Fashion & Beauty

I grew up watching the 1982 version of Annie, and like the rest of the world, I was captivated by the little redhead who had a way of making everyone smile. I loved the story of this little orphan who found a home in the most unexpected of places, and I loved the music. Fast forward more than 30 years later, and my daughter is getting a chance to fall in love with Annie too, courtesy of Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx.

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My husband and I took our girls to see the new Annie movie when it was still in theaters, and Ja’Naya loved it! I can’t lie — part of the charm for me was seeing a little girl who looked a lot like my little girl playing a role that I grew up loving. So when Walmart offered me the chance to have a movie night with my family and Annie, we were all excited. Not least of all Ja’Naya.

In this remake, Annie is a foster kid who is an a crappy situation with a horrible foster mom, but who still manages to keep an infectious spirit that affects everyone around her. The original Daddy Warbucks is replaced by Mr. Stacks, a ridiculously wealthy cell phone mogul who wants to use Annie to score him some votes in his run for mayor. He eventually falls in love with the precocious little girl, but of course, there’s always someone who will try to ruin a good thing. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Anyway, we received the exclusive Annie Blu-ray & DVD gift set, complete with Sandy plush dog, which is available in-stores now. Plus, much to my daughter’s delight, we received the soundtrack CD and lyrics sheets. I swear, she learned the words to all the songs exactly 2 days in.

But when we sat down to have movie night, I thought it would be awesome to style my daughter’s hair like Annie, in a big curly twistout.

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The process is simple for naturally curly hair.

1. Wash and detangle hair with a moisturizing conditioner. Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner is one of my favorites.

2. While hair is still wet, neatly twist it into two-strand twists with a moisturizing styler, like Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

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3. Allow hair to dry in twists. This can mean keeping the twists intact for as little as a few hours, or as is the case with my daughter, a few days. I prefer to keep her hair twisted for school and gymnastics during the week, and let it loose on the weekends.

4. Carefully untwist hair, being careful not to pull and frizz. The curls should be clumped and well-defined.

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The final result is a gorgeous twistout of which I’m sure Annie would approve!

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Ja’Naya got into the spirit of the movie and donned her favorite red dress for movie night, mirroring Annie’s outfit for her big night with Mr. Stacks and the DVD cover.

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She’s already watched the movie 3 times, and I know the fourth is coming on a night when she doesn’t have homework. Suffice it to say that Annie is a hit around here, and I’m sure you and your family will love it too. The DVD box set is just $24.96. Now we just have to watch the 1982 version so she’ll have a point of comparison and see why this version is so special.

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. Affiliate links have been used.

Outfit: Spring has Sprung

Georgia is a big tease. In between the crazy cold, windy days, we’ll get a 60-degree day here and a 70-degree day here, and I’ll think spring is here to stay. Of course, I’ll be wrong, and it’s back to 30 degrees the next day. And it leaves me bitter every time. Still, there are some places where spring is on, and thanks to Walmart, I brought a little of that into my closet.

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I was honestly really impressed by the spring fashion selection at Walmart. There’s lace, pastels and neons, big hats in stripes and solids, colorful statement necklaces, maxi dresses, jumpsuits, kimonos and more. I really had a lot to choose from. I was tempted to go for florals, but instead, I put together an outfit using two pieces that were missing from my closet: a midi dress and a great hat.

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I’m Wearing: No Boundaries Aztec lace dress ($14.88) | Floppy straw hat ($7.97) (aff)

I cannot overstate how much I love this dress. I used to be so afraid of form-fitting silhouettes, but I’ve learned to embrace my curves and wear what I like. And this dress right here? I absolutely love it!

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Lace can be tricky if not made well, because it usually has zero stretch or movement, so you have to be spot-on for sizing. In this case, the dress is more of a lazer-cut pattern than traditional lace, and both the dress and lining have great stretch. It is an incredibly comfortable wear, and I love the just-below-the-knee length. I can already tell this is going to be in heavy rotation for spring and summer. Plus, it’s available in 3 other colors (spearmint, coral and black) and at just $14.88, I really want to get a few more.

