Wish I could claim this handsome stud as my date, but sadly he had quite a few ladies fawning over him.

Wish I could claim this handsome stud as my date, but sadly he had quite a few ladies fawning over him.

No shoe dreams the last few nights, but I did fall asleep Friday thinking about what belt I should wear with one of my new blouses to a party the following night.  This is the only picture I have of myself at the party.  It does not really show off my outfit, but aren’t we cute!  My nephew and I are sporting our 4-H colors to celebrate my Uncle’s 35+ years serving as his county’s UC Cooperative Extension Advisor.  I’m wearing a white Inc. blouse, Charter Club denim leggings, black calf high Aldo boots, a silver belt, Go-Go pearl ring and earrings by myself, and the jade “Hosanna” necklace, also by myself.  It got a ton of compliments by the way!

So I did not find the boots, but I did get at least one blouse and a pair of jeans…  stay tuned until the last to see my final tally!

#9. Face the Racks.

When it is time to face the racks, you also need to face the facts and only pull out the good stuff.  I’ve had to face the fact that shopping in the petites section is my best, and often only bet, for finding clothes that fit, especially when it comes to jeans and slacks as I am 5′ tall with proportionately short legs.  Be realistic about what shapes and sizes fit your body.  You will save yourself a lot of heart aches and headaches if you don’t even pull that stuff off the racks.  Here are my criteria for taking something into the dressing rooms:

In your size RANGE. (Note the word “range.”  Designers are not consistent with sizing, so choose items in the size you think you are, plus some one up and one down.  I ended up with 1 pair of jeans a size smaller than I normally fit).

Quality Pieces. Sometimes items look good from afar off, but once you get up close and start to feel the fabric and study the construction you will find flaws.  Even if something is a screaming good deal, if it is poorly constructed or made of cheap materials, it is not worth the effort.

Complimentary Colors. Only let yourself try on clothes if they fit in your color palette.  This makes scanning the racks quick.  No need to even pull something out to look at it if the colors won’t suit you.

Suitable Shapes. As you learn your body type, you will start to know what clothing shapes and proportions work well on you.  Once you know these things, don’t torture yourself by continuing to try them on, even if they do look good on the manikins or are this season’s hottest trend.

#10.  Don’t be Skimpy.

When I am trying on slacks and jeans, my area that is most difficult to fit, I grab arm loads full of them before heading to the changing room.  You will waste a lot of time if you keep going back and forth a couple pieces here and there, to try pieces on.  When it was time to pick out jeans I think I literally had about 20 pairs before heading into the changing room.

#11.  Sort as You Go.

As I try on my big pile of clothes, I try on each piece once and then sort the pieces into 2-3 piles.  I have the immediate “no’s,” those things that don’t fit or I don’t like.  Then I have my “maybe” pile, and occasionally a “yes!” pile.  After I have tried on and sorted everything, I go back through the “maybe’s” and try them on once more to compare them to each other.  I personally had about 5 out of the 20 in my “maybe” pile and 1 in the “yes” pile.  This is when I can get back to looking at my budget to help make the final purchase decisions.

#12.  Stay Focused.

If I have more than one type of clothing to try on at a time, I try them on in shifts.  All the slacks first, then all of the blouses or dresses or whatever.  This makes choosing, sorting and trying things on easier.  If you are shooting for an “outfit,” find the piece that is most difficult for you to find normally (because of fit) first, and then go out to find the rest of the pieces to go with it.

#13.  The Reward.

Survey your choices, review your budget and make your purchases!   Yay!

What I got to cross off my List:

Gold leather handbag (not enough time!)

Dark wash skinny jeans

Dark wash boot cut jeans (straight leg actually)

Pair of fun, decorated jeans (plus a second pair of pants)

Long sleeved, fitted, button down, collared shirts (white,black & white and red and black plaid)

Black, comfortable bra (plus some new panties!)

(Brick)Red Leather Snakeskin Boots with low heel (looked at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Aldo, and every shoe store I walked by.  Black everywhere! Have a little imagination people!)

2 watch batteries

Pair of Ecco golf/street shoes for Hubby

2 Pairs of jeans for Hubby

I hope you enjoyed my “Power Buying” series.  I’d love to hear if any of this was helpful info to you!

Happy Buying!


Jun 232010

I always think you should have some fun with your personal style.  No need to take ourselves too seriously.  So every now and then I like to do a little extra with my nails, and holidays always seem like a great reason to play.

So today I had my nails done and did something a little patriotic with a simple graphic wink at fireworks.  I was admiring the finished product and thought the design would be pretty simple to duplicate yourself.  Having my nails done is one of the small luxuries I indulge in, but if you want to have some “do-it-yourself” fun with your own nails, this is an easy way to go!

This simple design was only $5 extra for the full set, and can be easiy duplicated by yourself.

This simple design was only $5 extra for the full set, and can be easily duplicated by yourself.

After you have filed and cleaned your nails, here is what you will need to polish them:

Base coat – Use a ridge filler if needed.  Base coat will help make the polish last longer.

White French Tip Polish – You could also use a soft silver or even just clear.

A Piece of scrap paper

Red, Blue & Yellow Polish – I used a shimmery aqua blue, shimmery blue red, and yellow.  You could use gold or silver polish to replace the yellow if you can not find it.  I have also seen some nail designers use craft paint for designs.

A Dried Up Ball Point Pen – Be sure any excess/dried up ink is cleaned off the tip.

Top Coat

Step 1 :  Put a thin coat of base coat on your nails and allow to dry for a couple of minutes.  Having a fan nearby is handy for moving things along, or a hair dry on the cool setting.

Step 2 : Paint a thin coat of the white french tip nail polish on your entire nail.  The best way to paint your nails is in three even strokes; one down the center of your nail, and then one down either side.  Multiple strokes can make the polish not go on as smoothly.  Allow this coat to dry for a few minutes.

Step 3 : Paint a second coat of the white french tip nail polish.  Be sure to give this coat plenty of drying time.  Polish should be fairly well set before moving on.

Step 4 :  Use the brush from the red nail polish to put a small bit of red polish on the piece of scrap paper.  Touch the very tip of the ball point pen (just the ball itself) into the red polish and carefully dot the tip of the pen onto the outside corner of one of your finger nails.  You can use the paper to test the amount of polish that gets transferred before doing it on your nail.  One touch should do it, but you can carefully repeat one time if needed.  Place one dot on the outside corner of each nail.

Three simple dots of bold color on a plain background make a fun graphic statement

Three simple dots of bold color on a plain background make a fun graphic statement

Step 5 :   Repeat step 4 with the blue and yellow polishes, being careful to clean the tip of the pen before switching colors.  Allow several minutes for the three colors to dry before finishing.

Step 6 :  Go over each dry nail with a coat of top coat.  Be extra careful not to over brush with the top coat, and stick with the three brush stroke rule.  Over working it can soften and smudge the design below.

Step 7 :  Air/Fan/Hairdryer dry and enjoy!

Enjoy Your Patriotic Nails!