Ask Away...: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Cobalt Pants

One of my greatest fashion accomplishments since I upgraded my entire wardrobe was the addition of my cobalt blue skinny jeans.  I love that they are technically "blue jeans" so I can wear them anywhere.  I wore these to work on a day I had a lot of rearranging of files to do.  It allowed me to move comfortably.

I had a lot of grey and black in my wardrobe before and the benefit of that is that I was able to pair a grey top and black boots together with these skinny jeans for a great look! When I got home from work I went out in the yard to enjoy the sunlight with the pups.  These suede boots were perfect for the yard because unlike heels, they didn't get stuck in the ground.



I used a wide belt to accessorize my look and slapped on a leather wrap bracelet.

So... What I Wore:
Jeans - Celebrity Pink Jeans (similar here)
Top - Body Central 
Belt - Body Central (similar here
Boots - Aerosoles (similar here

If you want this entire look - I made it easy for ya!


Cobalt Blue Look



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Two Kinds of Big Relationship Fights - Which Are You?

Everyone fights...wait, no, every THING fights.  Lions fight over territory, elk fight over mates, and humans fight over, well, a lot of things.  But when it comes to big fights in relationships, I like to break it down into two different categories. They are Productive Fights and Red Flag Fights. 

photo by Robert Scalesvia PhotoRee

Productive Fights
These fights are the ones that when they are finished you feel relief.
Examples of Productive Fights


1. Personality Clashes
Sometimes you just have different personalities and you will have to talk it out and even duke it out to come up with something that works.  Maybe you just need to agree on how each of you will help with household duties, or ensure the bills are paid equally.  That's fine.  Just make sure you talk them out in a positive way so they don't become a red flag fight. Also, keep in mind, there are people out there that are cheating on each other and fighting about it.  If the worst thing you have to deal with when you guys argue is the fact that one of you likes the temperature on the thermostat at 68 and one likes it at 70, you should laugh about it and consider yourself blessed.  That's not a bad disagreement to have and it's easy to solve!

2. Screaming Matches
What? You thought all intensely heated screaming matches were bad?  The reality is, they are very productive as long as you aren't using verbal low blows on each other, or breaking things.  Yes, we all have done it, don't kid yourself.  You look like a crazed lunatic as you flail your arms around and yell in a ridiculously ugly tone of voice but you are passionate about what you are standing for and you want to get your point across. And let's face it, in this day and age we are desensitized to so much that sometimes shouting is the most effective way to get your point across.   As long as these only last a couple minutes and nobody walks away crying, extremely hurt, or with everything unresolved, it's okay.  In healthy shouting matches each person argues loudly that their point of view or their stance on the issue at hand is right, and they want to get their reasons and points across.  It goes back and forth until you end up laughing and realizing how silly it is to get so hyped up over such a small issue, and you finally come to a resolution.  Screaming matches are only okay if they don't happen on a weekly basis.  A screaming match can sometimes be a referred to as a "blow out" when both of you finally snap and finally duke it out to resolve an issue.  Once it's done you feel relieved and you feel like you got it all out to each other.  A more normal timeline for a screaming match would be maybe once every 2 months.  Usually after a lot of bickering over time doesn't resolve that issue and then it results in a screaming match. 

3. Bickering
Bickering is normal and it's also inevitable.  You know why? Because it's 2012, and we are connected with each other whether it's in person or via phone or text AT ALL TIMES.  So it's no wonder we don't get personal time and we end up getting so irritated and stir crazy when we live with our significant other.  Bickering is actually productive because you are standing up for yourself and you are also communicating.  But when bickering lasts longer than a minute (seriously) and someone ends up with hurt feelings it can have a deeper cause.  Sometimes we are moody (you may need to learn to control your mood swings) or sometimes we have something else we are mad about so we keep bickering about something silly to cover it up.  Eventually those bickering fights explode into something more and usually it's resolved with a long conversation.  If not, then your problems may need to be looked at again.



Red Flag Fights
These fights are the ones that happen more than 3 times, involve verbal abuse, or involve moral values that you just can't agree on.  
Examples of Red Flag Fights

1. Moral Values
Your boyfriend thinks it's okay to go to dance with other women when he goes out with his friends.  Some people don't mind, but other people just can't come to terms with that because in their set of morals, dancing and close physical contact is almost cheating.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  Make sure you establish what your limits are for the relationship first of all!  But if this kind of thing keeps happening and you end up fighting about it and it still keeps happening, that's a red flag.  He probably WON'T change because he doesn't believe what he's doing is wrong and he just can't see it the way you do.  Bottom Line: Make sure you and your partner have the same values when it comes to cheating, inappropriate activity, trust, faith, etc. 

