Five Steps to Make Shopping a Breeze



According to a survey by Retailwire.com, one of the top 10 reasons women hate to shop for clothing is: Lack of awareness of what looks good on them. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? What, with so many great styles and options to choose from each season—and new trends popping up every few months.

Perhaps that’s the problem—women feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Shopping becomes a chore and a bore.  We can either respond in one of two ways: we just avoid shopping all together and find we have nothing to wear, or we buy everything in sight. And our closets simply explode—becoming bigger and bigger, not better and better.  Neither seems a sensible option.

In Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look, an entire chapter is devoted to shopping. We refer to it as creating your personal collection.

Shopping should be likened to an interviewing process, where you are the boss. You have certain criteria, and if the interviewee doesn’t meet that criterion, the potential candidate is eliminated right away. When there are only a few hopefuls left, you ultimately get to choose the best candidate (garment) for the job.


You can bypass about 95% of the clothing in a store through a simple process of elimination. But there is one caveat. You must know yourself: your best colors, the best styles for your body type, and most importantly, what it is you want to communicate through your appearance for the life you are living TODAY.

Here’s how it works. When you get to the store:

  1. Locate your size. (Sizes can vary. Don’t get stuck on a number).
  2. Eliminate all colors that are not flattering.
  3. Eliminate all prints/patterns that are not flattering.
  4. Eliminate all styles that are not flattering (for your body type).
  5. Eliminate anything that doesn’t fit your lifestyle and/or the event you are shopping for.

What’s left? Probably only a handful of garments. And those garments are precisely the items that should look most complementary on you. Go try them on. Don’t waste time on the rejects.

Once you discard the negatives, only the positives remain, and you get to choose. Don’t like any of them? Move on to the next rack or store.

Before you know it, you’ll find that you not only have a collection of garments you love and that go with you, but also a closet full of clothes that go with each other.

The key is knowing yourself and what looks great on you. The better you know yourself, the less shopping mistakes you’ll make, the more time (and money) you’ll save, and the more confident you’ll feel knowing you made the best possible choice for you. That’s quintessential style!

Multi-coloured wardrobe showcase, closeup

Authors Bio’s:

About Janna Beatty

Janna Beatty, owner of one of Texas’ premier makeover studios, is co-author of the book Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look (www.Qstylethebook.com). She has studied in New York and Paris with some of the most respected advisers in the fashion and beauty industry. A successful business owner for more than 30 years, Beatty speaks to corporations, professional organizations, and women’s groups. She also has been a guest on radio, podcasts, and television.

About Sharon White

Sharon White is an award-winning author who lives and writes in Central Texas. She has written for New York Daily News, Huffington Post, Fashion Bible and other online and print magazines. She publishes a popular lifestyle blog (qstylethebook.com) based on her book, Quintessential Style. 


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Fun fashions from LuLaRoe (giveaway ends 9/1/16)


Back to School

It’s back to school time. Time for us to pick up any school supplies we don’t already have in stock. It’s also the time to pick up some clothing for our kids. Our daughter is in college so she mostly rolls out of bed into sweats or yoga pant, a t-shirt then heads out to class, like most college students. Our son is not that big on fashion. All he wants is a couple of new jeans and a few t-shirts. He’s lost 40+ pounds since January (on his own) simply by watching what he eats, limiting junk food and hitting the gym a few times per week. He NEEDS new jeans because his old jeans are way too big for him.

Many parents, such as myself, could use some new pieces to add to our wardrobes too.

I happen to work in the school district, so I could also use some new pieces of clothing before school starts.

I work with children so I am able to dress comfortable and casual. I always look neat in appearance. And even though I wear comfortable, casual clothing that doesn’t mean I can’t look professional at the same time.

I have recently been introduced to the clothing line LuLaRoe. Are you familiar with the brand?

LuLaRoe is a clothing brand that sells comfortable, affordable, stylish clothing for women and children.

Their tag line includes “simply comfortable” and “where fashion meets comfort.”

LuLaRoe offers dresses, maxi skirts, pencil skirts, a-line skirts, sheath dresses tops and more. One of their best sellers are their leggings.

LuLaRoe clothing cannot be purchased from the brand directly. All sales go through consultants. Most consultants sell LuLaRoe clothing through home parties and online parties.

I was contacted by a consultant, Ashley, to try out some LuLaRoe clothing and offer a few pieces for a giveaway.


I need some new pieces to add to my wardrobe.

I did my research and read comments that others left online about the clothing. I also looked up images on Google and Instagram. I loved what I saw and I was super excited to do a review.

