November 17, 2014

Kid Style: When Snowboots Are Too Hot, Canvas Shoes Are Too Cold…Try THESE



Leaves are in piles on the ground, hot chocolate has become a daily thing, and I’ve already busted out my mittens.  One thing’s for sure:  WINTER IS COMING.

As I write this, my little hometown of Marquette, MI is covered in snow (my sister Scotti and baby Greenlea are both going stir crazy), and last time I chatted with my friends in Denver, they were SHOVELING.  So…yeah.  Here we go.

Each year, the snow catches me off guard, and there’s always those few days Raines is playing outside in too-short snowpants and sneakers while I wait – with baited breath – for our brown-clad hero (aka the UPS man).  Once snow hits here on the East Coast, the store shelves are swept bare of anything even remotely useful for snow play.  BARE.

So this year, I’m determined to get ahead of the snow.  We had a winter-gear try-on sesh (and YES!!  Pax still fits his snowsuit) but footwear is a problem.  Both boys need snowboots, obviously, but they also need warmer shoes in general.  We’re mostly a slip-on Vans family, but canvas shoes are brutal when the temps drop.  And what do they wear to school?  Last year it didn’t matter all that much (Raines was in half-day kindergarten), but who wants to sit around in snowboots all day?  Not my kid.  I suppose we could always pack an extra pair of shoes in his backpack, but looking at our track record of Getting Things To School (forms/lunches/library books/money for the homeroom mom)……an extra pair of shoes brings me one nut closer to the nuthouse.

But the big question in my mind was this:  What the heck did we do last year?

Aha!  A pic from last year.



Well.  This explains A LOT.  Last year’s Kid’s Winter Shoe Strategy is perhaps better described as, Kids?  We Have kids?


(Hey there new readers – I feel the need to point out that last year I was, uh, recovering from a bout with chemo *breast cancer*cough*breastcancer* so that is my excuse.)

Now that I’ve clearly illustrated the height of our bar (impressively low, if I may be so bold)….I assure you:  This year WE WILL DO BETTER.  So here’s what my kids are currently wearing to school:

By November 17, 2014 23 No tags Permalink
November 15, 2014

The (Nursing-Friendly) Shirt Every Mom Needs: the Express Portofino (on sale now!)

Express Portofino Shirt-2

(Photo Credit: Vafa-Coffman Photography)

I tend to go a little overboard when I find something I like.  I’ll buy the same pair of shoes in two different colors or the same jeans in 4 different washes.  This shirt?  I have it in ten – TEN – different colors and patterns.  AND?  I found myself contemplating two more this morning when I realized they were on sale.  I LOVE this shirt.  It is probably one of the most versatile items in my closet . . . it can be dressed up or down, be sexy or conservative, hide pooches or muffin tops and is perfect for nursing.  You need one, right?  (Or ten).

November 14, 2014

My Top Picks From Piperlime’s 20% off Designer Sale – One Day Only!! (And It’s GOOD. Like, seriously good.)

Gang, you know how sometimes you go to buy something on sale and then find out that it’s exempt?  Annoying, right?  Well.  Piperlime is having a one-day sale, and it INCLUDES many of those brands that rarely go on sale.  And YUP:  We’re talking Frye boots, Rag and Bone jeans, and even the insanely fabulous Weitzman 50/50 over-the-knee boots are all part of the sale.   Use code NOWORNEVER.  Sale ends tomorrow!

Here are my top picks.

(Happy weekend!!)


By November 14, 2014 2 No tags Permalink
November 13, 2014

Putting Our Fav Lip Stains To the Kiss Test….And A Big Holiday Makeup Giveaway (No Really, It’s HUGE)



Gang, I’ve been working on this article for almost a year (which explains the wig).  And it seems apropos, I suppose, since one year ago today I had my last chemo treatment.  On the phone this morning, Scotti pointed out that I should celebrate.  She’s right, don’t you think?  A little champagne may be in order this weekend.

But first, let’s talk about bold lips and our flawless face giveaway.  (I’m really, REALLY excited about this one.)

By November 13, 2014 15 No tags Permalink
November 12, 2014

How to Fake Amazing Brows

How to Fake Amazing Brows


(photo credit: Vafa-Coffman Photography)

I was surprised to find that many of you had commented about my eyebrows after my first makeup post.  “Brow envy” was even a phrase that was used!  The ironic part of this is that I have insanely sparse eyebrows . . . like, barely any hair.  If I could go back in time to talk to a younger version of myself, I would tell her to STOP.  PLUCKING.  YOUR.  EYEBROWS.  They won’t grow back.  Really.  My middle school self was going crazy with the tweezers (for some reason super plucked brows appealed to me?) and my adult self would pay for it later.  SO, the fact that ANYONE is liking my eyebrows is AWESOME.  Because of my lack of “real” brows, I’ve had years (YEARS) to perfect faking them.  I have gone through COUNTLESS products . . . I’ve practically tried them all.  Brows are THE most important part of your face, but are often overlooked.  See how this woman looks totally different depending on the way her brows look?


By November 12, 2014 3 No tags Permalink
November 11, 2014

What I Wore In NYC (Hello, Converse Hightops)



We spent a week in NYC last month – the whole fam.  Mike had a conference to attend, so myself and the boys tagged along.

It was no hardship.




We rented an apartment near a park, and spent our days exploring, just the three of us.  I had a ton of tips from my Instagram buddies about where to bring the boys (thank you thank you thank you!!) and the whole week was a good reboot for all of us.  (I’ll share the where-to-go tips in another article – they’re too good to miss.)

