Fashion Fairy Godmother: Cute cover-ups that transition from beach to brunch

Dear Fashion Fairy Godmother,

I refuse to wear a ratty t-shirt and shorts over my swimsuit this summer. I want to wear something “cute” as a cover-up since we’re going on a vacation to the beach. Do you have any ideas for what I might shop for? I’m also thinking about how I might go straight from the beach to lunch or dinner.

Thank you!

Dear Beach Mama,

First things first: You are a beautiful woman who deserves a relaxing time at the beach, so good for you for taking the time away.

Secondly: Cover-ups are a pain for every woman. Regardless of shape, size, or age, the cover-up dilemma always seems to ask every woman to choose between the clothes that resemble those “ratty” things you mentioned or (on the very other end) clothes that resemble those that should never be seen outside of the bedroom.

Kaftans and tunics both offer women elegant alternatives. #1 is a kaftan. I adore the flowing sleeves and the loose bodice which leaves women of every body shape feeling elegant.  The key to this style is the length- much longer and it will start looking like your grandmother’s house-dress.

#2 is a tunic. This style is similar to the kaftan in that there are loads of wonderful looseness, but it’s a bit straighter and not as blouse-esque. When worn over a pair of white linen pants, both styles feel refined yet relaxed.  The only problem would be deciding which style you like most.

Maxi dresses are a second cover-up option that are insanely popular. You can find them everywhere and for every body shape.

For example, #7 #8 & #9 all have defined waists (which flatter every shape), but the waist doesn’t stop the long lean line that maxis are nice enough to supply.  Another trick is one color per dress which tends to look slimming as well.  #10 is a jersey and is very form fitting, i.e. a little less forgiving.  If you do decide to go with the maxi dress option, pick one that you can wear with confidence and everyone will see that beauty I was talking about earlier.

Something that would be lovely with both of these options would be simple metallic sandals (#3. #4). The fact that they are flats means that you won’t feel silly sinking into the sand on the beach (which would happen with heels), but the metallic kicks up the “pretty” factor just a bit. Oh, and these are something I would definitely compliment you on if we ran into one another at the grocery store after you got back from your trip. (Let’s be honest, the fashion fairy godmother loves a good justification to buy another cute pair of shoes.)

Another way to dress up a beach outfit is to ditch the big tote for evenings and carry one of these clutches (#5. #6).  The neutral and neon combo are a super fun trend that screams summer and the simplicity demands that you pare down and only carry the essentials. (Do you really need that third tube of lipstick anyway?)

Hopefully, this way of thinking would be something that carries over from your outfit to your attitude and allows you to most fully enjoy this amazing time with your family.

About Paige Meredith @ApproachingJoy: “Fabulous twenty something who’s into photography, food, fashion, fun. I blog because I believe everyones prettier when they share.” Click here to read Paige’s fabulous blog. Click here to follow her on Twitter @ApproachingJoy. Thanks, Paige, for being our Fashion Fairy Godmother this month. Great ideas!

Note from the mamas: This post originally appeared on nwaMotherlode in May 2012. It was such great advice that we wanted to re-post!


Fashion Fairy Godmother: Two Easter looks you’ll want to hunt for!

By Elizabeth Miller

Easter is coming up fast and as a busy girl I don’t have time to think about what I am going to be wearing on Easter Sunday.

I’ll be going home to my family and the many church friends that I haven’t seen in a while, so a big (and silly) part of me wants to look great! But I just don’t have time to go shopping all day trying to find the perfect Easter outfit.

One of my favorite things is to find a photo of an adorable outfit and recreate it. With this method, I don’t have to think about what looks good with what…I already know what to put together! It’s simple and easy.

So for this Easter, I put together a simple and elegant look that is easy to recreate:


Pretty cute right? Some of these items happen to be extremely expensive, so I found items that look almost the exact same, for a lot better price:

Dress: Antonio Melani Quince Shadow-Stripe Dress from Dillard’s $159

Handbag: Calvin Klein Saffiano Colorblocked Wing Tote from Dillard’s $238

Shoes: Antonio Melani Sophela Dress Sandals from Dillard’s $98

Earrings: Gold Crystal Metal Flower Earrings from White House Black Market $35

Bracelet: Flower Cut Out Bracelet from Dorothy Perkins Online $15

For direct links to the websites where you can purchase each item – CLICK HERE to check out our Pinterest and right click on the pins!

Oh, and I couldn’t help but throw in an additional “look” you might want to try (but the white dress is my favorite!):


Elizabeth Miller, intern (cropped)ABOUT ELIZABETH: Elizabeth is a junior Ad/PR major at the University of Arkansas. She’s been in various leadership positions in her sorority, Chi Omega, and is part of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. The Motherlode mamas would like to add that she’s a fabulous intern and we appreciate her keen eye for fashion (we’ve already lined her up to help us pick out a new spring wardrobe) as well as her work ethic, creativity and ability to quickly grasp what we need and pull it off. Welcome, Lizzy!