Prior to receiving the items to review, my husband and I went to a local street fair. There we found a consultant selling LuLaRoe clothing. As soon as I saw her booth I made a bee line to it. I wanted to see the clothing for myself.

The first thing I looked at was the leggings. Oh my! They are incredibly soft! I was totally impressed by how incredibly soft they are. You could LIVE in them! As in 24/7 – that is how comfortable they feel. I could not wait to receive my samples to review.

LuLaRoe clothing is also offered in MANY different designs and colors – from classic to totally crazy.

From what I can tell the leggings come in a plethora of designs – with new designs being added often. You could easily pair the leggings – even the wild looking ones – with a solid color top to create a wonderful, casual look.

On the flip side, the legging go great with dressy blouses for a more professional look.

Here are just a few examples. All of the pieces are from the LuLaRoe collection. All photos are copyrighted to Ashley. I am just using them as examples of the types of beautiful clothing available from the brand.

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

I am IN LOVE with these looks! Maybe not so much the red leggings (I would go for black or gray leggings for that outfit), but the rest I love.

LuLaRoe has fashions for average size women and plus size women. The plus sizes are known as “tall and curvy.” I am a plus size woman, so I would wear the tall and curvy fashions.

I received to review a blouse, skirt and leggings. I was super excited to wear them. Sadly, I’m just a bit too “curvy” to wear them. I am SO DISAPPOINTED! NOT in the clothing – but the fact that they don’t fit me.

The blouse does fit me. It’s a little snug for my personal taste, but I can wear it. I just need to find bottoms to go with it.

The skirt is really nice, and I could wear it, but again, it’s a bit too snug for my personal preference. I also don’t wear skirts at work since I am often crawling around the floor or in the gym or playground playing with the kids.

I am most disappointed in the leggings. I was looking forward to wearing them. They are SO SOFT and I bet they would feel amazing on. But I can’t get them past my thighs.

Other examples of LuLaRoe fashions. Photo Source: Ashley M.

Other examples of LuLaRoe fashions. Photo Source: Ashley M.

I wear 2X/3X for my tops and bottoms, depending on the cut/style. I see other plus size women online wearing LuLaRoe fashions (especially the leggings). They look to be the same size as me, but I can’t get them on. They get stuck around my thighs. I guess my thighs are too big.

So… I have not been able to wear and enjoy the LuLaRoe clothing that was sent to me to review, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. I WISH I could wear them! I love the designs and the feel of the fabrics. Most especially the leggings.

I plan on giving my aunt the pieces that were sent to me to review. She’s “smaller” than me, but still “tall and curvy,” so hopefully they fit her.

If you are interested in learning more about LuLaRoe – whether it’s to purchase the wonderful clothing or to learn more about being a consultant, visit Ashley’s Facebook page or contact her at AshleyMangini.MyLuLaRoe.com.

Ashley would love to give a lucky reader some LuLaRoe fashions too. They are all “tall and curvy,” so they are ideal for people like me with a little more “padding” on their bodies. LOL! 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on September 1, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t quality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Ashley provided the prizing. 

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Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects – A New Book from Duct Tape Queen Richela Fabian Morgan


Insulating tapes

Duct tape… at one time it was used for quick repairs around the home. It was a staple in every tool box. These days duct tape is found in many crafter’s boxes and is used in creating fun crafts and ever fashions you can wear.

Instead of the gray duct tape most of us grew up with, duct tape is now available in bright colors and fun designs.

We even used colorful duct tape at work to make jump ropes. We took thick, nylon cord, cut it to fit the child, then let the child use colorful duct tape to decorate it. I wish I had a photo to show you. They turned out great.

A few years ago I attended an event at the Capri Sun factory. There were representatives there from TerraCycle who showed us how to make tote bags out of empty Capri Sun pouches and duct tape. I was shocked at how easy it was to make a tote bag out of recycled pouches and simple duct tape.

Tote Bag

Empty Capri Sun pouches and black and hot pink/zebra print duct tape.

Did you know you can make awesome handbags (and more) out of duct tape and nothing more? A new book by “Duct Tape Queen” Richela Fabian Morgan shows you how.

The book is called Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects. It’s available NOW where ever books are sold.

From the author of the #1 best-sellers, Tape It & Make It, Tape It & Make More and Tape It & Wear It comes the fourth book in this revolutionary “duct tape craft series:” Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects for Totes, Clutches, Messenger Bags, and Bowlers (Clarkson Potter, July 2016). With the upcoming release of her new book, Richela Fabian Morgan is continuing to take the crafting and fashion world by storm, turning the humble roll of duct tape into the trendiest craft item since glitter glue.

