Fashion & Beauty

Fall fashion makes me happy. The warmth, the comfort, the layers — all of it makes me actually want to get up and get dressed every day. Which is saying a lot for someone who may or may not regularly work in her pajamas. The thing is, I often want to get dressed without having to think too much about it. I want to “throw on” something that feels and looks great, but doesn’t require hours of planning and getting ready. Enter J.Jill’s Pure Jill collection.

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I’m Wearing: Pure Jill Cascading Hoodie c/o J.Jill | Pure Jill Crinkle V-neck Tunic c/o J.Jill | Forever 21 High-Waisted Leggings (similar) | Just Fab Misha boots (aff)

#PureJill is relaxed and uncomplicated, full of great textures, softness, natural fabrics like cotton and linen and colors inspired. It is the definition of comfy, and it’s available in sizes up to 4X.

I fell in love with the look of the Cascading Hoodie. It feels like an open cardigan, but the fabric is heavy enough to work as a warm jacket on cooler days, and the hood adds that extra something that takes it from a basic piece to something special. Plus? Pockets. Always a win.

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The crinkle cotton fabric on the tunic is an awesome textural detail. The fit of the entire collection is intentionally drapey and loose — tunic included. Because I’m not always a fan of the way that looseness plays on my body, I added a simple ribbon belt to add some shape. Still works, and adds some interest between the layers of the hoodie.

But by far best part of this outfit is that these pieces are so soft, they really do feel like pajamas. Except they’re a whole lot more stylish. These pieces will become staples of my fall wardrobe, for sure. And I think baby Juliza and Ja’Naya fully agree.

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OK. That may have been a shameless excuse to post pics of my beautiful girls. But Ja’Naya did say that she really likes this outfit, and Juliza was only too happy to cozy up to my new hoodie.

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Check out the Pure Jill collection and tell me what you think. It may be the most comfortable decision you make this fall.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by J.Jill via The Motherhood. As usual, all opinions are completely my own.

I don’t know that I’d consider myself to be a “fashionista” per se, but I am definitely a lover of fashion and a believer in finding my personal style. That means taking into account all the things that I find to be beautiful and important. The thing is, it can often be difficult to reconcile my love of fashion with my desire to live as green a lifestyle as possible. Thankfully, there are some great brands out there that allow me to marry the two without compromise. Earth Footwear is one of those brands.

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I’m Wearing: Thrifted Talbots blazer (similar)  |  Thrifted Zara top (similar)  |  ana jeggings (similar) |  Bellwether flats courtesy of Earth Footwear  |  Just Fab handbag (aff)

I like to think of Earth Footwear as a designer of shoes for the modern eco diva. Their collection of causal footwear is designed for comfort and style. These aren’t the type of shoes you’ll have to take off after a day on your feet. The point is to make wearable shoes that will make both your feet and the planet happy.

In honor of that, I thought I’d put together a comfortable, Earthy outfit to capture that spirit.

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It bears noting that I have flat arches, so I have to be very particular about the shoes I wear. These are incredibly comfortable and supportive, thanks to the cushioned footbed. The heel is padded and the arch area is reinforced, both with latex for extra support. Check out the details of how they’re made. The point is that even with my foot issues, I could wear these all day.

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Even better, the spring/summer 2014 Earth® Collection starts at $85, and the majority of the shoes are under $100, with free shipping and returns.

Sign up for the Earth Footwear newsletter to stay up to date on new styles, or follow their social profiles to keep in touch via: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

Disclosure: I received product from Earth Footwear to facilitate this review. As usual, all opinions are my own.

Synergy Organic Clothing shot to the top of my list of favorite fashion brands months ago when I first tried a couple of their dresses, but my love grew stronger than ever when they introduced their new plus size collection. They sent me a few pieces to try, and I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store.

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I’m Wearing: Plus Size Summer Blazer courtesy of Synergy Organic Clothing | Forever 21 crop top | Forever 21 pencil skirt | Old Nine West boots (similar) | Gifted necklace (similar) (aff)

This time of year, Georgia tends to straddle the line between summer and fall. The mornings start off cool — sometimes downright cold — only to warm up to scorching afternoons. Dressing for the seesawing weather can be a challenge. The Synergy plus size Summer Blazer is the perfect choice. The fabric is weighty enough to ward off the morning chill, but not so heavy that it would make me sweat when it’s warmer outside. And it makes a great layering piece that would work equally as well over a long-sleeved tee as it did over my crop top.

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I’m actually kind of loving this outfit, and it will likely be in steady rotation until the chill becomes too much for my sliver of midsection skin to take. But I could just change the top and add some tights. Plus, I can think of a dozen other ways to wear this great piece, so I know it will become a go-to.

