Pre-Prom Prep

This is a sponsored post. All thought & opinions are my own.

I know it’s kind of early to be thinking about prom but with two girls it isn’t early. At least not to me… gotta save lots of money if they both go!

Okay, so it’s given that my oldest daughter will be going to the prom this year because it’s her senior year. This means that we need to find an awesome dress… one that she absolutely loves and one that won’t break the bank. These two things are like polar opposites.

My daughter, Caitlin, has incredible tastes and picks out some beautiful and unique dresses. Each of them would look amazing on her and are different from what all the other girls would be wearing, but there is a downside to these dresses…. the cost. So many of them are well over $5oo and outside of my budget.

Now, my other daughter, Natalie, may or may not go to prom. Really, it depends on if someone asks her because she just a freshman. I’m preparing myself mentally just in case. You never know!

Can you imagine dress shopping for two girls? Two girls who do not like the typical prom dress… two girls who don’t have the same taste… two girls who will want to hit up every single store that sells dresses in a 50 mile radius. I hope that they serve wine at these dress shops… I’ll need it.

Instead of hitting up all of those stores I think we’ll have to check out Dress First. They have so many options…. short dresses, long dresses, strapless, one shoulder, and so much more. Here are a few of my favorites that one of the girls might like.

blue dress cream dress
I had to check out the little black dress section because who can resist them? I found one that I must have!

black dress

This dress is perfect for the upcoming holidays! The first thing that I thought of when I saw this dress was Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It has an elegant but sexy look to it and paired with a pair of really high, pointy black heels, and a small clutch it will be the perfect outfit. Don’t you think?

So the big selling point on Dress First is that you can have your dress custom made to fit you exactly. You take all your measurements, give them to the company, and then they make your dress to fit your perfectly and with pricing that is super affordable it’s a mom’s dream. Even better is that there is free standard 5 – 9 day shipping on most of the dresses!

As soon as we get through college applications next week maybe we’ll start the dress browsing… it’s going to take a while to find one we can all agree on.

Yes, this is a sponsored post and all opinions are my own, but I do love the dresses and know that at least one of my daughters will find one that they like on the site. I hope.

A&F CEO Mike Jeffries hates fat girls… but he’s not alone

This may be a rant… just thought that I’d warn you ahead of time. Okay… it will be a rant but that’s okay because that’s what our own personal blogs are for, right?

There are things that grate at me, get under my skin, annoy me, or just flat out piss me off. And this week there were two things that have been bugging me and here’s the kicker… they’re both the same or related.

What is it?

The hate for “fat” people. There are a lot of people out there passing judgement on others who are not rail thin without knowing the person, their health history, or what caused them to get the way and what’s preventing them from losing the weight.

The first thing that happened was my daughter told me that the high school band director did not want her to be one of the majorettes for the marching band. Why? Because she is not a rail thin, 5’0 – 5’5″ girl who went along with what she was told all the time. The dance coaches from a local dance studio and her friends fought for her because she was the best, she worked the hardest, and deserved it more than the other girls. The girl the director wanted… well she wasn’t good, didn’t practice, and thought that she was entitled to the position…. Oh, and met his vision of the perfect majorette.

The second thing was Mike Jeffries statement about not marketing to the uncool, fat girls. WTF!! They don’t stock XL or XXL sizes in women’s clothing because they don’t want overweight women wearing their brand. BUT they do make XL and XXL for men because those teen guys might be beefy because they play football or are wrestlers.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.

So, if I put a few things together I can come up with a conclusion of sorts. The cool kids in school play sports, are good looking, thin, the guys are muscular, the girls have that long, flowing hair, both are sexy as hell, and above all else they are NOT fat.

Now, the fat kids. Well they’re the losers that the popular kids make fun of.

These stereotypes piss me off! They do nothing to help kids with how they feel about themselves at all. What they do is help kids feel out of place and that if they’re not the picture perfect all-American kid they’re not going to fit in, have friends, be popular, or go somewhere in life. No moral boosting here… nope, just dragging the kids down.

It’s hard enough as it is to be a teen, but when you have companies and the media telling you what you should look like, how you should dress, and a that size 0 thin is what you should be life becomes a lot more difficult.