Everyone from trendy teens to famous fashionistas can begin exploring the infinite uses this easy-to-follow guide provides to making handbags so fashionable, you won’t actually believe they’re made of duct-tape. Part art-piece, part usable accessory, Fabian Morgan shows how each of these gorgeous handbags can be recreated one manageable section at a time.

“About eight years ago, my kids and I were in our local hardware store when we spotted duct tape with patterns and colors,” says Fabian Morgan. “Since then, duct tape has been an obsession of mine. My daughter and her friends were my excuse to break out my vast collection of tape and try out different ideas for craft projects. Out of all the projects, the bags were the biggest hit! I started making bags for myself. So, it was only natural that I turned my attention to writing a book on duct tape bags. I wrote other books on duct tape crafts with a total of 242 projects spread out over three books, everything from housewares to costumes. Duct tape bags were on my radar. I had to write this book!”

With detailed step-by-step instructions and primers on duct tape “fabric,” different types of closures from magnet snaps to jeans buttons, and bag accessories like bows and luggage tags, Fabian Morgan catapults this trend from the streets into the stratosphere. A mix of pop art and urban style photos of each project and a cool vibe throughout will make you want to immediately roll up your sleeves and rolling out the duct tape for a bag of your own!

Duct Tape bags

I was sent a copy of the book to review. As of this moment in time I have not had the opportunity to create one of the bags. I need to pick up some nice duct tape, but I haven’t been anywhere near and of the craft stores in my area (Michaels or AC Moore). HOPEFULLY one day soon I will be, but to date I have not. The only duct tape I have is the plain, gray kind my husband keeps in his tool box. The tape we used to make the jump ropes at work was purchased by a co-worker who practically lives at Michael’s (she’s there every week). Since we work for the school and school is out for the summer I haven’t seen her (or been able to ask her to pick me up some duct tape).

Inside the book you’ll find easy to follow directions to make 40 beautiful and functional bags including;

  • Clutches and wristlets
  • Hobo and Shoulder Bags
  • Satchels
  • Messenger and Flap Bags
  • Tote Bags
  • And tons of other one-of-a-kind bags!

I’m not a very crafty person. I want to be, it’s just that things never turn out the way I’d like them to. Reading the directions to make these bags seems really easy to do, even for a novice crafter like myself.

Easy to follow directions with photos

Easy to follow directions with photos

Here are just a few examples of the types of projects you can find within the pages of this book.




ALL of the totes/bags pictured above are made out of duct tape. It’s so hard to believe that when you see them.

What I love about this book is that you can find bags/totes for just about every occasion which means you can create the perfect bag to match any outfit using just duct tape.

You could also make holiday and seasonal bags using colored duct tape and duct tape with holiday/seasonal designs on them. I have seen duct tape with ghosts, spiders and candy corn on it. Use them and the directions in this book to make a trick or treat bag. How cute!

The book is published by Penguin Random House. Look for the book where ever books are sold.

Have you ever made anything out of duct tape? If so, what did you make?

What do you think about the bags you could make in this book? Do they look like something you would love to add to your wardrobe?



*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Today is National Watermelon Day!


National Watermelon Day

Happy National Watermelon Day!

Yes, it’s true. Today is a special day created to celebrate everyone’s favorite summer time fruit – the watermelon.

I love watermelon! I wish it was available (and affordable) year round. I would buy it all the time.

I can’t tell you how many watermelons my family and I have enjoyed so far this summer. At least a dozen, if not more. We have watermelon almost every day.

On a boiling hot summer day there is nothing more refreshing then some chilled cubes of watermelon.

Some people are die hard fans of this delectable fruit. So much so that they like to decorate their home in watermelon inspired decor.

If you are fan of the fruit you should check out your local T.J. Maxx and/or Marhalls. They have everything you’ll need to celebrate the sweetest melon around, including watermelon accoutrements and watermelon scented and colored products. I want to find the watermelon scented products!


I like the big knife that look like a watermelon. It’s the perfect size for cutting up a watermelon. The watermelon drinking glasses are cute too.

Don’t fret, the food festivities continue! Get ready to chow down on August 10th for National S’mores Day!

They have a day for everything, don’t they.

Just like watermelon, S’mores are also synonymous with summer. I used to camp a lot when I was younger and you weren’t getting the full camping experience if you didn’t make S’mores.

It was fun to find the perfect stick, then try and roast the marshmallows to a golden brown without burning them. I liked to burn them. I like the taste of burnt marshmallow.

Sadly, we can’t roast marshmallows where we live to make S’mores. We don’t have a yard. Instead we have to make them in the microwave. They are still yummy, but not the same as one made on a campfire.

