Teen Parenting Advice: The Real Deal

Every Mama has heroes in their life. Not every one is lucky enough to call one of them her sister, and her best friend. I hope that her teen parenting advice not only helps, but inspires all of you, as well. My sister Natalie, at 17,  gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy, Shane David.  Being a teen mother is not glamorous or easy by any means, but with lots of support and motivation, it is possible to take control of the situation and still achieve your goals in life. I can honestly say that, at 22, my sister is one of the bravest, strongest, and most beautiful mamanistas that I know. I remember exactly where I was the moment that I found out that my baby sister was having a baby of her own. I was worried for her, but so excited to have a new baby in the family! As for Natalie, her world was turning upside down. She was very involved in high school and had a huge circle of friends. She had a steady boyfriend at that point who luckily had a stable job and was ready to take on the responsibility of a family.  Even so, a baby at this point was going to change everything. While I was away at college, my nephew and godson, Shane, was born. My sister had a strong support system, as the two families pulled together to help her with baby Shane so that she could graduate high school.  They even supported her in getting her cosmetology license. (To this day, Natalie is my go-to person for everything fab and fashionable in the hair-styling industry!) Television shows … [Read more...]

How to Look Good on a Budget of $100-a-Month

As of lately, my fashion obsession has been taking a toll on my bank account.  When the newest designer lookbook arrives in my mailbox every month, it is difficult to not run out to the mall and charge EVERYTHING to my credit card.  The reality is, it’s hard on my bank account, shopping budget, and lifestyle when I am spending above my limit on designer duds. Should I be buying designer clothing season after season and be completely broke? Or can I look amazing on a budget and only spend $100 a month? Have you been wondering how to look good on a budget, too? After testing the method recently, I have found the answer to be YES! YES! YES! –I can look good on a budget! How to Look Good on a Budget Follow these tips and you too will notice a true difference in your closet - and your bank account! Shopping Budget Tip #1: Sample Sale It! If you haven’t yet discovered the magical land of sample sales, this MUST be your first stop. For those of you who are out of the loop, a sample sale is a designer sale that is done before these garments are put in designer stores or high end department stores, to test the products.  Even better - these items are ALL 30—80% off! You can easily stay within your monthly shopping budget and purchase an entire outfit. Not only are you getting a fabulous price when you purchase these items, you are ahead of the curve!  And thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to be living in LA or NYC in order to stumble upon one of these treasures. … [Read more...]

Size Matters?

  It's no secret that women in our society obsess over the number that appears on every tag in every piece of clothing that we own. How could we not? Our society puts pressure on us to make sure that the numbers on the scale are down, our cholesterol count is down, our daily calorie intake is down, and even our "real age" must be down.  Essentially, we are a society that is driven by numbers--low numbers, specifically. I fall victim to this pressure as well. I sometimes feel as if the number on my clothes defines me as a person, when in reality it does no such thing. If I am out shopping and I am able to fit into something that is smaller than my normal size, I feel over-joyed, and this excitement can last all week. When the number is up I feel depressed, and when it moves down, I am happy. It's really a terrible cycle and a ridiculous thing to worry about, especially since, in one given day trying on clothes in a dressing room, I fit perfectly into the following sizes ...4, 10, S, and L!  So how much importance should I be giving to this issue? I feel like I have read countless magazines that advise something along these lines... "Don't pay attention to the size that you are wearing; all that matters is how the article of clothing looks on your body. Sometimes buying a size up will make you look slimmer overall. It's better to buy the size that fits better, than buying a size based on the number that is too small." I'm sure that we have all read articles … [Read more...]

Fashion History 101: History of Little Black Dress

  The only letters that I need to mention are “L.B.D.” and almost every woman knows exactly what I am talking about. For those of you feeling out of the loop, L.B.D. is fashion lingo for “Little Black Dress.” This wardrobe essential is such a classic piece that most women have multiples hanging in their closet. Every designer has their own version of it, updated for each season. This single piece of fashion has revolutionized the fashion industry by evolving from a simple idea to something truly magnificent, so the history of little black dress is important for fashion lovers everywhere. For many of us, our L.B.D is our “go-to” piece for many different occasions and reflects our signature style. In order to really embrace this wonderful creation, we need to understand where it came from, how it has evolved, and the impact it has had on the fashion industry as a whole. History of Little Black Dress We owe the introduction of this masterpiece to none other than the infamous Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. She was a woman ahead of her time and literally wrote the history of little black dress.  Even though fashion during WWI was going in a somewhat different direction, with skirts paired with button-down blouses ruling the day, along with military and oriental influences, Coco knew what women really wanted, and she made it work! The year was 1926, and women were in need of a simple, elegant, unfussy garment in their life that was devoid of prints, embroideries, and bright … [Read more...]