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The dress by itself was fabulous, but I knew I needed something else to punch it up. A big statement necklace felt too heavy, but when I saw these hats, I had to have one. This style is only available in Walmart stores. Still, it’s worth the trip, because there are a ton of options, and they’re only $7.97. I felt like a real Southern belle in this hat.

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Plus, I know it’s going to come in really handy when Memorial Day rolls around and I’m out in the sun all day for Atlanta’s Caribbean carnival. I’m going to get more than my money’s worth that weekend alone.

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The spring fashion season is here in full effect, and Walmart has really done a great job of meeting this year’s trends at great prices. Check out what they have to offer, and tell me what’s on your spring fashion wish list this year.

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. Affiliate links have been used.

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I admit it. I’m a bad mommy. OK, not really. But every year, I forget to get my child a green outfit — or shirt, or something — for St. Patrick’s Day. What can I say? Green isn’t a color that’s in heavy rotation in my daughter’s closet. So she winds up dodging the threat of pinches every year.

Not this year, though. This year, when Walmart challenged me to share a St. Patrick’s Day story, I finally acted in advance and got her a cute green outfit to rock.

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She’s Wearing: Faded Glory circle top | Faded Glory roll cuff chino capris (aff)

Here’s the thing: I realize the pants skew more “mint” than emerald green, but there wasn’t a lot of that to be found, save for one St. Patty’s Day themed shirt featuring Hello Kitty. Instead of buying a top she could wear only one time, I thought it made more sense to get her something she could wear again. Plus, these chinos were just too cute to pass up, and only $10.64.

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Paired with a flouncy top, I think it’s safe to say she’ll be avoiding pinches this year. And maybe — just maybe — she’ll attract a leprechaun to come bring us a little good luck and a lot of green.

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Wishful thinking? Her smile says “yes!”

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. Affiliate links have been used.

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I’m Wearing: George ponte jacket | Jordache high rise super skinny jeans (aff)

I can’t lie to you…I’m a bit weary of winter. But this is the way it always happens, right? We wait for summer to turn into fall, then to winter so we can pull out our fancy boots and layers. Then a few months in, we’re longing for warm weather again. Thankfully, I live in Georgia, so I won’t have to wait but a few short months for spring.

And as I anticipate spring, there are a couple of pieces I really like to have in my closet for the transition: A great blazer that can warm up a chilly day and dress up any outfit, and a great pair of jeans that can take from me from cold months to warm and back again.

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This awesome George blazer went in my cart about 2 seconds after I spotted it on the rack at Walmart. It’s a soft jacket — not a structured one like I usually prefer — so I wasn’t sure if I’d like the fit, but it is super comfortable, and I love the rolled sleeves (though you can unroll them if you want). At just $19.94, it is one of those great items that I can wear with a skirt, over a dress, or with a long-sleeved tee and jeans when it’s still cold outside.

And speaking of jeans: I have three pairs of these in different colors my closet because I love them so much. These Jordache high rise super skinny jeans have the perfect amount of stretch — so much that they still wear well after a wash and will fit over leggings or tights when it’s really cold. Plus, I cannot stand low-rise jeans, and these hit the perfect spot on my waist so I don’t have to spend the whole day pulling up my pants.

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In addition to these two spring staples, I love to get tanks, leggings and other layering basics at Walmart, because I know they’ll be affordable and the quality will be good. Check out Walmart’s Closet Must-Haves page to see what else they have to offer. You’ll find everything from on-trend kimonos and joggers to everyday jeans and purses.

So what about you? What’s on your list of closet must-haves?

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I have spent a lot of time lamenting the lack of clothing options for women like me. Women who care for the Earth and care about how and where our clothes were made, but who also want to look fabulous and happen to be plus sized. Thankfully, that is beginning to change, and I love discovering new brands that cater to my desire for all these things. LNBF is the latest to catch my eye and let me tell you — I am in love.

Outfit 1

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I’m Wearing: Taylor dress c/o LNBF | Aerosoles Sarasota Boots

LNBF stands for “Leave Nothing but Footprints”, which comes from the saying:

“Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories.”

As their name might imply, LNBF is dedicated to making clothing that doesn’t leave a huge footprint on the Earth. As such, they use luxurious, eco-friendly fabrics like bamboo viscose, Tencel and organic cotton. Even better? Many of their pieces go up to XXL in sizing. Win for the big girls!

