Big Mama Blog

The big boo cast, episode 4

Tune in as we cover more of life’s most serious issues, including the embarrassing fact that I may be somewhat of a stage mother when it comes to Halloween costume contests.

Which is only slightly better than buying an N’Sync Concert DVD when you’re 30.

It promises to be loads of fun and when it’s all over, there will be no doubt that we are Southern girls through and through.

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Edition 1: Fighting fashion faux pas friday

Is there really anything better than hearing a sports commentator talk about another team “building a woodshed” for your beloved football team?

Joy.

Thankfully, I have fashion to get me through.

Fashion and chocolate.

So, welcome to the first Fighting Fashion Faux Pas Friday here at Big Mama. Thank goodness that in times like these, I can turn to a good pair of jeans for comfort.

Enough of my woe. Let’s get to the questions.

And after it’s all over, feel free to send some more questions my way. I can churn out this kind of advice based purely on my opinion all day long.

1. DCRMom asks: What is your opinion about wearing dark tops with dark denim? Do I need to invest in some khakis and cords? Is lighter denim too dated? I’d love to hear what others think too.

Well, I think there are variations in the darkness of denim. But really, I think dark tops with dark denim are perfectly acceptable.

All that darkness is slimming.

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Because otherwise this size 00 model would totally look like a cow. She’s just creating an illusion with that dark top and dark denim.

And it helps that she just eats one piece of lettuce every other day.

That being said, you really don’t want to pair a dark top with a really light denim. It will cause the focus to be on your bottom half. Of course, maybe you don’t mind the focus being on your bottom half.

However, I do. I prefer to draw the eye up.

Up.

Way up.

I think really faded denim is dated. And I’m hoping I don’t even need to mention the words “acid washed”. However, I think you can go with a little bit lighter denim without being out of style. I like a good vintage wash if it’s done right.

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As for the khakis and cords, I like both of these options. The only word of caution is go for a modern style. You certainly don’t want any sort of elastic waistband or a waistband that covers your belly button.

Of course, that’s pretty much a rule of life and not just for khakis and cords.

I bought these on sale at Old Navy this week. They’re really cute and come in a variety of colors.

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2. Kelly asks: I’d love to see you address maternity clothes. Even in the four years since I was last pregnant, there are so many more cute options. Whadda say?

I say thinking about maternity clothes makes me want to curl up in a ball.

One of my friends just found out she’s pregnant and I told her that, other than the part about having a baby, I was so envious of her pregnancy because fashion-wise there has never been a better time to be pregnant. Everything looks like maternity wear anyway.

The best part is due to all the loose fitting tunics, and sweaters, and what-have-you, you can put off wearing actual maternity clothes for awhile. Which is a total score. I have a theory that maternity designers think mothers-to-be are so fried that they don’t care that they’re wearing polyester.

And if there is ever a time you need fabric that breathes, it’s when you’re serving as an incubator.

Here’s my best piece of maternity clothes advice. Find yourself a great pair of maternity jeans. Seriously. They will save your life. I wore mine until I ripped them down the side seam.

Which was a proud moment and didn’t cause me to have any type of hormonal breakdown whatsoever.

Here are some from Mimi Maternity.

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Here’s some classic boot cut maternity jeans from Gap. They’re even on sale.

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(By the way, my computer almost crashed uploading those Gap jeans. And as God is my witness, if Gap had made my computer crash, causing me to lose this post, I would have never stepped foot in their store again. We are already on very shaky ground.)

I know some women say they never feel more beautiful than when they are/were pregnant, but I am not one of those women. Just remember, great accessories can be your pregnancy friend. They are one size fits all and will bring you much joy even after the baby is born.

In contrast, you will want to burn every piece of maternity clothing in your closet.

3. Emily asks: What are your thoughts about flats?

I like flats. I do. I saw some darling giraffe print flats the other day at Target the other day and nearly bought them.

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But I already have leopard print flats and felt like one person only needs so much Wild Kingdom on their feet.

I get that they are practical, but I think everyone looks better in some sort of heel. And, trust me, I don’t wear heels all the time. I wear my flats on a regular basis but, no matter how cute they are, they just aren’t as flattering as a heel.

