I Know That The Internets Feel My Pain

For the last few days Melanie has been keeping me updated about Target’s winter clearance sale. I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any Christmas-related items until the prices were drastically reduced, so when Melanie informed me yesterday that her Target had put up the 90% off signs (NINETY PERCENT OFF, my friends), I felt like it was time to investigate.

So this morning, after eating breakfast at McDonald’s, our little family went to Target. We’d been there all of four minutes when I ran across this plate:

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I do hope you’re not blinded by all the adorableness.

And the cost? Regularly $2.99. But today? TWENTY NINE CENTS.

I bought eight of them.

As I was putting the plates in the cart, I explained to D. that these melamine plates are great for taking people cookies or candy during the holidays. He agreed that they were a deal, and after a few more minutes of listening to me talk about THE PLATES! THE SUPER-CUTE PLATES!, he murmured something about going to get some Starbucks.

Which is basically Man-Speak for “I think I’ve had enough of the shopping now.”

About ten minutes later, after the little man and I made our way over to the accessories and shoes because I am always on a quest to find the perfect Target tote bag, we spotted D. an aisle or so away. He walked over to us, handed me my coffee, and as we were wheeling back toward the kids’ clothes, I stopped dead in my tracks.

Because I saw these.

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CLEARLY THEY ARE DIVINE.

I said something like, “Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS.”

Then D. said, “You mean you LIKE those? Really? Hmmm.”

At which point I immediately thought that PERHAPS THIS IS WHY HUSBANDS AND WIVES SHOULD NOT SHOP TOGETHER.

So I took a deep breath and said, “These shoes are adorable. They are everything I love. They have a big wedge heel, a funky fabric, and I would wear them all the time. ALL THE TIME.”

D. looked completely puzzled and said, “But they look like something from The Captain and Tennille Show in the 70’s.”

OHNOHEDIDUNT.

The fact that he had unknowingly burst my shoe bubble was bad enough. But I LOVED me some Captain and Tennille back in the day, y’all. And I would be tickled – yay, even honored – to wear any pair of Toni Tennille-reminiscent shoes. Even if her husband did happen to dress just like, you know, Captain Merrill Stubing.

So I took another deep breath. There was no point trying to explain the appeal of the shoes, because, I mean, how do you even begin to tell your husband – who was just making casual conversation and meant no harm whatsoever – that HE HAS STOLEN YOUR SHOE JOY?

God love him.

But you’ll be happy to know that I’m doing okay now. I really am. In fact, I’m hoping to fully reclaim my shoe joy sometime in the next day or two. Because I am more than a conqueror.

And make no mistake: I will return to the Target shoe department. Alone. And while I may be standing on a wedge instead of a rock, I will stand on that wedge proudly to win soles for Jesus. And to build my shoe kingdom.

Hallelujah and Amen.

I Have Done Some Extensive Clipboard Research On The Wide World Interweb

So I started off my morning emailing with Kelly about clipboards, and I decided to look around and see what the internet has to offer. Because as I understand it you can “click” on all sorts of “items” at various “websites” and put them in a virtual “shopping cart,” and then enter your “credit card number” and the “merchants,” they will “ship” the “merchandise” to your “home.”

Though I am somewhat “unfamiliar” with this “newfangled” “technology.”

(Sorry for all that quotation mark business. Sometimes I just get carried away with the silliness.)

(Or “carried away.” With the “silliness.”)

(“SORRY!”)

Here are a few clipboards I found right off the bat.

Old School – You crafty types could totally do something cute and custom with these.

Colorful Old School – This one is great if you just want a little punch of color.

Monogrammed Acrylic – A sweet friend of mine actually gave me one similar to this yesterday, but I will keep it at home because I think the acrylic would scratch if I put the clipboard in heavy-duty rotation. So I’m going to use it for papers, forms, etc. that I need for work-related stuff.

Ever-So-Sassy Personalized Clipboard – I don’t know if I could handle all the ribbon on some of these, but if you like super-girly things, they should be right up your alley.

