Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Styling Tips (with unsolicited opinions!)

I have an awesome weekly gig,  watching my two nieces while my Dr Brother teaches his college-age students about the human anatomy.  Not having any girls of my own (I have three boys,) I like to take these weekly fiascoes to get my fair share of girl time.  Today was wrought with Disney Princesses (okay, just one,) songs I can't stop singing (No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wiiiiiissh will come trueeeeeee) and a trip to the grocery store.  I needed a few last minute items for dinner, and I (in my wisdom and old age) decided that taking a not-quite-one-year-old and a not-quite-three-year-old would be old hat for me.  And it was.  Right up until I got the two bags tossed in the car and bent down to get my sweet little niece out of the front of that cumbersome plastic cart.  Clutched tightly to her chest was a shiny new package of stolen M&M's.  I am not making this up: I had just chucked a carton of ice cream in my car, knowing that my sweet, fattening dessert could just barely survive the ride home before melting.  Presented with taking my niece inside the store to return the stolen goods or saving my ice cream, I paused.  And took my nieces back inside to return the M&Ms (where the Customer Service kid smiled and called my niece cute and smiled at her.  I wanted to ask him to make her cry.  I mean, I'm sure that is what her parents would've wanted, right?  That being dealt with, we got all buckled in to the car and headed back home, hopefully with the ice cream still intact.  Fast forward two minutes, and the thief starts yelling at her little sister.  Why?  Because she had fallen asleep, and we all know what a relief no-no that is.  In desperation, I hand the thief a bag of overly-processed powdered donuts and we ride.  In peace.  For a suspiciously long time.

The moral of this story? I make a better aunt than I do a mother. lol

What does this have to with 31 Days?  Absolutely nothing.  I just wanted to give you guys a peek into my daily life before I let you into my closet.......

Day 1: That's today!
Day 5:
Day 6:
Day 7:
Day 8:

Why did I post this series under Simplicity and Organizing?  Two reasons: This is simple styling (anyone can do it!) and there will be organization, on every level.  This year will bring you 31 more styling tips (see last years pro-styling tips here,) that will include (but not be limited to) whether leggings should be worn as pants (I expect every one to weigh-in on that one!) and how to maximize your closet space (basic principles that can be applied to every room in your home!)  See you all tomorrow!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Trend: Black & White with Ross Dress for Less

When Ross Dress for Less contacted me about participating in a blogger contest for Fall Trends, I was like, "Heck yeah," and then I was like, "Duh."  I'm just kidding (but I did say yes, obviously.) 

Today kicks off a three week long contest, between me and four other bloggers, to see who represents this week's fall trend the best.  Our job?  Find an entire outfit, including accessories, for under $100.  Your job?  Vote* for your favorite outfit (pick me, pick me! lol) - you can vote once per day - by "liking" the photo.  Don't forget to like Pretty, Polished, Perfect on Facebook for your daily reminder ;)  You will be asked to enter your email address (this is where they will contact you if you win!) before you can vote.......

Photograph by the lovely Carla of CW Schildt Photography
I won't pretend that this is my most favorite outfit ever.  In fact, next week's is my favorite and while it also features a bit of black and white, it's main focus is leather details (come back next week to see it!)  However, it was under $100.  The dress was $19.99, the shoes were $39.99, and the necklaces were $12.99 and $19.99 (bracelets were included.)  Sadly, the red bench was not from Ross (though they had some fabulous chairs!)

Lastly, I want to give a shout-out to Carla of CW Schildt Photography.  I roped her into this project and she jumped right in without hesitation.  We had some laughs, some frustrations, some compliments, some strange looks.........

I will be completely upfront here: The Mr is the one who usually takes my pictures.  He isn't a professional, but I am comfortable as heck with him (shocking, I know - eye roll.)  I get so worried about working with people I don't know well, asking myself what will I do if we disagree on "artistic views" or what if they only want to shoot my bad side, or what if they hate me because I think I have a bad side (I do, trust me.)  Carla was great.  She realized what worked best for me, complimented me, made me laugh and was humble enough to take some of my suggestions.  She was also very patient.  She's new to the biz and says she learned from this experience (probably that she doesn't ever want to work with me again, lol!)  She also gave me a lot of great tips on posing (a model I am not)  Needless to say, I highly recommend her (so go support her and like her page!)

* The rules for the voting are as follows:
    • Must be a fan of the Ross Facebook page to vote. If not already a fan just go ahead and ‘like’ the page to vote for your favorite blogger outfit
    • Each person can vote once per day on their favorite outfit
    • Only persons residing in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming who are at least 18 years of age can enter.
  • Prior to voting, each person will be asked to submit an entry form with their email address. Once a winner has been selected, we will use the email address provided to notify them of their prize and to get further contact information to provide them with the Ross gift card.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Black, White & Tennis Shoes

I met up with Sandy last Thursday for the Grand Opening of the H&M store at Oak Park Mall (you can see Sandy's parking garage pics here.)  Thanks for snapping my pics, Sandy!  I was tempted to wear some heels, or heeled booties (those wedge sneaker high tops are just too unflattering for my body type, sadly,) but for a day of shopping - I was feeling the tennis shoes.  It was also like, 90 degrees out.

