fashion

Purple lace and tulle

I found this purple lace zip 3/4 length sleeve top and dusty purple pleated tulle skirt on sale at Rue 21. Only three dollars for each item! Whooo! This was a few months ago, so they are probably long gone now, but they always have sales racks with different price points on them, so they are always a good store to check out any time of the year. So, while everyone else is posting about the Nordstrom half-yearly sale, I’m over here telling you to go to the three dollar and five dollar bargain racks at Rue 21.

My mom and I went shopping earlier this week and we did indeed check out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I thought everything was still too expensive for my budget over there. We saw absolutely nothing for sale under $40 in the clothing section. Maybe if you bought a small accessory, then you could find a good deal. But, if you’re a bargain shopper like me, hit the clearance racks at Rue 21. Summer clearance didn’t seem to be in full swing at the mall yet, but it was starting up and will really get going the second half of August.

After walking around the whole mall and finding nothing we wanted at prices we wanted to pay, my mom and I ended up at TJ Maxx, where I found three items, technically four, but someone snagged one we were looking at after we put it back. My clothes and shoes are being held ransom by my mother until my birthday when I will act totally surprised at my cool new clothing digs that I picked out for me. We do this almost every year for birthdays or Mother’s day. At least we know we’ll like what we get that way, right?  😉

 

Dappled light
Dappled light

 

Purple lace and tulle
Purple lace and tulle

 

Lace and tulle
Lace and tulle

 

Lace zip ruffle sleeve top + pleated tulle skirt
Lace zip ruffle sleeve top + pleated tulle skirt

 

Twirl
Twirl

 

Lace and velvet
Lace and velvet

 

If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will never look ugly. ~ Roald Dahl
If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will never look ugly. ~ Roald Dahl

 

You can find similar items below.

 

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

Boho Embroidered Summer Sundress

I was all ready to go to the lavender festival this past weekend in my boho embroidered sundress in off white and blue. I’d heard there was a lavender festival going on this past weekend and decided I wasn’t going to miss it this year. Only to discover that all of the lavender farms participating in this festival were not any of the ones near my home. Wah. But, my son remembered seeing one off the Columbia Historic Highway just past Corbett, Oregon, so off we went in search of lavender fields.

I was wearing this cute boho embroidered sundress – perfect for a hot summer day. Not perfect for our next adventure to Larch Mountain, but absolutely wonderful for walking through fields of lavender taking photos.

I got this dress the end of last summer at Hollister. I believe my mom bought it for me. I still hadn’t worn it yet. The fact that it’s backless makes it hard to wear a bra with it, so after I got one of those weird sticky bra things the end of last fall (you can find that item here,) I was ready to wear all of my backless tops and dresses. Only to find it was now way to cold to do so. This year, I’m ready for them, though. Bring on the summer weather!

 

Blue and cream sundress

 

Strolling through the lavender fields

 

Blue and cream summer sundress

 

Side view of boho style embroidered summer dress

 

Sunhats and sundresses

 

Embroidery details

 

Criss cross back sundress

 

This dress is an off white cream color lined to just above the knees with gorgeous blue embroidery details on the bodice. Since it was last years style, you probably won’t find it in the store, but here are some others like it. The hat, shoes and earrings are also old, but the sunglasses are new. Similar styles are found in the link below.

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

 

Fuchsia Bow Tie Top + a non-sewing tip to shorten your skirt

I got this Jennifer Lopez fuchsia bow tie top after Christmas on the clearance racks at Kohl’s. For less than $5. As usual. Ha. It has been such a cold winter and spring, I just now got around to wearing it for the first time. The top is a bit of a wrap top in the front and I didn’t realize until I was out and about in it that it looked like it had come un-sewn for about an inch and kept trying to flop open a bit too far. I’ll have to try and sew that back up again so I’m not having to keep holding it closed or put the straps from the bow over that spot in the future.

 

Tortoise shell sunglasses

 

The denim skirt a friend gave me. And while it’s a really cute style with a back slit that I love, I didn’t like that it cut off right on the top of my knees. Knees being these weird knobby little things we don’t really want to draw the eyes to, I always think the hemline should either be an inch or so above the knees or just go ahead and fall right below them so we aren’t accentuating them. Amirite?

