My daughter on the JC Penney Commercial

November 20th, 2013

My daughter Kira is a part-time model/actress and was hired to do this JC Penney Christmas commercial.  While she is more of a vintage, retro, second-hand clothing shopper the sweater she is wearing is not a style she would choose.  Yet when your hired to do a job you have no choice.    However no matter what she wears she’s beautiful and it’s been fun watching her and I’m lucky to be her Mom.  JC Penney “Santa Baby” commercial


The Heat Was On!

August 14th, 2013


What a Deal 65% Off!

I have the BEST clients with all very unique tastes and goals.  Last week my client Allison, an intelligent, beautiful, self-confident, 19 year-old pursing a chemical engineering degree who, by the way, received a four-year scholarship for pole vaulting came to me at the request of her mother.  Allison works summers coaching young kids and she and her mother wanted my help putting together a basic wardrobe that could be expanded through Allison’s college years.

During my consultation with Allison and her mother I heard a couple things, which amazed me and admired at the same time.

1. Allison believed in buying clothing on sale.  She didn’t feel she had to buy “label” clothing, in fact, she’d rather not, and money could be spent better ways.

2. Her parent’s purchase her clothes, yet she’s conscientious of the money she spends.  In fact, her Mom will suggest clothing and Refreshing to hear!

3.  She posted her “Imaginary Closet” on the Pinterest website (fabulous idea!) to give me her preferred style.  Allison is goal-oriented…love it!

Before our challenge began at the mall Allison & I “shopped” her closet for current pieces of clothing to combine with purchases to expand her wardrobe.  We discarded clothes she’d not worn in years and put aside clothes that had special meaning (i.e. high school track jacket).

Her Mom gave us an approximate budget $250.00 to begin the process and a 2-hour shopping limit.

My instructions to Allison before we shopped:

-Wear clothing easy to change in order to save time

-Truthfulness, if clothing I chose wasn’t appealing tell me immediately as opposed to trying it on to make me happy.  Timing was key.

-Eat a good breakfast, as energy was important, suggestion from her mom.

I told Allison I’d dress in my athletic wear, (i.e. running shoes, t-shirt, and workout pants), rather than image consultant wear, as this was a race and challenge I looked forward to.

I spent a few hours the prior day of the race (as if scouting the field, the other team, etc.) going store to store in search of sale garments, keeping in mind Allison’s taste by combining current wardrobe and future needs and staying within the approximate budget of $250.00.  One major challenge was being unable to put my finds on hold, as the sales were 40 to 70% off.  To my chagrin the clothing I spotted could be gone the following day we shopped.

While I love swimming and riding bikes I could never compare myself to Allison when it comes to being an athlete.  However, I pride myself that my motor stays running as long as I’m out to shop for others.  The race began at the mall.  Allison was successful in buying approximately 13 pieces of clothing to combine with her current wardrobe along with several different looks for a little over the $250.00 budget.  I was successful in scouting our list of Allison’s taste, outfit combinations, and costs.

Near the end of our 2-hours Allison remarked in an exhausted tone, “you’re killing me.”  Which I responded with a smile and an energetic “Yes”!

I felt from my point of view I’d won the race over this smart, athletic, lady or more importantly we tied on our achievements.  Awesome Race Allison!!!  PS.  Mom & Dad…you’ve raised an outstanding daughter, I can see why you’re proud of her.








I purchased a $20.00 sale dress & it cost me $456.45!

July 10th, 2013


You read correctly.  My belief has always been you don’t need to break the bank to look your best.  At times I forget that I could be spending more than the sale price after all is said and done.

For example, my daughter recently rented a home.  When we opened the door we discovered the landlords did a quick clean rather than a deep clean.  Mind you, I do not have OCD, but I wanted my daughter to live in a clean home, is that too much to ask?  Wasting no time I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the tile floors.  The next day I woke to noticeably large bruises (which turned to scabs) covering my knees because I had failed to use my knee protector.  My husband said “you realize we have a pool party invite for tomorrow.”  Immediately I checked my closet to find an outfit that would hide my knees (without looking as if I were trying to hide my knees), yet feel cool in the 100° plus weather around the pool.

The following series of events unfolded in search of a pool party dress:

6:00 pm Target store to find a dress that wouldn’t cost a bundle.

