Mochababe73's Blog

{October 3, 2010}   School Days are Here Again

I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted.  Since the beginning of school and the start of my boys’ football season, I have been so busy.

The beginning of school signifies so much to me.  Another year has passed.  My oldest son is as tall as I am.  My youngest son is reading.  I am sometime teary-eyed at how much they have grown.  However, I still realize that they have a long way to go.  At a meeting at my oldest son’s school, we made a graduation plan for him (he’s in middle school).  He’s due to graduate in 2017.  That seems so far away even though it isn’t.

Enough about my personal life.  It’s been so long that I don’t even remember what I wrote about last.  Because my school is in a temporary building surrounded by concrete, I no longer dress as cute as I did.  I sweat so much that I have ruined clothes and can’t get the underarm smell out.  I can’t wait to get into the new school so that I can dress fly again.

I guess that means that I will write about how to look cute without breaking the bank.  Especially in my current work situation.

I must say that I have been living in colored t-shirts, denim skirts, blue jeans, and cute sandals (not flip flops).  Old Navy and Target are my stand-bys for tees.  I shop resale for my denim and cute sandals.  What’s good about Old Navy and Target are the sheer variety of colors and prints available.  Resale shopping is king, and I can get interesting tees with ruffles and pleats.  Sheer.  Designer.  All at a price that I can afford on my salary.  Sandals made by top designers for pennies on the dollar-Coach, Kate Spade, Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors.  I am like a kid in a candy store.

So, until the cold weather starts, yours truly will continue to wear this “uniform” while looking longlingly at the pretty dresses that I bought while resale shopping.   A Lily Pulitzer for $27 (pink is my favorite color).  A brand new Nine West dress with the $109 price tag from Macy’s still on it for $22.50.


{August 16, 2010}   Jewels

When I first met my husband, I was obsessed with jewelry.  I couldn’t go to a mall without looking in the display windows.  My favorite gemstone of all time is the pearl. Classic, clean, and sophisticated.  Everything that I wanted to be.  My dream jewelry purchase is still a strand of classic Mikimoto pearls.

Then, I stopped.  I realized that while I loved jewelry, my obsession had waned, and I couldn’t understand why.  I realized that it was a way that my mother and I bonded.  When she died, the obsession died with me.  I had no other person in which to share my passion.  No one close to me loved it as much as I did.

Since then, I have yet to find my passion for it, and my mother died 15 years ago.  I own very few pieces and tend to wear the same thing everyday-my wedding ring and band, promise ring, Tiffany large heart tag bracelet, and a watch.  Since I wear clip ons and always lose them, I rarely wear earrings.  I have things from her that I treasure, and ever so often, I will open my jewelry box and look at them.  I can’t even bring myself to wear them.  Hopefully, one day, I will.

Anyway, I have decided to slowly make my way back to jewelry.  I have recently made a necklace with my own two hands.  This is a feat for someone who doesn’t consider herself to be a crafty person.  I want to replace a diamond tennis bracelet that was stolen from me.  My husband and I have been shopping for a replacement wedding ring.  I am also coveting a Rolex Datejust or Tag Heuer watch.

I love to wear a t-shirt or a tank top.  I own many styles and colors.  They can be dressed up or down.  And, that can be done easily with the right shoes, handbag, and, obviously, jewelry.

So, as I try to get my jewel mojo back, find yours.  You don’t have to spend megabucks on jewelry.  Just buy good quality and buy what you love.

Up next, my favorite shopping places.   Hopefully it will be up on tomorrow.  I start back to work, and I still have not done school shopping for myself or the children.  Backpacks, shoes, and supplies, OH MY!

I have an obsession with sunglasses since seeing Nicole Richie wear them.  Although I think that hers look like the Fly, I fell in love.  I cannot deny myself a pair of good fashionable sunglasses.

I really want a round pair of Chanel sunglasses and am always on the hunt for them at my favorite resale shops.  As a woman with champagne tastes and beer money, this is where I get labels that I want a cannot afford.  I admittedly a label whore.  I have no shame in it.  Also, I have had my two boys break many of my sunglasses.  So, if they are ruined, at least I know that I am not out of alot of money.

I own about 10 pair.  Maybe more. And, I still plan to go shopping for some on tomorrow.  I saw some cute Cynthia Rowley’s, and I hope that they are still there.