And then Genni sent me a link (oh, you people are more helpful than you know) to the MOST delightful website, a website that made my pulse quicken and my eyes bug and I think I even got just the slightest bit dizzy.

So here are some great options I found at See Jane Work:

Sassy, Durable Clipboard – I actually have the pink and brown polka dot version thanks to Janie, and I adore it. This is the clipboard that accompanied me to the grocery store yesterday, and it did a beautiful job.

Sassy, Durable-But-Smaller Clipboard – This one is perfect for all you girls who would rather have something that will fit in your purse. I however, prefer a clipboard that I have to cradle in my arms, as if I am conducting some sort of Official Survey For Government Officials Who Do Official Things.

And finally:

File Folders That Have Nothing To Do With Clipboards But DO YOU SEE HOW CUTE THESE ARE? – When I saw these file folders, I wanted to create stacks of paper so that I could label the file folders and then give the stacks of paper cute, colorful homes.

IT IS A SICKNESS.

A sickness I will document using a green Sharpie fine point marker on a white legal pad so that I can carefully use correction fluid to eliminate any pesky stray marks before I assemble all related documents in a plastic pocket folder.

And then my heart will sing.

An Exciting Shoe-Related Announcement

I was going to post about this last night, but quite frankly I was having too much fun reading your comments about how I need to make sure to wear red shoes! no, wait – kitten heels! no, wait – metallic shoes! no, wait – THESESHOESRIGHTHEREJUSTCLICKONTHELINK.

Y’all crack me up.

Oh – and before I go any further with this post – let me just say that you do not ever, EVER have to worry that I will go out in public without, as Tim Gunn says, “proper foundation garments.” Don’t you even lose a wink of sleep over that one.

Because as a person who has been known to SLEEP in my foundation garments when we have company OR when I’m visiting a friend’s house (you just never know when there might be cause to jump up and run out of the house in the middle of the night, and if there is, heaven forbid, some kind of emergency, the last thing I want to do is unleash my unsupported somebodies on an unsuspecting houseguest or host), the foundation garment opt-out is nowhere – NOWHERE – on my radar.

Also: the internets seemed to overwhelmingly favor the red shoe option. I was all for the red shoe option, but I had a really hard time finding some good red shoes in my size. I found the peep-toe red shoes at Target, and they are adorable, but I couldn’t find any necklace / earring combo that worked, and I went back and forth as to whether or not the shoes were dressy enough.

The Target silver peep-toes were great-looking, too, but I didn’t think they were very comfortable. I also found some snazzy burgundy shoes at Kohl’s, but they only had half a size smaller than what I wear. For a few minutes I contemplated throwing caution to the wind and just PINCHING MY FEET FOR FASHION, but I knew I’d be miserable within an hour.

But wait! I have even MORE boring shoe information to share!

I tried a zebra print shoe at Steinmart, but I couldn’t keep it on my foot (have I ever mentioned my abnormally high arches? No? Well, I have abnormally high arches. They go beautifully with my unusually small ear canals, which I will mention again and again and again because they’re the only “unusually small” part of my person).

There was also a red suede wedge at Steinmart that I loved deeply and completely from the moment I saw it, but again – not dressy enough.

And just so you know? There’s no doubt that the red suede wedge is going to haunt me. It’s going to show up in my dreams and call my name and remind me how TOTALLY ROCKIN’ it would be with trouser jeans.

I’m trying to be strong, y’all.

But the flesh is so weak.

Especially when cute shoes are involved.

So, after trying on countless pairs of wedges, peep-toes, platforms and pumps, I found this pair of shoes at TJ Maxx. They’re a deep burgundy color, and because they have a little bit of a platform, they’re actually really comfortable.

Ready?

Here we go:

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I have no idea on the accessories. I just know that I don’t want to wear pearls, and I also know that clear beads blend into my skin and render me even more pale than usual.

But she shoes? Sassy.

Kicky, even.

