Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rhinestone Cowgirl - Business on the Top, Party on the Bottom

Several years ago I needed a formal gown for an event.  I decided to go to a dress boutique in Charlotte on the same day as a scheduled meeting for work to accomplish two things in one day.  My mom came along to help find the perfect gown.  For the business meeting I wore dress slacks and a cardigan set, it was an appropriate look for the day.   I was late getting into the city so I hurriedly browsed the racks of dresses.  Mom and I found a couple of possibilities and off I headed to the dressing room. 

Pants on Fire

I’m weird about dressing rooms.  I get oddly paranoid that I’m being watched so I put on the dress first.  Then I took off my pants.  The first dress worked well and I quickly put my pants back on under it.  I was almost late to my meeting.  There were too many layers of fabric and I couldn’t really see my pants that well.  It felt like my toe caught a string as I put on the second leg.  I heard a sound like a long zipper closing.  Hmm.  I removed the dress and then I panicked.  

From the dressing room my mom heard me scream, “Oh dear Jesus, oh no!”

In my haste, my toe caught a string and that string ripped the entire side seam out of my pants up to the pocket.  I was staring at myself wearing one legged dress chaps in the dressing room mirror.  My entire leg was exposed and what once was a pants leg was now a hanging sheet of fabric.  I had nothing to wear - even to the parking lot.  The saleslady and my mom came running.  Remember I was in a dress store, they don’t sell pants; I was in trouble.  Luckily the saleslady said, “Wait, I think I have one pair of corduroy pants that you could wear.”  I was relieved.  The panic was dying down.  Then she brought the new pants.

Her “pants” were a pair of beige corduroy pants with colored rhinestone flames up the sides of both legs, hundreds and hundreds of rhinestones.  I would literally have flaming loins if I wore these pants.  I immediately said, “I can’t wear those pants.”  The images in my mind of hot pants, pants on fire, and on and on started building.  I had a very important meeting and I couldn’t show up looking ready to perform Copacabana with Elvis Presley. 

But I was late.  My mom was emphatic, either I wore the pants or I could wear the ball gown I’d just purchased to the meeting.  My choices weren’t good.  I opted for the pants.  It was better to go as a flashy Vegas marquee than Cinderella; I guess. 

I put on the pants.  Looking at myself in the mirror, I was the personification of a mullet – all business on the top and total party on the bottom.

I had to own it.  I could do this.  Out of the dressing room I stoically walked in my cardigan set and those flaming pants.  Liberace in his most intricate costume had nothing on me, absolutely nothing. 

In the meeting I got strange looks.  I work in concrete and most industry meetings are attended predominantly by men.  One guy just looked at me and shrugged.  Some stared for a minute with larger than normal eyes and then looked really confused.  I remained quiet.  I’d accepted my fate and those pants so I stared straight ahead.  I learned to be more careful in the dressing room and always have a spare pair of pants. 

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Effortless Back to School - WCCB Style!

This morning I presented all things Effortless when it comes to Back to School for less on WCCB Rising.  Everything on the table cost less than $20 - so it's a bargain for your budget.  Also Back to Schoolers can make and personalize the items themselves - so it's a savings for your time (and stress)!  Check out the video for the segment details and below is a photo recap of the morning.  Tutorials on the items not already posted should be up and running by the weekend.  Did I mention that Kristine Zell looks amazing as a pregnant lady?  Not one ounce of swelling, some girls have it all.  Let's get started!

The Set

Kristine Zell and Julie

Desk Organizer with Duct tape

Teacher Emergency Kits

Easy "Apples"

Preparing for the segment

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Effortless Back to School on WCCB Rising Tomorrow!

Watch Effortless Girl Back to School Edition Wednesday morning on WCCB Rising!  We'll talk effortless locker style and wow ways to organize supplies for less.  Plus we've got special Effortless Girl teacher surprises so you may say thank you to teachers.  Tune in Wednesday morning to WCCB around the 8:30 hour or join us live streaming online here.

WCCB Rising
 Don't forget to follow WCCB Rising on Facebook and Twitter!
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Back to School Blues - Denim Style!

School starts for many people this week.  Whoa!  It was move-in weekend at a university near where I live and the traffic was pandemonium.  I had the misfortune of running errands in several stores, sigh.  Amid the congestion in the check out lines and store shelves that were nearly empty, I thought there had to be a better way.  So I decided to brainstorm some Back to School fun with items you already have around the house to save on stress (and money) during this hectic time of year.  I cut up an old pair of jeans and made a school supplies bag and blinged out a regular notebook on the cheap.  The best thing about this project is kids can do it themselves for the most part.  It allows students to be creative and make something they will use at school (and maybe gives mom a minute's peace in the mean time).  Let's get started.