The Taylor dress, which is officially my new favorite little black dress, is made of bamboo with faux leather details. And those details? Just yes! The waist cinching silhouette and the faux leather shoulder details make this a perfect choice for so many occasions. Plus, the fabric is weighty enough to work if layered during the winter, but I can still envision wearing it in the summer.

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Outfit 2

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I’m Wearing: Lola belted dress c/o LNBF | Aerosoles Sarasota Boots

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This second dress is going to be added to heavy rotation in my closet. The Lola belted dress has a great tulip silhouette that is so figure-flattering, even without the belt. Still, the belt puts it over the top. The length is a little on the short side, so it could work as a tunic with leggings or tights, which is great for winter. However, I have no problem showing off my legs, so I know it’s going to become a summer staple because of that fabulous high neckline and the comfy fabric.

Outfit 3

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I’m Wearing: Annabelle leggings and Erika peplum top c/o LNBF | Zara heels (old)

I admit I saved the best for last here. I cannot possibly overstate how much I love these leggings. I’ve worn waaaay too many that have elastic waistbands and stretch out around the ankles. These slide on like butter, and the zippered back and tailored fit give them a much more sophisticated look than your average leggings. Also, the faux leather front panels just make me swoon. So there’s that :)

The Erika peplum top is a great twist on a classic. I thought I was over the peplum silhouette after wearing it so much for the past few years, but the asymmetric hem of this top makes it different, and the fabric is so soft that I spend a good minute rubbing it against my skin even before I put it on. Really. It feels like magic and clouds had a baby. Plus, it’s on sale right now for $29.99, so I am tempted to get one in every color. This only goes up to XL, but that fit my busty body just perfect.

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Honestly, I am so thrilled to have found LNBF. I come across a lot of eco-friendly fashion brands that leave something to be desired in the style department, or who just stick to basics that are nice, but not exciting. To be sure, they do offer essentials, but there’s just enough in their collection that is fashion-forward that I know I’ll keep going back every time they have new released.

It’s Giveaway Time!

I love when I can share the love with my readers, and LNBF wants to bless one of you with a $100 gift card so you can buy whatever you want! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!

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Bonus! Coupon Code

If you want to go right ahead and start shopping now, you can do it with 20% off! That’s right! LNBF is offering Green & Gorgeous readers 20% off with coupon code “GREEN20 through Feb 28!

Disclosure: I received clothing for review from LNBF. All opinions stated here are my own and completed accurate.

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I’m Wearing: No Boundaries sweater | Faded Glory tank | Faded Glory jeggings | Just Fab Misha boots (aff)

Soooo…did you miss me? This is my first outfit post of 2015. At the end of January. I know, I know. BAD fashion blogger! I just hadn’t been feeling inspired of late. So when Walmart gave me the opportunity to share a winter story of my choosing, I figured it was time to get off my butt and find some inspiration. What I found was this fabulous sweater, and the fashion angels collectively sang a beautiful tune in celebration.

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OK…so I may be over-exaggerating a little, but as you can see, I found the inspiration I was looking for.

Isn’t it fabulous?! It’s a slubby knit that looks like it would be itchy, but is instead soft and comfy. Plus, I love the minty stripes and the fact that the neck is wide enough that I can wear it off the shoulder. This is going in immediate rotation in my closet, because I am in love. Also? It’s on sale at Walmart.com for just $8 in pink and gray, and I have every intention of ordering at least one more color.

My only complaint is the length, but that’s absolutely a personal preference. I hate tops that hit me mid-hip. Just never been a fan of that silhouette. This is why I added a layering tank underneath — for the extra warmth, but also for the extra length.

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I paired it with the world’s most comfortable jeggings, from Walmart‘s Faded Glory line. The fit around the ankle is nice and close, unlike some jeggings that get wide at the bottom. They do skew a little on the sheer side, so if you wear white like I did, you’ll need to wear black underwear, or shapewear or leggings underneath to avoid any wardrobe mishaps. Still, they come in a ton of colors, and for less than $15, they’re my favorite way to experiment with color and pattern without spending a lot of money, and they even work as thicker layering elements under other pants. Definitely a winter staple around these parts.

