway.  "Average" length are barely long enough, so if I want to wear ANY type of heel on my shoe, the jeans will be too short.  In an inseam size, I usually buy a 34 inch.  In case you were curious.  :)

Jacket:  Abercrombie, second hand
Tshirt:  Kohl's clearance
Jeans:  Gordman's clearance
Ankle boots:  Target

Necklace:  Walmart
Silver "L" necklace:  Hut No. 8

By the way, these were our dessert choices that evening... And I wonder why I gained back twenty pounds?  Sheesh!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Keeping it real!

THIS is morning/carpool Laura:

Pretty typical.  Sweats.  Coffee cup in hand.  I usually cover my scary hair with a hat and my sleepy eyes with sunglasses.

This is the beauty my husband awakes to every morning.  True love, right there!!!  :)

This is ALSO why I love makeup.  :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I love dresses!

The water bottle in my hand?  Kind of a staple.  :)  I figured I might as well not leave it out.  I take it everywhere.  Water bottle in one hand; iphone in the other.  That's how you'll see me on a regular basis.  :)

I'm usually a little dressier on a Sunday than most days, just because I wanna.  :)

Water bottle:  Target  :)
Coat:  Target (from a few years ago)
Bag:  secondhand
Boots:  Jacobies (secondhand)
Dress:  Target clearance:  $12.58

Sunglasses:  Target
Necklace:  Target

Love the fun, frilly sleeves!

Lipstick:  Ulta

Monday, February 24, 2014


These days are LONG gone.

When they were little, I dressed them alike a LOT.  Some people thought it was hokey, but I found it to be adorable.  :)  Sure, they all still had very different personalities, from the very beginning, in fact.  But they were also young, and did as their mamma asked.  :)

Now, they're not nearly as young.  And I wouldn't want to dress them alike anyway.  My youngest still lets me help him choose, but he has his own preferences.  I love that their personalities show through in their style.  It's so fun to watch them grow.

My oldest is very much a teenager.  :)  He loves tshirts and jeans.  He loves dri-fit shirts that show off his muscles.  :)  Both of my older 2 RARELY wear long sleeves, because they get warm easily, so they often layer tshirts with hoodies or jackets.

This is pretty typical for KS1.  He obliges his mother on Sundays and wears a polo or a button down.  He found that jacket last winter season, I think, and just had to have it.

Polo:  Aeropostale
Jeans:  Aeropostale
Tennis Shoes:  Adidas
Leather Jacket: JC Penney

KS2 loves color and bling.  :)  I guess he takes the most after his mommy.

Tshirt:  secondhand
Hoodie:  Target, Shawn White
Jeans:  ??
Tennis Shoes:  Nike
Sunglasses:  Amazon (minecraft)
Necklace:  Kohl's

KS3 is the only one I can often put in long sleeves, and he'll stay in them.  :)  Today, was just a cas-Sunday.  He would LIVE in crocs if he could.  He generally only chooses tennis shoes if he has to because of a PE day at school.  He hates to mess with tying shoes.  Silly boy... has more important things to do!

Hoodie:  handmedown
Tshirt: 2nd hand (Go CARDS! (making Daddy proud!)
Jeans: Target
Crocs: handmedown

I LOVED getting handmedowns when I was a kid... and I LOVE getting them now.  My boys don't get a lot of them, because they're the oldest in the family, but we get a few for KS3 from his cousin, and occasionally from a friend of ours.  He's always excited to get something "new to him."  And we also love passing ours down.  I get so excited to see my little nephews wearing something that belonged to my boys at one time.  My family passes clothes around all of the time.  It's just what we do.  :)

In fact:

My lovely SIL sent me this pic just today of my youngest nephew.  I found him this jacket at a secondhand store, and just HAD to snag it for him.  That's why she sent the pic.  But I realized he's wearing a pair of pants that were passed down to my boys from their older cousin, and we passed them to my nephew who is now 7, who has passed them down to this little guy here!  Those pants are now on their 5th family member.  :)

Little ones grow so fast, they hardly have time to wear clothes out.  If the item isn't out of style, why not take advantage of your opportunities, right?  :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

And it begins...

I got two "yays" on my fashion blogging idea. I'm under no delusion that I have a bunch of followers, and am perfectly accepting that my blogging has always been more for myself than anyone else anyway. :) SOoooo, two "go for it"s are good enough for me! :)

Random Thoughts:

If you are into labels or high end stores, you won't enjoy much from me. I have yet to break my mom's lessons in the idea that you can get any look you want or enjoy for inexpensive prices.  I'd much rather have a closet full of various inexpensive items that I can have fun with, mix and match... than way fewer high-end items.  That's just my own way of doing things, and we all have our preferences.