So, here’s the bottom line on flats. Stay away from anything that is too reminiscent of the Connie flats we all wore in high school. If the “leather” appears to be synthetic and it’s all one color with no texture or some sort of decorative detail, you need to move on down the aisle. Do not look back or you may turn into a pillar of unfashionable salt.

To look current, flats should have some sort of design or pattern. Animal prints are very in right now and Target has these flats which I think could just be precious with the right outfit.

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But they still won’t look as cute as a good wedge heel. In my opinion.

Like these from J.Crew. Notice there is a significant price point difference. But aren’t they pretty?

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4. Jen asks: What type of shoe do you wear with your velour yogo pant/jean jacket combo?

I just wear my tennis shoes. I’ll wear my Nike running shoes if I’m feeling ultra casual and semi-athletic and I’ll wear my fashion tennis shoe if I’m going for a little more polished look.

And to reference the previous question, I think a cute, patterned flat could look cute.

However, if it’s cool enough outside for me to have on velour yoga pants, I like to have on socks. I have circulation issues. If someone felt my feet, they would think I’d been dead for at least 3 days.

5. Elizabeth asks: What are your thoughts on scarfs, pashminas, and wraps? Especially in the south.

Right now my thought is how can I even think about those things when the temperature outside today was still about 118 degrees. Just reading the word “scarf” makes me start to itch and feel angry.

But, eventually, the weather will cool off and when that happens I am a big fan of wraps, pashminas and scarves. I have a darling Burberry happy scarf that makes a black turtleneck and jeans turn into a great outfit. It’s one of my favorite accessories EVER.

I also have several long scarves that I like to wear with other outfits. I think they are a great finishing touch to an outfit.

Like this one from Nordstroms.

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As for pashminas, they are the perfect thing to wear over a dress on a cool evening. I have a black one that gets worn to pretty much every winter wedding I attend.

Which is about one a year.

But still, it’s a great thing to have.

As a bonus this week, here are a few great items I found that y’all may want to check out. I can’t guarantee this kind of information every week, but I shopped ALOT this week and found a couple of good things.

Remember my quest for the denim skirt? I found this at Old Navy for $12.99. It’s not perfect, but for $12.99 it works.

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I mentioned this in my favorites, but here it is again in case y’all missed it.

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I also found a great pair of Champion brand yoga pants at Target, but can’t find them online. Just know that Target is a great place to go for inexpensive activewear.

And in closing, Caroline and I went to get ice cream after school the other day. The ice cream store is right next to one of my favorite boutiques, so after she finished her ice cream I hosed her down with water from the water cooler and we went in to check out the clothes.

I was browsing around, looking at all the cool stuff, when Caroline came up and said those words every mother dreads.

“Mama, do they have a bathroom in here?”

Great.

Yes, they do have a bathroom. Caroline starts to go to the bathroom and then, in a voice loud enough for anyone within 5 miles to hear, says, “Okay Mama, I’m going to POOP!”

I bet that’s never happened to Anna Wintour.

***Edited to add: Kate defended me in the comments, but in case someone doesn’t read the comments, I have to mention that the denim skirt has a box pleat. That is not a huge slit down the front of the skirt. I repeat, it is not a slit. But I appreciate y’alls concern for my very soul if I were to wear something split right up the middle.

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With any luck there will be a Mayflower truck in front of Coach Fran’s house tomorrow

It’s halftime of the A&M “game”.

I am self-medicating with Blue Bell ice cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

The second half may cause me to drink syrup straight from the bottle.

There’s really nothing like watching your team get humiliated on national television.

My favorite moment of the night was when the announcers wondered aloud why A&M was running a high school defense.

Understandably, it filled me with pride and joy in our coaching staff.

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Next week I may get my oil changed

Well, I’m sitting in Discount Tire while I attempt to compose this post. With any luck, the ambience of a bargain tire warehouse will inspire some creativity, because heaven knows I haven’t been able to think of a single interesting thing to say while sitting at my desk at home.