Back to the ones I wear the most.

1.  Versace.  I have a brown pair of Versace’s that I wear almost everyday.  They go with everything and fit my face perfectly.  The label is not emblazoned on them.  There’s a little lion head on each arm.  Pure class.  I paid $45 for them at my favorite resale shop.

2.  Chanel.  Everyone was coveting the glasses with the mother-of-pearl double C’s.  I had to have them, but $75 was a bit much for me.  I have never, ever spent that much money on any one item especially sunglasses.  Needless to say, I bought them.  I couldn’t find a used pair anywhere else that was less than $100.  Luckily for me, I have a very understanding husband.

3.  Michael Kors.  There is no way that I can have a conversation about anything fashion without mentioning my favorite designer.  I own two pair of his sunglasses and spent very little on them.  Thank God for Stein Mart and Marshall’s. 

My sunglasses are in constant rotation.  I buy them anytime of the year because it’s always sunny and warm here in the great state of  Texas.  I never stop wearing them.  I choose a style based on my mood and what I’m wearing.  If I ever get indecisive, I throw on my Versaces. 

Sunglasses for me are just another accessory like handbags and shoes.  My outfit is not complete without it.  This summer, I was determined not to wear jeans (which I live in).  My go to look is a colorful t-shirt, skirt, sandals or flip flops, handbag, and sunglasses. 

Next time, I hope to have pictures posted of my favorite handbags directly from my closet and my favorite sunglasses.  My laptop does not have one of those SD card readers so I have to figure out how to put them on the blog.   This is why the handbag blog was so late.  I wrote it a week ago, but I am having picture issues.

My next blog will be about  jewelry.  I think that you will be surprised about what you read.

{August 2, 2010}   Handbags, Handbags, Handbags

My husband and I moved in April of this year from our house to an apartment.  Fed up with the abysmal schools in our neighborhood, we decided to make the sacrifice for our children.  In the course of our move, my husband had the nerve to tell me to get rid of some of my bags.

My first thought was, “Is he insane?”  Give up my handbags.  With the exception of a very few of them, I used every bag that I had.  Depending on my mood, I can change my bag as much as 3 times per week.

After I packed 2.5 large boxes of handbags, my husband decided that he would count them once we got to the apartment.  Well, he quit after not even going halfway through the first box.  He gave up.

My mother, my ultimate style icon, was a handbag aficionado.  Luckily for my husband, I didn’t get her obsessionw ith shoes and jewelry as well.  Anyway, again, I digress.  I remember carrying my first handbag for Easter.  Some of you may have pictures like this as well.  You’re in your poufy white dress, little hat, Mary Janes, and a little, patent purse.  After that I was hooked.

I grew up as a teenager during the 80s.  It was all about Esprit and Guess for me.  I wanted edgy and over-the-top.  And, I wanted more than one.  My idea of high end was to own a Liz Claiborne like my mom.  My fondest memory is having an orange Esprit purse with a super long black strap.  I think about that handbag all of the time. 

Later, I went to college, and it was all about Dooney and Coach.  Well, Dooney and Coach were not my style.  Who wants an old lady handbag.  I didn’t see the allure, but I wanted one because they were expensive.  My first credit card purchase was a brown Dooney.  Coach was still out of my price range, and they had alot of black.  I was and still am not a black handbag person.

Fast forward to now.  There’s so much to choose from and in every price point.  Sometimes, it can be overwhelming.  With the occasional odd purchase, I pretty much stick to the same aesthetic.  After much trial and error, I know what I like, what works for me, and I rarely stray from it.  The last thing that I want is to spend money on a handbag that I won’t use.

For me, I like bags that I can put on my shoulders.  Being a “football mom” of two boys means carrying stuff so the bag has to be at least medium size.  I don’t have too many large bags because I have scoliosis and heavy bags just aggravate it.  East/west style appeals mostly too me, but I don’t like too much structure.  I do own a couple of hobos, but I don’t use them often because I feel like they are just black holes. 

Here is my list of my 5 favorite handbags and why.

1.  Michael Kors Uptown Astor.  My favorite handbag ever.  I own this in Vanilla with gold studs.  I also own a neon pink one trimmed in black with silver studs.  I feel so glamorous and rock star all at the same time.  It’s big enough to hold a magazine.  Yet, I don’t overfill it and kill my back and shoulders.  The only drawback is that it’s a true handbag.  I can’t put it on my shoulders.