 

Denim skirt + fuchsia bow tie top

 

So, I used the old school trick I used to do in high school to make skirts shorter and rolled the hem up one turn at the top. Because of the heavy denim material and the pockets and slit on the back, any more than that wouldn’t have worked on this skirt. Since the top was pretty long, I just tucked a little in at the front and let it hang over the now bulky waistline so the roll up wasn’t noticeable.

 

Fuchsia Top

 

The phone case is a Kate Spade. Gorgeous, huh?

 

Bow tie top, denim skirt, kate spade phone case + silver metallic converse sneakers

 

The sunglasses are from TJ Maxx but came from American Eagle Outfitters. And the shoes are silver glitter Converse sneakers.

 

Casual style

 

Yep, chillin’ like a villian. (A friend said that on a Snapchat post recently. Now the phrase is stuck in my head. Hahaha.)

 

Purple-pink bow tie top + jean skirt

 

What tricks do you have to make your clothes fit or look better on you?

 

Denim back-split skirt

 

You can shop similar items here:

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

 

Cold shoulders in the springtime!

I’m learning there’s some truth to these cold shoulder tops leaving you with actual cold shoulders if it’s not a nice warm day. We are having a particularly cold spring and let me tell ya, my little shoulder was feeling cold the day we took these photos! But, warmer weather is coming! Tomorrow, I hear. And without having had any 70 degree weather, we’re going to jump right into the 80’s for a few days. Cause that’s how we roll in Portland!

I love the little bow detail on the cold shoulder. And the bell sleeves are so in right now! Red is definitely one of my colors, too! There is a bit of shimmer to this top as well, but you can’t really see it in these photos. This top would be perfect for 60 and low 70 degree weather, but not so much if it’s any hotter than that as it’s a sweater. I have another off-shoulder top I keep putting on and taking off for a warmer shirt because it’s been way to cold to have my poor shoulders hanging out this spring. I just can’t bring myself to wear it indoors or outdoors yet because I just want to be warm. I know. I’m a cold weather wimp. I’m okay with that.

 

Red off-shoulder sweater

 

Off-shoulder top with bells sleeves

 

Red and brown

Off-shoulder long sweater

 

Looking through

 

Bow tie cold shoulder sweater with bell sleeves

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

Pink sparkle in the Pacific Northwest

I set out in my pink sparkle sweater hoping to get some good photos today. Spring in the Pacific Northwest is dicey at best. The weather is all over the place. Clouds one minute, rain the next, then hail and thunderstorms followed by sunshine and rainbows. Today was a typical spring day. I didn’t see any hail, thunderstorms or rainbows – but hey, the day isn’t over with yet!

We did this photo shoot near the St. Andrews Catholic Church down in NW Portland. It stayed cloudy while there but the rain was dumping by the time we got done ordering donuts over at Pip’s donuts.

We got some good photos of my pink sparkle sweater I found at Goodwill for $7.50. It was a brand new sweater with a Kohl’s price tag on it. I found myself thinking I could have gotten a better deal off of Kohl’s clearance racks if I’d had a $10 off coupon plus a discount. Ha. You know Goodwill’s over charging when that happens. I was actually hoping to leave with the cool red heels I’d spotted a couple of days earlier when my friend wanted to stop there to look for stuff and we both got distracted by the shoes. But sadly, the shoes were a 6.5 and I wear a 6. And since I have one foot slightly bigger than the other, they seemed like they fit good on that side, but on the other foot they were flapping around like flip flops. So I had to leave them and console myself with this sweater and the fact that it happened to be the right color of tag to get it half off! Whoot Whoot!

And yes, it’s still cold enough for sweaters in Oregon right now.

