Staying Stylish with Candace Cameron Bure

While in college I loved flipping through fashion magazines and talking with some of my girlfriends about latest styles and makeup. We would dress up, do our makeup and head out for dinner; a stroll through the conservatory at the Opryland Hotel, or walk through downtown Nashville. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in clothes, but it was always so important that I looked and felt my best whenever I was out in public.

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I couldn’t afford a Laura Ashley jumper, so I made this blue plaid one to wear in college…. Saved a fortune!

Times have certainly changed. Casual and fun conversations with the girls about style and makeup have morphed into convos more about being exhausted, teenagers and husbands. I miss the innocent chats that led to girls night out and were so stress free! I oftentimes I think as women we’ve let our style go out the window.

Pajama bottoms in public, ill-fitting clothes not made for a body type, your husband’s oversized tee-shirts, and dressing down more and more instead of taking pride in our appearances.

Y’all, I actually saw a woman get out of her car and walk to the ATM in her bathrobe and house slippers just over the weekend!

I get it.

After raising four kids, all who were heavily involved in sports and youth group while my husband traveled for work, I totally get the desire to dress down and let yourself go. I’m tired, your tired, we’re always rushed, but whether we like it or not, we live in a society that judges based on appearances (it’s been that way for 100’s of years, and is not new by any means), and for that reason I want to look my best.

And y’all, some days my best is a coordinating workout outfit (even if I’m not going to the gym), with a light touch of makeup, or LuLaRoe for a quick run to the grocery or the pick-up line at school.

The struggle is very real, but as long as you are making an effort, you can feel pretty good in just matching workout attire.

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Reading Candace Cameron Bure’s new book Staying Stylish reminds me of those times past with girlfriends talking about what to wear, what looks good, and how to wear makeup. Her laid back writing style is conversational, encouraging and uplifting.  It’s also like hearing from a friend as you read through each page.

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Candace is the perfect choice for a book on this topic for ladies of all ages.  Married for 20+ years, raising three kids, a Hallmark channel movie regular, and now helping her husband run a winery Candace knows how busy life can be, yet she always looks amazing!

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In Staying Stylish ideas are offered to help you build your own style outside of pajama bottoms and ill-fitting clothes.  From t-shirt basics to a night at the theater Candace shares affordable (and a few spurges) to help you build your own style that is appropriate for all occasions!  She even offers tips for traveling well, which is always a challenge for me!

Once you have ideas to update your wardrobe, Candace tackles skincare, hair and makeup.  While I love makeup, I do not wear it everyday but without a doubt I spend time on skincare, both morning and evening.  In my opinion I would rather invest in taking care of my skin now, than want to spend 1000’s on it for facial procedures when I’m 50. Besides, when you take care of your skin, not only do you look younger, but when you do wear makeup, it goes on much more evenly and look so much better!

Finally Candace tackles health, fitness and feeling good from the inside out.  I’ve learned from experience that taking care of yourself matters.

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Y’all, who is going to take care of you, because you’ve neglected yourself?

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From healthy eating to fitness, several great tips and ideas are shared that will inspire you to make little changes; changes you can even introduce to your family.  Self care isn’t just physical and Candace touches on that as well.

To close out her book, Candace touches on ways to nourish your spirit as well.  As wives and mommas we know how our spirit get tired affecting our daily living with the family. From encouragement in our prayer lives to tips for managing stress Candace has found an easy way to encourage us all.

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I am so excited to give away one copy of Candace’s book here on the blog to close out February!  All you have to do to enter to win is leave me a comment on this post sharing a way you practice self-care in your life.  That’s it!

The book will be coming from the publishing company to you, so it will be 4-6 weeks after I announce the winner.

And if you want to share the giveaway I would appreciate it as well!

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What I Wore: A Glimpse of Fall

Living in gym clothes most of the time, fashion isn’t always something I think about.  While I do my hair and makeup everyday, as a stay-at-home wife and mom it seems I don’t require a huge wardrobe.  Between cooking, cleaning, high school sports and quick errand running, I just want to be comfortable most days,  For me that is yoga pants and tee-shirts.

{Now most of my tee’s are trendy with little sayings like “Wife. Mom. Boss”}

While I have gained confidence in a lot of areas since my days of being morbidly obese, how to dress is not one of those areas which may be why I am most happy in yoga pants.

Dress up days for me are Sundays and date night with that hubby of mine, but he sees me all the time.  Recently I posted a couple of pictures on social media from events I attended and was asked over and over by friends about what I was wearing!

Now I don’t know if it’s because I’m always dressed casually so dressing up is a big deal, or if because what I was wearing might actually be fashionable, but I thought I would share a little “what I wore” and  “where to buy” today.

You might find yourself surprised!

The first outfit I wanted to share is one I recently wore at Disney World and Epcot when I visited for the International Food and Wine Festival.

My girl friend Tami and I wanted to dress up just a little since we were there for a specific reason, and she is a fashion blogger so I needed to step out of my comfort zone a little.

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I loved this blue top/dress and everyone was amazed to discover that I found it at Cracker Barrel of all places!

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I loved the color and the fact it could be dressed up or left casual just by swapping jewelry, shoes (I wore it with 4-inch heeled booties to church services) and adding tights.  For this particular day I wore it with Hue leggings that can be purchased at Macy’s for under $20 and a pair of Sam & Libby ballet flats from Target.

