Confessions of a Shoe Addict

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a shoe addict.  It has taken me a long time to admit it.  I thought everyone had a walk-in closet filled with shoes, plus the auxiliary 6 foot tall free standing shoe cabinet (apparently some people use that for their entire wardrobe).2015-11-02 13.45.46

This ridiculous notion of “too many shoes” was raised to me several times, and most notably 2 years ago when we sold a way too big house, and downsized to a smaller home located 10 miles away.  We reduced our yard and a couple rooms in the house, but my walk-in closet stayed the same size.  Without losing an inch of space for shoes (or clothes, purses, jewelry, and other accessories), I evaluated my shoe collection and decided on the 30 pairs that I no longer needed or wanted.  I did not count how many pairs I had at the time, but out of curiosity I did count the shoes to say good-bye to.

My elimination criteria was simple:

  1. Any shoes worn or beat-up?
  2. Any shoes pinch my toes, too tight, or uncomfortable?
  3. Any shoes stretched out and too big?

Was my criteria too strict or unreasonable?  30 pairs of shoes seemed like a huge sacrifice, until I looked at all the remaining pairs.  I still had a fabulous shoe collection!  What more could I possibly need? More shoes, of course.

Newest 4 pairs of shoes

Newest 4 pairs of shoes

Thanks to my meticulous accounting habits, I know that I purchased 3 pairs 12 months ago, 2 pairs 9 months ago, and the final 2 pair 7 months ago (aren’t the last 4 pairs super cute?!?).  I have even worn most of them at least once.  My crazy OCD includes storing the purchase receipt in the shoe box of every pair of shoes so I know exactly where purchased, cost, and when.  I budget for shoes & clothing, none of these purchases put me in debt.

Velvet heelsWe are preparing for another move, and it is time to once again evaluate and reduce my shoe collection.  This time it is different, same size closet, but located 3,000 miles away!  Shipping options are slow boat (cargo ship) or carry on the plane with us.  Now I have a problem. Continue reading

Practical Side of Fitness Fashion

2015-12-29 15.46.16Looking good may be your motivation to start a workout, but comfort during your workout will ensure that you will want to do it again.

I am fairly brand loyal when it comes to clothes and shoes, except for fitness fashion.  When it comes to exercise clothes it is all about fit and fabrics!  I do not care what celebrity is endorsing the brand, or even what brand it is.

Since there is specialized equipment for many sports (golf cleats, soccer shin guards, etc), I am going to focus this discussion on gym athletic wear.   There is plenty of crossover into other sports, so this is a good foundation to build a practical workout wardrobe. Continue reading

DIY Halloween Costume

It is Halloween time!  I received an invitation to a themed Halloween party this year, so my already planned costume will be worn another night.  Now I need a costume that is theme appropriate.

    • $10 Lilac Ballgown after gentle, cold wash

      $10 Lilac Ballgown after gentle wash

      Check out the closet – I immediately did an inventory of what I currently own.  This included makeup, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.  I thought I could reuse an old dress, and if the party was tonight, I would have made it work.  But I had time to find something better.

    • Shop the Charity/Thrift stores (Goodwill, Savers, and other charity shops) for inspiration and outfits.  Most dresses and donated items for costumes are $10 or less.  I dropped off 3 bags of clothes from my recent closet purge and received a 20% off coupon for Savers, but ultimately paid $10 at Goodwill, while my friend scored her dress for only $8!  For an extra $2, I found a perfect matching purse for my costume.
      Perfect for Wendy from Peter Pan

      Perfect for Wendy from Peter Pan

      • I found this amazing blue ruffled dress for $10 that is the perfect Wendy costume from Peter Pan.  Just add a teddy bear, or get a group together.
      • There were several big yellow ball gowns for Beauty and the Beast Belle costume.  Get creative and make it steampunk, zombie, vampire, Gothic, or whatever you can imagine for a unique look.
      • There were a ton of black dresses in every shape and size.  The right outfit will be waiting to inspire you!

        Charity shops are HALLOWEEN GOLD!