 

Pink and brown spring style
Pink and brown spring style

 

Pink sweater + brown velvet leggings and fur lined boots
Pink sweater + brown velvet leggings and fur lined boots

 

Velvet and sparkle
Velvet and sparkle

 

A quiet corner
A quiet corner

 

Pink sprakles
Pink sprakles

 

Spring in the pacific NW
Spring in the pacific NW

 

A quiet corner
A quiet corner

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

You can find similar items here:

 

Shimmery purple tee – #fashionfriday

I’m going to end Fashion Friday on a casual note with this shimmery purple tee. I got this at Kohl’s for only .60¢. Yep. You heard me right. Less than a dollar. I love the silver threads in this pale purple shirt. I’m not sure pale purple is my color, but I love the color and the shimmer nonetheless.

*If you do click the link to the website, you’ll notice the item costs more there than the price I found for it in the stores. I believe it was 80% off in the stores and is only 60% off on the website. Just head to your nearest Kohl’s – you may find it for less on the in-store clearance racks.

How did I do it? Again, I had a Kohl’s coupon for five dollars off anything in the store. This was on the clearance racks. I also believe I had a 15% off, but read the price tag wrong and thought the item I was getting was exactly five dollars, so didn’t use the 15% off thinking this item would be totally free, but could have saved another whopping .09¢ if I’d used it. I was too surprised I was paying anything to be quick enough on the draw to get my additional .09¢ off as well. In this case, it wasn’t a big deal, but if it had made a bigger difference and hadn’t gotten applied, then I wouldn’t hesitate to march back to the customer service and get my 15% off as well. Yeah. I’m that cheap. But not quite cheap enough to go back and adjust the .09¢ off my receipt. There’s cheap, then there’s super cheap. I am not quite at the super cheap level yet. Ha.

 

Metallic shimmery tee
Metallic shimmery tee

 

A bit of shimmer In the vineyard
A bit of shimmer In the vineyard

 

Casual style
Casual style

 

Sparkly purple tee
Sparkly purple tee

 

Casual but cute
Casual but cute

 

Purple layered tank top + Blue lace edged shorts – #fashionfriday

I found this purple layered tank top and the blue lace-edged shorts both at Kohl’s on their clearance racks. With another $5 off savings card + an additional 20% off, I got both items for just under $5 bucks! If you like to spend full price on stuff, this is not the fashion blog for you. I love, love, love a good deal!

The tank top is actually really well made – two layers of material – t-shirt material on top and a lightweight chiffon material on the inside in a complimenting shade of purple, creating a bit of a ruffled look on the bottom edge. The sequins at the neck are a nice touch, too, because who doesn’t love a little bling?

The shorts are super cute, but I almost wish they made a smaller size than small so they would feel like they fit me better. They look a bit like a skirt on me. Still cute, but a bit baggy for a skinny person like myself. I love the lace cut-out on the bottom edge. Details like that always make an outfit stand out.

The combat boots are from Sole Society – but from a few years ago so you won’t find them on their website any longer. The tights I got a Marshall’s a year or so ago – on clearance, of course!

 

Layers of blue and purple
Layers of blue and purple

 

Feelin' funky
Feelin’ funky

 

Purple layered tank top + blue lace edged shorts
Purple layered tank top + blue lace edged shorts

 

Purples & blues - oh my!
Purples & blues – oh my!

 

Fall style
Fall style

 

Last photo by Calvin Hodgson. You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Bejeweled off-shoulder knit top – #fashionfriday

This purple bejeweled top was definitely calling my name when I went to scour Kohl’s clearance racks to find something to use my $10 off savings coupon and 20% off discount. Coming in at just under $10, I had to find something else to go with it so I could use my whole $10 savings card. I found these soft olive green skinny jeans on sale for $10 as well. Armed with my savings card and discount that I pulled up from my e-mails on my phone, I headed to the registers. The grand total for this outfit was $8.16 – a savings of $89.84. Oh how I love a good deal!

The top is made out of smooth, shiny t-shirt material with shoulder cut-outs lined with big diamond-like jewels. How fun is that? On a side note, I wore this with my hair down, and kept having my hair get stuck in the enormous shoulder bling. But they are still a nice touch.

