Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Types of Underthings Do You Need?

Under Your Things Things

You need one MAJOR thing as a woman.

A bra that is fitted to you PROPERLY. It fits your size, your breasts and your body.

Look, I get it,  Buying a bra is like paying for a new roof on your house.

No one sees it.  Just you.  But like a proper foundation for your home, you NEED it.

Wearing a Bra that fits you properly will do 3 things for you:

  1. Boost your breasts up and make you look taller and improve posture.
  2. Help you look thinner by having your breasts raised, instead of drooping.
  3. Help control and eliminate the FAT that sometimes is around your back and next to your underarm.
Places to go? 
  1. Nordstrom - great selection at varying price points and great service
  2. Neiman Marcus - more luxurious brands - go here if it is a special occasion or to get your bridal ware
  3. SOMA (Chico's intimates shop) - their brand only but their t-shirt bra is the shit and it has no underwire to it (which feels a-mazing)
  4. Your local lingerie store
Just go anywhere where you walk into a dressing room, take your bra OFF and let the saleslady measure you.  

Feeling modest? Don't.  They see it all.  You are just another set of boobs that they don't even look at anyway.

Then , buy 3 of the style you like the most.

Lace Plunge

Next thing you need is a bra that can handle plunge and is wireless, which you can find here and is pictured above.

I am a 36DD.  I didn't think a bralette like this could support me.

It can, and now I have a sexy bra to wear with low cut things that my MOM bra really can't.

You also need a strapless bra and a racerback or t-back bra. 

Above is the racerback, I figure you know what a strapless looks like.

This is it.  This is all you need for bras.  If you have these 4 types, you can wear anything and look GOOD in anything.

I'll make you a list again:

  1. proper fit bra - underwire or not - I prefer this one 
  2. bralette
  3. strapless
  4. racerback

How to take care of your BRAS

Forever New 32oz Granular
This is the ONLY wash I have ever used and I hand wash all my bras.

I don't use a lingerie bag and put them through the washer.  This might work for underwear, but not for bras.

This is not a liquid, it is like a bath salt in its consistency.

You add a teaspoon to water and let your bras soak, rinse and hang dry. Easy Peasy.

 I found some here on Amazon, but it is sold in lots of lingerie places.  I swear by it.

And look, I don't receive things from companies to post about them or to link to them.  This is just something I do because, heck, I want to help ladies feel the best they can.  There are so many choices out there, you need someone to navigate the waters with you.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Need a Shirt Longer Than Your Shirt?

Shirt Extenders

I don't know about you, but when you find something that revolutionizes your life ...

don't you want to tell others about it?

I'm in my 50's and pear-shaped (smaller waist and larger hips).

I'm also short - 5'2" - it's a blessing and a curse.

So, if I want to wear SKINNY JEANS and a short crop top.... guess what?

This can make me look like a BOX.

And LONG TOPS to hide my hips?  They can make me look SHORT and DUMPY.

Enter the shirt extender.  It's a small amount of lace that hides

your stomach, your hips or that problem area of your bottom.

You can Google "shirt extender" and get a whole list of pictures.

I like how this one  is a slip, and found on ETSY.

Shirt Extender White Scalloped Lace

You can also find tanks that are extenders.  I found this EXACT one at a local boutique.


Pictured below is the one I am wearing (up above) and here is the link.

Comes in 5 colors.  It's made by Deletta, available at Anthropologie and I suggest you buy a size down.

This is a MEDIUM, and I bought it because I thought it would have room to move like the model pictured below, but mine stretched. But that's not a problem, I promise, it still looks great.

Thumbnail View 1: Linen & Lace Tee

I now have about 5 shirt extenders that I can add and am looking for more.
I'll keep my eye out for you too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What Types of Jeans Will Fit Your Shape

Gap jeans - come in every color and last a long time

These are my tried and true experiences of jeans from watching women try them on to trying them on myself.  Of course, there are exceptions to every rule based on how YOU like your jeans to fit.

