Betty's Outfits

This French website features Betty. What's so special about Betty? Well, I'll tell you. She posts photos of her outfits every day and they are so fun to look at. It definitely makes me want to be more Parisian. Why does their style seem to be so hip and effortless?

Photos via Le Blog de Betty

Thug Life

We saw this vase out of the corner of our eyes in a scene of The Pineapple Express. The point is, Janaan and I BOTH noticed it and we talked about it afterwards and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I think that is a sign that you should definitely buy something, if you can't stop thinking about it. So, I bought it. And my gun vase has made me happy...for now. Available at Sprout Home and other groovy retailers.

Nie Nie Day Auctions

On Saturday August 16th, blogger and mom to four, Stephanie Nielson and her husband were in a terrible plane accident. They were critically injured and are currently being treated for third degree burns, with Stephanie's burns covering 80% of her body. Recovery will be long and very expensive.

Today has been declared by the blogging world as Nie Nie Day and auctions are being held all over. To learn more and see what is up for bid visit Design Mom here.

To learn more about the Nielson family, visit

All proceeds will be going directly to the Stephanie & Christian Paypal fund.

*Update: One of the items up for bid is a giclee print of Jeffrey Hein's painting "For She Loved Much." I had to call this one out since the model in this beautiful painting is a dear friend of ours. Bid here.

Ask The Cheaping Girls - Part 2

The good news to come out of the fashion world lately is that you can make your personal style all your own -- following trends is optional. The bad news is that means that the amount of choices out there can be totally overwhelming. The tips this week are designed to help you narrow down all of those choices and most importantly, to make shopping fun!

Shopaphobic to Shopaholic Conversion Tip Two: Up Front Research
How appropriate that Nina Garcia's new book The 100 was released this week as our second tip focuses on some resources that we have found extremely useful in helping build out our wardrobes. We have read lots and lots of fashion books over the years and these are the ones that we have found to be the most practical and what we would consider to be classics. All of these books help you narrow down that big bad world of shopping by focusing on three areas:
1. Identifying Your Body Type
2. Defining the Shapes that Work Best for Your Body Type
3. Defining The Classic Pieces that make up ANY Wardrobe.
If I was going to choose one of these to start with, it would be The Lucky Shopping Manual. It is an excellent reference piece and is perfectly designed to have on hand as you shop.
Every time you dress, you assert your identity. With style, you tell the world your story. In that way, style affords you opportunities to think about your appearance as a quality of your creative character. The Little Black Book of Style helps you to explore your own fashion voice—the piece of you that joyously revels in the glamorous experience of creating your best self. From cultivating good taste to guarding against definite fashion faux pas, Nina Garcia offers readers the ultimate guide to follow when it comes to dressing their best. Including tips on how and when to wear an outfit, occasion-appropriate wear, advice on how to combine colors and textures, and inspiration on how to achieve your own signature look, you learn how to experiment, storyboard, archive, and play. Timeless and universal, this book seeks to remind women that eternal style is internal style, and that everyone has what it takes to discover themselves through the colorful palette that is fashion.

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou

From Oprah to Eva Longoria, top L.A. designer Bradley Bayou has dressed women of all shapes and sizes and knows that every woman has her own natural combination of silhouette shape, height, and weight. Style is not about fitting into the size you think is sexy, it is about picking clothes that fit your body correctly and that create balance. In The Science of Sexy, Bayou helps readers identify their silhouette shape (triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, or hourglass) and combines that information with a height/weight chart to determine which of the forty-eight “fitting rooms” to go to in the book. Each fitting room has Bradley’s specific advice on the clothes and accessories to wear and avoid, and how to create balance using color, scale, proportions, and fabric.

What You Wear Can Change Your Life by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine

Here is the "bible" from the authors of the New York Times bestseller What Not to Wear. What You Wear Can Change Your Life shows you how to redefine your look and style from head to toe. Trinny and Susannah go over the basics of choosing colors that suit you best, what underwear to buy, which accessories to look for, how to store clothing, how to revamp your wardrobe at no cost, and how to make the sartorial most of being pregnant. This is a gorgeous, lavishly illustrated package--a resource to consult again and again. Trinny and Susannah anticipate the needs and questions of every woman and address them with the surefire style, self-deprecating wit, and friendly but firm empathy that have made them the last word in looking better.

The Lucky Shopping Manual by Kim France and Andrea Linett

What to wear, how to buy, where and when to spend: These are the topics covered each month by the exceedingly plugged-in staff of Lucky, whose circulation rocketed from 500,000 to 800,000 in just two short years. For Lucky's devoted fans, and anyone devoted to dressing better and shopping smarter, The Lucky Shopping Manual will be the ├╝ber-find. Finally, there is a book that does away with the inconsequential information in previous fashion books and presents only the most useful tips and imperative information for how to dress better for less.

