Look AMAZING in your clothes: Part 1 – Which Gorgeous Shape are You?

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Photo credit

As a stylist, I get asked a lot by people, “Can you help me look good in my clothes?”  or “How do you always look so cute?  You must have the perfect figure.”  (After which I proceed to choke on whatever I’m eating, because, well, I’ve had four kids for one, and for two, there’s no such thing!  But continue reading…) Or, “I tried caring about how I dress, and then I just couldn’t figure out how to look good, so I gave up.  It’s tee-shirt and jeans for me!” Or some semblance of these comments.  And behind all of those statements is the common theme of every woman’s heart: “I want to look my most beautiful, but I just don’t know how to, and I’m a little afraid to try and fail.  What if I’m not as beautiful as I hope to be?”  Ahhh… The heartbeat of EVERY woman.  We desire to be LOVELY.  Truly lovely, a true source of beauty for mankind.  God made us that way.  It’s at the core of our nature.  And in that struggle FOR beauty, many women are frustrated at their inability to portray the inward beauty they feel, onto their external dress.  And because of that, I have decided to do a series of blogposts meant to help the average woman figure out how to look and feel amazing in her clothes!  Yes, there is so much MORE than your clothing to being or feeling beautiful.  Beauty is more about your essence than your wardrobe ensemble, but at the same time, the way you dress is both an influence to your essence, and a reflection of your inward self at the same time.  But for the sake of limited time and space, we will forsake all the other aspects of true beauty to focus on one narrow, very practical topic: Dressing yourself well!  So go grab yourself a cup of tea, and join me in this fun little journey!

Getting dressed can be quite a challenge if one is hoping to not just cover all the things, but LOOK GOOD too!  There are a few things to consider in this process, but they are fun and simple, and equally important!

This is Part 1 of our Series: Look Amazing in Your Clothes!

Step 1: Determine your Shape! 

Every woman, including you, has a shape, and that shape determines 100% how clothes will fit, lay, and look on her!  I mean, your body shape is your canvas when we are talking about dress!  Now, realize every woman’s shape is uniquely different to her, but there are five BASIC shapes that most women’s bodies can be categorized into in order to help understand how to relate to her body in regards to clothing.  These shapes are:

Apple                 Hourglass            Rectangle                   Pear              Inverted Triangle

body shape illustration

Photo Credit

Look at this photo and see if you can determine which one might be the closest to your silhouette.  If you can take your body measurements, this makes it the easiest to see your basic outline. If you don’t have a tape nearby, here are some key principles about basic body proportions that can help identify your physique:

APPLE SHAPE: Most common shape among women

  • Typically carries weight around the middle.
  • Has lean arms and legs.
  • Tends to be busty
  • Does not have a distinctive waist.

HOURGLASS SHAPE: Most coveted shape among women

  • Bust and Hip measurement are close to the same
  • Very defined small waist (Typically around 9+” less)
  • Weight distributes pretty evenly throughout the body.

RECTANGLE SHAPE: Also called “boyish”, was epitomized in the Roaring 20’s

  • Bust, Waist and Hip measurements tend to be similar.
  • Not very curvy.
  • Weight distributes evenly throughout the body.

PEAR SHAPE: Every Disney princess, particularly the Fairies 🙂

  • Weight is carried in hips, butt, thigh region.
  • Bust measurement is narrower than hips.
  • Has a defined waist.
  • Tends to have lean arms and legs.

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Often referred to as an “athletic” build

  • Tends to be lean built, but if heavy, may tend toward busty.
  • Broad shoulders, Narrow hips.
  • No defined waist.
  • Not curvy.

 

Are you getting closer to deciding which is yours?   If you’re still unsure, that’s ok!  Try this fun little quiz that may help!  Determining your body shape can be a little daunting, but as you get more familiar with yourself you’ll figure it out!

FUN LITTLE BODY SHAPE QUIZ

If you have figured out your shape, give yourself a big hug!  Self-discovery is a beautiful thing!  Now, give yourself permission to love YOU, and celebrate that this is how God Himself chose to make you in all of his Wisdom!  The first step toward loving the way you look in clothes, is embracing the shape you have, and not wasting another SECOND wishing you had a different one!  If you are a Pear, then rock those hips!  If you are an Apple, then appreciate the great legs & bust you have!  If you’re an Hourglass, then appreciate all your curves!  Rectangle?  Rock all those cinched waistbands you’ll look amazing in!  Triangle?  Show off your fabulous shoulders!  You are PERFECT just the way you are, and LOVING the shape that you have discovered is the FIRST step to looking great in your clothes!  A confident woman who values herself is a beautiful woman.  Now, stand tall, appreciate YOU, and check in next week for Part Two in this series: Dressing for Your Shape!