The jeans are so soft. They feel almost flannel like, they are so soft! My cats hair decided it really liked this material, so if you notice tufts of cats hair sticking to them, just know, no cats were harmed in the wearing of my fashionably furry pants. My cats just want me to remember them everywhere I go. In fact, sometimes if I lay my outfit out somewhere they can get to it before wearing it, they really like to lay down right on top of it. They just want their kitty mama to wear a nice soft kitty hair outfit – just like them – without having to turn into Cruella De Ville to get it.

 

Side view of jewel-toned purple ruched cold-shoulder top
Side view of jewel-toned purple ruched cold-shoulder top

 

Ruched side open shoulder bejeweled top & olive green jeans
Ruched side open shoulder bejeweled top & olive green jeans

 

Purple bejeweled top + khaki skinny jeans
Purple bejeweled top + khaki skinny jeans

 

Jewel-toned purple top, skinny jeans + combat boots
Jewel-toned purple top, skinny jeans + combat boots

 

Back view of purple cold-shoulder bejeweled top & olive green skinnies
Back view of purple cold-shoulder bejeweled top & olive green skinnies

 

 

Blossom print skirt – #fashionfriday

Love this wonderful blossom print skirt! The material is a nice high quality satin finish with a half liner underneath. The waist is half elastic which helps it stretch to fit more than one size, but it has a nice side zipper as well. It fit me well – I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t because it was a once size fits all and I have a very small waist size, but the fit was perfect!

The skirt was pretty wrinkled by the time it got here, and I was looking for care instructions on a tag on the clothing, but there were no instructions for care. I cautiously turned the skirt inside out to iron it and put the iron on medium. That didn’t seem to be getting the wrinkles out, so I turned it up just a bit – still ironing on the inside to determine the right temperature to iron the skirt without ruining it. The good news is: once it was ironed, it did not appear to re-wrinkle easily!

I love the colors and pattern on this skirt. It is so feminine and modest without being frumpy. This skirt is just gorgeous! I would highly recommend this product to others buying it.

*Although I did receive this item at a discount to review on Amazon, all opinions expressed are my own. And with this item, thus ends all the products I reviewed for Amazon…

 

Spring blossom skirt
Spring blossom skirt

 

 

Sitting pretty
Sitting pretty

 

Cherry blossom skirt
Cherry blossom skirt

 

Back view of cherry blossom skirt
Back view of cherry blossom skirt

 

Blending in to the foilage in this wonderful spring blossom print skirt!
Blending in to the foliage in this wonderful spring blossom print skirt!

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Asymmetrical black and white dress – #fashionfriday

So loving this Asymmetrical black and white sundress! This item was a one size fits all item that really did actually fit me well. I’m so excited when that happens!

Made of a lightweight nylon material, it only had light wrinkles on it. The white edging seemed to be where most of the wrinkles were. No care instructions were on this item, so I carefully ironed it inside out with the heat turned to just above medium. Since the dress is a bit thin, I did have on my seamless underwear, but wasn’t thinking about that when I put on my low back bra. The bottom edge of that was showing a bit depending on how I was standing, and I didn’t even realize it until I saw the photos later on.

It was a bit windy when I went out in this dress, and all I can say is: What a fun dress! The back billows and blows out behind you if you can catch the wind just right. So, of course, I was trying to catch the wind ‘just so’ in hopes of getting the dress to fly out behind me. I’m sure if it was a super blustery day, you’d have to watch out for it flying up too high, but I didn’t have that problem at all when I wore it.

*Although I did receive this product at a discount to review, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Black & white sundress
Black & white sundress

 

Asymmetrical black and white sundress
Asymmetrical black and white sundress

 

Dappled light
Dappled light

 

Strappy black and white sundress
Strappy black and white sundress

 

Blowing in the wind
Blowing in the wind

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Pink Bow Back Top – #fashionfriday

Loving this pink bow back top! I think the hardest thing to decide when ordering this product is what color to buy. I loved the color choices for this! I finally narrowed it down to the bright pink or the black one with the leopard print bow on the back, and eventually went with the hot pink one. They also had an orange, a yellow (not my favorites) or a blue. I really liked the blue as well, but had ordered a different shirt in a beautiful royal blue and didn’t want another blue one just yet. The blue for this was more of a cobalt blue – so it was different, and I really loved it as well. The bright pink color was just too fun to pass up though – on the other hand, leopard print bow, right? It was a tough choice.