November 10, 2014

Reader Question: Seven Ways to Style a Basic Grey Sweater Dress

Shana received this email from Melissa:

Hi Shana – I’m one of your long-time readers that followed you over from ANMJ (love the new name, BTW). I just bought a beautiful dress (40% off) at Banana Republic because it’s so comfy and fits unbelievably well.  I know it should go with a ton of things, and I can easily dress it up – but I want to wear it casually. Besides boots and a denim jacket, how would you style this dress? I’d also like to wear it on casual work days, but I have no idea how to dress it down. Please help!



Melissa, I hope you don’t mind, but I LOVED the dress and asked her if I could take this one.  When I was pregnant, I purchased a number of dresses similar to this Banana Republic one.  I didn’t want to keep buying “maternity” clothes that I could only wear when I was pregnant . . . I wanted to invest in things that would last long after G was born.  This particular dress is super flattering and can be worn during the early months of pregnancy and those difficult to dress months after the baby is born.  I came up with a few different ways to style it for work or play and found LOTS of items for my Christmas wish list along the way.  BONUS: Banana is offering 40% off your ENTIRE purchase until 11/11 (tomorrow)!  Use code BRGOOD.

Classic Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are my favorite all-around go-to clothing item that makes practically any outfit look better.  Add a funky necklace and some ankle boots with metal detailing and you’re good to go.  If you’re in a particularly cold climate like I am, you can add fleece lined tights like these Oroblu Brushed Fleece Tights for extra warmth.


By November 10, 2014 13 No tags Permalink
November 9, 2014

#fightinglikeagirl Giveaway Winners



This picture was taken days before my final chemo treatment one year ago, yet it feels like a lifetime has passed.  I know that some point I will stop noting the passage of time by cancer-related milestones (one year ago I was getting my last chemo, a few days later, my last chemo-related ER visit, etc.)  but I’m not there yet.  Instead, I often find myself off-kilter, like an outside observer of my life.  It’s a feeling I fight.

I had another checkup with my oncologist last week at Penn.  (Everything is totally fine, they just like to keep close tabs on you.)  We talked about how I’m tolerating the daily tamoxifan (good), and how my energy levels aren’t quite up to par.  My oncologist had promised that they’d return to normal levels in a year, and next week will mark one year since my last chemo, soooooo……WHADDUP, Doc?  Right?

Yeah. Well.  As it turns out, chemo is, uh, not the nicest substance on the planet.  Life saving, to be sure, but it breaks you down.  Like, really and truly breaks your body down.  Recovering from chemo isn’t like taking a few months off from working out, it’s a whole different ball game.  In fact, it doesn’t sound like a game at all.  My oncologist’s exact words were, “If you ever want to run again, really and truly be a runner….you’re going to have to fight for it.”

I guess I’m not done fighting.


I’ve been putting off choosing the winners for this giveaway.  There were just so many names:  250, to be exact.  And in the comments, all of the heartbreak is there:  my mom, my aunt, my sister, my mother-in-law, my best friend.  There are moms of two, women who are pregnant, and a mom who is also dealing with the loss of a child.

In this fight, I wish I was well and truly alone.

But you, dear readers, have been so amazingly supportive.  Both of me and my own personal fight, and now of these women.  Together we raised enough money to spoil FOUR women currently fighting breast cancer with a $250 Stella & Dot shopping spree, plus a $100 gift card of their choosing.  (I was thinking grocery stores but if they want Nordstroms I totally get it, LOL)  Here are our giveaway winners (I’ll be emailing each of you as well):


1.  Elisa R – nominated Terry I  (Terry I, if you are reading, the universe really wanted you to win because the next THREE names picked by a random generator had all nominated you as well.  Isn’t that crazy??)

2.  Jennifer Y – nominated Lauren H

3. Jodi B – nominated Kristina M

4.  Oh Judy – nominated Jennifer Z


Thank you – so much, so very, very much – to all of you who supported our #fightinglikeagirl trunk show.  Love and light you babes.  Keep fighting the good fight.


By November 9, 2014 9 No tags Permalink
November 7, 2014

Dressing Room Selfies From The Nordstrom Clearance Sale

I wasn’t going to do it.  But that darn Sephora VIB sale keeps crashing their website, and I had used up – weeks ago – a few crucial products that I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for…so I was already at the mall.  I was THERE.  (And obviously, the kids were not with me.)  So I thought I’d take a little peek, you know?  Just to see?  But once I found myself in the dressing room…it was all over.  I’m a blogger.  It’s how we do.



My top pick is Equipment’s Pinstriped Cotton Shirt (I’m wearing an XS for reference – it runs big).   It has that borrowed-my-husband’s shirt look to it, but doesn’t totally overwhelm.  So sexy, right? (snort – with my Uggs? So sexy with my Uggs?) Whatever. I crazy-love this shirt.

By November 7, 2014 15 No tags Permalink
November 6, 2014

Perfect Makeup: 5 Easy Steps For A Flawless Face



It all started with one blue eyeliner.  My mom and sister never wore makeup when I was growing up but I came across an old blue eyeliner that my mom had somewhere deep in her bathroom cabinet.  I played with that eyeliner and was fascinated from that point on with makeup and the way it could transform and change the way people looked.  As a makeup artist, I’m passionate about makeup and I’m always excited to share what I’ve learned over the years through my obsession with it.  I’m no fashion expert, but MAKEUP – makeup is my thing. In my first post, I wanted to start with the basics:  How to get perfect (looking) skin.  This technique is easy enough to do every day (or at the very least when you’re going out and want to look good)!  These are the products and techniques that we use in all of our pics on the blog.

By November 6, 2014 44 No tags Permalink