Hourglass or Pear-Shaped Girls (Smaller waist and Larger hips)

I'm one of these girls.  And universally, I have found 4 jean brands that fit me the best: Citizen Jeans, GAP jeans, Pilcro (which is the Anthropologie brand), and some cuts of Paige denim.  Current Elliott is not bad either, but only the boyfriend cuts..  Not every cut of Gap jeans, fits this type, but there are many that do. 

Athletic Build (Long and lean with waist and hips almost the same)

The brands that will knock it out of the park for you are J Brand, J. Crew, Mother, Current Elliott, Seven jeans and Gap.  I know I mentioned Gap above, but I swear they have a fit that will work with your body type.

You'll notice, I only described 2 body types.  That is because if you are slender, the athletic brands will fit you will and so will every other jean out there.  Curvy, pear-shaped and hourglass - all jeans will fit you the same.

Curvy Frames that are not like the ones above

NYJD denim is A-MAZING and so is Cookie Johnson's CK denim line, Cookie is Magic Johnson's wife and boy is her denim premium. This line looks amazing on pear-shaped women and skinny women as well.  It is just fantastic.

Not every denim out there is mentioned, because I don't have experience with EVERY denim line, and there are also denim lines that I don't like, because the denim is fantastic, but the fit not-so-much.

Most I have ever paid for a pair? $225.00 and worth every.single.penny.

Places I find jeans?  I mostly buy mine at the Gap or thrift premium jeans at second-hand stores.  I started doing the latter because because I could find a wide variety of makers, they are already broken in and I find a lot of amazing deals.  Like the jeans with hand embroidered birds on them that were sold at TOOTSIES when I worked there and sold for $425.00.  Two years later, I found them for $56.  People stop me at the gas station while pumping gas to praise them, they are that beau-ti-ful.

I'll suggest some national places to buy next time and places to get help.  I'll also suggest some local Houston women that I think are good at listening and helping you find the jean that is right for you.

PILCRO jeans - Anthropologie jean - come in solids & patterns

Monday, June 19, 2017

Things You Thought You Knew About Your Jeans

Paige Denim jeans - found at a secondhand store

Nothing feels better than a great pair of jeans.

But do you know how to fit yourself? Do you know their proper care?

Here are a few tips:

1. Buy them as TIGHT as you can.
Jeans stretch more than a lot of fabrics.  Customers often complained that they bought a pair of jeans at the store, they looked good there, and then after they wore them, they got baggy in the leg, especially under the butt, and in the waist.  They also lost shape in the thigh. I explained that they need to buy them according to the stretch, which I'll explain next.

2. Know how much stretch is in them.
Look at the tag.  Premium jeans will have 2%, but most jeans have 1% and most jeans that won't ever look good on you have 0% (so please don't buy these unless you are gardening in them).  If it is two percent, and you are a 6, buy a 4 for sure.  If 1%, then use your best judgement.

3. Limit how often you put your jeans in the dryer and for God's sake, NEVER dry clean them. You might dry your jeans all the time to get them back into shape.  I do the same thing sometimes, but it's not good for your denim or for the stretch in the denim.  The more premium the denim the less you should put it in the dryer.  So, I dry the ones from the GAP, but not my Citizen jeans.

4. Jeans can go in the freezer.
I got to be good friends with the JOE'S jeans rep in Houston.  He and I would talk a lot of nerd talk about jeans.  Jeans should not be washed often, and really probably never (I know you are grossing out now).  If you spill something on your jeans, put them in a baggy in the freezer over night. Tomorrow morning, pull them out and that gunk on them will just flake off.  if it is something oily, you need to wash them.  Pairs I have with embellishments on them, freezer treatment only and I promise, they look great.

5. Size does NOT matter.  I have jeans in my closet that fit that are size 10 and size 4, and I am probably closest to a 8.  Nothing annoyed me more than someone refusing to BUY a pair of jeans because they were not going to go a size up, i.e. they thought they were a 4, but won't buy the brand if they fit in a 6.  Silly rabbit.