EXTRA: If you want a little fun extra reading, this book is a great one that talks about the nature of a woman to want to be seen as truly, truly Lovely.  It’s called “Captivating“.  I have friends who’ve read it who have said it set them free to embrace the struggle in their own soul for TRUE beauty.  It’s an amazing book!

Holiday Cheer skinny Peppermint Merengue Puffs


I simply love these merengues!!  And, so does everyone I make them for.  In fact, just last night, my friend was asking me (or rather placing a polite demand) that I make them!  My kids are crazy about them too!!  Now normally that wouldn’t be a surprise, because after all, these ARE cookies.  But, I don’t actually mind my kids enjoying these delicious delights because they are made of just egg whites and sugar basically.  Here’s the magic in that!:  The protein pairs with the sugar and they bind together molecularly, causing your body to regulate and NOT spike your blood sugar, so you don’t store fat like you would if you ate sugar alone.  It also prevents the sugar crash later.  With four active boys, I love any treat that keeps my kids from getting wound up and crazy.

Another reason you will love making these,  they are extremely low calorie cookies!    If you pipe about 100 cookies from this recipe, they are each only 6.5 calories!!  Aside from their festive look, that alone is a great excuse to eat them!!! I originally found this recipe online at SkinnyTaste, and have enjoyed it for a few years now!

These little Merengues are an impressive bring-along for that office work party, your family gathering, or just for at home enjoyment.  For a little fun, throw one or two in your cup of cocoa and make Christmas just a little more playful!  Enjoy!!

Skinny Peppermint Striped Merengue Puffs

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1 tsp. extract flavoring)
  • For decorating: red gel food coloring, paint brush, piping bag

Directions:

Prep: Line a couple cookie sheets with wax paper  Set oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. Throw eggs  in a glass mixing bowl, and set it over a pot of boiling water so the steam can gradually warm your bowl and thus warm your eggs Without cooking them.
  2. Mix sugar and vanilla into eggs mixture and store continually until sugar is melted and dissolved (not gritty) and slightly foamy.
  3. Remove from heat (carefully) and turn on your beater or transfer to your kitchen aid mixer, and beat until mixture forms stiff white peaks. (Basically, they hold their shape when you lift and fold the mixture with a spoon)
  4. DONT FORGET TO ADD YOUR PEPPERMINT!!  I save this till the end so the oil of the peppermint doesn’t disturb the ability of the merengue to fluff up.  Oil of any kind will keep it heavy and flat.

Piping:

  1. With your brush, draw three evenly spaced GENEROUS stripes with the gel food coloring, starting deep inside near the icing tip, and draw upward to the top of the bag.  Make these lines distinct but generous because it has to last for the entire bagful.
  2. Fill the icing bag with merengue
  3. Pipe cookies about the size of a half dollar or slightly smaller in a beautiful twisted shape onto your lined pans.    Using a star shaped icing tip will help give this effect.

Bake:

  1. Bake in a preheated oven at 200f, for 1 hr. 15 min, to 1 hr 30 min.
  2. Take them out when they are crisp on the outside but slightly soft inside.
  3. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with decorative sugar to add a wintery effect.
  4. LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY!!!  About 15-20 min.

Store in an airtight container.  Humidity will ruin these delights!

Enjoy all your hard work!!!


  
  

A few more fun things to do with young kiddos this summer

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Make smoothies after they’ve been playing outside!  Here’s my dreamsickle smoothie recipe!

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Play with water toys outside… even if that means a kid ends up camping out in a bucket of water! Lol… The dollar Tree store is a great place to get cheap water toys!

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Make homemade pizzas!  These I found at the Dollar Tree for a buck.  Way cheaper than grocery stores, and the ingredients are actually healthier than many I’ve seen!

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Teach them how to garden, or simply how to water yours!  (or how to weed… 🙂 )

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Play outside on the playground!

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Have your older ones teach your younger ones a new skill!

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Make homemade popcorn!  If you don’t have an air popper, you can do so by putting 1/4 cup popcorn seeds in a paper bag, fold the top down, and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until there is 1 to 2 seconds between pops.  Flavor with melted butter, sugar and salt for kettle corn.

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Watch a movie and eat your popcorn together!  Make it a snuggle-fest!

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Arrange with friends or family to be pen-pals!  Have fun writing/sending packages and letters, and send books to your friends!  Its a fun treat for the summer!