2.  Coach Limited Edition Patchwork Tote.  The first handbag that I bought without worrying about the price.  I had just received my hard earned bonus from work, and I coveted that bag for months.  And, I got the last one.  On top of that, it had animal print.  I am a sucker for anything with animal print.  It is what I would call the perfect tote.  I carried it everyday for three months.  The longest I’ve ever carried a handbag.

3.  Marc Jacobs Multi-Pocket Bag.  I fell for this handbag hard as soon as it came out.  I couldn’t afford it at all.  Period.  End of discussion.  It was $895.  American dollars.  Not even on eBay could I find one that I could afford.  Then fakes flooded the market, and I forgot all about it.  About a month ago, I did my daily eBay troll and found a light, mint green one.  It had a low starting price, and I bid.  And I won.  With shipping, it came to $62.  I was delighted and couldn’t believe my luck.  Usually, with a bag like this, the seller will end the auction early, and repost it at a higher price.  One of my dream bags was mine, and I waited on pins and needles until it came.  Then I remembered, I had a black one.  I didn’t wear it that often because for some reason, I am not into black handbags.

4.  Luella Bartley Giselle.  What can I say?  This was another bag that I wanted that was out of my price range.  Remember, I said that I had champagne tastes and beer money.  This was another very, very expensive bag that I couldn’t find on eBay at all.  Of course, I found plenty of Luella Bartley for Target, but that’s not what I wanted.  So, again like the MJ bag, I forgot about it.  Well, on Tuesday, I walk into my favorite resale shop, and there it was.  I picked it up and paid for it and my son’s shoes.  I didn’t need to look at anything else, and I wore it today.  It is totally impractical for my life and inconvenient to get in and out of, but I love it.  I feel so girly and feminine which is pretty much my style.

Now, every girl can dream, can’t she?  If I ever earn enough money to afford my champagne dreams, these are the bags that I would buy:

1.  Classic Chanel Flap Bag.  What woman doesn’t covet that quilted handbag by fashionista extraordinaire, CoCo Chanel?  I have been wanting this bag since I was a teenager and bought my first fashion magazine.  Little did I know that the handbag costs upwards of $2000-more if you want the big one like I do.  This is the only bag that I would buy in black and actually use it.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”

CoCo Chanel

2.  Hermes Birkin Bag.  This is just a given.  Yes, they are heavy and cumbersome, but I’m willing to take the risk.  This bag just oozes luxury, sophistication, and wealth.  I’ll take one in pink, please.

3.  Marc Jacobs Stam.  When I got my bonus, I had designs on buying one of these.  However, $1300 was even a bit much with money that I could spend anyway that I wanted.   This bag really appeals to my style-feminine and girly.

And, I’ll take either one.

That’s it for me.  Pictures of my favorite bags and my dream bags.  Next up, my new obsession with sunglasses.  You wouldn’t believe what I have and the deals that I have gotten.


{July 18, 2010}   My Favorite Designers

With so many designers, how can a woman choose just one?  Truth be told, I am not loyal to any one designer.  I will buy anything from Target brand to big name designers.  What I wear depends on my mood and what I am doing for the day.  Money counts, too.

So, I paired down to four that I like. 

1.  Christian Dior.  Let me preface this by saying that I cannot afford one thing from Christian Dior, but who can argue that they make and design glamorous gowns.  John Galliano is a fashion genius, and I can’t get enough of him.  One thing that I can say is that I do own a vintage Dior cardigan and a pair of vintage sunglasses.  How can I get those on a teacher’s budget?  Well, that will come later when I reveal how to I get luxury items on my beer budget.

2.  Marchesa.  Fantasy gowns.  Georgina Chapman has done an amazing line, and these dresses are seen regularly on the red carpet.  I want to renew my vows with my husband, and my dream dress is a Marchesa.  I wore the Cinderella dress at the age of 23 when I married.  As a woman with a husband, two children, and a career, I will definitely wear something different.

3.  Ralph Lauren.  As I have written many times, I love classic, American style.  No one can argue that the Ralph Lauren collection epitomizes this.  I love everything about Ralph Lauren because the clothes can be used as a jumping off point to either dress up or dress down.  I choose RL over Brooks Brothers any day because it’s not as conservative.