My shirt arrived fairly quickly – which is always a good thing. The material is a wonderful lightweight chiffon – perfect for summer evenings, and the bow is adorable! I would definitely recommend this item to anyone else looking to buy it. Good luck choosing between all the wonderful colors, though!

Although I did receive this item at a discounted rate to review it, all opinions expressed are my own and I would definitely buy this item again in another color. With the leopard print bow next time, of course! You can find this item here: Bow Top

 

Pink and black style
Pink and black style

 

Feeling sassy in my pink bow back top
Feeling sassy in my pink bow back top

 

Pink bow back blouse
Pink bow back blouse

 

Bow necklace + bow back top
Bow necklace + bow back top

 

Put a bow on it!
Put a bow on it!

 

Don’t laugh at the keychain with all of those store points cards on it. I didn’t notice it was in my pocket for a while and some of my best shots were with the keys in my pocket, so we’re going to go with it. It’s a new cool trend, right? Yeah. Let’s pretend anyway…

Black & white striped dress – #fashionfriday

I got the black and white striped Lauren Conrad dress at Khol’s for six dollars! I know, right? I technically had a ten dollar savings card to use as well, but also had 2 other items that day as I mentioned in a previous postI finally got a chance to wear it on a trip to the Swan Island Dahlia Farm last month.

It was a bit long and dragged on the ground, getting the hem dirty by the end of the day. Perhaps it shrunk in the wash since then, but it doesn’t really look like it did, so I may just need to wear it with heels. It is a nice cotton blend material – thick, not that cheap thin see-through stuff we keep seeing in the stores nowadays. You know, the kind where you need to buy another shirt to layer underneath it (sometimes two or three!) in order to make it less sheer. No, this is the good stuff.

And the pattern! How fun is that design? Large blocks of striped material going every which way, creating a fun whimsical pattern. What’s not to love?

 

Lauren Conrad Striped Dress
Lauren Conrad Striped Dress

 

Back view of black & white striped dress
Back view of black & white striped dress

 

Asymmetrical Striped Dress
Asymmetrical Striped Dress

 

Black, white & red
Black, white & red

 

Blocked striped dress by Lauren Conrad
Blocked striped dress by Lauren Conrad

Some photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Lace Long Sleeve Off Shoulder High Waist Crop Top – #fashionfriday

I think I must have decided this Lace Long Sleeve Off Shoulder High Waist Crop Top was a pirate lady top when I wore this shirt. It’s supposed to be an off the shoulder top and I pulled it up to my shoulders making it look more square-necked and somewhat pirate lady looking. And making it ride up super high on my stomach. I thought the top looked longer in the photo of it online here: Favolook Long Sleeve Lace Top – the fact that I pulled it up to my shoulders would be part of the reason why. The model in the photo wore it correctly. So, just assume I’m giving you another way to wear the Lace Long Sleeve Off Shoulder High Waist Crop Top. Even though unintentionally. Ha. 

The lace sleeves are absolutely gorgeous, and part of what drew me in to this top. This is a wonderful smooth cotton/polyester blend. I went to iron it before wearing it and something sticky was on my iron. I actually managed to scrape it off of the surface really easily without causing a stain. The surface is slightly shiny and seemed to almost repel the sticky substance. Yeah for not ruining a new piece of clothing!

*Although I did receive this item at a discounted rate to review on Amazon, I was not asked to post it on my blog and am just sharing it with you for fun.

Just a side note – In case you think fashion shoots are all glamorous. I did this one on my own and probably ended up taking 4 times more photos than when I have my son do them – trying to get the photos in focus and not off center. I also at some point sat or leaned on some sap and ended up on Pinterest looking up ways to get sap out of clothing. Rubbing alcohol did not work all by itself and I had to move on the other method of mixing water with a bit of powdered detergent and rubbing that into the sap. I repeated both methods several times before I finally got the sap out!

