Mama’s Makeover; Unfrumped (part 2)

Twenty pieces.  But, as is most cases in homesteading, we can make do.  I bought ten new pieces on the cheap at the mall because there are some great sales going on because everyone is still broke after Christmas.  I had  four more of the pieces.  And I will for sure be picking up some wrap around espadrilles for spring.


My husband said that if he hadn’t seen me working on this page he would have thought it was a stock photo!  Sweet man…

Lesson 1: Don’t be afraid of color.  A pair of maroon jeans may seem like it won’t match anything but you will be surprised.

These two looks are comprised of the jean jacket, blouse, jeans, and ballet flats.  Then a comfy, silky v-neck, and long cardigan.

Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid of florals.  Florals are really versatile because of how many colors they contain to match.


Lesson #3: Think outside the jean box.  Jeans are miserably uncomfortable on me.  I am 5’10” and they just don’t make comfy ones for tall girls.  These are super stretchy and soft and feel great against my skin.

These two looks have the blue jeans, the off shoulder sweater (we noticed that tag on the sweater later.  This is real life, folks.), and flip flops (that the dog ate after the shoot) and then the other floral blouse with jeans and heels.

Lesson #4- Get you a “hot damn” dress.  There is a flattering style out there for everyone.  This one is stretchy and super comfortable.  It could be dressed up with a faux fur jacket and heels or perfect with ballet flats and a jean jacket.


I love that feminine florals are making their way back from the time of Laura Ashley and original Waverly.

Lesson #5- The jean jacket is still king….I mean, queen!  It goes with everything, goes everywhere, lasts forever, keeps the chill off, keeps the cool on.

My daughter, Emily, is a great photographer.  I am thankful that she trekked all the way out here (an hour and a half from her home) to make her mama look fabulous.  This particular shot made me realize that yoga and veganism look pretty damn good on me and I am not sure why I cover myself with fifteen layers of clothes.

Hot mama

You know, it didn’t take me but two minutes to throw some gel into my wet hair or to put on some cruelty-free makeup.  I don’t use foundation or powder, just some eye makeup and a slick of “lips” as Maryjane refers to lipstick.

Maryjane and grammie

My work isn’t glamorous, I teach herbalism and make tinctures.  I feed chickens and write my blog in my pajamas.  I don’t want to get new clothes dirty.  I have a big, muddy dog.  But these clothes wash up just the same as my others.  I felt myself standing a little taller in soft jeans then I would in sweats.  A little lipstick makes all the difference in how old my smile looks.  I got lots of sweet messages about how I am beautiful on the inside.  It is amazing how we approach the world and our day when we look and mirror and see how beautiful we are on the outside too.

We were looking for frumpy pictures of me on my husband’s phone.  When he sent them to me he titled them, “Beautiful”.  He is a keeper for sure.  But for me, I think I can take on the world and achieve my goals a little better with some cute soft jeans and pink lipstick.



Mama’s Makeover and 20 Items (part 1)


I was getting a pedicure yesterday when I saw myself through the young woman’s eyes rubbing oil on my feet.  “So, a homeless lady came in today…” I could hear her tell her friends later.  I looked down at my ensemble, pieces of identities past and mix-matched, in a horrifying realization that I forgot to buy clothes somewhere along the line.  I looked down and saw the long, faded skirt, the dingy apron, the so-worn-it-is-now-black cream flouncy slip that peeks from beneath, the two t-shirts that don’t match so I didn’t have to wear a bra, and holy leggings underneath to cover that I didn’t shave my legs.  I felt like apologizing.


I went home and looked at my closet and realized that everything was holey, dingy, old, gonna fix that soon, it doesn’t fit but someone just gave me that, that was grandma’s!, or I haven’t worn it in twenty years, all on hangers.

When I was in my early teens my aunt would have been in her late twenties and she was gorgeous and young and dated drummers.  She always told me how pretty I was and one of the compliments in my life that stands out the most came from her.  My Aunt Karen told me that she had never met anyone that could take a few pieces of clothing and make them into so many different outfits!  I didn’t have a lot of clothes, mostly hand-me-downs, but I did seem to have a gift with combinations.  It has been virtually impossible for me to follow what I am supposed to wear.  Everything on the scene is always just a little boring for my taste (please don’t make me wear yoga pants and a t-shirt!).


PMSy, cabin fevered, and a bit sleep deprived, I sat down to draw out a design for clothes that I wanted to wear, the look I wanted to show the world, the way I wanted to feel.  The schlumpiness must go, for god’s sake.  Inspired by European designs (my husband and I watch a lot of foreign films), and pulling a little from the 1980’s (thankfully it’s all coming back again), and my sister-in-law’s Cabi clothing line she represents that I can’t afford, I put together twenty items that could make upwards of a hundred different combinations.  Just because I am home most of the time now doesn’t mean I have to look homeless, frumpy, or ten years older than I am.  And for goodness sake, find a bra that fits!


Coming home from work to find me in the state I was in my husband was obliged to take me to the mall.  I would have gone to the thrift store but then I would be back to square one.  I could probably find a few steals but I may just end up with an old, dingy wardrobe again.  Early February means big sales.  The big ticket item was fifty dollars, a new jean jacket.  The arm is falling off of the one I have been wearing for years.  I had some of the pieces like a mini skirt and ballet flats.  A few more pieces I will pick up later, like the flowey skirt and wide belt that I guess is still finding its way back from 1988.  I got ten new comfortable pieces for just under $200.  Tomorrow I will show you what items to get and how to pair them.

Spring is coming.  Life is short.  We deserve to feel beautiful in our own skin.  If we can’t be nudists we may as well have cute clothes on the cheap.  My daughter is coming over to do a photo shoot for me.  I am going to go shave my legs and put mascara on, y’all.  Photos of this beautiful clothing line and restored Mama coming tomorrow…