More Than a Mamanista…

I had the rare chance the other night to watch one of my favorite shows of all time, Project Runway, without any interruptions from child, husband, or phone. What I really love about this show is how the contestants have to respond to situations and obstacles at a moment's notice,  creating beauty and elegance at the drop of a hat with limited or unusual raw materials. This is just like mothering, it suddenly occurred to me! And in that moment, I realized that the title of "mamanista" doesn't fully express what I want this blog or my parenting to be about.  It is not about the marriage of fashion and motherhood, but so much more than that! Becoming a mother and figuring out what works best for you and your family is a "project" within itself.  Then there are daily factors such as career, hobbies (fashion), activities (shopping), to add to the equation. Being able to master balancing it all is truly an art within itself. Therefore, I am more than just a "mamanista".  This blog is about me. About who I am. About the challenges I will face, the ups and down in life, and my passions. It is about my love of fashion, of my husband, of my son. About how I want to grow as a woman,  a wife, and a mother.  About the values with which I want to live my life.  And of course, my striving for perfection in all I do, even though I know perfection is unattainable. So yes, I have expanded my horizons. It is quite amazing how some alone time and some inspirational, fashion … [Read more...]

Boys, Boys, Boys

In order to get a better understanding of the person that I am, you must be introduced to "my boys" (aka my husband and son). They keep my life exciting, full of endless surprises, and have helped mold me into the person I am today. My husband, my Christopher, is a very strong individual who always helps me find my path. Over the years my sweet side has rubbed off on him, and his notorious "asshole" side has rubbed off on me. Therefore, together we have the perfect balance, and we make the perfect team. He is ambitious, hard-working, and he loves his family with his whole heart.  And whenever he thinks no one’s looking, he shows his sensitive side. Did I mention that he helps finance my shopping addiction? Chris doesn't really understand my love for designer labels, but he accepts it. My favorite words to come out of his mouth (aside  from "I love you," of course!) are "I really like that outfit in that store window-- why don't you go try it on?" My rambunctious three-year old Branden keeps me on my toes and has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.  Although he has more energy than I know what to do with on most days, he is the most caring and polite child that I have ever met. Watching him learn, explore the world, and speak in full sentences are some of the happiest moments of my life. And he’s the funniest kid-- even on days that I’m ready to pull my hair out, he always makes me laugh. Whenever we are together as a family, he refers to my husband and … [Read more...]

Let Me Introduce Myself…

Dear Diary, I think it may have all started on that wonderful moment when I spotted my first pair of Christian Louboutin pumps in a store window, their shiny red bottoms screaming out my name. Or perhaps it went back even further to when I was a very young girl and my grandmother first introduced me to the magic of needle and thread.  MeMa (as I called her) helped me construct my very first handbag, which we crafted from plush maroon velvet fabric and a pink ribbon bow. I learned that day that not only was the world of fashion at my fingertips, but that my fingertips had been itching for the joys of creating fashion all along. In high school I began designing and constructing all of my gowns for special events. Prom, Homecoming, Senior Dinner Dance—these were my moments to shine.  I played with different types of fabric, mixing sheers and opaques, appliqués and embellishments until I found just the right combinations for my pieces of art.   Though I loved shopping, I found that I loved expressing myself through my own creations even more.  I was no longer content to look or dress like everyone else.  It made me happy to be literally on the cutting edge, my sharp scissors in hand! I first started sewing on my grandmother's beautiful old Singer sewing machine, a workhorse if you ever saw one, and then I progressed to acquiring my own machine in high school. Once I followed my passion into college for fashion design, I graduated to the big boys--the industrial … [Read more...]