And, since I am so picky about pinning vertical pins on Pinterest and couldn’t find a nice vertical one about how to get sap out of clothing, I didn’t even bother pinning the helpful article I found about how to remove sap from clothing onto any of my Pinterest boards. So, if you are one of those ‘helpful hints’ kinds of bloggers who does take the time to make nice vertical pins – an article on sap removal from clothing with vertical pins seems to be missing from Pinterest right now. Just lettin’ you know… Cause I’m helpful like that.

 

 

Lace Long Sleeve Off Shoulder High Waist Crop Top
Lace Long Sleeve Off Shoulder High Waist Crop Top

 

Lace crop top + teal green maxi skirt
Lace crop top + teal green maxi skirt

 

Back view of lace long sleeve top
Back view of lace long sleeve top

 

Strike a pose!
Strike a pose!

 

Lace long sleeve crop top + cat ear sunglasses!
Lace long sleeve crop top + cat ear sunglasses!

 

 

Black Lace Bathing Suit Cover-up – #fashionfriday

I had the opportunity to review this black lace bathing suit cover-up for a discounted price on Amazon last month. Loving this bathing suit cover up! If you want to add a touch of sexy to your beach wear, this black lace bikini cover up will do it! It’s big and flowy made out of sheer floral mesh lace. It is comfortable to wear, but also looks hot on. Temperatures were so hot that day, where I live, that I was walking around the house with my bikini top and a pair of shorts on underneath mine. Couldn’t bring myself to change out of it when temps were around 100 degrees! This made a nice cool outfit to wear when temperatures were soaring. You can find the cover-up here: Beach Wear

We went to photograph this at the pool at my parents apartments. A few kids were hanging out. We waited around, hoping they would leave, but they just kept goofing around. Finally, their mom calls out to them. We hoped she wanted them to go home. But, no, she was just checking in, not asking them to come home. My son was looking super uncomfortable about photographing his mom in a bikini cover-up with those kids looking on, (can you blame him?), so we finally gave up and left. On the way home, we spotted this wonderful wrought iron fence behind a retirement center and decided to catch the last rays of sunshine and do our photo shoot there – minus the boys at the pool. Worked out pretty good and the lighting was fun once we figured out if I stood in the soft beams of sunshine, the photos looked better than if I was in the ever darkening shady areas.

 

Black lace bikni cover-up
Black lace bikni cover-up

 

Side view of bikini cover-up
Side view of bikini cover-up
Back view of bikini cover-up
Back view of bikini cover-up

 

Front view of bikini cover-up
Front view of bikini cover-up

 

Black lace bikini cover up with denim shorts
Black lace bikini cover up with denim shorts

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Blue cross strap nightclub off-shoulder top – #fashionfriday

This week’s Fashion Friday pick is a gorgeous royal blue cross-strap backless off-shoulder nightclub top. Yeah. That’s a mouthful to say. But, if you try to find the item on Amazon, that is what it’s called. Only I think they had even more words to their description than I did. Like ‘sexy’ – which it is. And they tried calling it a tank top – which it’s not. Also they called it a tank top blouse. A little repetitive in the words ‘top’ and ‘blouse’, same dif. They may not have called it ‘cross strap’, but I liked the way the straps criss-crossed in the back and thought I’d call attention to that because it’s a nice little detail.

I believe there are four different colors for this top, but the blue just really jumped out for me. Loved it! It is a wonderful lightweight chiffon top. Perfect for breezy summer evenings. At first, I kept trying to pull the dropped sleeves up onto my shoulders before I realized I was supposed to just let them drop. Yeah… Took me a few attempts at pulling those sleeves up before I remembered they were ‘drop’ sleeves.

You can find this item here: Blue top 

One Year Anniversary!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week this week! I decided to take the week off from my regular post because I have just hit the 1 year mark with my blog (Whoohoo!) and realized the longest gap I’d had in not posting on here was a week and a half. I felt like I needed and deserved a little break from my ordinary posts, but had so many items lined up for Fashion Friday, and didn’t feel like I needed a break from that – cause that’s something new for me, so I went ahead and posted that. Next week I’ll go back to posting my regular non-fashion post as well.