Abercrombie & Fitch has made it very clear in what they’ve said, their ads, the people that they hire, and the sizes of their clothing that they’re targeting a very specific demographic. One that usually gets their spending money from their parents by the way… I wonder if they have given thought to the fact that some parents will refuse to buy clothes for their “cool” kids from the A&F stores because of the statements they’ve made? My guess is that they didn’t and if they did they simply don’t care.

I know that I won’t be buying anything from them.

I think that Mr. Jeffries as well as my daughter’s band director need to take hard look at the world around them and realize that the average size is not a 0, or a 1, 3, or a freakin’ 5. I’m here to tell you that it’s probably closer to a 10 /12 or hell even a 14.

My daughter is an amazing person. She is smart, beautiful, talented, and you know what…. she’s in the “cool” kids group. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all that she has achieved and learned and the one thing that I know for sure is that she will do anything that she sets her mind to.

My fat, size 12 self won’t be caught inside an A&F store… or Hollister for that matter since they’re owned by the same company. I will however roll myself into H&M and American Eagle because they see that we all can’t be waifs and have larger sizes.


In need of a clothing sponsor…

Dovetailing off of my bout with mom hair comes the mom clothing and the fact that I need a clothing sponsor. Why? Because I lost some weight (WOOHOO) and all of summer/warm weather clothing no longer fits. When I say that it no longer fits I mean that even with a belt it looks like I put on a huge sack and tried to cinch it around my waist.

Wearing clothing that is 3 or 4 sizes to big isn’t comfortable and I know… I tried it for while thinking that they fit until my kids pointed out that my jeans were sagging really bad and looked terrible. Guess that’s why they felt all bunchy, huh?

So with our Disney trip looming I am left pondering what do I wear and most importantly I don’t want to look like I belong on what not to wear! Of course now that I think about it maybe they’ll take all my old stuff that doesn’t fit and replace it with cute new stuff that does fit!

Anyway, then there are my kids who like to point out what I should and shouldn’t wear. Like Miss Me jeans, anything from Victoria Secret Pink emblazoned across my butt, and a variety of other things because I’m… old… gasp!

I have a few thoughts of what I think is cute, trendy, and mom of teens friendly…

summer outfit #1 summer outfit #2

summer outfit #3Of course, I’m not sure about the hat but maybe it’s time I take a risk and just wear it. To me these all look comfy, trendy, and would allow me to still chase the toddler around the Disney parks and most importantly not embarrass the teens.

Okay, so the cute outfits need money… lots of money and because I’m not rolling in the dough I think that I need a clothing sponsor or two.

So here’s my thought… they get me in a 3 -5 new outfits that have interchangeable pieces and I will wear then all over Florida (and here at home in Michigan when it warms up). Not only that I will blog about the awesome outfits they gave me, I will share pics of me enjoying the warm Florida weather in the clothes on Instagram, make fun 6 second videos and share them on Vine, Tweet about the great weather and how the clothes are great for it, and of course Facebook about it.

Doesn’t it sound fair?

I think so.

Okay, now I just have to find those clothing sponsors and get them to see things my way.

PS…. this is all in jest. While I do need some clothes to wear to Disney I don’t actually expect someone to give them to me.

Shopping… for little boys clothes

I’m the mom of three girls and have always had such an easy time finding cute things for them to wear no matter what season it was. Now I have a two year old little boy and finding anything cute and unique for him is a challenge! Seriously… I spent a week looking for something for him to wear to a wedding and all I wanted was a nice pair of dress pants and a cute shirt. Oh.. and shoes… geesh… all I could find was chunky looking old man velcro shoes! Not at all what I wanted. Now his sister was super simple. We walked into the store looked around for a couple minutes and found so many choices that we both liked. Easy peasy!

andrew wedding

Eventually I did find something for him to wear and he looked pretty damn cute too. Just look at him in that suit! He’ll be wearing that for all family gatherings this year.

