This Time, He Called Me Lumpy

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I’m so happy that Spring is here! As much as I love boots, scarves, and wool coats, I’m glad to be done with them for a while. That’s why I whipped out my favorite cropped pants as soon as the weatherman promised a 65-degree day. (The above Polyvore collage is a good representation of my outfit.)

In my excitement, I failed to properly tuck in my shirt. It bunched in the back.

“Hey babe. Come here.”  Hubs said to me.

“Something wrong?” I walked over.

“You look lumpy. Turn around.”

This time, I didn’t wait. “We need to work on your adjectives.”

“What do you mean?” He asked as he fixes my shirt.

“Lumpy, frumpy, and puffy are not words you should use to describe your wife, under any circumstances.”

He laughed. “I thought you wanted me to be honest?”

“Honest, sure,” I said. “But there has be another way to say it. How about ‘your shirt isn’t tucked in right?'”

He laughed again.

I think he’s messing with me on purpose.


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My Husband Called Me Frumpy, and I Didn’t Kill Him



I was in love with this dress from the moment I saw it. It mixed my three favorite things: a black-and-white print, a flattering silhouette, and a sale price. I ordered it immediately.

But when I tried it on for the first time, something wasn’t right. I hung it in the closet and decided to try again later.

Later was the next morning. I put the dress on and thought it looked great. It just needed time to lose the wrinkles from packing and shipping. I topped it with a hot pink sweater. At this point, I normally would kiss Hubby goodbye and hit the road. For some reason, that day, I asked him what he thought.

“You should get a belt,”  he said. “Or it looks a little frumpy.”

FRUMPY?!?! That’s an all-or-nothing adjective. There is no such thing as “a little frumpy.” I checked the clock. There were less than 10 minutes left before Mini Me had to catch the bus. I scowled, grabbed a belt, and herded the kids out the door.

My outfit gained a different response at work. I told colleagues at the coffee station about my conversation with Hubby. They assured me the dress looked fine.

Hubby was cleaning the kitchen when I got home.

“Everyone at work said my dress looked nice,” I said.

“It does look nice,” he stopped washing dishes long enough to kiss me hello.

“You said it was frumpy this morning.”

“Well, yeah,” he said while squinting.  “It just needed the belt.”

My mind started to turn. How does a dress go from frumpy to fashionable with just a belt? More importantly, when did my husband become André Leon Tally? Something wasn’t right.

“Do you know what frumpy means?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said, way too quickly. He continued scrubbing dishes. “So, um, what is it?

“Matronly. Homely. Unattractive.”

“No,” he turned to look at me.

“Yes.” I nodded.

“Well, I just meant the skirt was puffy. The belt makes it not stand out so much.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. I spent a good portion of my day being miffed at Hubby for a mistake in vocabulary.

Have you ever felt like you and your partner were speaking two different languages?


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Like Mother, Like Daughter: Arm Candy

I’ve created a monster.

Mini Me is an artist. She attacks every new project with a vigor I sometimes wish she’d use for cleaning her room. Her artistic endeavors can last for a few hours, or they can drag on for days. While she is in the midst of these spells, homework, chores and occasionally dinner, fall by the wayside.

Sound familiar? (See post on the fallout from my writing challenge.)

Her latest obsession is jewelry making. Sparkle and shine are close to my eight-year-old’s heart. So when I came with a bag full of colorful beads, I was prepared for her to be lost for a few days.

One weekend afternoon, we each made three bracelets. Then I left Mini Me to her own devices. Over the next week, she made 10 more. I doubt she’s done.

In addition to being prolific, my eight year old is also proud. She has no problem wearing her entire collection at once and explaining the placement of each and every bead. I’ve had to remind her on several school mornings that “less is more.” I said this, of course, as I piled on my own array of arm candy.

What I was not prepared for was the note I received from Mini Me’s teacher, Mrs. J.

“[The jewelry] is quite a distraction to her, her classmates, and me. She is constantly playing with the jewelry. Peers have told her it is a distraction. I have taken jewelry from her, but nothing seems to be working.”

I looked down at my arm after I read the note. I had on this:


And this:


I couldn’t help but laugh. That night, I had to put the chuckles aside and talk with Mini Me about the note.

“Why are you playing with your bracelets in class?” I pointed to the pile of rainbow and sparkle on the kitchen table.

“I’m not playing,” she said. “I’m arranging them.”

“Arranging them how? And why?”

“They’re so pretty, and you can wear them in different patterns.” She picked up a few and started to demonstrate her point.

I thought back to a conference call I took earlier that day. While a group disagreed about a deadline, I twirled blue beads around my wrist. Perhaps maintaing focus was something we could both improve.

I explained that while fashion and jewelry are fun, there is a time and and place for it. That place is not the middle of class or on a conference call.

Mini Me nodded, but I don’t think she was convinced. For now, though, we’ll reserve arm candy for the weekend.

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My Fashion Fear: Patterned Pants


I’ve spent a good amount of time living in fear of colored and patterned pants. My phobia stems from the 90s, a time when bright baggy pants ruled the day. Sure, we thought we were fly back then, but the 20/20 vision of hindsight tells another story. I for one, looked like a clown.

I decided to give colored pants another try at the worst possible moment: when I was five months pregnant. Desperate to find a comfortable pair of pants while on a week-long business trip, I wandered into a J.Crew and met the Minnie. If you haven’t been introduced, you should make their acquaintance. The 21st-century version of colored pants focus on a slimming fit, which cuts the clown factor to nil.

I picked up a two pairs of Minnies, one in black, and the other in flame, a red-orange color that bordered on day glow. I took them back a week later. I wasn’t ready.

After Lil Ma was born, I found these lovely tone-on-tone florals at Target. The fit is great, and I can pair them with a jacket and tee to make them work appropriate.

Fear conquered. I now LOVE colored and patterned pants. They add a fun layer to my wardrobe. I even went back to J. Crew for the flame pants. You can see how that turned out here.

What is your fashion fear?

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Fashion Friday: Carolina Herrera


If you were to ask me to describe a garment designed by Carolina Herrera, I would fail miserably. If you were to ask me to describe Carolina Herrera herself, I’d nail it. Every time I see her photo, I am temporarily transfixed by her poise. No one makes a simple button down and a tailored skirt look as graceful as she.

I didn’t realize how much I was channeling my inner CH until I found this pic on a celebrity photographer’s site. I try my best to respect photographers’ usage rights, so hop over, take a peek, and let me know what you think.


-Shirt: Ann Taylor
-Skirt: Target, Circa 2008
-Belt: The Limited (Old)
-Bangles: From Mom on my 16th birthday
-Studded bracelet: Rack + Clutch
-Shoes: J. Vincent (Old)

I was not compensated for this post.

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