2.  Abuse
You get in a very heated argument and things escalate to the point  where you are either physically, mentally, or verbally abusing one another. 

It's totally normal for people to raise their voices when they are in the heat of the moment but when you start making low blows (fat, ugly, etc.) that's verbal abuse.  That type of behavior in a relationship needs to be addressed right away and if it doesn't seem like it's going to go away, it probably won't...so get out now!!!  A lot of people that end up getting divorces because of abuse, were alredy being abused BEFORE they were married but they just hoped it would never happen again. 

Physical abuse is...obviously physical.  Whether it's forced sexual relations, pushing, hitting, throwing things at each other, these are all very BIG red flags.  Physical abuse is no joke and if it happens in your relationship TELL SOMEONE.  Talk to somebody, assess the situation, and determine how you can get out of the relationship.  DO NOT stay in an abusive relationship.  If you are reading this and you are in one, GET OUT! I don't care if you don't want to be single.  You should always want to be single instead of being in a relationship where you get abused.   

Mental Abuse is often disregarded because it's harder to recognize.  Mental abuse is when you are abused by someones actions that make you begin to have self esteem issues and mental anguish.  Say your boyfriend is mad at you, but refuses to talk to you or tell you what it is.  He ignores your calls all day, your texts all night, and he literally ignores every attempt you even make to get a hold of him on Facebook, but yet you see him conversing with other people.  It's okay to want time to think, but you need to tell your partner "I need time to think and decompress".  So if you are just getting ignored out of the blue with no explanation it's mental abuse and it's very unhealthy.  Certain mental abuse can even diminish your self esteem because you begin to think YOU are the problem.  And how do we keep our self esteem high? By not surrounding ourselves with people that make us feel like crap!

3. Repetitive Fights
If you are fighting about the same thing at least once a week, that is a major red flag.  Yes, we know, sometimes it seems like you have to remind your boyfriend to clean up after himself everyday once in a while, but if you are honestly fighting about the same big issues all the time, and getting nowhere then maybe you aren't meant for each other.  There are certain things that people repeatedly bicker about but when you have major blow outs because of how you treat each other or about major things like household duties and money, you either need to try to work it out ASAP or realize that maybe some people can't change past a certain point so you shouldn't settle if you can't be happy in that relationship.  


So which category of fights does yours fall into?  Maybe you need to re-evaluate your relationship if you are already fitting into more of the red flag category than the productive one. 






3 Tips for the Perfect Coat

I tried to go as long as I could before I had to start wearing a jacket into work in the mornings, but now the time has come…so I decided I’d also write a blog about jackets and how to get the right one for your body type! 

These are three simple and key tips when it comes to this:

1.       If you are bigger in the middle, get a loose cut jacket.  For starters, it won’t squeeze you and make you uncomfortable on your walk in to work, but it also is great when you are wearing several layers in your outfit underneath. 

2.        If you are a curvy person make sure you look for a jacket with a drawstring or belt around the waist to help cinch it.  This is why I love the trench coat, even on women that are super curvy!!

3.       If you are very busty, make sure you wear a long jacket to help play down your chest.  Trust me, crop jackets are definitely not your friend!!

Did you purchase a winter jacket yet?
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shrimp Pasta in a Red Pepper Sauce by Chef Lori Kerr of Custom Cuisine

Delicious!  Our final meal from Chef Lori Kerr of Custom Cuisine was shrimp in a roasted red pepper sauce over pasta!



It was so delicious and filling even with some more left over.  

I can't stress to you enough how great of a present a gift certificate for Lori's services would be for someone you know.  It's also great for a dinner party or an event you may be holding at your home.  Contact Lori today for more information!

3 Keys to a Great Outfit

A Versatile Handbag


When you look for a handbag get one that has a more neutral look and feel to it.  Silvia’s Handbags is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to versatile handbags that go with a lot and are very high quality. 

A Solid Accessory
A watch is the perfect accessory to make any outfit look solid and sophisticated.  The Trendy Boutique has a great selection of watches in all different colors with all different designs and faces!  It’s perfect to go with so many different outfits!

Stylish Jewelry

Jewelry can make or break an outfit and when it comes to jewelry, you want to get several different pieces in different colors so you can match with different outfits.  I love the jewelry at Rebellious Addiction Two.  Stock up on jewelry when there’s a sale and remember that jewelry can make a very bold statement about your outfit!

