Disclaimer: I partnered with Cato Fashions for this post, but all opinions are my own.
First of all, let me say hello to all of you! Since my last post, I have given birth to baby number three–a healthy baby boy, Avery, who arrived about four weeks early! I’ll share the birth story in a future post if you’d like! But for now, let’s talk about getting ready for the holidays with the help of Cato.
Before this post, I honestly could not tell you the last time I stepped foot inside a Cato. And I can’t give you a good reason why. I guess, as my shopping options and experiences have expanded, along with not having one within five miles of my home, I kind of forgot about it. But I recently moved and there is now a Cato within five minutes from me! And a new location also opened up in my area last month–in Midfield’s West Hills Plaza. So, it’s safe to say I’ll be saying “hello” to Cato once again!
I went in recently and was reminded why it should not be counted out when shopping for any occasion, including the holidays! So, if you need to be re-introduced to the retailer, let me do the honors. I tried on a few options that could be worn for three different holiday gatherings.
1. An office party. You cannot go wrong wearing winter white! It’s so chic and luxe, especially with a little fur or gold accessories! I paired Cato’s off-white wide leg trousers with a gold, pleated tank, ivory scarf and a statement pendant necklace.
2. A get together with friends: The holidays present the perfect opportunity to wear textures you may not feel comfortable wearing every day. Cue the sequins and faux leather leggings! And while we’re at it, throw in my faves–over the knee boots!! Please note, the boots are on sale for $19.99!! The black ones are sold out online, but they may still be in your local store!
3. The party scene. My favorite occasion! As a new mom of three, the opportunities to get dressed up are few and far between. So I try not to pass on chances when they arise! For this look, I went with a sequin mini dress with a slight scoop back and brought back the OTKs. Let’s face it, wearing pantyhose or tights don’t always make for warm nights when you’re trying to look cute. So try pairing OTKs with your party look for a slightly edgier feel that will add some much-needed warmth and texture!
Cato also has a TON of on trend accessories to amp up any look. From shoes to clutches, it’s seriously a one-stop shop! Here are some of my faves:
One other thing I LOVE about this store: the prices!! Nothing you have seen featured is over $40!! I went home with the boots (above), the fur collar (above), a yellow dress from the clearance rack and a faux fur vest (below) for $63 before tax! That is my kind of shopping!
I also saw a ton of other things at fabulous price points that I can’t possibly fit in this post! I highly encourage you to say “hello” to Cato if you are like me and hadn’t been in a while! If you need a little incentive, how about a little giveaway?!
To enter for a chance at a $25 Cato gift card, leave a comment below! I’ll also be opening it to followers on Instagram! You can enter both ways and each time will be counted as a separate entry! Contest ends Wednesday, December 14th at 5pm CST. Open to U.S. residents only.
Good luck and as always thanks for reading!!
I was only able to attend two nights, so I went with pretty different styles..both on a budget, of course!
The first night, I opted for a boho look. I was just perusing the mall and saw the dress in Old Navy’s sale section for $18. But they didn’t have my size. Did you know many stores can check a computer database to see if they are supposed to have what you need or to see if a nearby store has it? So, I marched right to the cashier and asked for a “merchandise locator.” It showed the store I was in was actually supposed to have one! So, I poked around and found it hanging with the non-maternity version! It may not be the most fashion forward, but it’s on trend and I was on a time crunch. I added an $8 multi-strand choker from Forever 21 and a straw clutch I have had for probably ten years. My shoes were caged sandals–a $10 clearance find from Target last year. Ideally, I would’ve made more of an effort to make my hair more wavy, but I was late and I threw in a couple of small braids in my hair and called it a day!
Moral of the story: if you see something you like at a price point you like, don’t give up on it! It could actually be right around the corner!
For the final night, I went a little more glam! I actually didn’t buy anything new at all for this look! I wore a non-maternity pencil skirt (see my post about its versatility!), an old Gap maternity tank I’ve had since my last pregnancy (and still wear even while not pregnant!) and some sort of ruffly shrug I got on super clearance from some fancy store in Atlanta that was going out of business. I accessorized with a red Rebecca Minkoff envelope clutch I got last year (on clearance, of course) and Schutz animal print heels I got when my beloved Piperlime was still in business!
Moral of the story: don’t discount your own closet when getting ready for a special occasion! You may actually surprise yourself!