Filled with tips that will appeal to shopaholics and disciplined bargain hunters alike, this enticing guide is packed with over 1,000 full-color photos and illustrations, with a ribbon marker and flexi-cover so women can take it shopping with them. With great advice on every uniquely designed page, The Lucky Shopping Manual includes features such as:

* Building a wardrobe you love, with cross-referenced sections on everything from skirts, tops, dresses, pants, and suits, to shoes, bags, belts, and what looks best for your body type

* How to spot great finds at the local flea market or the best boutiques

* What to spend your money on and where you can scrimp

* Cool stores coast-to-coast to check out when you're traveling

* Practical tips for fabric care, shoe maintenance, and stain remedies

Tim Gunn's Guide to Style by Tim Gunn and Kate Moloney

There seems to be no one more qualified or equipped to ponder or even, dare I say, dictate 'quality, taste, and style' than Tim." -Sarah Jessica Parker, actor/producer

Television has introduced the world to a new fashion authority: Tim Gunn. As Bravo's style mentor and Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Parsons The New School for Design, Tim delivers advice in a frank, witty, and authoritative manner that delights audiences. Now readers can benefit from Tim's considerable fashion wisdom in Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style. He discusses every aspect of creating and maintaining your personal style: how to dress for various occasions, how to shop (from designer to chain to vintage stores), how to pick a fashion mentor, how to improve your posture, find the perfect fit, and more. He'll challenge every reader-whether a seasoned fashionista or a style neophyte-to "make it work!"

The One Hundred

Yesterday on Good Morning America, Nina Garcia (best known for her appearances as the infallible, formidable fashion judge on Bravo's hit show Project Runway) introduced her new book The One Hundred.

We are fans of her first book The Little Black Book of Style and naturally, were thrilled to hear what she had to say about this book.

In this new book, she answers the question, "Exactly what are fashion's timeless pieces?" The One Hundred contains the 100 items that Nina believes will never go out of style, including the perfect pair of denim jeans, a crisp white men's shirt, and aviator sunglasses.

Check out her segment at:

Fancy Schmantzy Shower Caps

While getting pedicures and shopping around a bit at Nailed! Boutique, I saw these darling shower caps and simply had to have one, because shouldn't you look glamorous even when showering?
As I was browsing the Internet looking for a picture of my sweet new head covering, I found a whole world of fancy shower caps. How could I not have thought of wearing a fancy shower cap before?
Here are some examples of waterproof head coverings. Just Google "fancy shower caps" and enjoy!

Ask The Cheaping Girls - Part 1

Hi Everyone!

This week's question comes from the lovely Christina, a fabulous friend who moved to Chicago and was recently stopped on the street by the Chicago Tribune to be interviewed about her fabulous shoes! But I digress... Look, here's the deal. This was officially the first Ask The Cheaping Girls question, but it was SO huge, SO mind blowing, that it has taken us three months to construct the answer, which I will be posting as a five part series this week.

So, my apologies to Christina for the LLLOOONNNGGG delay. I promise, we have really talked about this a lot, it just took a while to formulate the answer!!

Dear Cheaping Girls,

What does one do when shopping causes anxiety? Every time I go into a store, I feel like there is too much to buy, too little time, not enough money and how come I can't find the good deals like you can? Any simple suggestions to ease my anxious mind and still make me feel as fabulous as you do?

Please advise whenever!

-- Christina 'Shopaphobic' S.

The good news to come out of the fashion world lately is that you can make your personal style all your own -- following trends is optional. The bad news is that means that the amount of choices out there can be totally overwhelming. The tips this week are designed to help you narrow down all of those choices and most importantly, to make shopping fun!

Shopaphobic to Shopaholic Conversion Tip One: Pick a Style Icon

Over the last couple of years each of us has chosen a style icon to emulate. This has been helpful both in terms of helping build out our wardrobes and helping with decision making when we are out shopping.

When choosing a style icon, look for the following:

Someone in your general age range. For example, Mom is not trying to emulate Miley Cyrus.

Someone with your general body type. For example, I am not trying to emulate Madonna. Alright I am. Aren't we all?
Someone that fits with your general lifestyle. For example, if you don't like make-up application, vintage 50's glamour, or being in a dress 24x7, Dita Von Teese probably isn't the icon for you.

This can be someone fictional - like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Or someone real - like Sara Jessica Parker.

It can be someone from the past - like Jackie O.

Or someone from the future - like Scarlett Johansson's Character in The Island.

My style icons are Nicole Ritchie and Gwen Stefani. I like to dress up. I like to dress down. I like dresses with high high heels. I like big accessories. I like things a little funky. And, well, I'm apt to have a fashion 'don't' here and there because of it.

Janaan has been investing in blacks and greys and whites and long lean jeans and flats and asking, WWAW (what would Angelina wear)? Simple, classic, chic.

Mom has fallen in love with the fictional character Lily van der Woodsen - mom of Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl. Bold jackets. Rich fabrics. Lovely feminine details like eyelet sleeves. Fun but age appropriate.
Have some fun with this. Grab some tabloid magazines and tear them apart. Download pictures from the interwebs. The idea here is to find inspiration for your wardrobe and, more importantly to help narrow your choices down when you head out to shop. Ah. Anxiety averted.