So where do you find stuff for your little boys? Me? Well I started searching the web and stumbled upon children’s clothing from Polarn O. Pyret . Like this reversible button up shirt for instance. I really like button up shirts and grab them when ever I can find them but a reversible one… now that is smart!

shirt reversible

Which is perfect paired up with jeans or these… I love chinos for toddlers! Or corduroys… they’re simply adorable.


For the most part he ends up in jeans and a shirt… but not character shirts if I can help it! I’d also like clothes that repel the dirt because he always seems to come home from daycare covered in it or paint.

Oh… and if you know of a place I can find bow ties for little kids please let me know! I’m pretty sure that suit he’s wearing would be so much more fun with a little bow tie.

So aside from the regular places (Target, Children’s Place, etc) where are the best places for little boy clothes and shoes?

A Letter to What Not To Wear

I’m on vacation!!
Today I have the wonderful Missy Stevens here to entertain you! I am really excited to have her here because at the last minute I asked if anyone wanted to guest post and she answered my plea immediately! I couldn’t be more thankful! So without further ado please give Missy a warm & magical welcome and leave her lots of love!
Dear Stacy and Clinton,
I love What Not To Wear. I like watching people discover their style and figure out what flatters them. I’m insanely jealous of the $5,000 gift cards that must be spent on new clothes and shoes. And I love the aha moment when it clicks for some participants and they realize that, shallow though it may be, the truth is: many people won’t bother to judge you based on the insides if the outsides look like you robbed Goodwill during a bad trip.
If I love the show so much, why do you sense a but coming? Because you’re smart and intuitive, that’s why.
You have a good show, but you are overlooking an important segment of the population: Moms, during the summer months. Personally, here in central Texas your tips are perfect from November through March. But every year I fight a seven-month battle of style vs. sweat.
Let’s discuss.
You always recommend layers, like adding a cardigan or light jacket to an outfit. In July in Austin, the only thing I’m layering is regular deodorant on top of clinical strength deodorant.
While I might be able to throw on a light sweater inside a movie theater or a restaurant – no, I’m going to stop right there. You know what kinds of movies and restaurants moms patronize in the summer? Kid friendly kinds.
The shear physicality of wrestling kids in and out of high chairs, rescuing them from the top of the Chick-Fil-A play area, or simply having them sit in your lap during a movie (so sweet, so much body heat) leaves moms soggy. And that sweater we threw in our purse in case the theater was cold? We just used it to wipe up spilled juice.
I cannot accessorize in the summer. Can’t do it. About the time I have my kids buckled in their car seats, I’m ripping off my jewelry and throwing it in my purse. Forget about belts. They only create upstairs and downstairs lines of demarcation for the pooling perspiration.
In my purse right now: a multi-strand beaded necklace, worn approximately 13 minutes before I had a matching sweat necklace; a chunky, red bracelet that looked fantastic with my blue and white striped tee shirt and white pants, until a puddle formed under the bracelet; a pair of dangling earrings that became stuck to my neck, due to – you guessed it – sweat that was mixed with sunscreen, forming a glue-like paste that attached the lovely earrings to my neck.
In this one area we’re probably okay. I don’t want any leather or other toasty material wrapped around my ankles. Hello, ankle sweat. But as long as I can chase down a rogue toddler in them, I don’t take issue with stylish shoes in the heat.
Wrap Dresses
I single out wrap dresses, and their faux sisters, for a couple reasons. One, I redirect you to the discussion of belts (see above) and two, they are often made of jersey or some equally clingy material. Clingy material in 100 degree heat: unless you’re into bondage, it’s not comfortable.
Hair and Makeup
Oh, forget it. Hair goes in a ponytail. Faces get sunscreen and waterproof mascara.
In conclusion, I am hot. I am sweaty. I look terrible. I would love to be fashionable and put together every day. But when I do take the time to look like a million bucks, the Texas heat renders me a damp $2 bill in seven minutes or less.
Stacy and Clinton, I beg you: help the summertime mom.
Yours Always, In Fashion and Out, And Very Rarely Wearing Yoga Pants In Public, I Promise,
Missy Stevens
Sweaty Mom
Missy Stevens writes, blogs, raises a couple boys with a very good man, and fails at homemaking in Austin, Texas. She’s a reformed social media addict, meaning she’s only on Facebook and Twitter part of every day now. You can also find her once a week or so on her blog, Wonder, Friend.