Just remember, you are allowed to take breaks from things you normally do. It helps refresh your body, mind and soul and keeps things you like from becoming things you are sick of – that have become an obligation or something you feel like you have to do. Someone I know keeps posting the saying on Facebook “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

I understand where the person who first said this is going with this statement, but I disagree with it. If you don’t take a break – even from things you love doing, they can become drudgery. I know. I have a hard time taking a break even from things I love. After a couple of years of doing something I loved doing. It was becoming something I had to do. Every day. It became something I didn’t love doing because I wouldn’t take a break. I was forced to take a break this past year and didn’t realize how nice it was to take that break and just stop and breathe and not do the thing I loved doing Every. Single. Day.  I had to stop what I was doing for months, and by the time I was able to get up and going again I realized the importance of taking a break even from things you love doing. There’s no shame in that. It’s a refreshing and renewing of spirit that helps you continue loving what it is you love to do. So by all means, allow yourself time to take a break from things you love in your life if you feel like you need one – whether it’s family, job or even hobbies. It will only help you to love those things more.

 

Backless cross-strap top in royal blue
Backless cross-strap top in royal blue

 

Blue off-shoulder top
Blue off-shoulder top

 

Backless cross strap off-shoulder top
Backless cross strap off-shoulder top with a cool orange hot rod in the background!

 

Sitting pretty
Sitting pretty

 

Off-shoulder cross strap top - up close
Off-shoulder cross strap top – up close

 

 

All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

 

Clearance sales, Butterfly tee & Star shorts #fashionfriday

I love shopping clearance racks because I hate paying full price for anything I buy. And even a sale price isn’t good enough for me. I want a bargain! I’m looking for a super good deal when I’m shopping.

A couple of weeks ago, I got one of those ten dollars off anything in the store  post cards from Khols. I love those things! It really is good off anything in the store – even the clearance racks. And, because I like a good deal, I went directly to the clearance racks. I’ve got to get the most bang from my bucks as possible.

I found several things I liked and hauled them all into the fitting rooms. One by one, I weeded all but three items out. The two that were the best deal were still under $10 total, but the third item was $16.20. Hmmm. I like deals even better than that, but I had the $10 off coupon, so I finally decided to get all three items. I ended up with a dress for $6, and butterfly tee for $2.80, and the shorts with $10 off with my savings postcard. If I had a Khols credit card, I could have saved an additional 10%-30% with a scratch off card they have at the registers. I usually just bring my mom along so I can have her use her discount for having a credit card if there is one, but, this was an impromptu trip when I realized my 10 off card was expiring soon, so I took off quickly and didn’t stop to drag her along for additional savings. Ha.

I still don’t have pictures of me in the dress, but I did go out and get photos in the butterfly tee and star shorts – while practicing doing my own photos for days when I don’t have help photographing items for product reviews. They have a nice back-to-school feel to them, so I thought I’d post them now for all of you who are going back to school or have kids about to go back to school or have already started back to school. I’ll try to get photos of the dress for another Fashion Friday. I’d put a link to them on Kohl’s on here, but I can’t even find them on the website any more, so I’d guess they are gone now, or you could scour your local Kohl’s clearance racks to find similar items.

 

Butterfly tee + Star shorts - back to school style
Butterfly tee + Star shorts – back to school style

 

Butterfly tee + Star shorts - I love the little skull face on the brick wall!
Butterfly tee + Star shorts – I love the little skull face on the brick wall!

 

Butterflies and stars
Butterflies and stars

 

Butterfly tee against a red background
Butterfly tee against a red background

 

Butterfly tee and star shorts
Butterfly tee and star shorts

 

Sexy Backless Dress – #fashionfriday

Today’s Fashion Friday pick is a sexy backless dress from Favolook on Amazon. This dress looks innocent enough until you put it on. But, dat back, tho! It is very low cut and you will definitely be too hot to handle in this little number. This dress has a smooth slippery feel to it that makes it feel like it will slide right off of you – but never fear! It will stay put. We took this one out to the Columbia River to take photos of it.