Later, I'll tell you what jeans fit what types of bodies, where to go and where to get help.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Obituary for Joseph Valentine Quigley

Joseph Valentine Quigley

Joseph Valentine Quigley passed away peacefully at home December 25, 2016.  Born February 14, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana to the late Catherine and Joseph Benedict Quigley, he attended Cathedral Grade School. During his eighth grade year, he went onto Saint Meinrad Seminary in Saint Meinrad, Indiana to prepare for the priesthood.  Years later, he graduated from Butler University with a BA in history, and attended law school at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.  After one year there, he met Clarissa Jan Lux and they were married June 11, 1955 in Shelbyville, Indiana.  He later received his MBA from Indiana University.

Joe joined the ranks of IBM and enjoyed many years of employment with them.  He went on to work at other Fortune 500 companies, notably Smith, Kline and French in Philadelphia, now Smithkline Beecham and RCA, now General Electric, in New York City.  In 1976, Jan and Joe moved to Houston with their six children to take a Vice President position in Planning and Development with Gulf Oil (now Chevron).  He later started his own firm, known as Quigley & Associates, which was a consulting firm that specialized in strategic planning working with companies such as Phillips Petroleum, Brown & Root, BFI, Outboard Marine Corporation, Pratt & Lambert, and the list goes on.

Joe enjoyed public speaking, was a gifted writer and had an incredibly beautiful signing voice.  He wrote a business book titled Vision that was published by McGraw-Hill.  Along with tennis and running, he loved a good book or a collection of poems, and was especially fond of short story anthologies.  He was passionate about Notre Dame football, even at lullaby time, when he sang the fight song to his children in a hushed voice.  He loved traveling to far off places and he never met an oyster he didn’t like.

His generosity and hard work will always be remembered, along with his ability to problem solve and help those in need.  He believed in giving back and was passionate about helping non-profit organizations.  He was a  Board Member of St. Joseph Medical Center, The University of Saint Thomas, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Saint Meinrad Seminary.

He is survived by his loving wife, Blanca Gonzales and her children, Danielle "Dani" and Sal, and siblings, Mike, Jerry and Kitty and the late Danny and Mary Ellen.  He was father to Karen Quigley Micciulla, Joseph Shaun Quigley, Kathleen Quigley,  the late Tara Quigley (Shaw Cranfield), Beth Benefield (John Cahill) and Molly Quigley (Bob Truscott).  He was also a devoted grandfather to Alyssa, Max, Faith, Noah, Ryan, Aaron, Julian, Paige, John, Matthew, Jake, and Lucy, and an uncle to countless nieces and nephews.

There will be a funeral mass on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., at the Co-Catherdal Church of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What To Do With 4 Bushels of Blackberries

Blackberries in the bucket - ripe. The red ones on the vine - not ripe yet.

It all started with an Instagram picture of my friend, Sharon Rupert Dunaway, picking berries in Houston in July somewhere near Houston, Texas.  With camp out for the great Lucille,  I started making a Summer Bucket List and decided this must be on it.  I found a great downloadable one to use thanks to The Day Designer, Whitney English, that you can get here for free.  Her organizational tips, list and planners have been beyond helpful, but that's another post entirely.
With the idea of sunshine, hats on our heads and buckets in our arms, I started researching which farms had what and what hours they were open, etc. and landed on P-6 Farms, in Montgomery, near Conroe, Texas.  Let me save you the time and trouble for the novices, like myself, to know that July in Texas means the only berries still available to pick are blackberries. When the lady at the front counter says, "Stay at the front of the rows," just politely ignore her since it is almost the end of the season and all the blackberries at the front have been picked already.  Go to the farthest row and head to the back.
My 84 year old mother picking blackberries
Pro Tip: Pay attention to the prices before you start picking. Because . . . we picked 4 buckets and when they rang me up, imagine my surprise at $65.00.  I was more than happy to give that to the farm, well deserved, but what I don't like to do is waste food. An opportunity presented itself to figure out what to do with these. My mom and I got home and she diligently cleaned them all, while I made dinner and dessert, which was a cobbler from our day's bounty.

