Fashion & Beauty

I can’t lie: When the seasons change, I have the overwhelming desire to refresh my wardrobe. This year, that’s even more true because admittedly, a lot of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe either doesn’t fit at all, or just doesn’t fit right. So my options are somewhat limited these days. Here are some things I’m really coveting this spring:

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1. Midi skirts with pockets  |   2. Plus size bikinis |  3. Ripped jeans  |  4. Stackable rings  |
5. Mesh details   |  6. Floral sweatshirts  |  7. Open booties  |  8. Crop tops (aff)

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9. Joggers  |  10. Floral baseball caps  |  11. Zip-front dresses (for nursing)  |  12. Colorful sneakers  |  13. Statement tees  |  14. Tutus  |  15. Comfy organic dresses (aff)

As you can see, I’m currently loving skirts and really feminine details (more tutus, please!), but I’m also loving comfy, tomboy-esque silhouettes. I have no idea how the whole jogger trend will work for me, but I’m still going to try!

What’s on your current wish list for spring? What trends do you plan to try as the weather warms up?

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What We’re Wearing: Ja’Naya — George Chiffon Dress and Legging Set, $13.97 (aff); Juliza — Child of Mine by Carters Baby Dress Set, $7.94; Me — George Lace Dress, $15.44 and $2.88 Head Wrap (aff)

I can fully admit that I love having two little girls. Nothing against my boys, but I love getting dressed up, and I’m thankful that my oldest daughter does too. The baby doesn’t have a choice yet :) And if there’s one occasion that’s always an excuse to get dressed up, it’s Easter. So when Walmart challenged me to dress my family for Easter for less than $40, I was only too happy to oblige.

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For most people, this occasion marks the return to warm weather and is a celebration of spring and newness. In terms of fashion, it usually marks a return to color. As you can see, we had no problem going bright and cheery.

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There were a lot of great girls’ dresses and outfits to choose from, but this chiffon set was one of the first things we spotted. I initially wasn’t sure about it, but once my daughter tried it on, we both knew it was the winner. The dress is long enough to be worn on its own with tights, or even bare-legged with shorts underneath. But the floral leggings add some definite punch and make the outfit a bit more casual, which means she’ll be able to wear it again after Easter since it’s not super dressy.

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Baby Juliza obviously has the cuteness factor going for her, no matter what she wears. But when at Walmart, I always shop for pieces from Child of Mine by Carters. The cotton is super soft, unlike some other baby brands, and the patterns are usually fun and colorful. To coordinate with her big sister, we grabbed a yellow patterned dress and leggings set. I actually went a size up, so it is a little big, but it will fit her throughout the summer. We plan to get a lot of wear out of this less than $8 outfit.

You were probably expecting a flouncy princess dress for the baby. We thought about that, but that type of dress actually starts at 12 months in sizing. The infant outfits are a lot tamer :)

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As for mama, it wasn’t too tough to find an outfit to coordinate with my girls. The lace dress I chose was actually available in 4 different colors in store, and 5 online. The weight of the dress is really nice, and because the lace is attached to the lining material, it’s not likely to get caught on anything and rip. My biggest challenge is that I can’t nurse efficiently in this dress, since there’s no front access, but I will definitely keep it in my closet for when I’m done breastfeeding.

I also grabbed a bright headwrap that can be worn half-a-dozen different ways for less than $3. So for a few bucks over $40 (after tax), my girls and I are ready for Easter fun.

What about you? Does your family dress up for Easter?

DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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On Saturday, my husband and I went on our first real date since the baby was born. It was a much-needed break. Even though I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle a late night and I was tired before we even left the house, I’m really glad we went. We took the photos above when we were headed back to the car after, and you can probably tell we had a great time.

We went to see my cousin, reggae singer Pressure Busspipe, live with a couple of other artists. I have to show a little V.I. pride with one of his most recent songs, Virgin Islands Nice.

But now, for my outfit…

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I’m Wearing: H&M Conscious Collection top | Forever 21+ leather-look skater skirt (similar) | Fergalicious Pattie platform sandals (similar) | BCBGeneration Quinn clutch | Gifted necklace (similar) | H&M rings (aff)

When I saw this shirt on the H&M website, I fell in love. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with t-shirts with stuff written on them. Even better if the writing is cursive and more kudos if it’s black and white. But this one was on the must-have list because it’s from H&M’s Conscious Collection, which includes clothing made with sustainability in mind. In other words, it’s tailor made for this eco diva! This top is made of 100% recycled polyester, but there are also pieces made from organic cotton, silk (I assume cruelty-free), hemp blends, and lyocell. I definitely plan to add a few more of these pieces to my collection, because they are really affordable and beautiful. They just added more pieces in the last few days.