Outfit of the Day: Layering and Warm Boots

Since it's getting a lot colder, I try to dress warm even on casual days at work.  Since I have to walk to my building I opt for warmer shoes.  Here, I rocked a trend of a black see through sweater over a light pink/white short sleeved shirt.  Layering worked out in my favor as it kept me warm all day at work. The boots were amazing for walking both outside and in!

What I wore:
Jeans - Celebrity Pink Jeans (similar here)

Boots - Bearpaw Shoes
Tank Top - TJ Maxx
Black Sweater Top - TJ Maxx  (similar here)
Necklace - Kat Martucci Designs

I love casual days!

Here's a similar look to this that I put together for you to purchase from: 
cable knit sweater look



BlingGuard Review & *Giveaway* Ends 11/5


BlingGuard is a must have for your jewelry collection! They provide some great products to discreetly take care of all your comfort issues with jewelry.  We all have rings that are too loose and earrings that make our ears sore from pulling on our pierced holes all night.  Well, that’s why BlingGuard exists! 


I received BlingWraps which are ring guards that go around your finger easily and unnoticed. They prevent rings from sliding around on your finger, thus preventing you from losing your precious jewels.  It’s very comfortable and I even forgot I had a BlingWrap on!! It’s hypoallergenic and it works by simply adding a +1 size to your finger.


I also received BlingDots which are super discreet and easy to wear.  BlingDots prevent the discomfort of an earrings pulling down and stretching.  BlingDots hold the earring in place all day and night!  They were very easy to apply and didn’t irritate my skin, as they are hypoallergenic.

One winner will  receive a pack of BlingDots and BlingWraps.

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Modernized Retro Dresses from Steady Clothing


Steady Clothing  has vintage classic clothing made in the USA.  Their clothes have a great classic look but can be styled in a more modern way to go with current trends.  There is a large variety of items to choose from and everything looks great on their models.

I received this stunning Houndstooth Dress from Steady Clothing. It’s so lightweight and breathable which is perfect for me because my office can get really hot.  I pair it with tights to make a more business appropriate.  I just love the vintage look it has but it still looks great on me even though I normally don’t dress that way!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells and Cheesy Garlic Toast by Chef Lori Kerr of Custom Cuisine

Friday's dinner was so delicious thanks once again to Chef Lori Kerr of Custom Cuisine!!  This time it was Mexican Stuffed Shells and Cheesy Garlic Toast.  



It was so filling and I was pleased at how easy it was to follow her instructions to heat up.  The toast was absolutely amazing and this was a very filling meal.  We even had some stuffed shells left over!


It's been such a luxury having more free time in the evenings since dinner is already prepared. All I've had to do was heat it up and while I wait I can get so much done.

There's still one more meal left... and wait till you see what that one is!

GIVE Bracelets Review & *Giveaway* Ends 11/4


GIVE Bracelets is a great company for a great cause.  With every bracelet you purchase, Give Jewelry provides one week of nutritious food (21 meals) to a child in need.  Talk about giving!! That’s amazing.  And you can be reminded of it every time you wear your bracelet!  The bracelets are so beautiful.  They have leather wrap bracelets and even beaded bracelets.  There are many colors and styles to choose from.







I received several bracelets and will be giving some away.  The green wrap bracelet is beautiful and is a great statement piece for a lot of my outfits.  I absolutely love the bead work on it. The tumbled stone bracelet is also a great statement piece as it has so many beautiful colors in it!   The Black Leather Bracelet,  Cuff Bracelet and black bracelet are perfect for my everyday looks.  They are very high quality and very comfortable. 

One winner will receive the Cuff Bracelet, Fuscia Beads, and Giants colored bracelet! The Giants bracelet is a great sports bracelet!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

$100 Shopping Spree at boohoo Giveaway *Ends 11/3*

boohoo has the most fashionable clothing that would be a great addition to your wardrobe, especially if you are adding to  it after reading the Building Your Wardrobe series

What better way to work on your wardrobe then by winning a $100 shopping spree at boohoo!!   

That's what one reader will get after they fill out the form below!

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5 Fashion Tips to Prepare for Bad Weather

Whether it's snow, rain, wind, or a combination of them all, these 5 tips will ensure you don't have any fashion mishaps!


1. Make Sure You Have Rain Boots
These are from Target (here)

Rain Boots are a must have, especially when you have to walk to your building in the city for work, or if you don't park your car in your garage at home.  Rain Boots are perfect to throw on if you have to run out to get the mail, to tie down yard furniture in a storm, and to use when running errands.  And no, I wasn't talking about the icky ones that you might imagine.  I mean fashionable and affordable rain boots.  