And – unexpectedly – comfy.

I feel we’re making progress.

Because The Gift Card Was About To Burn A Hole In My Purse

So as soon as I took care of all my obligations this morning, I put the High School Musical 2 soundtrack in my CD player LIKE THE GROWN WOMAN I AM and drove over to the Steinmart(s).

As a brief aside, I should mention that there’s a point in “What Time Is It” when the HSM kids sing the words “say it loud,” but up until today I misunderstood the words and had been singing “SELAH!” without the slightest consideration for the fact that a Disney musical about American high school teens is probably not going to be throwing around any, you know, Hebrew in the song lyrics.

So I learned something this morning. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Anyway, I headed into Steinmart(s) ready to shop until I dropped, and while I found several cute things, this denim skirt was the highlight of my trip:

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Please do not be frightened by the unattractive black patent leather belt. It’s going into the Pointless Accessories drawer just as soon as I can remove it from the belt loops.

Now the skirt is a little wrinkled because, oddly enough, I didn’t iron it as soon as I pulled it out of the shopping bag (ahem), but I wanted to show you a picture because it’s one of those great finds that will look good on just about anyone.

It comes up high on the waist (NIPPAGE AND TUCKAGE FOR THE FLAPPAGE), and while it’s definitely fitted, it doesn’t hug the stomach. There are cute pockets on the back, and I think the A-line cut is really flattering (and all the vertical stitching on the front doesn’t hurt, either).

The hem hits a couple of inches below the knee, so it’s a perfect skirt for boots, but today I had on flip-flops because of the 439 percent humidity, and it looked great with them, too.

And here is some very specific information if you happen to have a Steinmart(s) nearby: the brand is Baccini, and I found a rack of these skirts next to all the jeans in the casual ladies’ clothes section (not the dressy stuff at the front of the store, but the more everyday stuff toward the back of the store).

I have to cook supper now, but I wanted to share this information as soon as I could because STORES ARE OPEN UNTIL NINE.

And oooh! Oooh!

Look what was in the mail for me when I got home this afternoon!

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Christmas music! By Third Day!

I’ll be doing a giveaway in a week or three.

Oh, happy day. And thanks for all your sweet birthday comments. I have grinned and laughed until my cheeks hurt, and THAT IS NOT HELPING WITH THE WRINKLES, PEOPLE!

But I will happily accept a few fine laugh lines from the internets. Because y’all make me smile every single day.

And for that, I can never thank you enough.

Now please excuse me while I go fry up some bacon.

Perhaps I Need To Start A Separate Blog About Jeans

I have the most exciting news!

Last week I mentioned that I’d been on the hunt for trouser-style jeans and had found some at Steinmart, but I couldn’t direct you to them because Steinmart doesn’t have merchandise online. And when several of you emailed me because you were wanted to order some trouser-style jeans of your very own, I made a solemn vow (okay. not really. but it makes for a better story if I say that.) to try to find a similar pair online so I could link to them.

(By the way: I promise that, after I give you this information, I will cease and desist with the jeans discussion for, like, three days.)

(Maybe even four.)

Well.

Looky here, internets.

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These jeans are mid-rise jeans from Old Navy, and they’re on sale in the store for $20 right now. TWENTY DOLLARS. I love the cut of the legs, but unfortunately, the waist on Old Navy’s mid-rise jeans hits me in the wrong place, and as a result of where the mid-rise waist hits me, I feel like that if I wore these jeans in public I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hello! My name is BooMama, and this is my stomach. We’re so happy to meet you.”

But if you don’t suffer the same stomach / waistline woes that I do, you will probably love the mid-rise jeans, and did I mention that they’re only $20?

You flat-stomached or only-a-hint-of-pooch-stomached girls will look great in them.

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These jeans are also $20 at Old Navy (in-store price only), and they are actually the winner for my apple-shaped body type. The classic-rise waistline and longer zipper completely eliminate the muffin-top effect (THIS IS HUGE, FELLOW APPLES), and the cut of the legs is the closest I’ve found to the jeans Angela Cottrell was wearing at Deeper Still.