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As for the mouse ears, you can find a wide variety throughout Disney, so it was easy to find the sapphire ones to match!  After all, every little girl needs mouse ears for her first visit to Disney!

My second outfit that stirred a flurry of comments was this fall ensemble that is actually from LuLaRoe.  Yes, I’ve read all the negative publicity surrounding the company, but I have several pieces that really work for me.

And I find them to be quite nice.

For this outfit I paired a “Joy” (the long vest) with a “Carly” (a high/low swing dress).

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I’m not big on extra flowy (it goes back to when I weighed 270 pounds & liked to hide behind my clothes), so I put a dart in the back so that it fit in a way I felt comfortable; not clingy, but also not baggy.

While I don’t have to shop there to dress my body anymore, my tall boots are a leather classic riding boot and were purchased at Lane Bryant.  I have large calves (a by product of years of catching in softball), and Lane Bryant carries boots that fit just perfectly over mine!

To dress up my LuLaRoe, I added a large pendant that I’ve had for years of a Fox Hunting scene (an eBay purchase) and carried a small leather purse from Brahmin (Purchased at Macy’s).  It’s always amazed me how well-chosen accessories can really add to a rather plain outfit!

Out of curiosity, what is your everyday look?  What type of pieces work best for you?

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Feeling Fashionable & Fit

Having spent most of my time the last thirteen years hiding behind oversized clothes, living in gym clothes and now basic black at Macy’s a couple of days a week, having the opportunity to dress-up and go out the last several weeks has been so much fun!  Granted almost all of the occasions have been related to graduation, but it was kind of nice to put on a little confidence, step out of my comfort zone into some high heels and while wearing fashionable yet still age & occasion appropriate attire.

All of this dressing up to go out is not a new concept to me, but it is one I left behind years ago when I put on all my weight.  It’s a real struggle to not see the old me in the mirror and look at all the positive changes that have occurred in this life!

 I've come a long way..... a very long way.
The old me not so long ago. I’ve come a long way….. a very long way.

Finding the right outfit to wear is often a challenge for any of us, but accepting that challenge and stepping out of our comfort zone can be fun too! Slowly I am learning to see the new me in the mirror and trust my choices when it comes to dressing up.

You see, weight loss is more than a physical journey, it is also an emotional one. Sometimes it’s easy to reach those physical goals, but the emotional ones are a wee bit harder. I am chiseling away at those each and everyday!

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For the first time in a long time I felt completely confident in my choices and didn’t feel like I had to hide behind black or oversized clothes.

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The first event on our agenda of activities was Graduation Sunday at our church.  After a lovely service that focused on guiding our young people down the right path and creating a spiritual legacy while honoring all of the seniors, we enjoyed a fabulous BBQ luncheon.  For this special day I wore a dress by Michael Kors for Macy’s and a fun pair of strapy heels by Steve Madden.

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My girls were giving me a hard time over the purchase of such a trendy pair of shoes, but they completed this simple outfit and added just a bit of contrasting color to my very blue dress.  A simple strand of pearls and my outfit was complete.

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Graduation was our second big event out.  I wore an orange “shirt” dress by Sandra Darren for this evening out.  I loved the dress for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s thin so the harsh southern humidity & stickiness wasn’t amplified  by my attire.  Secondly, it’s loose, so at the end of the day when the swelling from my surgery is really bad, it’s not so obvious.

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The Southern humidity was very much an issue for my hair!

You can’t see them in the picture, but I wore a pair of black wedges with the dress as graduation was originally scheduled to be on the football field and we were going to be doing a lot of walking.

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Our final event out was actually just a simple spring evening in the park.  While our teenagers were enjoying time with their cousins, Audley and I were enjoying a few moments for ourselves.  Falls Park in Greenville is an absolutely beautiful location for families as well as couples.  My sister snapped this picture for us because every picture we have lately is from the gym!

Date night in the gym....

Date night in the gym….

Up until very recently, this would have totally been an occasion in which I would have worn yoga pants and an over-sized shirt, so imagine my husbands delight when I climbed into his truck dress-up for our stroll in the park!

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This brown and black empire waisted sundress is from Soma Intimates.  They are the sister company of White House/Black Market and have a lovely and simple line of casual wear.  I wore a pair of brown sparkly flip-flops for walking through the park and accessorized with a pair of Jessica Simpson Sunglasses.

I tell you, it’s an awesome feeling stepping out of my comfort zone!

One of the best things about stepping out of that comfort zone was that I didn’t have to spend a fortune in order to look put-together for any of these events.  The Michael Kors dress was purchased at Macy’s using my employee discount, Macy money, & a really good coupon and cost about $30 (originally $140).  The Steve Madden shoes were found at DSW on the clearance rack for $15.00.  The orange shirt dress was about $25 on sale at Belk.   My Franco Sarto black wedges were a full-priced ($54.00) but worthwhile purchase as I can wear them with a multitude of outfits. My dress sundress from Soma was just $22.00 & the Jessica Simpson sunglasses were $12 from TJ Maxx.

I love the challenge of finding a good deal on my clothes, especially since I am still losing weight and hopefully won’t be wearing them long!

Dress-up or Dress-down?  Which do you prefer?

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