You can always find boots in all different prints and styles.  It's a great way to stay fashionable and keep your favorite pair of shoes from getting soaked!

2.  Always Carry A Hair Tie 

Sometimes the wind is so bad that you can't even see between the hair whipping around in your eyes and your amazing hairstyle coming undone.  Not to mention, have you ever tried to carry your work bag and everything else with you when it's super windy, beginning to rain, and you just need to find your car keys and jump in your car?  Yeah, it's no fun.  Make sure you always keep a hair tie in your handbag or on your wrist so you can tie your hair back out of your face if need be.  

3. Prepare an Overnight Bag
If a severe storm is heading your way and there's a possibility that electricity might go out or you could be evacuated, plan ahead.  Make sure to grab an overnight bag and include a brush, hair ties, clean underwear and socks, as well as 2 changes of clothing and 2 pairs of shoes and always have something to sleep in that will keep you warm.  This way, if you are urged to evacuate or you need to go stay with someone after your electricity goes out, you'll be prepared! And you'll be able to see when you get it ready!


4. Always Carry A Wind-Proof Umbrella
Fashionable Umbrellas do exist at Target (here)

There's no point in even using an umbrella if it has the possibility of turning inside out on you.  Trust me, I've had it happen numerous times and it's embarassing and your umbrella is basically ruined.  Look for umbrellas with a vented top that won't allow themselves to turn inside out from the wind.  Have one in your car, one in the house, and one in your office. Always be prepared.  And yes, they do have some cute designs on them.  I have a leopard print one that I absolutely love!!


5.  Ponchos Can Save an Outfit
Although they may not look so glamorous, in the occasion that you are dressed in something nice and expensive and you get caught in a bad storm, having a poncho in your car or in your handbag can potentially save your outfit by keeping you dry until you can get home or get to a change of clothes.  These are also great for concerts and sporting events!

What other tips can you think of or have you had to remember in the past? 



Yonanas Review


Yonanas  are delicious and are my new favorite thing.  What in the heck are Yonanas, right? Well,  basically it looks and tastes like soft serve ice cream but it is packed with fruit and you make it yourself.  It’s super easy and really fun.  It doesn’t take long at all.  You just take frozen bananas (you freeze them when they are over ripe) and you insert them in the machine.  You insert the plunger and it pushes it through.  Then you watch the soft serve bananas aka Yonanas come out! You can even add other frozen fruit, chocolate, or nuts!

I received a Yonanas machine and I am in love with it. Everything about it is easy, from the preparation, to the cleaning.  Seriously, it pulls apart easily for cleaning and it’s really simple to reassemble.  I love that I don’t have to waste fruit and I can freeze it instead so I can use it in the machine.  The Yonanas tasted delicious!!!  It was really healthy too so it was a great way to fight off a craving for chips or something bad.  Instead, I chose to make Yonanas!

This is a FANTASTIC gift idea for pretty much anybody.  It’s something you can use over and over again so for $49.99 I’d say it’s quite a steal!!! Get one today, you won’t regret it!

HairUWear Review


HairUWear is a great way to explore all of the possibilities of hair styles, even if your hair isn’t the right length or texture.  With HairUWear you can get clip in extensions and styles to add to your everyday look.

I received a braided headband and a Hairdo beach waves pony tail clip in. The beach waves ponytail is perfect for adding into my existing ponytail to make it even thicker and fuller.  The waves look so natural and it goes perfect with the waves in my natural hair.  The color matches perfect!! It’s really easy to put in and it

The Hairdo French Braid Band is perfect for spicing up and hairstyle.  It was easy to clip it into my hair so it looked as if I had braided it myself.  It’s perfect for when you wear your hair down or if you wear it up in a fancy ponytail.  Everyone gave me compliments and thought it was real!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cleava Review & *Giveaway* Ends 11/2


Cleava is a must have for every woman.  Have you ever had a shirt that is just too low cut to wear? It’s basically a waste of an outfit.  But with Cleava, you can snap it to your bra and it looks like you have a cami underneath.  Realistically you don’t need to have a full cami on so your outfit won’t be as bulky and you won’t overheat as easily.  
I received a Cleava Snap to Bra Cami and it’s easy to use and very comfortable.  I basically forgot it was there.  It was so nice to not have to layer every out fit just to ensure I wasn’t revealing anything in appropriate.  It actually looks like there is a cami underneath and at some points, it was as if the snap on was part of the shirt I was wearing!!  This is a fashion fix for anyone and a must have in your closet!!!

One winner will receive a Snap to Bra Cami as well!


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