(In case you don’t remember, Angela’s jeans were what started this whole denim-related quest, so if you’re sick and tired of me talking about jeans, well, you just need to hunt down Angela’s jeans and give them a piece of your mind.)

(But consider yourself warned: if you actually go through with the process of hunting down Angela’s jeans, you will end up batting your eyes at them and cradling them in your arms. While you whisper sweet promises of all the cute boots you plan to wear with them.)

Anyway, I am especially fond of how the second pair of Old Navy jeans fits through the behind because they don’t sag at all. Plus, the pockets are placed a little higher than normal, and, um, ILLUSIONS ARE OUR FRIENDS.

And last but not least:

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These jeans are from Old Navy’s plus-size online store. I triple love the color of the wash, and they’re classic rise as well, which means that they nip and tuck those areas that might benefit from nippage and tuckage.

Now I haven’t seen these jeans in person, so I don’t know if they’re available in stores or not. But I did see that Old Navy is doing $5 shipping right now, so it just might be worth your while to order a pair and see if they work for you. Since they can be dressed up or dressed down, you’d be able to get a good bit of bang for your fashion buck. I think they’re adorable.

And thus concludes our First Annual Inexpensive Jean-A-Thon. To tell you the truth, I’m a little exhausted from wading through so many different styles of jeans online – not to mention the ones that I tried on in stores.

Whew.

So to recharge my batteries, I’m now off to look at shoes.

This Is Why You Can’t Encourage Me

I was so tickled by how many of you liked the shirt from Target (and, yay, even emailed me to tell me that you had purchased one of them) that I immediately went into OCD mode and determined that my eyeballs would pop right out of my head if I didn’t share a few more budget-friendly fall clothing items with you.

But before I start, let me clarify a few things:

1) Several of you mentioned in yesterday’s comments that you need clothes in a larger size.

And for just a moment I determined that y’all had forgotten whose blog you were visiting because, HELLO, HAVE YOU MISSED THE PART ABOUT ME LOVING THE BACON GREASE?

So let me be perfectly clear: I am not a small girl. So if for some unknown reason you have a picture in your head of me being all diminutive and dainty, standing next to a clothing rack saying, “Y’ALL! THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MORE EXTRA SMALLS!” – well, you could not be more wrong.

I mean, I do buy clothes with the word “extra” in the size. But they ain’t small, my friends.

In fact, I am apple-shaped, and if this were “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” I would now upload a file with a three-dimensional model of my unclothed form.

That’s SO not going to happen.

Anyway, as an apple-shaped girl, I can’t go too clingy on the top (two words: BACK FAT). So please know that as a not-small, apple-shaped girl, I will never, ever direct you toward fashion that is only appropriate for the girls who wear extra-smalls.

Even though those extra-small girls are darlin’. Just darlin’. So darlin’ I could just snap them right in two.

Oh, I kid because I’m bigger.

2) These clothes I’m showing you today are inexpensive. They’re very, very inexpensive.

I find that inexpensive is helpful if, for instance, you quit your full-time job several months ago because you felt like God was leading you in a different direction (including but not limited to the carpool line), but now you realize that hey, that paycheck was mighty handy because it enabled you to do things like BUY CLOTHES AND YUMMY-SMELLING CANDLES AND PLANE TICKETS, but now the clothes and the candles and plane tickets have had to take a bit of a backseat because yes, you’ve made a great decision for your family, but OH MY WORD YOUR DISPOSABLE INCOME IS NO LONGER DISPOSABLE.

Not that I’d know one thing about that, of course.

All of these clothes can be found at Old Navy, by the way, and if you’re more of a shop-on-the-interweb kind of girl, you can find everything here – every single item is from the “bargains” page.