It’s a little known fact that Hemingway composed most of his best work at his local Discount Tire store.

My car has a back tire that’s been steadily losing air. I would have never noticed this in a million years. A fact, by the way, that completely boggles P’s mind. We have spent countless minutes of my life that I’ll never get back looking out at the car in the driveway, with him grilling me on how I can’t tell the tire is flat.

“How can you not see that the tire is flat?”

“It doesn’t look flat to me.”

“Do you not see that it has significantly less air than the other tires?”

Umm. No.

What am I? Some sort of automotive, tire pressure specialist?

The tire is not flat to the naked eye.

Or, at the very least, the unobservant eye.

I have a gift.

So, fingers crossed, maybe I need a new tire. Because I would so much rather spend money on a new tire, as opposed to say, saving said money for a sweater coat from Anthropologie. Not to mention the fact that, really, there is nothing I’d rather do with a free morning while Caroline is in school than hang out in an auto store.

It’s almost like being at Starbucks, but with the smell of burnt rubber as opposed to delicious Colombian goodness with a cinnamon swirl muffin on the side.

And instead of catching up with my friends, listening to some woman trying to tell me about her upcoming road trip to California or something like that.

Doesn’t she see that I’m in the midst of composing a literary masterpiece? I bet Hemingway never had this problem. Or maybe he did and it’s how he got the idea for “Grapes of Wrath”.

Except that would be John Steinbeck.

And everyone knows he did most of his writing in the snack bar at Target.

Anyway, this is how I seem to spend the days Caroline is in school. I have high hopes for all the things I’m going to accomplish, then I look up and it’s time to pick her up. Most days all I’ve accomplished is catching up on my Oprah episodes and getting out the vacuum cleaner with the best of intentions.

This summer I made a list of all the things I would accomplish once Caroline was in school:

1. Clean out all closets
2. Paint inside of bathroom cabinet
3. Give house deep cleaning including removing rugs and having them cleaned
4. Taking couch slipcovers to drycleaners to get them cleaned
5. Go to lunch with Gulley at least once a week.
6. Reorganize kitchen cabinets.
7. Clean out laundry room.
8. Thoroughly clean all light fixtures.
9. Organize photos and videos into some sort of system.
10. Write coherent, interesting, entertaining posts for blog.

Here’s what I’ve accomplished.

I’ve gone to lunch with Gulley about 4 times since school started.

Obviously I’m pacing myself.

I think I’m still a little bit giddy with my newfound freedom. Freedom that allows me to roam the aisles at Old Navy, Target and TJ Maxx without someone hanging on my leg and begging me to stop looking at clothes so that I can watch how fast they can run across the store.

Seriously, when I resigned from my job last spring, Caroline finished school two weeks later. Thus began the longest summer ever. Granted, I loved being at home without the pressure of work, however, I had no idea what it was like to just have free time for the sake of having free time.

I haven’t really known what to do with myself. I’m like a kid in a candy store, or you know, like a kid who can watch Friday Night Lights instead of Noggin on a Wednesday morning.

But, with my foray into Discount Tire, I am proclaiming that I’m serious about getting stuff done while Caroline is in school. I’m ramping up to be proficient and wise about my time management.

I may even go home and clean out a closet later.

But let’s be honest, the only way the inside of the bathroom cabinet is getting painted is if I hire someone to do it.

I think I’ll edit my list.

2. Hire someone to paint inside of bathroom cabinet.

See, I feel more efficient already.

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Nerd is the word

P and I were watching T.V. the other night and “Revenge of the Nerds” was on. Normally, we spend this time watching fascinating, educational documentaries about the history of the wheel, or “So You Think You Can Dance”, or whatever.

But just this once, we decided to spend a few moments watching something slightly less intellectually stimulating.

As we sat watching this little piece of American classic cinema, P began to muse on nerds.

“You know, it’s interesting, once you get out of high school there aren’t really nerds anymore. It’s like, once you get to college, no one is labeled as a nerd.”

“Yes”, I said, “Or maybe it’s like being the black sheep of your family. If you think you don’t have one, it means it’s you.”

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