I also tried taking some photos of my own, but, even though I am a photographer, it is sometimes hard to get the lighting and focus right in a photo where you are using the self timer and not actually in the photo yet. Also, sometimes the framing can be off and you can be partially out of frame if you are trying to get it exactly the way you want it in the camera. Better to be zoomed out a bit and crop later when using the self-timer mode on your camera. I’m going to have to practice doing more photos of myself a bit more just to figure out how to get it all to look right for when I have to do photo shoots and don’t have a photographer behind the camera.  Usually I have a deadline for my product reviews on Amazon, so sometimes it works out that I have help for photos and sometimes it doesn’t.

*Although I did receive this dress at a discounted rate to review on Amazon, I was not asked to review it for my blog and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

Sexy red backless dress
Sexy red backless dress

 

Backless dress and the Columbia River
Backless dress and the Columbia River

 

Taking in the view on the Columbia River
Taking in the view on the Columbia River

 

Peaceful meditations
Peaceful meditations

 

Black and white
Black and white

 

All photos except the last one were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

Scoop Back Tank Top – #fashionfriday

I recently had the opportunity to review some clothing items on Amazon for a discounted price, and thought I’d share some of the fun fashion photos we took for my very first (insert drum roll here!) – Fashion Friday! If I more fun fashion photos in the future, I’ll share them with you, as well.

We were headed to Pip’s Donuts down on Freemont Street in Portland so I could pick up my free birthday donuts (Pip’s will give you a whole dozen for free if you show them your I.D. the week of your birthday – how awesome is that?)  and stopped at this cool church – called Door of Hope – for this fashion photo shoot. Donuts + fashion – what more could a girl want?

*Note: I was not asked to review this shirt for the blog – I am just sharing them with you for fun.

 

Backless tank top, coffee & flowers
Backless tank top, coffee & flowers

 

Scoop back tank top - Red door
Scoop back tank top – Red door

 

Black scoop back tank top
Black scoop back tank top

 

Black backless tank top & flowers
Black backless tank top & flowers

 

Scoop back tank top - Door of Hope
Scoop back tank top – Door of Hope

 

If you want to buy this product, I got it here: Backless tank top

All photos taken by Calvin Hodgson. You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.

 

Angel wings tee

I am was so excited to get my order from Favolook for the Angel Wings short sleeved t-shirt! (*Although this product was sent to me to try, all opinions expressed are my own & I was not paid to express my opinion. ~ No angels were harmed in the making of this post.)

Originally, I had been trying to get the black, but they were out in my size, so I ordered the white instead. I’m loving the white though! Makes me look more angelic. Ha.

I was also glad to note that it was not 100% cotton, because even though I love cotton t-shirts, I totally forgot to check before ordering and usually cotton shrinks quite a bit. Since the fit was already just right, I quickly had to check and see what it was made out of when it arrived to make sure it wouldn’t be shrinking up when I washed it to a size that would fit my fat cat. (She says she needs some angel wings, too, because she is a perfect angel and her sister can have some devil horns instead. Hmmmm… Not so sure about that.)

But, it is mostly a polyester/cotton blend, so it should stay exactly the same size. All is well in the not-shrinking department! And it feels nice and cool against your skin – which is great on a hot day when you want to be showing off your angel wings!

And then I had to photograph it, because, you’ve got to admit, it is pretty awesome! You can order it on Amazon here: Favolook or click on the photo to go back to the website.

 

Angel wings t-shirt
Angel wings t-shirt

 

On a side note, here I am a few days later after hiking up to Angels Rest in the Columbia River Gorge with some really interesting markings on my back. Hmmm. You, too, could have a really cool angel wing sunburn/tan after wearing this shirt. Ha.

 

That moment you realize you forgot to put sunscreen under your angel wings t-shirt and now you have them burnt into your back by the sun...
That moment you realize you forgot to put sunscreen under your angel wings t-shirt and now you have them burnt into your back by the sun…

 

Flying free on Angels Rest
Flying free on Angels Rest

 

Photo of me by my son, Calvin Hodgson, a very talented up & coming photographer. You can find his work on here on Flickr and on his blog.