Tomorrow: Tip Two - Up Front Research.



Goodnight Goon

It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.

While shopping on Saturday (I know, I know, I meant to stay home and do some important stuff but the day just got away from me) I came across this little gem of a book.

I usually do not like messing with classics like "Goodnight Moon." I mean the book was first published in 1947, so it seems to stand on it's own. But, this parody is just too wonderful to resist. This book has taken the classic lines and morphed them into a creepier version, “Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon.” I am going to start reading it to my grand-daughter right away to get her excited about Halloween.

Little Black Dress

I am always on the lookout for the perfect "little black dress". I love to dress them up with accessories, scarves, jackets, bright colored shoes, etc. I love black. I think it's my favorite color (or is it absence of color? See:

I am close to making the decision to wear black all the time. I still have brown and grey going strong in my closet, but black is winning. I digress.

I started my quest for lots of black dresses about a year ago. Specifically, black dresses with a small cap sleeve. I have made a few mistakes. Sometimes catalog buying is tricky. Some are too big and some too small. But, with a few alterations I now have about 5 great little black dresses. I bought most from catalogs, because I could not find them at department stores very easily. I did buy a couple of Calvin Klein black dresses at TJ Maxx and Ross. He must do a lot of black dresses. Hooray for Calvin!

I came across this little number in the Newport News catalog - it said it was on sale for $39.00 and came in grey. I thought, "well I might try the grey." But alas when I went to the website they only had purple and black, but it was now $29.00.

If I had this body I would buy this dress! It has a built-in girdle so maybe.....I'm sure this has been airbrushed - no one has a curve in their back like that - I don't care how much Pilate's you have been doing! It's from Newport News catalog for $69.00.

This one is from Chadwicks Catalog for $39.99. I'm always against v-necks (I don't know why, its just an irrational fear). But, they are supposed to be slimming and elongating for us folks with squatty necks.

This is a cute little black dress that stands on it's own, but is not as versatile. It's from Chadwicks Catalog and it's 64% off - only $24.99.

Sometimes a longer dress is needed and this one is from JC Penney for only $69.00. Their website has a section for "Little Black Dresses".

Guest Slippers

Lately, wearing shoes in the house has really been ooging me out. I think about all the dirty places our shoes touch, like the bathroom floor. We always make sure to take our shoes off in the house, but what about guests? I don't really like when I have to take off shoes at other's houses because what if my toe nail polish is looking, dare I say, slightly less than perfect?

I was perusing through Martha Stewart's website and I saw this idea.

To combat this fear of awkwardness when having to take off your shoes, Martha recommends having a few pair of slippers in different sizes on hand, so that your guests can slip into those. When Oprah visited Tom Cruise in Telluride earlier this year, he had a custom pair of slippers waiting for her. It's an interesting concept. I'm really going to think about this one.

Image via Martha Stewart

A New Watch

I've never been a fan of digital watches. They all just seemed too "sporty," know-what-I-mean? Now that I need one to time my running, I've been searching for one that is that perfect blend of stylish and functional.

Today I found it. I saw it during the women's javelin throw qualifiyer on Leryn Franco of Paraguay. Now this is a digital watch I could wear. The question is, who makes it and where can I get one?

* Update! It's the Nike Imara Keeva Ladies Watch and it's not too expensive. I've found it on sale for $50. AND it comes in a variety of colors. Thanks Kate!

Designer Stuff at Big Lots?

Celebrity designer Jennifer Farrell is a familiar face to television audiences who have enjoyed her shows in the lifestyle and home improvement arena. Jennifer has just finished the debut season of the Style Network's newest hit, "My Celebrity Home." She spent three exciting seasons as co-host and designer for Lifetime Television's hit home makeover show, "Merge." She has served as on-air designer for the Fox Network show "Renovate My Family" as well as the host of Fox Television's "Design Intervention." She has been featured on shows such as "Before and After'noon Movies" for USA Network and "Outer Spaces" for HGTV, her own award-winning gardens having been highlighted on the network as well. Her signature style balances an inventive flair for the theatric with a sense of cozy comfort to create inspired living.

Now, Jennifer Farrel has a collection available exclusively at Big Lots. The collection includes a furniture, lamps, pillows, frames, dinnerware, candles & candle holders and other decorative accents.

I decided to check this stuff out at my local Big Lots last night. Although they did not have a huge amount of her stuff, what was there was nice and you would not be ashamed to have it in your home.

I bought goblets made of bubble glass that look like Pottery Barn (pictured below) for $4.00 each and inlaid glass candle dishes for $2.50 each. Big Lots does have some higher prices these days, but they still have closeouts that are fun.

Currently Loving...

the colors on the cover of the new Domino.

A Happy Weekend

This weekend we had a little family celebration for our sister Tina's big 3-0. Playing off her love of sunflowers, we had a yellow themed party. The banner was made courtesy of our Cricut machine. A special thanks to Sierra for teaching us how to use it!