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I’m Wearing: Plus Size Melissa Dress courtesy of Synergy Organic Clothing | Old Navy denim jacket | Melissa Shoes slingbacks (similar) | Old earrings (aff)

I really like the silhouette of this dress. As much as swing dresses are on trend right now, I don’t really think they work on my body. Or maybe I just really like the look of a cinched waist. The side tie wrap on the Melissa dress does a great job of creating — or emphasizing — shape, and while I wish the bottom of the dress fit just a tad closer, the looser fit is comfortable and pretty. It’s the kind of piece that can be dressed up for a more formal situation, or dressed down to look more casual. I admit the latter is more my style.

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Take a look at Synergy’s entire plus size collection and let me know what you think. Are you happy to see more green fashion brands venturing into the plus size range? I know I certainly am!

Disclosure: I received these pieces from Synergy Organic Clothing. I did not receive compensation. As usual, all opinions are my own.

Last winter when I was pregnant, getting dressed was a challenge, to say the least. Given that baby Juliza was due in January, I really didn’t want to purchase a bunch of winter maternity clothes to use them for two and a half months. Especially because maternity clothes tend to be really pricey.  REALLY pricey. It’s really hard to justify spending nearly $100 on a pair of jeans I’ll only wear for a short time. Thankfully, Walmart has recently launched a new maternity collection that changes all that.

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Their new collection, Great Expectations, offers maternity basics in sizes from small to XXL at great prices. In fact, the most expensive item in the collection — their jeans — cost just $24.94. And all I keep thinking is where were you last year when I needed you!

So what exactly can you get for such great prices? Here are a couple of outfits built with pieces from the collection, and a couple of other goodies, all from Walmart.

Look 1

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1) Great Expectations Maternity Long Sleeve Tee with Tie Ruched Sides, $14.94 | 2) Nautical Striped Scarf, $2 | 3) Great Expectations Maternity Full Panel Jean, $24.94 | 4) Kathy Van Zeeland Front Pocket Satchel Purse, $34.97 | 5) Faded Glory Quilted Riding Boot, $29.97 (aff)

Look 2

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1) Great Expectations Maternity Surplice 3/4 Sleeve Top, $14.94 | 2) Gold Pink and Jet Statement Necklace, $10 in stores only | 3) Great Expectations Full Panel Maternity Legging, $12.94 | 4) Magid Studded Clutch, $27.99 | 5) Faded Glory Bow Ballet Flat, $13.97 (aff)

I can think of about a dozen other ways to wear these great basics, but these are just a couple of ideas. So if you’re expecting a beautiful new bundle and need to get through to colder months in style, you now have an option that won’t make your pockets cry.

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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Anyone who knows me knows that I generally try to avoid wearing heels. Sure, I have a couple of pairs in my closet, but I tend to break them out only for special occasions — usually ones that involve a lot of sitting. It’s not that I don’t like heels. On the contrary, I love them. Well, I love looking at them. But my feet hate them, and I hate being uncomfortable.

So when I got the opportunity to try Rockport’s new Total Motion heels, designed with style and comfort in mind, I had to see if could finally find a heel that could make me a believer. To see if I could be #PoweredByHeels , if you will. The best kind of test for that was to see if I could wear them all day and still be comfortable. Especially when I’m #PoweredByBaby , toting her around everywhere I need to go.

Today was the day. I had to leave early to take my daughter to morning chorus practice, then run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Still wanted to be cute, but these aren’t the type of tasks that require heels, right? Right?

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Wrong!

I took a few laps around the grocery store since this is a relatively new store to me since our recent move and I’m not sure where everything is yet. Normally, doing these laps in heels is my definition of a nightmare. Not today.

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Today, my feet were well-supported and comfy for the duration. So much that the baby, hubby and I even decided to go to park for a walk around the pond. Be sure, this is not something I would normally do in heels. Not in a million years.

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But this time, we did not one, but two laps, we returned to the car with nary a complaint from my feet.

I’m sold.

Any heels that let me feel stylish and simultaneously show my feet lots of love get my uncontested vote.

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I’m Wearing: Rockport Total Motion Desert Boot  |  Jordache skinny jeans  |  Faded Glory tank  |  Thrifted sweater vest (aff)

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All of this makes sense when you consider that Rockport’s Total Motion shoes feature ADIPRENE® by adidas sport technology. What does that mean, exactly? Well, in layman’s terms, it means that these shoes wear like sneakers. In technical terms, it means that they are designed to conform to the shape of the foot for a personalized fit. Trust me when I say that you feel it as soon as you slip your foot in.