Thanks for reading!
It’s that time of year again–Shop Save and Share coupon time! I’ve blogged about this for the past two years because it’s a great opportunity to save money while helping a worthy cause.
The Junior League of Birmingham is behind this awesome deal. Because of it, they’ve been able to put $475,000 back into community programs like Meals on Wheels and support for moms at UABs NICU.
Here is the deal: purchase a coupon book for $40 and save 20% at hundreds of restaurants and retailers in Birmingham. The coupon is good from October 19th through October 30th.
It’s the perfect time to get pampered at a local salon, try new places to eat or get that long-coveted item that rarely goes on sale!
To buy a coupon book and see a list of participating businesses, click here.
Because I love you all so much and because the Junior Leage of Birmingham is so generous, we’re giving you a chance to win a free coupon book! Just leave a comment with your name and email address below! This is a quick giveaway, so the winner will be chosen and announced in 24 hours!
Good luck and, as always, thanks for reading!!
**this giveaway is now closed**
Birmingham, Alabama may not be the fashion capital of anywhere.
Still, as someone who can’t whisk away to New York Fashion week, Birmingham Fashion Week is something I look forward to every year. And I’m sad to say, the curtain may be closing on the entire production.
For the past six years, it’s all been thanks to the founders Heidi Elnora and Jeana Lee Thompson. They have VOLUNTEERED their time to make it happen. They have put their sweat, tears, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they bled a little, to make this fashion magic happen. But putting on multiple shows ain’t cheap. So, Heidi and Jeana are looking for someone to fully sponsor it! If no one steps up, we will have to bid it adieu. In the meantime, I can just look back on another (and hopefully, not final) fabulous year!
Heidi Elnora closed out the three-day event with her gorgeous bridal collection. The show started with a Cirque du Soleil-type performance before the models started filing down the runway. Budding super model Baskin Champion was the line leader (I’m sure there’s a runway term for that, but hey, it’s the mom in me coming out!). It ended with Prince’s Purple Rain” and on the last beat of the song, the show ended with a pyrotechnics and a shower of gold streamers. It was pretty breathtaking. Heidi knows how to put on a show!
Other designers included Abbey Glass…
The Clothes Tree was one of my fave runway retailers!
Here are some looks from fab’rik Birmingham. Always a fun place to shop!
A big part of what Birmingham Fashion Week is about, is recognizing young talent and giving aspiring designers an outlet to show off their creations. There are two competitions: one for emerging designers at the collegiate level and another for middle/high school designers who use unconventional materials to create high fashion looks. Winners are awarded scholarships/monetary prizes!
This was last year’s emerging designer winner:
These were a few of my favorite finalists from this year:
Another fun part of fashion week is choosing what to wear! I admit, being five months pregnant presented quite the challenge! But I’ll be posting how I tried to come up with fashion-forward maternity looks soon!
Hopefully, you can see why Birmingham Fashion Week is important to my community. It’s just another way to give us fashion lovers of all ages a way to celebrate creativity and style! I would hate for this to be my last BFW post, but if this does end up being the last year, I guess that will leave me with no choice than to make it to New York!! ;
As always, thanks for reading!
The thought of buying a new wardrobe that will be worn for less than 9 months is not appealing to this bargain shopper.
So, what’s a pregnant woman to do? Make the most of what you already have!
I’m pregnant with my third child (insert “Home Alone” face). And if people say you show a lot quicker with your second baby, I think it’s safe to say you show even faster after that! I thought, since it’s been six years since I was last pregnant, maybe my body forgot what it’s like to carry a child and I could go 5 months before I really start to show. Um, the body apparently doesn’t forget.
So, I broke down and bought a few sale maternity pieces pretty quickly, but I still wanted to stretch my existing wardrobe. In the next few blog posts, I’ll show you how I’ve done it so far!
Basically, these will be key pieces you need to bring to the forefront of your closet. Or pieces you may want to go ahead and invest in (and wear now!) if baby making is in your future.
To kick off this series, I’ll first focus on the ever-classic pencil skirt! But not just any pencil skirt. You can kiss those zippers good-bye! Invest in some elastic!
I used to think it was the material that old lady waistbands were made of. Well, call me an old lady, because the stretchy savior has been my maternity go-to.
These are a few that have served me well these past few months and of course, even before this baby was even a twinkle in the eye!