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Ride bikes together!!  (No the little one isn’t mine. 🙂 )

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Go eat lunch with a sibling who is still in school for the year, or at some new location where you don’t normally eat.  Go eat lunch with Daddy at work if you can!

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Make edible fishing poles!

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Go take pictures in silly places!!

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Take them to church!  Or, summer VBS programs are quite popular during July and August typically.  See if your local church is doing one, and participate! The kids love it!

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Make elegant treats to enjoy and to share with someone else!!  CHocolate dipped strawberries are actually very easy to make, and here’s a tip: if you melt some Andes mints in with it, or drop a couple drops of peppermint oil in the chocolate, it takes them up a whole new measure!!

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Enjoy a special treat you don’t get very often!  Here, we were doing our donut for breakfast tradition when we have a birthday.  But, you don’t need a birthday to celebrate with a donut!  Find a holiday and make a fuss about it!  Even, find what random holidays are happening that week, and cater your week to celebrate new things, and digging in to the history behind them and learn new stuff with fun random holidays!!

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Have a pizza party! Invite some friends and make it a play date! In this case, we had fifty of our college kids over after a baptism. 🙂

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After a graduation or special accomplishment, treat them to Dairy Queen.  (also something we don’t often do.  I’m seeing a trend of fun around food here, though… let’s switch it up.)

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EXERCISE!!  (work off all that food we just ate! Lol…) My boys love to ride bikes for exercise, go on walks, or play in the back yard.  Anything works, just get moving!  Dance party anyone??

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Plant some salad!  This is both my salad containers (there’s two stacked- only $1 at the Dollar Tree!) and salad seeds.  Salad grows soooooo easily, and grows back so fast, I’m hoping to have a regular supply in my yard.  The others are flowers I’m going to plant to hang in the front yard.  But, have the kids help, and teach them a little about gardening on the way!

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Go grocery shopping!  🙂  You heard me, take them to the store with you, but make it fun (like HEB is so good at helping with by providing racecar carts) and teach them about how to choose between brands based on quality, size, price, etc.  Their wives (or husbands) will thank you. 🙂

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Go to the GYM!  If you have a gym membership, this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone!  If you don’t, see if a local gym has childcare (mine has a great one!) and most gyms offer a week free… Enroll for a free week and enjoy a week of fun at no extra cost!  (The above picture are the cool chairs in the gym lobby, and my son insists EVERY TIME on having me take pictures of him in every chair in the lobby.  LOL!)

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Play with Chalk! Have them write special messages for someone they love, or for each other!

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Go see Grandma and Grandpa and give them some loooove!! 🙂

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Play dress up!!

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Do a photo shoot with the kids!  They love this, especially if they know you’re making their photos fancy.  AND, if you get some good ones, you can blow up the photos and turn them into wall art.  This one is a particular favorite of mine, that I plan to do for the boy’s room when I redo it.

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Remember our birthday donut tradition?  This was a birthday celebration for SHiloh.  Celebrate a birthday, or an UNbirthday!

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Have them help you do dishes!  🙂

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Take them somewhere they’ve never been.  (perhaps its a theme for us, having foodie stuff, because I have all boys.  Boys and food always make for a good time. 😉 )

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Go play with your cousins… or your friends, in their pool.  POOL TIME!!!

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Play some board games.  Connect Four is a great one for even little guys…

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Teach them some household chores!  Judah is learning to iron… well, actually, he already knew and was doing it when I turned around here, but hey, all that to make the point, they can totally learn this pretty young and can help you with chores earlier than we might think!

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Take them to the local park!  Makes for great fun!  But do it when its maybe not so hot, like early morning or evening.

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Dress up time!!

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The bathtub can be a wonderful place for fun!  Throw in some new water toys or bathtub toys or even kitchen utensils, and let them have fun!!

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Take them to a local theme park.  This one is “Gator Country” that is a trademark stop off for tourists visiting south east texas.  They learned about all sorts of alligators and reptiles, and it made a good memory. 🙂

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Do crafts!!  Or rather, in this case, WEAR your crafts you made at church! LOL…

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Play with the wagon… however your imagination permits!

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Take a NAP!!  Yesss…. Mommy’s favorite.  🙂

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Cut their hair yourself!  This was Shiloh’s first haircut.  It was a wiggle fest but still turned out pretty good. 🙂

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Let them garden with you, as stated before.  Sorry, pictures got out of order here.  But as you can see, they enjoy it. 🙂

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Give them a good foot massage!  This is a fuzzy chart, here‘s where I found it.

For MORE ideas to do with the kids, check out these two other posts that you will love.  🙂  Enjoy your summer, and enjoy your children!!  Memories are such a sweet blessing we can give to our children!!