Since I’m powered by all things baby these days, I hadn’t been wearing heels a whole lot (read: at all). But with these babies in my fall arsenal, I’ll be much more comfortable adding a few inches to my height on a regular basis. There are a ton of other styles to choose from too: From pumps to ankle boots. Check out how Kirstin Marie styled their tall stretch boots. In a word: Fabulous!

If you want to learn more about these shoes AND get a chance to win a pair, join me, Rockport and The Motherhood for a Twitter chat today at 1pm ET! Click here to sign up. Share what powers you and you could win a pair of Total Motion heels! Post a photo on Facebook, tag Rockport Shoes & use #PoweredByHeels! The entire #PoweredBy campaign is designed to show women that we can be active and empowered and do all the things we need to do without sacrificing style and in an awesome pair of heels!

Follow Rockport on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the shoes featured in this post and compensation for my time and effort. As usual, all opinions are completely my own.

Outfits: Is it Fall Yet?

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There comes a time toward the end of every season when I begin to wish it would just pack its bags and move on. As much as I love warm weather, I’m sorry to say that time has come for summer. The kids are back in school and I don’t have a pool where I can swim laps, so I’m waiting impatiently for the day when it’s cool enough to break out my boots and sweaters. And boots. Did I mention boots?

When that day comes, I’ll be ready, thanks to Walmart. When they challenged me to find a couple of fall outfits, I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store.

My excitement was justified when I found these lovelies:

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I am in LOVE with these moto boots by Faded Glory! The buckle and strap details make me happy, and I love the color and the fact that the slouchy opening is more than wide enough for my thick calves. But the best part? They cost just $28.49. Even better? There were a ton of other great boot styles available for under $30. In fact, there are two I plan to go back and get this week, because my pregnancy left me with a boots that are now too small. Honestly, I was super impressed with the selection, and I’m mad at myself for not taking a photo of all the gorgeous styles in store, from ankle boots with lace to quilted knee boots (I must have those!). They’re really worth checking out if you need some affordable boots.

Now, for the outfits, both inspired by this awesome pair of footwear.

Look 1

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I’m Wearing: No Boundaries sweatshirt, $9.88  |  Faded Glory skinny cargo pants, $15.44  |  Faded Glory moto boots, $28.97  |  Vintage Coach crossbody bag  |  ICU Eyewear sunglasses (aff)

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This sweatshirt right here? Soft, supple and awesome. It’s a juniors XXL, and it has just enough stretch to hug my curves. Paired with some skinny cargo pants (not skinny enough, though) and my beloved boots, this is the perfect look for a casual fall day. I can already tell this one will be a quick go-to outfit when the weather turns cooler.

Look 2

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I’m Wearing: Faded Glory cardigan, $12.97  |  Jordache super skinny jeggings, $16.44  |  Faded Glory moto boots, $28.97  |  Full Circle Exchange infinity scarf, $5 on clearance!  (aff)

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I’m usually not a cardigan-wearing kind of girl, but in this case, the color drew me in. Plus, I’m a sucker for multitasking pieces. This will make a great layer that I can wear open over a camisole or long-sleeved shirt, or it will work great on its own for days when there’s just a little chill in the air. It is designed to be oversized, but I sized down so it would fit a little more closely. I paired it with some Jordache skinnies that I’ve had for more than a year and LOVE. They’re soft and fit like a dream. I really need to grab them in a few other colors. The finishing touch was this gorgeous infinity scarf from the Empowering Women Together collection.

I think my fall wardrobe is off to a great start with these basic pieces that I know I’ll wear a bunch of ways.

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

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I’m one of those moms who likes to be prepared. So before baby Juliza ever graced us with her presence, she had a closet full of clothes in various sizes for various seasons — all bought on sale or secondhand. Sounds great in theory. However, I had no way of knowing my child would be bigger than almost every other baby her age.

What does that matter? Well, she’ll be 8 months old in 8 days. At the moment, she’s wearing 12 months clothes, and pushing 18 months in some stuff. Which means that she’ll probably be wearing 18 months this fall and winter. When I was planning, I thought she’d be wearing 18 month sizing next summer — when she’s actually 18 months old. So all the stuff she has in that size are for warm weather. Not really going to work.

So when Walmart challenged me to share a baby story with you, I took the opportunity to get her some fall and winter gear that she’ll actually be able to wear.