You can’t tell really well in this picture, but I already had a small bump here and I was only about 4 weeks pregnant. The Old Navy skirt is mid-calf length and I hiked it up over the bump, so it was still below the knee. (top is old Forever 21, shoes are old Charlotte Russe, necklace is Piperlime [rip]).
Another 4 week bump shot. Still barely noticeable to others, but I definitely needed elastic! The Vince Camuto skirt was $16 from Nordstrom Rack last year. (top is old Forever 21, blazer is old Banana Republic, necklace is Purple Peridot, shoes similar are Charlotte Russe)
Here’s another $10 goodie from Old Navy, embracing my 3-month bump. The black tank really helps camouflage the bump, but it was definitely noticeable at this point! I was able to keep the waistband below the bump. (kimono is Forever 21 Outlet, tank is old Gap Maternity, necklace is Kendra Scott, shoes are old Target)
$10 is my magic number for pencil skirts, apparently! Here’s another pencil skirt from Old Navy. This top is also non-maternity and was the first time I have worn it. I’m about 4 months along here. (tank is Banana Republic, shoes are madden girl via DSW)
More recently, I wore the same black pencil skirt to Birmingham Fashion Week. I am 5 months along. I’ll share more details for this outfit soon!
What’s great about the stretchy pencil skirt, is you can hike it up over your belly and it will usually still be long enough to be work appropriate. But you can also sling it below the bump to keep that length!
Stay tuned for the next post on a maternity friendly “non-maternity” must-have!
As always, thanks for reading!!
Disclosure: I collaborated with Linda’s Dewberry Lotion for this post, but all opinions are my own.
My 25th birthday is coming up for the 12th time, so it’s no secret this skin I’m in doesn’t look the same as it did a decade ago. So, when I was approached to give Linda’s Dewberry Lotion a try, I figured “what do I have to lose?” It’s an age-defying product, after all!
I wasn’t asked to use it for a certain length of time, so I can’t speak to the effectiveness of defying age, but I can vouch for its other qualities! It touts itself as non-greasy, non-clogging, made of plant-based oils and made without parabens and alcohol. Also, no testing on animals, so that’s always a plus! It’s also gluten free if that’s something that is a health concern. There are a ton of other positive attributes in the product’s formula. I won’t go into too much detail, but you can learn more about it here.
You want to know if it lives up to its own hype, amiright?!
I, for one, am a fan! It goes on smoothly and absorbs relatively quickly. My husband actually put it on my legs the first time I tried it (I’m 5 months pregnant, it was the least he could do!) and he actually wasn’t a fan because he didn’t feel a lot of the residue that some other products leave behind. So he thought he had to use MORE of the product. After I used it myself, I found that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I only used a small squirt to cover the desired surface area because it’s actually pretty thick. It covered a lot of ground!
I tried to do a before/after shot of the product’s effects on my legs, but my camera (um, iphone) just couldn’t capture all of the flakiness going on.
and the after:
So, I tried on my arms! Now we’re talking! I actually forgot to put sunscreen while out for an extended period of time the other day (shame on me!), and my right arm was more exposed to the sun and got sunburned. 😦 Now, it’s flaking and pretty gross. So, Dewberry to the rescue!
Before (i know, it’s bad!):
Of course, most lotions will appear to show an instant result, but I just love the bonus of how it goes on and what this product is made of. There is no mineral oil, which I’ve read is actually a pretty poor choice for re-hydration and can even lead to drier skin and even progress aging! Yikes! Just google it to judge mineral oil for yourself.
Dewberry is even gentle enough to use on your face. I was skeptical at first, but I did dab some on my freshly washed face and it did not feel heavy at all.
It’s also pretty odorless. It claims to have a light, fresh scent, but even my pregnancy nose could hardly detect a fragrance, which means it won’t clash with your favorite perfume!
So what about the price?
At $16.95 for a 4oz. bottle, it won’t break the bank and would even make a great gift! And like I said, a little goes a long way. But of course, I’m all about deals, so I had to try and give budding fashionista readers at least a little savings! If you order, get free shipping using the code BG16 in the discount line at checkout. I do not get paid for how many bottles you buy, so no pressure! But feel free to give it a try if you’re looking for a new, effective lotion without harmful chemicals!
As always, thanks for reading!