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My second obsession of late has been skirts. I think I stayed away from them for a long time because I had to wear a uniform skirt from elementary through high school. But now, I can’t get enough of them. I’ve wanted a leather-look skater skirt for at least a year, and I found this one on clearance at the Forever 21 website. It’s gone now, but you can get this actual leather skater skirt on clearance at ASOS.

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Now for the shoes. I’ve had these for like 2 years and never wore them. They actually are really comfortable, which is saying a lot for me, because my feet generally hate heels and revolt every time I try to wear them. But I finally went out on a limb because they were the perfect way to add some color to an otherwise monochromatic outfit. Add to that a coral clutch purse I’ve had for a while, and I felt like a bombshell for our date.

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I’m Wearing: H&M Conscious Collection top | Forever 21+ leather-look skater skirt (similar) | Fergalicious Pattie platform sandals (similar) | BCBGeneration Quinn clutch | Gifted necklace (similar) | H&M rings (aff)

What about you? Are you as obsessed with skirts as I am right now? What’s your favorite silhouette? I have some midi and maxi skirts coming into the rotation soon.

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I admit that since baby Juliza was born, it’s been a challenge to find alone time with my older daughter. She is an amazing big sister who helps out a lot, but she rarely has mama to herself these days. That’s been a big change. Within a 6-month time frame, my stepson came to live with us and we added a new baby, so very quickly, she went from having mom and dad all to herself to sharing us.

So a few weeks ago, I arranged a mommy-daughter date. I grabbed some tickets for the two of us to go see a local ballet performance of Cinderella. We had a great time together, and on the way home, we stopped at the park to do something else we both enjoy — taking pictures. Especially since she picked out her own outfit and added a tiara at the ballet.

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SHE’S WEARING: Thrifted Cherokee floral dress  |  Cherokee cardigan  |  Faded Glory leggings |  Merona flats (aff)

After the ballet, of course she had to pose like a ballerina! In her ballet flats, no less.

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Plus, it only makes sense that they were selling tiaras at the ballet. Because what little girl doesn’t leave a performance like that wanting to be a princess, right? The upshot is that the quality is pretty nice, and I know she’ll cherish both the tiara and the memory of our date.

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She picked her outfit all the way down to the leggings and the shoes, so I had to let her show it off :) I live for photos like these, because soon, my little girl won’t be so little any more, and I’ll look back at these with misty eyes about how much she has grown up.

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And to prove how much she’s growing up, she had to show off her photography and photoshoot directing skills. She’s becoming a pretty good photographer with a good eye for composition, and she “posed” me for quite a few shots.

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I’M WEARING: Thrifted Ralph Lauren tie neck top (similar)  |  Forever 21 lace skirt (similar)  |  Thrifted City DKNY blazer (similar)  |  Thrifted BCBG ankle strap flats  |  Steve Madden Sunrize satchel  |  Gifted floral bracelet (aff)

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I’ve had this outfit on my radar for a long while, but I could never quite decide when to wear it. I figured if I can’t wear a tulle skirt and ballet flats to the ballet, then when the heck would I wear them, right?

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I kept the rest of the outfit simple so the skirt could do the talking. And I was thankful that though it was a rainy day, it wasn’t very cold, so I could afford to go bare-legged.

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Honestly, we’re going to have to do this mommy daughter date thing more often. Juliza will get her turn soon enough :)

Outfit: Put a Cork in It

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I’M WEARING: Cork handbag and bracelet courtesy of Pelcor  | Old Navy initial sweater |  Jordache skinny jeans from Walmart | Thrifted Plenty by Tracy Reese ankle boots (here in dark brown and similar) |  Alex and Ani bracelets  | Walmart necklace  |  Knit hat from Payless (aff)

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As a plus sized woman, I learned long ago that, unfortunately, my options for eco-friendly clothing are limited. There are a few brands that are making stylish clothes for women over a size 16, but they are few and far between. But clothes aren’t the only things that make a wardrobe. Accessories do that too, and it’s a lot easier to find companies making sustainable options in that category.

One of those companies is Pelcor. When I discovered their cork accessories, I immediately fell in love. If you’re thinking that this material is best suited for sealing wine bottles, think again.

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My purse and wrap bracelet are both made of cork, which is sustainable because it can be harvested without damaging the tree from which it came. In fact, the cork actually regenerates after each harvest. Learn more about it. These great accessories prove that it can also look pretty amazing.

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Pelcor makes handbags and other accessories in a dizzying array of colors and styles. Blue is my favorite color, which means that this purse is now high on my list of favorites. The material feels a lot smoother than you would expect, and it is very hardy. I have a feeling it will hold up to a lot of use.

