Month: June 2016

Looking Grand for Less

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“Who says you have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks? It definitely wasn’t Vanessa Culpepper.” You got that right! That’s what Tracy James wrote about me in the latest Look Grand for Less ad for The Outlet Shops of Grand River in B-Metro Magazine (June).

I am grateful to have been chosen as a recent shopper for the monthly challenge. I got to see what I could get for $250. How exciting, right?! Some people may take the opportunity of getting “free” shopping money to splurge on something they may not normally buy. Not me. I like to stretch my dollars even if they aren’t coming from my bank account!

Everything I bought is featured in this one-page spread. I also added a list of the items with their prices (rounded to next dollar, taxes not included).

  • yellow dress, Forever 21: $17
  • striped midi skirt, Forever 21: $17.50
  • kimono, Forever 21: $5
  • tan purse, Nine West: $25
  • white purse, Banana Factory: $32
  • burgundy moto jacket, Banana Factory: $27
  • gladiator sandals, Charlotte Russe: $41 (promo- buy one get one $10)
  • fringe heels, Charlotte Russe: $10 (promo- buy one get one $10)
  • yellow sweater, Gap: $9

Considering I had previously committed to not shopping until I wore everything in my closet, it didn’t take long for me to wear my new digs! Here’s a look at how I’ve styled the items in my day-to-day life:

I still had some money left over, as you can probably tell, so I plan on getting some new tennis shoes! Not too exciting, but mine are so tired looking, I think it will definitely help put a pep in my step at the gym!

I know I’m a little late posting this, but to get a closer look at the ad and all of the other fabulous spreads in B-Metro Magazine, be sure to pick up the June issue! Time is running out!

As always, thanks for reading!!

Party of Five

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I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but when I actually looked at my last blog post and saw it was published three months ago, I was kind of shocked at just how long it’s been!

But here I am! Back from an unexpected, unannounced break… with some pretty big news! My family is going to be a party of five! I’m now in my second trimester and things have been going well so far. As with my first two children, there hasn’t been any morning sickness/nausea. I really got lucky in that department!

I was a little concerned about one thing. My husband and I were in Puerto Rico shortly after conception and if you keep abreast with current events, you may know there are Zika concerns there. So, I did have to get tested for the virus which can cause birth defects. Luckily, the results came back negative!

Despite the Zika concerns, I did put a little thought into a pregnancy announcement. It’s something that wasn’t that big of a deal when my first two children were conceived (ages 9 and 5), so this was really my first attempt at something cute. Of course, I hit up Pinterest and asked some friends for ideas and finally decided on this:


Since there are two boys and two girls in the family, I decided on a “tie-breaker” theme. The inspiration I saw on Pinterest only involved the kids holding the signs, but I wanted to include all of us, so it was an easy adjustment to make.

Yes, there are some glares on the frame and yes, my hair is a little crazy and no, the quality isn’t professional grade…but I am pretty happy with the results! It’s been my most-liked picture on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page this year, so I’d say it was a success!

A lot of people may put a lot of effort into their announcements and get a professional photographer, but I am cheap! Here’s what my “photo session” entailed:

  • four frames from Dollar Tree ($4)
  • sidewalk chalk from my kids
  • construction paper from Dollar Tree ($1)
  • giant balloons from Party City ($5 for a pack of balloons, $6 to have two blown up)
  • flowers that were already given to me for my anniversary, in a vase I already had

So, the total cost was about $16!

I just took a sheet of black construction paper, wrote my tie-breaker tallies in chalk and framed each one. I also added the framed ultrasound with yellow construction paper as the background.

We were in such a rush to get the picture taken, we honestly took them in about ten minutes before church on the church grounds! Craziness. My husband propped his cell phone on a fence railing and set the timer. We plopped ourselves on the ground, held the balloons and “cheesed” for a couple of shots before realizing none of us was smiling with our eyes open and looking at the camera at the same time. So, my husband came up with the great idea for all of us just to make a surprised face. Boom! One take with that pose and that’s the pic we decided to use!

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me through this long hiatus! I guess you can expect some maternity posts in the near future! Let me know if there are any subjects you want me to cover in particular! Again, thank you for your continued support and I can’t wait to share the rest of this new journey with you all!

XOXO ~Vanessa