Fashion Fairy Godmother: Tween (and pre-tween) looks to fall for this season

By Michelle Thompson, fashionista and NWA mama of two girls

fairy-godmotherAfter turning 40 late this summer in glorious Jamaica with my husband and two daughters, I was fully embracing the sunny season and loving every moment of the time with my girls and the warm weather that just screams for sundresses and jean shorts.

When we came home from Jamaica our new pool was finally finished and the backyard fun commenced.

The only problem was that school was starting the very next week, and I wanted to hold on to summer with all of my might. I have a tendency to do that anyway, because I have a difficult time letting my girls go after being with them constantly for three straight months.

I had to think positive though, so I tried to stay in the present moment and have gratitude for all the blessing that I have, and not focus on missing my girls. So, one of the first things that popped into my mind, which for some might seem trivial, but I am a fashionista at heart.

The silver lining was, of course, Fall Fashion!! Not just Fall Fashion for me, but for my girls, too. They are at the age that fashion is becoming important to them, for they are the daughters of a fashion mama!! ;) 

I got busy with them creating outfits for school, and transitioning some things that we wore in the summer into on-trend fall attire.

So many people ask how to take those pieces the kiddos just had to have this summer into fall and still be following the new trends? These outfits that follow should help you bring your fashion-forward tween into this exciting season. The current styles this fall are more fun than ever, including of the usual suspects like leopard, studs and boyfriend jeans. There are also some amazing new trends and colors on the scene.

1. Our first new trend is black and white, which is so hot for Fall and Winter fashion. There are so many options with this trend, you can color block like this first dress, from Zulily, which, to update for Fall, I added black-fringe booties from Shoe Carnival, and a fun bow cuff with studs (Forever 21), for an edgier look.

Another option is this look for the younger girls, which is a black and white dress and leggings from Zulily. The oversized bow (which if you know me, is my obsession) is also from Zulily. I bought a t-shirt about 5 years ago that says, “The bigger the bow, the better the mom.” Well, apparently, I took it too much to heart.

Maybe someday I will unveil my youngest daughter, Brooklyn’s (who is in this picture, with yes, a bow the size of a pill-box hat) bow collection. To bring this outfit into fall I would love to add a black and pastel floral or plain black cardy and these fun polka dot oxfords from NEXT.

Fashion 1 use

 2. Our second look is several different trends all mixed together, which is actually easier and even more fun with tweens because they can take more risks than adults can. This outfit is out of my daughter Macy’s closet, and she wore the top and shorts with flip-flops this Summer.

Now you can see how we are transitioning these pieces into the Fall season using these fun trends. We are mixing the black and white trend with her top from Aeropostale, with a military-inspired jacket from NEXT (make sure you leave the jacket open and cuff the sleeves), leopard oxfords (Giani Bini from Dillards), and a floral jewel-toned scarf (out of her mother’s closet).

To top it off and fully bring it into Fall, you must add a great pair of knit tights under the shorts, like these light brown cable knit tights from NEXT.

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3. One very fun trend this Autumn, and will most definitely continue into winter, is mixing and matching stripes, florals, plaids, and even leopards all together in one outfit. Obviously this takes a very discerning eye. Some of my tips are to never mix two patterns of the same size. For instance, don’t mix two large florals together or it will end up being a visual disaster.

Also, try to have coordinating colors in each pattern you try to mix. For instance if you do a black and white stripe shirt, make sure your floral or plaid has at least one of your colors in it.

My last tip is to spread the prints apart. For example, putting a pair of denim jeans in between your two patterns, like I did with this Tartan plaid shirt (Giani Bini from Dillard’s) and leopard oxford shoes (Giani Bini from Dillard’s).

To complete this outfit we added the black-leather biker jacket (Zulily) and necklace from my jewelry closet and black-bow leather cuff. The second outfit is a black and white striped shirt out of my daughter’s closet and fun black and red floral knee length shorts (Dillard’s). I added red polka-dotted Toms and hair bow, and then my floral necklace (Stella and Dot). We will probably add Macy’s new jean jacket from the Gap for cool mornings, and to take this look even more into the cooler season just do full-length floral jeans.

 fashion 3 use

4. This trend had to be mentioned because it is just so HUGE this Fall: ELECTRIC BLUE!!!! You must add this color into not only your tween’s closet, but also your own. I fell in love with this dress while I was shopping with my girls at Dillard’s, but a girl has to know when to put the fashion brakes on and not purchase everything we see and love.