Back to School Denim
The material list is simple.  You'll need a notebook, scissors, glue, a zipper, and embellishments.  I bought the notebook for 17 cents and the zipper for $1.47.  I already had blue and scissors at home.  The blue jeans were old.  If you needed to purchase a pair of old ones, go to a thrift store and buy a pair for $1 - the entire project is very affordable.

I started with the notebook.  Begin by cutting the back panel from the pants.  I cut down the back seams on either side of the pocket to just below the seat - make sure the pocket stay intact.  This shape is roughly the size of the notebook.  

Cut the denim panel
Next trim the denim to the exact size of the notebook cover and glue the denim onto the cover.

Glue the denim
Allow the notebook cover to dry overnight.  Once the glue was dry, I added some adhesive backed "bling" rhinestones.  The pocket now doubles as a pencil or pen holder.  Easy!

The Notebook
For the denim bag, cut one of the legs from the jeans below the knee - however long you'd like the bag to be.  Also remove the other back pocket and two belt loops from the jeans. 
The materials
I didn't photograph the process very well.  Note:  This is a 5 minute project if you use a sewing machine.  I didn't.  It took me about 45 minutes to stitch everything by hand, ugh.  Affix the zipper to the inside of the jean leg on the end that you cut.  Then stitch the bottom of the pant leg together to form a bag.  Stitch the two belt loops end to end and form a circle.  Then stitch this circle onto one corner of the bag on the zippered end to sew a hook to carry the bag.  I also added a pocket to the outside of the bag for detail and function.  The pocket is optional, you can add it or not.  It would also be nice to sew a few beads here and there for an extra fancy pencil purse.

The Pencil Clutch
 Our completed projects.

Back to School!

#backtoschool #denim #fashion #schoolsupplies #schoolfashion #school #college

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back to School - For the Legendary Guys!

It's about that time of year again when school-aged people give a collective groan because they know what's coming.  Summer days are winding down and that means Back to School season is upon us.  Parents will hurriedly shop for school supplies and clothing and all the other necessities in preparation for the big first day.  Sometimes the blog neglects the male component of our audience.  Guys need to get ready to look their best too - so we have a very special post for our Effortless Guys!
Dale Jr.
Nascar is a major sport in the south.  The king of Nascar is Dale Earnhardt Jr.  He may not be your favorite driver, but he's the most popular far.  Working with Unilever and Walmart, Dale picked his favorite men's hygiene products and created a Legendary Looks campaign for modern guys that take pride in their appearance.  The campaign is on social media and participants can use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with Dale and win prizes.  You can even go to the races and join in on the #LegendaryLooks fun.  Watch Dale Jr. talk about how he gets prepared for the day and his races and learn about the Earnhardt Nascar racing legacy here.  These products are really affordable and perfect for the school mornings on the go.

Legendary Looks

There are a number of scents and products to choose from in the campaign but Dale Jr's basic products include:

AXE White Dry Spray:
Introducing the first ever dry spray antiperspirant line from Axe® -- an entirely new way to stay dry.
- Specially designed to go on instantly dry with no visible residue
- Guaranteed to keep you fresh and protected from sweat for 48 hours.
- Features a cool rush of grapefruit, lavender, cedar wood and praline notes
Degree Men Dry Spray Adventure:
- 48-hour MOTIONSENSE formula endures any adventure
- Rugged, woodsy fragrance that blends clean citrus with long-lasting notes of wood and musk.
- Goes on instantly dry
- Motion-activated protection
- No visible residue
Dove Men+Care PW Extra Fresh:
- MICROMOISTURE technology activates while lathering and is clinically proven to fight skin dryness better than regular men’s body wash
- Ultra-light formula delivers extra refreshment with a cooling agent, then rinses off easily for total skin comfort.
- Refreshingly cool, comfortably clean
Suave Men Heritage Shampoo and Conditioner Comfort:
Vintage inspired Heritage Edition™ hair products combine our enduring formulations with today’s hard-working ingredients to give modern gentlemen a well-groomed look. Varieties include: Classic Clean 2-in-1, Thick & Full 2-in-1, Deep Clean Shampoo and Deep Moisture 2-in-1.
My husband uses Dove for Men products.  He likes the body wash and loves the scrubber.  I think guys are dirty and stinky anyway and the scrubber and body wash are a necessity....seriously; everyone knows I'm telling the truth.  The great thing about the Legendary Looks campaign is you can win free stuff and there is also a coupon for product at the bottom of the page here.
Dove for Men

I'm not nutty about the Axe sprays.  I just don't like super scented guys.  That's why I like the Dove for Men.  Suave for Men has a similar line of products at a little lower price point.  They also regularly offer coupons.  The Suave Heritage line was good quality and a great 2 in 1 product.  Both lines are part of the Legendary Looks campaign so men can make their choice at Walmart.  Every Walmart seems to have an extensive selection of both brands and they are also available for purchase here.  