Below are all the recipes I found and used with pictures and links. I made other things and I still have 2 galloons in my freezer. As many of you know, I am new at the culinary arts, but I love a challenge and this made a very memorable July for me and my family

This was so pretty, you could not begin to take a bad picture of it
Blackberry ice cream you can make without a churn.  I received this from the fabulous Amy Huff, who saw my plentiful supply and was more than ready to lend me a helpful hand, plus she introduced me to the blog it came from, Baked by an Introvert, and what can I say, but that I identify with her completely. #introvertsunite

Next on the list, I looked for cocktails and this blackberry mint julep was it.  I loved making the simply syrup for this (in the picture on the left), but the cocktail on the right made for some messy business in the kitchen, and my white porcelain sink.  Taking the blackberries and pushing them through a sieve does not only stain you, but everything else it touches.  Muddle next time and live with the seeds is what I say, and wear black when you are doing it.

I loved this Martha Stewart drink recipe called Blackberry Mint Julep. You have to do the sieve thing with the blackberries for this one, as well, so you might as well do a very large batch and then try both.  I preferred one over the other, since they both have completely different tastes.

John Besh's cobbler from My Family Table, a cookbook that I love, love, love because I am most interested right now in Southern fare (things like grits & seafood dishes are tops on my list).  I have made this before and you can use any type of fruit, but unfortunately this time, it was a bit mushy the next day due to the ripeness of the berries. Note to self: add cornstarch next time.

By far, the best thing under the sun, was this recipe, called Grilled Fontana + Blackberry Basil Smash Sandwiches. If the name alone doesn't compel you, the pictures will.  When you make it, pleasssse, have no shame or guilt.  God did not put these things on this earth and the blogger who put them together, Jessica Merchant, for you to do anything but savor them.  Amen.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's Your Goal - To Be a Blogger or a Writer?

A good friend, and even better writer, asked me the other day what advice I would give her about blogging, as she launches her very own blog.  You're not Chicken Little if you dare to put your words out in the world, so I applaud the many who do.  Before you think about the business of your blog, I implore you to . . .
Make your blog
personal playground
and laboratory
You've probably started a blog, because you have something to say. Something compelling you want to write about and share your knowledge with others.  Before you start, understand your goals for blogging.
  • Are you blogging to be a professional blogger?  This means you derive income from your blog. 
  • Are you blogging to market your business?  This might look like short posts to talk more about what you can offer to others.
If you google tips on blogging, you will find these "gems" of wisdom repeated over and over:  
  • stick to a schedule
  • be consistent
  • have something of value for your reader
A beginning blogger might go on Facebook looking for advice on blogging, and readers, not bloggers, give advice - they, of course, mention the schedule and consistency. Why?  Because they benefit from you it.  But ask yourself - DO YOU?  You are not getting paid for this, most likely, so I'd rather you think about why you are blogging than why you need to be consistent. 

Readers, who have never done a blog, have no earthly idea what goes into just one post.  It is not just composed of writing - there's photo editing, word editing, research, etc.  The amount of hours it takes me to do one post like this interview, of a website highlighting moms and creativity, might take 5-6 hours. An interview like this one takes about 7-8 hours.  And I'm not getting paid a nickel for any of it, which is not a comment made to complain.  It's a comment made to help you understand the time involved, in order to help you align your time and energy with your goals.

The three main reasons people give up on blogging are:
  1. The amount of work it takes.
  2. No income is being derived from it.
  3. No one is reading it.
Here is how I made my blog work for me and pull a profit.
  • I keep no schedule.  Why?  Because I am a freelancer and work at a variety of things where my schedule changes weekly. I may have more time one week to post than another.
  • I try things out.  Bathroom Diaries is the one that I love the most right now.  If someone thinks it's weird, what do I care? I'm not doing this as my real job.  And I love interior design, so this enables me to do something quick, fun and that makes me smile.
  • If I have something to say, I say it.  My blog is not about mental illness.  But if I have a subject nagging at me, I write about it and move on.
  • I use it as a vehicle to promote things I love, like artists, and learn from them.  Interviewing creative people is my crack.
  • I keep blogging.  I love the visual and written memory of my days here on this planet for myself and for my kids.
When someone reads my blog, and takes a moment to comment, that is money to me.  But even if they don't, I keep going, because I enjoy writing.  I want to be a paid writer, not a paid blogger.