4.  Michael Kors.  I saved the best for last.  Michael Kors is my favorite designer ever.  I own so much of his stuff and have been wearing it since before he was on Project Runway.  He is very much my aesthetic-classic American style with a twist.  Right now, as I type this, I am wearing a pink MK blouse.  My husband thinks that I may be single-handedly funding his empire.  I own clothes, shoes, jeans, sunglasses, and handbags.  I can’t get enough and am always on the hunt for anything MK.

Michael Kors deserved the Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2010 Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Next time, my obsession with handbags and my favorite handbag blogs. 

{July 15, 2010}   My Style Inspirations

I’m back, as promised, to talk about my style inspirations and icons.

Basically, I read Isaac Mizrahi’s book on how to find your style.  My wonderful husband happened to meet him at the Mall of America where he was signing his book.  He stood in line (the only man) and got him to autograph the book and take a picture.  Boy, was I jealous.  I love my husband for doing that for me, but I digress.

The book really helped me, especially the part about making a bulletin board with whatever inspires you.  It’s a must read.

I get my inspiration from any and everything.  My board has grosgrain ribbons because I just love clean, classic American style.  There’s a picture of me in college in my favorite outfit.  There were also pictures of Dorothy Dandridge, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, and Marlene Deitrich.  Many, many other things are on there, and my board may change, but the basic premise remains the same.  I have discovered that I like classic dressing with a twist.

Now, my style icons.  I have discovered that I gravitate towards these four women:

1.  Halle Berry.  I had hair to my shoulders until the first time that I saw her.  Then, I cut my hair because I fell in love with her ‘do.  The cut was fun and sassy which pretty much describes me to a T.  She has great casual style and is stunning on the red carpet.

2.  Giovanna Battaglia.  Even though I am a fan of American style, I love the editor of L’Uomo Vogue. This woman has style oozing out of every pore.  The first time I laid eyes on her was on one of my favorite blogs-The Sartorialist.  She dresses really simple, but jazzes up her outfit with her accessories.  I live and breathe belts, shoes, and handbags. 

3.  Jennifer Aniston.  If anyone embodies American style, it’s Jennifer Aniston.  She is always flawless, and it doesn’t matter if she’s casual or dressed up.  For me, she never goes wrong.  Jennifer knows what works on her body and sticks to it.  And, she has a banging body.

4.  Kim Kardashian.  I know.  I know.  But I had to include her.  For so long, society has led us to believe that thin was the only way to be.  Then the next thing you know, here comes Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Kim showing us to embrace our bodies.  Women have boobs, buns, thighs, and hips, and you know what, that’s okay.   I have all of these things.  Instead of killing myself to fit into a size 2, I eventually learned to embrace my body.  I eat right and try to exercise three days a week.  Aside from her body type, I love that Kim doesn’t go anywhere (including the gym) without being groomed within an inch of her life, and she makes no apologies for it.  She reminds me of my mother who would not allow us or herself to leave the house looking anything less than our best.

This is it for today.  I shared with you my style inspiration and my style icons.  Tomorrow, I will share my favorite designers.  You will be surprised.  It’s definitely an eclectic mix.



{July 14, 2010}   Hello world!

Even though I am a wife, mother, and teacher, I am also a lover of all things fashion.  I always liked clothing but started to dress a little frumpy after having my son and becoming a teacher.  That’s what I thought that I had to dress like because I was now a mother and a teacher.  I had to be responsible.

Well, that all changed when my husband and mother-in-law told me that I used to dress much better, and I was starting to look like a “teacher”.  I didn’t know what they meant at first.  I didn’t wear those cutesy teacher shirts.  I didn’t wear “comfortable shoes”.  However, I did take a long look at the mirror.  I looked frumpy.  I didn’t like it.  I wondered how and when I had lost my mojo.

My mother had always dressed nice and was well-groomed.  I was just like her.  I dressed a little differently than my friends in high school.  One of my basketball teammates called me a “fashion plate”, and she didn’t mean it in a nice way.  Well, there was no way that anyone would EVER catch me wearing sweatpants, hammer pants, or tennis shoes.  Sweatpants and tennis shoes were for gym, not wearing to class.  Do I really need to explain the hammer pants.

This is my personal blog to let anyone who cares to read it why I refuse to ever dress frumpy again, and how I got my mojo back.

Tomorrow-my fashion icons and why I covet their style.

et cetera