Fresh Produce Review!

It’s no secret that I love Fresh Produce clothing! It’s really comfortable, it fits well, and best of all it’s stylish while not looking like it was made for my teen or my grandma (Yes, this is really important).

Fresh Produce Logo

I recently had the opportunity to check out the Cafe Wrap Dress and because the weather was warming up and I wanted something that had lots of color I got it in Pink Sapphire! I’ll be honest with you… I almost got this in a more neutral color (black) because those are my safe, go-to colors, but I am really glad that I didn’t this time. It’s gorgeous! And what I like best about it is that it really is versatile because I can wear it as is or pair it with some capri length leggings & a cardigan or scarf, dress it up with heels & jewelry or go more casual with a simple necklace and flats.

Cafe Wrap DressAnother awesome feature is that it’s a faux wrap so I don’t have to figure out how to get the dress to stay shut so people don’t get a free show if I move just right. The length is perfect for me too just gracing the knee…. not to short and not to long which means that I can wear it to work or out on the town.

Have you checked out their site yet? If not head over there and check out some of the great super cute beach dresses for this summer or some of the Caribbean inspired clothing with a relaxed feel to them, and on a cooler day you can always try a pair of their comfortable pants. They have lots of layering options for day or a casual evening with skirts, tank tops, cardigans, and capris. I always find something there that I love.

me in the dress

Please ignore the complete lack of make-up..... my pink eye almost matches the color of the dress.

Do you own anything from Fresh Produce? What do you think of it?

Fresh Produce now ships to over 200 countries, so women outside of the US can enjoy the colorful styles that Fresh Produce has to offer, too!

Disclosure: Fresh Produce provided me with the awesome Cafe Wrap Dress to review but all of the thoughts are my own! I really do love their clothing!



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Fresh Produce ~ Clothing to Live In!

Recently I was able to check out some great clothing from the company Fresh Produce and let me tell you…. the clothing is amazing! I was really excited to work with them and I swear I spent hours going through their website putting together outfits in my head from all the things they offer as well as figuring out what I could pair those cute capris with or the tunic top or my most favorite piece ever… the Coastal Wrap cardigan with clothing from my closet! It didn’t take me long to figure out that I could easily spend my entire paycheck on some new outfits.

Fresh Produce was started way back in 1984 by a husband and wife duo selling brightly colored t-shirts and jewelry at the 1984 Olympics in California and from there they built up a great clothing line that is comfortable, affordable, and fun to wear!

They have so many options to choose from whether you are a dress girl and want a cute daytime dress or prefer something along the lines of capris to chase your toddler through the park in! There are even some cute party dresses for that special event you have coming up! I highly recommend that you take a look at what they have & I’m sure that you’ll find something that you absolutely love.

Fresh Produce sent me a few pieces to check out. First was the Wrap Me Up dress which I fell in love with the moment I opened the package! The fabric was a beautiful gray color and was soft, stretchable, and very figure friendly! Once I had it on I was surprised how well it looked & fit because I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant since not all dresses look that good on me. With this dress I was able to imagine all the way I could dress it up or wear it in a more casual manner.

Wrap Me Up DressAndrew & I posing in my Fresh Produce Dress
There are a few other dress that I really love and one of them is rather similar to the Wrap Me Up Dress that I’m wearing above. It’s the Cafe Wrap Dress and it is shorter with cap sleeves but still the same wrap look to it. That and the cardigan will probably be my next purchase!

I was also sent a cute pair of pants and top. Again I was hesitant because more often than not pants are not true to size and rarely fit me because I am a bit bottom heavy. So I followed the size chart that Fresh Produce has on their site and ordered based on that. And to my surprise the pants fit amazingly well! I was really impressed with how well they did with the size chart.

Broadcloth Pants & Vintage CowlneckBroadcloth Pants & Vintage Cowlneck
This is me in the Thistle (light purple) colored Vintage Cowl Neck top and the Broadcloth Roll Up pants in Vanilla (creamish).