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Walmart really does have a ton of cute, affordable baby clothes. And while I love shopping for Juliza, I don’t like spending a lot of money on stuff she’ll only wear for a short time. So anything I buy has to meet both criteria: Cute and Cost-effective. And whenever possible, organic. But that’s hard to find in person. Anyway, it took me forever just to narrow down a couple of outfits. Eventually though, we found three that will work for the next few months.

So we had a little photo shoot so Juliza can show off her new skills: Standing up and walking (with assistance).

Outfit 1

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I picked up this Healthtex sweatshirt the moment I spotted it on the rack. I mean, could it be any cuter? Sweatshirts usually aren’t my cup of tea, but the addition of gold polka dots and a pink ruffle — plus the fact that it cost just $7.98 — made this one a must-have. I paired it with some $3.88 Garanimals denim-look leggings that she’ll be able to wear with a ton of other stuff. And how cute is the result?

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A quick word about brand sizing: In my experience, Healthtex and Garanimals baby clothes tend to run a little on the small size and have less stretch. The Child of Mine by Carters clothes are more generous and have better stretch and better quality fabric. As a result, while this sweatshirt fits pretty well, I think I’m actually going to take it back and get a 24 month size just to make sure it’ll fit her when it really counts.

Outfit 2

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Baby chambray shirt? Yes, please! This is another Healthtex top that I couldn’t pass up. The fabric, the pink polka dots, the cinched waist? Just, yes! This top is a transitional piece that she’ll probably start wearing soon because it fits right now, and because the length of the sleeves and the light weight of the fabric make it a perfect summer/fall transitional piece. The pink leggings are from Garanimals.

Bonus: This photo is evidence of what happens when you have a photo shoot with a baby: She tries to attack the camera.

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Outfit 3

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This was the only outfit I grabbed as a set, and while I like the style, I LOVE the quality. The Child of Mine by Carter’s brand is my favorite for baby clothes at Walmart, because the fabric is always soft and smooth, and as I mentioned, the sizing is generous. And if this gif of Juliza clapping is any indication, she likes it too!

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I really love the long-sleeved ruffled top and the leggings will work with a ton of different outfits. Plus the elastic waist of these seemed more comfy around her middle than the Garanimals leggings. Note to self.

And because Juliza is such a good sport, we made a “runway” video of her three looks. We present “Baby on the Catwalk”:

I’m really happy with our finds, and I actually spotted a few more pieces that I plan to go back and get. But I’ve learned my lesson about trying to shop for the right size ahead of time. I’ll just have to let Juliza grow at her own (apparently very fast) pace, and try to keep up.

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: Forever 21 top (similar)  |  Kenar Palazzo Pants (similar)  |  Merona Neon Crossbody Bag (similar)  |  BCBGeneration bracelet (similar)  |  H&M rings  (aff)

So…it’s been a while since I’ve done an outfit of the day. I know. What can I say? The combination of having an infant in the house and working from home has made it a lot less likely that I’ll get “dressed” on any given day. I mean, I’ll change out of my pajamas. Sometimes. But dressing up? Not something I’ve been doing a lot these days. Especially since my post-baby body still doesn’t fit into a lot of my pre-baby clothes the way it used to, with few exceptions. Like these pants. These wonderful, wonderful pants.

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Do ya’ll remember these pants from way back in March when I shared 5 ways to style a tank top? I said that I was going to live in them for the summer. Well, my prediction was spot on. These are so cool and lightweight and comfortable that I’ve found tons of ways to wear them. They’re my go-to when I need to leave the house in a hurry and look like I actually tried, even if I didn’t.

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This time, all I did was throw on my new favorite t-shirt from Forever 21 and add some fun accessories for a pop of color. No earrings and no necklace, because baby Juliza has a radar for those, and they’d end up in her mouth in two seconds flat whenever I hold her.

And speaking of my family, only they can make me smile like this…

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I had to get my hubby to take a couple of shots with my girls. It helps that Juliza’s outfit happened to match my bracelet, but I really like getting pics of all of us when I can, since I tend to be the one behind the camera most of the time.

Ja’Naya is turning into one heck of a young lady. And can you believe how big baby Juliza is getting? I know you see her in her monthly pics, but her size is more obvious when you see her next to her sister and I.

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My baby is a biggun, and I love her. All the more chub to snuggle, and I do that often.

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Honestly though, I promise I’ll try to do better. I really do love posting outfits, and I kind of need the incentive to get dressed. So I make no promises, but I’m trying to get back on the ball.

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I’m Wearing: Forever 21 top (similar)  |  Kenar Palazzo Pants (similar)  |  Merona Neon Crossbody Bag (similar)  |  BCBGeneration bracelet (similar)  |  H&M rings  (aff)