In addition to the fun, colorful and scented watermelon goodies, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls has an incredible selection of outdoor home entertaining ware at amazing value.

Cozy up with a chic throw, pop open a mini grill, and enjoy some ooey, gooey marshmallows, yummy graham crackers, and deluxe chocolate, courtesy of the homemade S’mores maker.

I want that S’mores maker! It’s pictured in the middle with the chocolate and marshmallows.


I like the Bistro (?) table and chair set too. That is the perfect size for our balcony and it would be nice to sit on in the morning while enjoying my coffee.

To find a TJ Maxx or Marshalls location near you visit TJMaxx.com and/or MarshallsOnline.com. Both brands can also be found on social media. Link are found on their websites.

Are you a fan of watermelon? What about S’mores?

What are you favorite summer time essentials?



*I have partnered with the brands to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Fun fashions and more at Fun.com



I always joke with my family that I am missing the “girly gene.” I say that because I’m not obsessed with shoes and bags like my friends are female relatives are.

I prefer to be barefoot. When I have to wear shoes, sneakers are my shoe of choice. I buy white ones so they match with everything.

My preference in bags has evolved over the years. As a teen and young adult I carried everything in my bag – make up, books, pens, hair products… you name it. When I was in my late 20’s my purse was replaced with a diaper bag. The diaper bag carried even MORE stuff – diapers, toys, change of clothes, food, bottles… I think that is why when I no longer needed to tote around a diaper bag I opted for small bags. If I can fit my wallet, car keys and cellphone in it I’m happy. A “wristlet” is fine with me.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate purses. I do! I just tend to opt for small ones.

It’s not easy to find small ones that are fashionable or that pique my interest.


About a month ago I saw the cutest little bag from a company called Fun.com. Talk about an easy URL to remember. LOL! The purse that I fell in love with is the Alice in Wonderland “Eat Me” Cross Body Purse. If you follow me on social media you might recall that I posted about it (back then it was in pre-order stage).

The purse is now available for purchase on their site!

The purse is made by a company called Loungefly but it’s sold on the Fun.com website.

This adorable bag is big enough for a wallet, car keys, cellphone, comb/brush, a few make up items and a wee bit more. It’s the perfect bag for people who don’t need to carry around everything including the “kitchen sink” in their bags.


The bag features and adjustable strap. You could make this a handheld if you’d like (I prefer cross body or over the shoulder).

The outside of the bag is brown – like a cookie – and the sides are a bright, light blue color.

The back of the purse has an Alice in Wonderland plaque on it and there is a classic Alice in Wonderland charm dangling from one side.


The purse is very well made. You can tell that a lot of time went into the details in the creation of this adorable purse.

This purse is a great conversation starter and you are sure to grab attention wearing this cute purse.

Even my teenage daughter fell in love with it and is already begging me to let her have it, or at least borrow it.

This is a great purse for a teen or young adult, or those of us (like me) who are young at heart. It’s also great for the Alice in Wonderland or Disney lover in your life.

Eat Me Purse

If you are interested in learning more about this purse, or to make a purchase, you can find it on the Fun.com website – Alice in Wonderland “Eat Me” Cross Body Purse.

While you are there check out all the other great things that Fun.com has to offer. They carry clothing, party supplies, toys, goodies for you home and office and so much more. They also carry a lot of Funko Pop characters (I LOVE Funko Pops!), including hard to fine ones.

Fun.com can also be found on social media. All of their links are found on their website.

What do you think of this cute purse? Does it look like something you would like to own?

Fundotcom logo


*I received a free product to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Help alleviate Back to School stress with a little help from Fruit of the Loom’s Bonus Bonus Contest



There are four words in the English language that can bring chills down the spines of both parents and children – Back to School Shopping.

When I was a child I hated to hear those words because I knew going back to school was right around the corner. I actually enjoyed the shopping part. I still remember how I would perfectly label all of my items and everything was in pristine condition. About a week after school started things were doodled on, pages were missing and I lost most of my pencils.

As a parent, back to school shopping can be very stressful. You have to run all over time trying to catch the best deals and weekly sales. You also have to keep up with the latest trends because you know your child is going to want the “must have” characters on their backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies.

My kids are teenagers, but I remember all too well how they had to have specific characters on all of their supplies.

I won’t even get started on back to school clothes shopping. That in itself is a nightmare, especially when your children get older and have to have the most trendy outfits and expensive shoes. Our daughter went from wanting a Barbie backpack to a Michael Korrs backpack practically overnight.

Another stressful thing parents think about when it’s back to school time is keeping on top of all of your child’s (or children’s) after school activities. You have to be able to juggle a lot of things at one time. It can be very overwhelming.