Anyway - I love, love, love this shirt!  The fit is perfect (which was shocking, for what is basically a t-shirt.)  The skirt is fun in a comfortable and flirty way.......but whoa! I had one or two windy Marilyn moments and it wasn't pretty. lol

Old Navy Fit and Flare Ponte Knit Skirt
Old Navy Boat Neck Jersey Top
Similar Coach Remonna Tennis Shoes (I got mine at Nordstrom Rack - they still had a few pair last week!)

      pleated poppy

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ruffles, Rhinestones, J. Crew Tilda and Elle

What do those four things have in common?  A whole heckuva lot.  That's what.

I was shopping last month (sorry, I know - I'm only about 30 days behind schedule here,) when I happened upon this great find.  When I was working at J.Crew, customers loved the Tilda Rhinestone top - we could barely keep it in the store!

Elle has upped the ante (yay sleeves!) by providing its' consumers with an almost exact duplicate of the Tilda Rhinestone Top (yay price!)

or on a real live human being (me! and a darling Lauren Conrad polka dot dress for $12):

While the quality difference is there (but not by much,) the style is the same minus four things:

1. sleeves (I am a huge fan of sleeves, for modesty and because darnit, aging has not been kind to my upper arms!)

2. the rhinestones do not wrap completely around the collar.  If you wear your hair up, people may notice this.

3. I can easily fit into a size 4 at J.Crew, but I'm squeezing into a size 8 from Elle (but my pride can handle it for this price difference!)

4. It's less than 1/3rd the price!

Kohls also offers it in a classic oxford stripe (but I don't really like it.)

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wendy's Flatbread Asiago Ranch + Indiana Jones (you will love it!)

When presented with the opportunity to help spread the word about Wendy's latest #6SecondsFlat $6,000 sweepstakes, I couldn't jump at the chance quickly enough!  The only requirement is/was to make a vine video (or Instagram) featuring one of their flatbread sandwiches (available only for a limited time.)

Um, videos?  Yes.  If you want to get a feel for how much I love the creative aspect of creating and producing extremely short films, checkout out my short films on YouTube.  With much enthusiasm, excitement and laughter, I roped my Father and brother into helping me out with this.  I didn't even give The Mr a choice (he loves me, so he doesn't mind right?)  I also begged and pleaded with my sister to get her husband to record the soundtrack (I asked for ragtime Indiana Jones, lol!  I mean, 15 seconds is.....not very much time.)

Without further ado, I present the latest Triple P short film:

I have to tell you all that I am not a fan of dressings.  I don't eat mayonnaise, or Miracle Whip, or mustard or anything else in that family.  I am extremely picky about my ranch dressings.  I do however, love bacon.  And chicken.  And bacon.  Did I already say that? lol.  I was worried I would take that first bite and gag.......

Nope.  I just wanted to eat the rest of it.  It took a lot of self control to re-wrap it and take it out to my dying Father (I jest. Did you see the film?! lol)  It is a seriously delicious sandwich.  That is my personal opinion, all sponsorships aside.  Now get your wheels a-turning and crank out a fun video for those #6SecondsFlat sweepstakes!  And do me a favor - along with the hashtag #6SecondsFlat, include #triplep6 so I know you entered (thanks!)

This post brought to you in part by Wendy's #6SecondsFlat $6,000 sweepstakes, my own creative genius (bahahaha) and with the help of the Charles Andrews III family, the Charles Andrews IV family, the Joslyn family and Instagram (thank goodness they let us upload videos now!!)

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TripleP Giveaway: Monroe and Main

*This  Monroe and Main Review/Giveaway is part of a Fashionista Events opportunity. Clothing/accessories were provided by Monroe and Main as noted below.

Monroe and Main is hosting a Monroe and Main Blogger Spotlight Giveaway this month.  They've offered several lucky bloggers a chance to shop their latest fall selections and then award ten lucky readers a $100 gift card.

By far my most favorite thing found (aside from the user-friendly site, ordering and fast shipping!) found Monroe and Main is this Skull Clasp Clutch.  Try one on, and you too will fall in love with it.  Edgy and feminine, this clutch is so much fun to carry around (and photograph - I wanted it in every Instagram I took.)

I also tried the Textured Moto Jacket (because every girl should have one of these in her closet......)

(I'm a big fan of contrasting textures.....)

Back to the good part:  The Giveaway!  
Good luck, and don't forget, the giveaway ends September 16 (and follow that link if the Rafflecopter form isn't showing up.)  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day: What I Wore (or will be wearing.....)

So, I've recently signed on to guest post at a new website,  I think you will enjoy the posts (not just mine, but Kelly's as well); Kelly is one of those people with a big personality, and I think you will enjoy her thoughts, ideas and opinions.  This past month, I posted what I truly intend to wear this Holiday.  I'm over shaving my legs, finding the right outfit to impress the new teachers, trying to stay cool in the oppressive heat (seriously, where did this weather come from?!) and I'm now enjoying the recent meme found on my guest-post at  In the meantime, I'm still high on my most recent trip to the Oregon Coast (where I loved. every. second.)

Jacket: JCrew
Dress: Mossimo
Shoes: (borrowed from my niece, lol!)