Now before I start showing you some things I like, I want to make very, very sure that you make note of a shirt that you need to avoid at all costs, I don’t care what size you are:

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Oh, you can pretend that the piece of elastic hitting right underneath your rear end will “cover it up.” But at some point someone will snap your picture from behind, and you will realize that this shirt makes the back of your body look like a bag of wet sand, and you will be sad.

In fact, I’m sad just thinking about it. I really am.

Stay away.

On the other hand, here are a few adorable, INEXPENSIVE shirt options:

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I love the straight cut at the bottom, the buttons that give you a little versatility with the neckline (though FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, if you unbutton all the buttons, PLEASE WEAR A TANK UNDERNEATH), and the velvet trim. I would wear this shirt with a pair of wide-legged pants, and truth be told you could put it on with yoga pants, too (for those of you who are on the lookout for a “sweatsuit alternative”).

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Now I probably wouldn’t wear this shirt by itself because it’s cut a little on the slim side and, um, ROLLS, but it’s a great layering piece. Plus, it’s a THIN cotton, so it won’t be as bulky for layering as some turtlenecks can be.

I think this shirt would be adorable with gauchos or some cute, boot-cut cords or jeans (DARK WASH).

However, I would never, ever wear this shirt with some sort of skinny jeans. Or, sweet mercy, TAPERED LEG pants.

Or – HOLD ON I MAY GAG – PLEATED pants.

I’m sort of opinionated when it comes to pants. I don’t know if you noticed that or not.

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This shirt is actually the one I have on today, and I am proud to tell you that I paid FOUR DOLLARS AND NINETY EIGHT CENTS for it in our local Old Navy store.

I know that y’all are a little divided over the whole trapeze / blouse-y style, but I think the key to pulling it off is to mix it with the right piece of clothing on the bottom. So I’m wearing mine with a knee-length, straight skirt (in a fun print) that just has a hint of a kick pleat, and I am as comfortable as I can be. But this shirt paired with anything full or pleated on the bottom would just be wrong.

Next: SWEATERS!

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I think this sweater would look good on anybody provided that they bought the correct size. The neckline is flattering for everyone, and the rolled hem at the bottom means that you don’t have a big, thick waistband hugging you in all the places that need to remain unhugged.

You probably know that I’m going to suggest that you wear a tank underneath, but I’d make that recommendation even if this sweater didn’t have a low neckline. I cannot stand the feeling of acrylic / wool / etc. on my skin, so I always keep an assortment of really thin t-shirts on hand to wear underneath my sweaters.

Because really, who wants to go to the trouble of looking cute if you’re about to lose your mind from all the itching?

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This is the most expensive piece of clothing in this little round-up, though it’s still less than $30. But I think it’s absolutely adorable, and I love the colors of this sweater in particular. I would absolutely wear the turtleneck I mentioned earlier underneath this sweater, and I think the combination would look great with any style of pants, jeans, or skirts.

As long as the pants, jeans or skirts aren’t pleated.

Please?

Finally: GAUCHOS!

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I am in love with these gauchos. Big Mama found them the other day at her Old Navy, called me, and then I found them at my Old Navy for $12.99. I got some that are Classic Rise, which means they eliminate the muffin-top effect by pinching in things that would roll out in a Low Rise. These gauchos just scream for a pair of cute, wedge heels, and just about any top you can think of would look great with them.

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And if you like to limit your denim, these brown gauchos are great, too. They’re also only $12.99, and I think they’re a great transitional piece for fall.

So there you have it, internets – a few fall pieces that are inexpensive, cute, and suited for just about any body type. If I didn’t have to, you know, TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD, I would peruse the plus size section of the Old Navy site and put together an assortment of items from there, too. I’ll try to do that this weekend, though if one of you beats me to the punch, let me know and I’ll happily link to you.

And if you’ve found a great deal somewhere other than Old Navy, let me know in the comments. I’m on the hunt for a cute denim jacket, but I’d prefer one that’s 1) inexpensive 2) cute and 3) capable of stomach-level camouflage.

Or as I like to call it: The Fashion Trifecta.