Here are some tips that I personally use to help alleviate back to school stress.


Stock up on supplies

Whenever we come across a great sale on school supplies we always stock up on them. We intentionally buy more than we need so that we have it throughout the year and when the next school year starts again. Such supplies include pencils, loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, pens, highlighters and markers. These are items you can use for many school years (elementary through high school).

Because we stock up we rarely need to buy more supplies before school starts. It’s a great way to avoid the back to school crowds and lines.

Re-purpose School Supplies

At the end of each school year I always take stock of what my children have left over. When it comes to binders I have the kids reuse them for the next school year. Most of the time they are in decent shape. Sometimes they just need to be wiped down a bit with a wet cloth. Kids can even decorate them to give them a new look using permanent markers, stickers and even colorful duct tape.

Hold off buying a new wardrobe

If you want to save money on back to school outfits, wait to go shopping until October.

Kids always want a brand new outfit for the first day of school, which is fine. After the first day or two kids go back to wearing what they have in their closets.

If you wait until October you can take advantage of great sales. It also gives kids (and parents) a chance to see what are the “in styles” to wear.

But we always buy the essentials before school starts, like new underwear, socks and undergarments (tank tops, undershirts…). In fact, we stock up on them. You can never have too many underwear and socks.

Fruit of the Loom is offering “Bonus Packs” of kids underwear, just in time for back to school shopping. The Bonus Packs come with three extra underwear. That is a great bonus! Fruit of the Loom was kind enough to send us a package.


The Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs with +3 extra underwear are available at Target or Walmart.

Fruit of the Loom is also hosting a contest called Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest.

The contest gives moms and dads the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including:

  • 1 free month of Hello Fresh prepackaged meals
  • Movie Night out at AMC Theaters
  • Pampering from a national massage company
  • Dinner at your favorite restaurant
  • New beauty looks from a beauty-box subscription

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Enter by 11:59 p.m. ET 8/14/16.  For Official Rules, including prize descriptions and how to enter without purchase, visit http://bit.ly/29M9wo9. Void where prohibited.

Entering the contest is super easy.

  1. Follow @FruitOfTheLoom on Twitter or Instagram;
  2. Tweet or Post a photograph of any Fruit of the Loom® underwear product and/or package, opened or unopened, along with a caption telling your most humorous stress-related story from the back to school shopping season.
  3. You MUST also include the hashtag #BonusBonusContest.

I received one of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Packs with one of the prizes you could possibly win if you enter. Mine came with a AMC movie theater gift card. You can read more about it below.

Calendar (1)

Invest in a good calendar

I cannot stress enough how having a good calendar to help you keep track of things and stay organized is a MUST. I update ours weekly (usually on the weekend for the following week). That way I can see the upcoming week in advance and know what I have to do and where I have to go. Without it I would be totally frazzled not knowing from one day to the next what I have to do.

Take some “me” time

It’s OK to take some time to yourself. As a parent we have a lot of pressure put on us to ensure our kids are totally prepared for the new school year. There are things to buy, forms to fill out, haircuts to schedule for… it can be a lot. I think the more kids you have the more stressful it can be too. There is a lot you have to juggle. Therefore it’s essential that you take some time for yourself to focus on the things that you enjoy and/or find relaxing. Don’t worry… your kids will start off the new school year just fine.

If you can find at least 30 minutes per day to do something that YOU enjoy and/or something JUST FOR YOU, that would be the best way to alleviate the stress that surrounds back to school time.

Something else I love to do (great “me” time or a fun time with a friend or loved one) is going to the movies. I love the movie going experience. Watching movies at home is fine, but nothing beats seeing a film on the big screen. Some movies are especially better on the big screen.

Movie Night

One of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest prizes is a Movie Night out at AMC Theaters. The prize is an AMC gift card that can be used at AMC theaters across the country.

I LOVE going to the movie theater. I have even gone to see movies on my own, but nothing beats going to see a movie with my husband (aka “Date Night”). We try to get out to the movies at least every other month, usually a few times during the summer because so many great movies come out in the summer months.

Here is my hubby and me enjoying The Secret Life of Pets at our local AMC theater with the super comfortable and relaxing reclining seats. Talk about relaxing. I wasn’t stressing over a thing.



Are YOU ready for back to school time? Have you started back to school shopping yet?

What do you think about Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs and the fun contest? Will you be on the lookout for the Bonus Packs? Will you be entering the contest?

What do you do personally do to ensure that you don’t get too stressed during the start of the new school year?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.




*I have partnered with Fruit of the Loom to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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