Degree for Men

And last a note about guys and is not just a suggestion - it's a must!  Degree for Men Dry Spray is a really great choice.  Tripp uses the spray daily.  It makes a cloud so stay away when your guy is using the bottle, but it is an effective, and did I say necessary, product.  The Degree line has several choices in scents and coverage so men can choose their favorite.  It's also really affordable and if Dale Jr. uses it during those long races then it definitely works!

Check out #LegendaryLooks for more on Dale Jr. and the products above.  Everything can be purchased at Walmart online or in stores for less than $15 - and even less if you use the coupon. 

This post was sponsored by Lunchbox - but I wouldn't write about something I didn't like....
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Weekend Roundup....and a Preview of Things to Come!

I know it's Tuesday so technically this post should be yesterday - but I've been out of town.  Yesterday I was at the doctor.  MS needs constant maintenance, oy vey, very constant maintenance.  I'm lucky that my doctor is amazing, he listens, and he isn't even kind of surprised by what I tell him.  It is a huge plus that he's in New York.  We flew up for the weekend on Saturday.  Why Saturday?  Well something very special happened on that day (but you won't hear about it until next week).  It was a-mazing, the best day.  I'll give you a quick preview photo, but that's it.  Stay tuned because exciting things are coming.


The weather was beautiful and we walked around the city.  Lots!  I'd never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge so we did it.  If I did it again, I would pick a day that wasn't so touristy.  It was really crowded.  However you could see far in both directions and there was a nice view of the Statue of Liberty.

Brooklyn Bridge

Other than that, we ate lots, went to church, and enjoyed the weather.  After the doctor visit, the weather was great so we walked from 98th street to Midtown.  I get weird around appointments and my mood is really pensive, so afterward I'm just quiet.  It was nice to walk along the tree lined 5th Avenue and take in the park before the flight home.  

It's a pretty city.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kale or Collard or Lettuce Wraps

Wraps are a summer go-to for a quick meal.  Anything you like (or imagine) can go in a wrap.  I think they're easier to eat than a sandwich because the filling is better contained in the wrap.  However, I'm not a huge fan of the overlapping pieces of tortilla at the seams of the wrap that I always peel off and leave on my plate.  In my nutrition searches these past few months, I've happened upon new takes on the wrap.  Using a kale leaf / collard green leaf/ or large lettuce leaf adds extra greens to a wrap and eliminates the starchy carbs of a standard flour tortilla.  So I present to you many new ideas for lunch that minus the usual "wrap" can be lower in carbs and calories (if you don't stuff the insides with mayo or processed food).  May the healthy lunches begin!

My favorite wrap would be a leaf of any of the three filled with the Quinoa Taboule Salad from Le Pain Quotidien.  The salad is  I could eat it everyday and not get tired of it.  The recipe is here and it would be delicious in a wrap - any kind of wrap.  Moving on...

The first photo is for Mexican Kale Wraps with Mango Puree (yum).  The recipe is here.  I like it because it combines avocado with mango and vinegar for a healthy sweet and tangy at the same time flavor.  Also the recipe uses beans for a kick of fiber. 

Photo Courtesy of veggielover75

I'm also digging the Low Sodium Collard Wrap found here.  The recipe has many choices for the filling so you could go vegan or not so vegan and have a delicious end result.

Photo Courtesy of Sodiumgirl

The last recipe I love for its simplicity.  Five ingredients and lunch is served.  This recipe can be served in a hurry and is healthy and tastes great.

Photo Courtesy of Daydreamkitchen
The moral of this story is to experiment with your lunch.  Think outside of the bread box and the choices are endless.  From chicken or tuna salad to strictly veggies or hummus, you can't go wrong wrapping lunch in a leaf!

#lunch #wrap #healthy #kale #collardgreen #tuna #chickensalad #delicious #diy #recipe #yummy

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