In addition, my idea is more about sharing my ways of mixing and matching.  I'll be sure to list things that I'm certain where I got them, but I may not remember if it has been in my closet for awhile.  :)

My style is generally casual.  Again, I'm a SAHM who is often out running errands, taking kids back and forth, or hanging out with a friend for the day.  I don't really have a need to "dress up" too often, so most of what you see will probably be pretty functional.  I wear jeans A LOT.

Personal Tips:

I thought I'd share a few things I've learned along the way, for what it's worth.

1. Be comfortable.  
On occasion, I've had someone ask me, "Wow, you're dressed up today!" Trust me, I don't care how cute or fun the outfit, I guarantee I'm comfortable.  I have to be functional.  I may not be pulling kiddos in and out of carseats anymore, but it's just not worth a busy mom's time to be uncomfortable as she goes about her day.

2. Know your body type; Know your size.  
Clothes that don't fit, DON'T look good.  Trust me, we all have our "trouble spots."  A couple years ago, I worked really hard to lose about 35 pounds, and I felt GREAT!  Unfortunately, I've let myself gain about 20 of it back.  :(  I guarantee you that if I was still trying to squeeze myself into the clothes I could wear then, I would look pretty ridiculous.  Don't get hung up on a number.  If you wear a size 2, great!  But if you don't, that does NOT mean you can't still look gorgeous in a size 14.  Figure out what is more flattering on your shape.  Do some research online if you can't tell on your own.

3. Wear a good bra!  
Ladies, support the girls!  Now, I'm speaking from a perspective of a 37 year old momma of 3...  And I've never been an "overly endowed" girl.  Doesn't matter.  A good bra, with a little bit of padding and lift can ONLY help, NO MATTER your size.  
Note:  it can still be cute, even though it's doing the job it was meant to do!

I'm a fan of Victoria's Secret line.  I don't like a lot frill or lace, because I don't want to see it through a smooth tshirt.  

Victoria's Secret Bra

My sisters, who were more abundantly blessed than myself, get theirs from Lane Bryant.
Lane Bryant Bra

4. Accessorize!
I have a friend who does NOT leave the house without a cute necklace, big earrings, and a full face of makeup... even if she's just wearing a pair of workout pants and a sweatshirt.  She manages to make ANY outfit look dressed up.  I've never achieved that look myself, but she totally works it.  :)  Don't be afraid to play with hats, scarves, or even a fun pair of sunglasses.

5.  Leggings are never pants.

Just to keep it real... I sit here, typing, on a Sunday evening, in my old Walmart sweatpants and a tshirt that doesn't match... just hangin' out at home with my family.  In case you wondered.  :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I need a creative outlet.  It's crucial to my sanity.  I'm a SAHM, who LOVES her kiddos, however desperately hates housechores and loves to escape them once in awhile to do something fun.  Not everyone would consider my little fads fun.  I also have a serious ADHD problem, so I tend to skip around all over the place... in my thoughts, in my "to do" list, and especially in my hobbies.

This blog has served my outlets in many ways.  It started out as a "365 photo project."  I also used it to post my photography session proofs.  I've posted about my craft phases: jewelry making, scarves, headbands, etc.

It all comes and goes, along with my moods.  :)  My photography has taken a break, just because of the time commitment, and how much of my weekends were taken away from my boys.  The "projects" all have their time and place... but there is one "trend" that hasn't really gone away since I was a child...

I love fashion.  Clothes.  Hair.  Makeup.

Yes, I know.  It sounds so shallow.  And, yes, I've been accused as such.  But I'll be honest with you... I don't really care.  I believe there's a whole lot more to how one looks, than just how they look.  You can usually tell a bit about a person's personality by their style.  Simple.  Classic.  Fun.  Shy.  Daring.  High maintenance.  :)  (Yeah, I've been accused of that last one, too.  Oh well.)  It's a universal language for most women.  How often have you heard it said, that women dress more for other women than they do for men?  I'm not totally sure how true it is, but it makes me smile, anyway.  :)  And what's so wrong with caring about our appearance?  Now, before someone thinks the thought... No, I don't think our outer appearance is more important than our inner beauty.  Not at all.  But I also don't think there's anything wrong with doing our best with what God gave us on the outside as well.  (I give credit to my sweet grandma for that lesson.)

So, here's my thought... Might anyone be interested in reading about my discoveries?  I'm all about a good deal!  I love to find sales, clearances, second hand.  My mom taught my sisters and me how to shop on a budget, and the habit has stuck!  :)  I also have a couple of friends I think would have fun joining me on helping with posts as well.  You know who you are!  I could share some "guy finds," since I have my hubby and 3 boys I always shop for, too.  Always makes me laugh when folks assume I have no one to dress up since I have boys.  I have a GREAT time shopping for them.  They each have very different personalities and those are reflected in what they like to wear.

This girl was my inspiration for the idea:

What I Wore

I can't imagine that I'll get quite as professional as she makes it all.  But I think we could have some fun!  Let me know your thoughts!  :)
My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.