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I’M WEARING: Cork handbag and bracelet courtesy of Pelcor  | Old Navy initial sweater |  Jordache skinny jeans from Walmart | Thrifted Plenty by Tracy Reese ankle boots (here in dark brown and similar) |  Alex and Ani bracelets  | Walmart necklace  |  Knit hat from Payless (similar) (aff)

What do you think? Would you wear accessories made of cork?

Disclosure: I received product samples from Pelcor for the purpose of this review. As usual, all opinions are completely my own.

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As you can imagine, since Miss Juliza came into our world, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of dressing up. Or a whole lot of leaving the house. Or a whole lot of anything else but feeding her, working, and getting as much sleep as possible to avoid walking around like a zombie. But I have been wanting to do some outfit posts, because — well — they’re fun for me and give me a reason to get out of my house clothes.

So when Walmart issued a challenge — Create five different outfits using three of their Faded Glory women’s tank tops — I was only too eager to jump in feet first. Until I realized that I had to create five outfits. Yeah. But after the initial feeling of overwhelm subsided, I realized that it’s really not that difficult to do. Because tank tops are crazy versatile and I really do wear them all the time.

These particular tank tops are awesome, too. They cost just $3.94 a pop, and the quality is great. They are long enough to cover your butt, have a great stretch, and straps wide enough to cover bra straps. Plus, they come in a ton of colors and even a few patterns. So here are five ways you can get the most out of your tank tops:

Casual Chic

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I’M WEARING: Faded Glory tank top from Walmart |  Derek Heart open cardigan | Faded Glory jeggings | Aerosoles Sarasota extendable calf boots  |  Kenneth Jay Lane necklace (similar & similar) (aff)

I love black and white patterns because it’s really easy to build upon them. I don’t wear white pants often, but I wanted to play up the “black and white with a splash of color” effect here. Even better? Both the jeggings and the printed cardigan are from Walmart. Excluding the boots and accessories, my whole outfit cost just $26.

Dress It Up

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I’M WEARING: Faded Glory tank from Walmart |  City DKNY blazer (similar) | Forever 21 pencil skirt (similar & similar) | Thrifted BCBG flats | ASOS bow belt  |  Jessica Simpson bow bracelet (aff)

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Tank tops are the perfect layering pieces, and they can skew sophisticated if you pair them with the right elements. A simple pencil skirt and my favorite blazer take the same tank from casual to office-ready. I injected a little personality with my accessories: a bow belt and bracelet.

Inject Some Color

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I’M WEARING: Faded Glory tank top from Walmart |  Faded Glory maxi dress | TOMS shoes | Thrifted necklace (aff)

Every year, I seem to find a favorite maxi dress. You know. The kind of dress you can throw on for almost any occasion and look like you really tried. This striped Faded Glory dress from Walmart this year’s wear-anywhere pick. I love the fact that is has sleeves, and the stripes and rope belt give it a nautical edge. Not to mention the buttoned top will make it perfect for nursing. Still, I don’t necessarily want it to look the same every time, and dresses can be layered too. I added a bright red tank underneath and paired the outfit with my red Toms. Now I’m comfortable and chic.

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And since Juliza happened to be wearing a red onesie, I thought I’d get her in on the fun too :)

Easy Breezy

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I’M WEARING: Faded Glory tank from Walmart |  Kenar pants (similar) | Thrifted Calvin Klein sandals (similar) | Gifted necklace (aff)

Can I just say that I love these pants? I imagine I’m going to live in these for spring and summer. They are cool and comfy, and they fit and move like a dream. Paired with a colorful tank, this is the perfect outfit for a day at the park or shopping. I could also pair it with a blazer or denim jacket on cooler days.

Tomboy Chic

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I’M WEARING: Faded Glory tank top from Walmart |  Lucky Brand plaid shirt | Denim jeggings | Timberland work boots | Forever 21 “Bad” necklace (aff)

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This last look is one of my favorite just because I love plaid boyfriend shirts. This one is soft and feels luxurious. And while I could dress it up with a full skirt or some great high-waisted jeans, the reality is that this style is absolutely me: Paired with a tank, some jeans and Tims, this feels the most authentic to what I’d wear on any given day. It also works really well with the shirt tied around the waist.

So, how do you wear your tank tops? Did this post give you some new ways to approach this wardrobe staple? Share your ideas in the comments below!

DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I admit that I never get quite as excited for the Winter Olympics as I do for the summer games. But we’ve been paying attention to the news this year leading up to Sochi — good and bad — and we plan to tune in to the opening ceremonies tomorrow and the events in the weeks to follow.

It can never hurt to add a little excitement to our Olympics-watching plans, and if there’s one sport that excites me, it’s ice skating. I can still remember watching Michelle Kwan’s medal winning performance during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, and I remember my devastation as a little girl when Tonya Harding was charged with orchestrating an attack against fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan.