    • Add some embellishments.  I bought matching ribbon for $3 to make my dress more gaudy and outrageous.  Easily distress your outfit with hanging ribbons, sheer fabric, torn lace, and ripped hems.
    • Finish the outfit with wigs, wings, tiaras, shoes, makeup, and other accessories for the over-the-top unique look.

Cleaning Tips:  My $10 treasure had a slight musty smell from the charity shop.  I checked the label for materials (100% polyester, dry clean only) and decided on a gentle, cold wash, and light “refresh” from my dryer.

Double check materials to determine exactly how to clean the garment.  Just be extra careful not to shrink the item.  Gentle, cold wash will work for almost any Halloween costume.

Can I Wash This link

5 Tips to Avoid Back Bulge

The perfect bra (for you) should support the breasts, provide smooth coverage over the breast cup, and be tight enough to stay on your body.

Back bulge is skin that spills out on the back, often around the bra line due to restrictive garments.

Example of good fitting bra, no back bulge

Example of good fitting bra, no back bulge

Many girls and women with back bulge are not actually “fat”, the back bulge is created by merely wearing the wrong garment.  Others may actually have an extra layer of body insulation and can reduce the appearance of back bulge with these same 5 simple tips.

  1. Back bulge paired by double boob (the bra cup cuts into the breast and creates the appearance of boob on boob for each side) means the bra cup is too small.  Go get fitted properly for the correct, larger cup size.
  2. Back bulge, on a bra with the correct cup size, can often be reduced or eliminated by adjusting the bra band.  Try adding a bra extender on the bra band.  The bra band should fit comfortably while still providing breast support.
  3. The bra may technically be the correct size (cup and ribcage measurement) but still emphasizing back bulge, try wearing a bra with wider band.  Larger breasts and ribcages are better supported with a wider bra band around the body.  All of my bras are 3 hook wide bands for great support and to reduce any appearance of back bulge.
  4. Try a bra with more coverage.  The bra itself may be the correct size, but skimps on coverage underarms and around the back.  Compare the underarm coverage on a few bras, try each of them on and determine if more or less coverage reduces back bulge.  Again, the underarm and back should not be too tight to increase back bulge and make matters worse.
  5. As women age, the breast naturally sits a bit lower on the body.  Try adjusting the shoulder straps on the bra.  Bras designed with shoulder straps rely on the extra support from those straps to fit properly.  Back bulge specifically near the underarms is often reduced by adjusting the bra straps to be a smidge longer.  Adjust 1/2 inch longer and try the bra on again.  Keep adjusting until it feels supportive without digging into your shoulder or underarms.

5-tips-to-avoid-back-bulgeBonus Tip:  Even washing bras by hand or the delicate cycle (in a mesh bag and always air dry, NEVER use the dryer for bras), the bra straps can slip and both the bra band and shoulder straps can stretch.  If the bra seems too big, try adjusting the straps and band shorter.

Drop The Towel

The Huffington Post is running a campaign for bikini beach bodies, providing encouragement for women to drop the towel and not be ashamed of their bodies.  YAY!

Too many of my friends (and friends of friends) refuse to get in the pool with their children because they would have to wear a swim suit.  For many women, it is not necessary Fat Shamming, but rather a case of self shamming.  Teenagers are not comfortable in their own skin, and adults are conditioned to think only model perfect size 2 bodies should be showing off that much skin.

The easiest way to Drop the Towel is to find a great fitting, supportive swim suit.

Tommy Bahama Swim Fit Guide for Tops

Tommy Bahama Swim Fit Guide for Tops

Tommy Bahama has this fantastic swim fit guide with plenty of suggestions.  Not ready to pay full price?  The Tommy Bahama outlet store at Wild Horse Pass premium outlet mall has excellent prices and darn good selection.

Sport top Shorts

Venus Sport top and shorts

Try a Sport Top style for full coverage support on top.  Board shorts perfectly complement the sport top for activity and mobility, eliminating the wardrobe malfunction fear!

Title 9 board shorts

Title Nine board shorts

Swim Dress from Soma

Swim Dress from Soma

The swim dress is a nice compromise for full coverage & support to Drop the Towel and get you back in the water.

Here are a few spa resort pools to show off that new swim suit with confidence.