133 ideas for summer fun with the kiddos! 

Summer schedule to keep it fun for them, and under-control for you!

Fun day Friday!!

Fun-Day Friday…

We did some reading, to work their brains.  My oldest (7yrs) is the only one who can actually read fluently, so he read some books he got for his birthday, and the middle two (3 & 5 yrs) read the read-along books in separate rooms so their audio wouldn’t bother anyone.  I set the timer for 20 minutes, but was pleasantly surprised when they wanted to continue reading until 30 minutes!  Yay!!  My three year old was amazingly satisfied with his reader, and read all three books on it I’d given him.  I was like, “Score. WE are doing this again!!”  The baby jumped in his jumper while I folded laundry at the kitchen table.  :)   I’d post a picture of that, but it would likely make you stress over the laundry you may also have to do, so for now, we will pretend laundry is not a part of the equation. :)

 

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FUN FRIDAY ACTIVITY:  Our fun activity today was balloon basketball!!  We blew up little water balloons, gave them pool noodles and a laundry basket and let them try to hit them into the basket.  It was a little harder to do than I thought it would be, but they still had fun with the elements given to them. :) The baby wanted to help, but we had to put that to a stop real quick.  NO CHEWING ON BALLOONS FOR THE BABY!!

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Other than that, we did a little work in the garden.  Some watering, some pruning, some admiring.  :)   Here is our day!!  Happy Summering!!

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Make-it Monday summer fun w the kids

After a summer of chaos and stress last year, I decided this summer would be different but I had no idea how!! With four little ones between one and seven, honestly, I was quietly dreading the chaos of summer, until I came across this woman’s BRILLIANT plan! I adapted it for our family of course, and so far it’s been great!! Here is the basic gist:

Every day, MORNING consists of a similar routine including doing things that accomplish these four goals:

1. keeping our BODIES healthy through exercise, riding bikes, taking walks, go to the gym, etc.
2. Keeping our MINDS healthy through reading books, both together and individually, and utilizing the library summer reading program. We also do Spanish lesson games and other learning games.
3. Keeping our SPIRITS healthy thru scripture memory (our goal is to have prov 3 done this summer) and devotion time.
4. And keeping our HOUSE CLEAN. The boys are perfecting and learning new chores and old chores. They can do a lot at their ages!

After these four priorities are accomplished for the day, we will eat lunch and tackle that day’s themed activity. I spent a couple weeks on Pinterest scouring my boards and sorting ideas into the five categories that the weekdays break into:

1. Make it Monday– making, creating, cooking, crafting, DIYing. Make stuff! Try to make it a learning experience.
2. Trip-it Tuesday– go somewhere! Anywhere! Library, park, fire station, etc. learn something in a new setting!
3. Get Wet Wednesday: water games, pool time, anything wet-fun!!!
4. Think it through Thursday- this will be a day for neat science experiments, doing research on interesting subjects, learning Spanish, or working on their age appropriate life skills. This chart I just linked there is soooooooo helpful!! Save it!!!
5. Fun day Friday!!! Whatever fun thing we want to/planned to do together that day.

Ok, now that you have the outline, I’m going to post as often as possible this summer to let you know how our plan is working and so you can keep up with different summer ideas we may try.

Last week Friday fun day was their first summer day, and we went to cousin Elijah’s house to swim, eat pizza and homemade icecream. They had a blast!

TODAY WAS MAKE IT MONDAY!!

I found a air popper popcorn machine at Ross for $7.99 and snatched it up!! We celebrated make it Monday with homemade kettle popcorn, and we snuggled up on the living room floor with pillows and blankets to settle in and watch an hour of Curious George. Here are the pictures from our Monday.

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Mixing black and brown, stripes, plaid

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Here is another outfit I put together today for going to the “farm at the fair” w my sons class. I thought boots and plaid would be fitting! I didn’t plan on a scarf but it was so cold I threw this one on and was relieved it matched!

So, when you want to mix black and brown, gold and silver, go for it!! It falls under the rule of balancing warms with cools and vice versa. Here I have a lot f warmth in the outfit (brown plaid, yellow shirt, brown leather) so I intentionally threw on the silver earrings and black/silver ring, and later added the grey and white striped scarf. The cools balance the warms and make it more aesthetically appealing.

I am convinced the scarf can go w the plaid shirt bc the stripes are subtle and not bold. Remember, when mixing patterns, they can’t both compete for center stage. One must be subtle while the other is bold.

There ya have it! Can’t see too well but the boots are a black/brown leather. Makes them great to wear with either color.

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