Overall I would highly recommend the Fresh Produce clothing line to anyone. They’re great casual pieces that can be dressed up for a night out or even work if you want.

Disclosure – The products featured in this review were provided to me  free of charge by the manufacturer. All of the opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by anyone or anything.

Tea Collection Review & Giveaway

With the new school year just around the corner and four kids to get ready for the fall season I’ve had to really start planning now for everything.

Luckily, I found Tea Collection and their incredible Children’s Clothing line. They have a huge amount of mix and match pieces that are perfect for fall.

One of the things that I liked best about Tea is that they have clothing for girls, boys, and babies. I wish I had known about them when my girls were all smaller because there were times that I would dress them all in the same dress or coordinating outfits and with the clothing from Tea Collection this is super easy!

The have a great selection for boys too which I often find lacking in many clothing stores. It seems that the greater majority of the products are for girls.

My youngest daughter loves to dress up, shop, try on new clothes and see what kind of outfits she can create and the sets that you get from Tea make this easy! And she’s at an age where I can still pick out almost anything for her and she likes it and of course will wear it.

Tea Collection

This was her favorite piece

She had a great time trying on all the new clothes that I got her and posing for pictures. She told me that everything was super comfy and soft (her exact words) and that she wanted to wear them now despite the high heat & humidity.

What I love about the clothing from Tea collection was how well made everything is and that it’s all made from 100% cotton. The colors are bright, the patterns are eye catching and kids just love it. Even my older girls wanted to know if there was clothing in sizes for them! I can’t wait for Tea to create a line for tweens & teens!

Tea Collection        Tea Collection
Do you have school shopping to do for your kids? Wouldn’t a $100 gift certificate to Tea Collection help out a lot this year? Well, if your answer is yes then all you need to do is enter to win!

One lucky winner will get a $100 gift certificate from Tea Collection! This giveaway will end on August 18th at noon at which point a winner will be selected and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. Also, your email must be visible in your profile or in the comment so I can contact you.

Entry Method
Visit Tea Collection and share with me in a comment what you’d buy!

Want another entry?
Pick one or all of them! For each of the following you must leave a separate comment.
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* Use the handy Tweet button to share this giveaway & make sure my Twitter id is in there (@JackieCross)
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Disclosure: This is a MamaBuzz Media review. I received a gift certificate from Tea Collection to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Boumy Shoe Review!

boumy collage

I love shoes! And because of that love I try to get my kids lots of them too! Well, they need more than the basic pair of tennis shoes, right? Because not everything goes with tennis shoes!

Now that I have a little boy I’m finding it harder and harder to find those cute shoes since it seems that most everything is geared towards girls. Whether it’s clothes or shoes what they have to offer for boys are simple & basic. But when I saw these shoes I was pretty impressed! Boumy has done a great job creating a durable leather shoe for kids.

The Boumy brand was created by Anouk Henderson in 1998, a mother of 2 boys, who had trouble finding stylish, high quality shoes that would stay on her son’s feet.

The shoes, which come in a wide variety of colors and styles, are made of 100% soft leather and have an elastic ankle that makes it easy to slip on and off. The shoes are flexible with a rough leather sole for gripping floors and allow they your child’s feet to move freely. I love the way they look and how easy they were to get on, the only trouble that I had was that the elastic seemed a bit tight and left a mark on my sons foot. He didn’t seem to mind them and ran around in them easily!

While looking through the site I had a hard time deciding which pair I wanted… there were so many that I wanted! I finally settled on the Sportstripe Navy because it looked like the pair that would go with most of his outfits. As soon as we got them I immediately slipped them on my son’s feet and he didn’t squirm or push them away as he’s done with other shoes. If they’re not on his feet he likes to play with them & wear them on his hand while he waves to me!

You can get these shoes or another pair  for around $32.00 each. Right now you can use a coupon code: MAB072011 for 20% off your total purchase at Boumy Shoes through July 31, 2011, limit one per person.

Be sure to check out their site and their Facebook Fan page too!

This review was provided through MamaBuzz. The product was provided by Boumy Shoes for this review and the opinions are all my own.