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The best part of this outfit though? It gave me an excuse to pull out my gray over-the-knee boots. These babies are my new faves. But if youlook really close in the photos, you’ll see that our choice of a photoshoot location means that I have to scrub the Georgia red clay off my shoes.

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten out of my slump, you can expect to see more outfit posts in the coming weeks. What have you been up to in 2015? Feel free to share 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. Affiliate links have been used.

To call my daughter active would be a severe understatement. If she’s not doing gymnastics, she’s thinking about doing gymnastics. All day. Every day. It’s been this way for almost 2 years. She spent the last year teaching herself lots of moves since she wasn’t taking classes for a while, but she’s getting ready to start formal training again, and the occasion called for some new gear. So when Walmart asked me to share some activewear finds, I headed straight to the girls’ section to find her a few pieces that could accommodate her favorite pastime.

Because while I could get her to stand still for a couple of pics…

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Most of them were like this…

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…or this…

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…or this.

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You get the point. I love Walmart‘s Danskin Now performance apparel. The fabrics are breathable and stretchy, and the colors and patterns are awesome. There’s tons of options that she can mix and match.

We picked up two Danskin Now girls’ performance long-sleeve tees at $6.86 apiece, two performance shorts at $4.88 apiece, and one pair of performance capris for $9.98. I love the capris because they offer extra coverage without getting in her way, and she loves them because they’re soft and comfy. Still, she seems to prefer the shorts because she can easily throw them on over her leotards and contort her body into various dangerous-looking positions.

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Honestly though, we’re thinking these will be a hit at her new gym, and we’ll likely be investing in some more because she’s going to need all the activewear she can get.

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And since I have to see her do this all day long, now so do you. She actually started a gymnastics YouTube channel, Fantastic Gymnastics, a few months back, so we made a little compilation of her doing a bunch of stunts in Walmart‘s activewear. Check it out:

I’d say she’s well on her way to being the next Gabby Douglas!

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. Affiliate links have been used.

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I’m Wearing: Walmart statement earrings | Faded Glory plaid shirt | Eloquii satin midi skirt | Nine West Authority heels | Apt. 9 satchel purse (aff)

Most years, I spend New Year’s Eve in my pajamas, snuggling with my hubby and kids so we can watch the ball drop in Times Square and toast with some sparkling apple cider. Still, what would I wear if I were to get all dressed up for a fancy party? Well, a New Year’s Eve outfit requires a little sparkle, and I don’t own any sequins. The quickest way to take an outfit from casual to party-ready is with some great statement jewelry. So when Walmart challenged me to share a New Year’s Eve story, I knew I wanted to pick up a couple of their great, affordable statement pieces.

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Toward the end of this year, I’ve been obsessed with two things: Plaid shirts and midi skirts. I grabbed this Faded Glory top, thinking I could pair it with my new satin midi skirt, and when I found these earrings, I knew I had an outfit! I like to think of the whole look as “Fancy Lumberjack.”

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The earrings are the perfect complement to the two pieces, and the best part? They were only $5! Seriously? How many gorgeous pair of earrings could I get at just $5 a pop? And there were so many awesome options to choose from.

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And as if the $5 earrings aren’t enough, this bevy of statement necklaces?

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Just $10 apiece! I wore one last week. With another plaid shirt. Don’t judge me.

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Also, I will be going back for this minty fresh beauty and the knit kimono to match.

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Anyway, back to my New Year’s outfit. The plaid top could definitely skew casual depending on the pairing, but the satin and rhinestones really elevate it to something fit for a celebration.

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And celebrate we will. Baby Juliza came into our lives this year and she’ll be one in a little more than a week. We have a roof over our heads and food to eat, and we’re healthy. We moved to a new city and Ja’Naya has adapted and thrived at her new school. I’m blessed to make a living doing what I love, whether it’s style blogging or graphic design. I ended the year with a lucky streak that saw me win no fewer than six giveaways that allowed my kids a great Christmas. There’s just so much to be grateful for about 2014, so I’ll ring in 2015 in style, in hopes that it will be even better.

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Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed and Happy New Year!

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. Affiliate links have been used.