So when Walmart challenged me to do something fun to get ready for the Winter Olympics, ice skating was the first thing that came to mind. The Jamaican bobsled team (real and fictional) was a close second, but I digress :)

Ice skating and the awesome costumes that go with it were my initial thoughts. I think I enjoy seeing the on-ice fashion as much as I do the routines. Given all of that and my penchant for dressing my baby in cute things, I decided I’d try to find an ice-skating inspired outfit for Juliza.

And when there are options as cute as these, how could I resist?

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In the end, I found a sweet snowflake-printed tutu onesie by Faded Glory for less than $9, and I HAD to get those boots by Carters! I also bought a couple pairs of Carters leggings, but I thought it looked more like an ice-skating outfit with bare legs :)

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So here’s Miss Juliza in her first outfit of the day, inspired by the Olympic athletes we’ll watch skate in Sochi this year.

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Meanwhile, I’ll pretend that she’s dreaming about her first pair of skates and Olympic gold medals :)

When Walmart starts selling tutus in our sizes, Ja’Naya and I will join the fun. For now, we’ll live vicariously through baby-sized ruffles and triple axle jumps on TV.

Are you and your family doing anything special to get ready for the Winter Olympics?

DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Being pregnant is an exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also be one of the most frustrating when it comes to her wardrobe. Your body is changing almost daily, and after a while, most of your clothes no longer fit. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t want to look stylish and well put together, right?

Well, with some careful shopping, you can rock the latest trends while also rocking your baby bump! It just takes a little know how to turn the latest fashions into styles that will suit your changing body.

Images courtesy of NewLook.com

Images courtesy of NewLook.com

Don’t Shy Away from Prints & Color

From vibrant colors to patterns that catch the eye, you can find prints everywhere, including  full outfits made from the same print. Maternity clothes don’t have to be boring with power prints that stand out from the crowd. And let’s be honest. While you’re pregnant, chances are you’re going to stand out anyway. So why not go for a bold print you might otherwise shy away from? This is the time to show off your baby bump proudly and a vibrant print will definitely do that.

Color blocking has also been on trend for a few years now, and it still works on a pregnant body. Color block your wardrobe by wearing one vibrant color on top and another complementary color on the bottom. To make it really special, use your bump to define the sections for your color blocking, either just above or just below your belly. Or look for tops and dresses that have color blocking already built into the pattern, such as bold stripes in 2-3 colors.

Another great way to highlight your baby bump is with a belt or bow around your torso. Wear a cute skinny belt or tie a fabric sash or ribbon into a bow just above your stomach to cinch in a flowing top or dress. This accents the natural curve created by your belly and can turn a loose, shapeless top or dress into a fabulous maternity look.

Boyish Looks & High Waists are In

Menswear looks are everywhere right now, from the runway to magazines to the street. This is great news for moms-to-be because menswear looks are often much looser than women’s styles and therefore more forgiving. Take a loose men’s button-down shirt and pair it with leggings for a trendy, comfortable look. If you’re not sure of the fit, try to find a maternity button down. Roll up the sleeves to your elbows and button the shirt over your baby bump and you’re good to go. Adding stretchy leggings will keep you stylish without being too restricting around your tummy.

Another trend now is the high waist look for skirts and jeans. A high waist works well with a pregnant body because the higher waist will fit better over your bump without forcing you to wear a waistband under your belly. Try a high waist pencil skirt with a flowing top for an effortless office look. You can keep wearing this outfit after the baby comes if you buy a skirt with the right amount of stretch.

Try Loose, Flowing Tops

Flowing tops are very much on trend this year and are a pregnant girl’s best friends. Flowing tops skim over your baby bump to give coverage and extra room where you need it. You may not even need to look for maternity shirts. Some loose flowing tops that aren’t intended for maternity styles may have enough extra fabric to cover you before and after the baby comes. Pair your flowing top with skinny jeans or leggings for a casual yet stylish maternity look that you can keep rocking after the bump is gone.

Flaunt Your Baby Bump with Pride

You should be proud to show off your new shape while pregnant. Let the world know you’re carrying a little one in there by wearing structured clothes that highlight your curves. You can still rock office appropriate looks by finding a perfect fitted shift dress. Look for details such as ruching just under the bust that will draw the eye toward the narrowest part of your torso to create a waist while complimenting your baby bump at the same time. A great shift dress can also go from the office to a party with a few changes of accessories, so it’s a great investment piece for moms-to-be who don’t want to buy invest in just a couple of maternity pieces that will work in a ton of situations.

About the Author: Victoria Fleming is passionate about flattering style. She loves blogging about beautiful looks for women at any stage of life.