6:20 pm Sorting thru dresses to cover my bad knees. (I don’t like pants).

6:45 pm Fitting room trying dresses (plus a few extra sale dresses I liked).

6:55 pm Discovering the perfect dress was too small and asking store clerk to check if other Target stores had the correct size.

7:00 pm Driving my car to a South Austin Target that had one dress available in my size.

7:20 pm Arriving at Target, racing to the dress department to find the dress, only to discover the system had not been updated and the dress was gone.  Searching all racks believing it was misplaced.

7:30 pm Waiting for the clerk to find the correct size at another Target.

7:35 pm Heading to the Kyle Target, which supposedly had one dress in my size.

8:00 pm Arriving at the Kyle Target; zooming to the dress department to find the dress had been sold and the system had not yet updated.  Also purchasing two other items I tried on previously that were on sale for a ridiculously low price.

8:45 pm Arrive home explaining to my husband I found the perfect dress On SALE (that usually soothes him) but the stores (not store) didn’t have it available in my size.  My hubby then reminded me I don’t have an “off switch.”  My response: “what’s it matter when I want found a great dress style and fantastic sale price”?

The following morning:

9:00 am On-line looking for a store that might have the dress.  Calling the stores in hopes they actually have the dress.

10:00 am Calling the San Marcos store.  They checked and were actually holding the dress in my size.  Me begging to have them hold it as they said they couldn’t because it was on clearance.  I convinced them I’d be there in 45 minutes and headed out the door once they tentatively agreed.

10:50 am Rocketing into the San Marcos store Customer Service asking if they had THE dress.  YES, YES, YES!!!

12:00 noon Back home with the perfect sale dress.  Congratulating myself for my persistence.  Suddenly it hit me, was it really on sale after all was said and done?

You do the math….

$ 373.75    Hours looking:  5.75 hours @ $65.00/hour (using hourly rate)

$   62.70    Mileage:  114 miles @ .555/mile (IRS rate)

$  20.00     Price of Dress on sale

$456.45   Total price paid for “Sale Dress”




She just threw $100.00 down the drain!

February 29th, 2012


Once again I presented my “Dress for Success” to the women soldiers of Fort Hood.

They have the choice to attend the presentation dressed how they would for an interview.  One woman sat in the front row dressed in a simple black suit.  I welcomed her one-on-one.  She in turn acknowledged me with a half smile and stiffness yet underneath I could see her warmth.  I couldn’t help notice throughout my presentation she wore a frown on her face, listened intensely, and sat uneasily.  About 45 minutes into the presentation I posed a question and she stood stiff and expressionless, yet answered graciously.  The conversation focused on the suit she was wearing.  I asked her if she liked what she was wearing.  She distinctly answered “absolutely not.”  The other women gasped.  She said “it’s going in the Goodwill pile after my interviews; I would never wear this outfit it’s not me.  BINGO, my eyes, and brain picked up on this, as many interviewers might.  The next question why she purchased the outfit.  Her response, “the rules say we’re to wear a conservative dark suit, black patent leather shoes etc.”  GREAT POINTS!  First, she bought the suit for a bargain price.  I explained it wasn’t a bargain if she wears it once.  Yet if she’d invested the money toward an outfit she would wear and be professional yet interchangeable with other clothes in her wardrobe she would have saved money.  I always use my calculator when buying clothes for others and myself.  I think of it this way:  $100.00 divided by one outfit wearing equals $100.00 per wear.  Whereas,  $100 divided by 10 outfit wearings equals $10.00 per wear.

Secondly, I told the group if they wear what the “rules” say they may as well wear their uniforms.  They’ll all look the same as if they’re still in the army.  Yes, I believe you need to dress in a professional manner, yet I believe you need to bring your style into your dress.  There are so many different outfits one can wear for different types of jobs and the interview to dress professionally yet comfortably and be who they are.  Rule number one, dress professionally.  Rule number two buy an outfit you can wear at least three different ways.  Rule number three, bring your personality into your wardrobe then you can be the natural you and it will show.



Outlet Mall Savings? Yes or No?

November 10th, 2010

I recently learned outlet malls may not have the cheapest price compared to department stores.  You still need to be a comparison shopper and watch for coupons (in-store and on the computer).  Also, find out the return policy at the outlet store as a regular name brand store like Ann Taylor will not accept returns from the Ann Taylor outlet.



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