However, we will probably add it soon to Macy’s wardrobe because it is the perfect dress for the season, and even has a black-lace accent.  To take this outfit into Fall, we would add some black leggings from Macy’s closet and these precious orange flats (from J Crew) for a dramatic pop.  This necklace from Bauble Bar adds another jewel tone to complete this outfit of perfection!! LOVE this ensemble!!

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5. One thing that I am starting to love with my 11-year-old daughter, Macy, is that she is beginning to be able to wear clothes from the adult section of certain places. We just look for XS and 00 at some of her fave shopping destinations like Target, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and Aeropostale.

This first dress is precious and it is from Target in the adult section. We added cowboy boots (Target) and a gold-braided headband (Claire’s). Don’t be afraid to have your tween wear that head-band hippy-style; it is very hip and fresh. She just adds her favorite jean jacket when the weather is cool.

The second lacy dress (Giani Bini, Dillards) is on my youngest daughter, Brooklyn, and we added a lace jacket with a denim collar and cuff (Giani Bini, Dillards). The embellished cowboy boots (Giani Bini, Dillards) add the perfect touch to this outfit. Her bow is just a cream flower bow with vintage floral accent clipped onto it.

fashion 5 macy

fashion 5

These outfits were so much fun putting together. When I was a tween and teen, my mom used to tell me that it was more fun shopping for me than it was to shop for herself. I just didn’t get it at the time, but here I am with a tween and an almost tween, and I feel the exact same way. We have come full circle I guess. The obvious reason, is that it is just fun to shop for and pamper the ones we love, but the other reason is that they look amazing in the clothes.

Like I mentioned earlier, that age group can take a lot more risks than we as adults can. Don’t be afraid to add some of your own accessories to your daughter’s outfits; it is free and playful. So, have fun this Fall and embrace some of these exciting new trends.


Fashion Fairy Godmother: Btiques app allows you to shop your fave stores from your phone

btiques shops

Btiques  is a local fashion-tech company with an app store that allows you to shop independent boutiques from your cell phone. It was developed by a local mom and her brother and we especially love that it’s a small, local business that helps other local businesses.

Cool, huh?

btiques logoBtiques launched just a few months ago and was founded by brother and sister co-owners Sara Beck and Will Carter.

We first heard about Btiques because it was one of the 2012 winners of the ARK Challenge and part of a local movement Forbes describes as the “Arkansas startup scene.” We also heard about it through Jennifer Adair, another NWA mama who built our nwaMotherlode app and who worked with Btiques on theirs.

Btiques allows store owners to post and sell items directly to social and mobile customers, while consumers have the ability to find, follow and shop the best local boutique stores. To download the Btiques app on your iPhone, text Btiques to 84700.

Sara gives credit to the mentors she and her brother met through The ARK Challenge who were interested in local economic development through tech startups.

She said, “It’s very exciting to think that our vision is now a thriving business with five employees. This idea came to fruition because of the network of people that helped build our model. Now it’s our turn to give back to local entrepreneurs.”

Sara adds, “Btiques is about providing innovative ways to help small businesses succeed. We are giving shop owners a platform to connect to new consumers locally and nationally as we expand and elevate the boutique community across the map.”

Here are some of the Btique clients you can shop on the go:

·         Maude - Fayetteville

·         Tesori – Fayetteville

·         Savoir Faire – Fayetteville

·         The Independent - Fayetteville

·         The Mustache-Fayetteville

·         Shindig Paperie- Fayetteville

·         Grey Dog- Fayetteville

·         Maca - Fayetteville

·         So Inviting – Fayetteville

·         Black Cherry – Fayetteville

·         E. Leigh’s - Fayetteville / Little Rock

·         Haus Werk – Little Rock

·         Georgia James Creative – Little Rock

·         Ember – Little Rock

·         Barbara Graves – Little Rock

·         Rock City Outfitters – Little Rock

·         Elysian – Bentonville

·         Monrow – Conway

·         EM Jeans - Conway

·         Bella vita – Little Rock

·         Hazel’s Haven  – Ft.Smith

·         Bimini Butterfly – Cabot

·         Darling’s – Newport

·         Hale House – Ft. Worth, Texas

Mom’s Choice Winner: Freshair Salon and Boutique

freshair fb

Congratulations to Freshair Salon and Boutique for winning Best Salon in Washington County — for the second year in a row. Wow!

We love all the cute cuts and boutique clothes we see on their Facbook page (click here to see!).

We interviewed Freshair owner/stylist/mama Shelby  Lambidonis to find out more about this great shop on Sunbridge in Fayetteville:

freshair adQ: What services do you offer at Freshair?

We offer cuts, color, Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Treatment, Keratin Smoothing Treatments, Makeup, Special Occasion Hair, Extensions and waxing. Everything but nails!

Q: We adore all the cute clothes and accessories you have at the shop. Tell us a little more about the boutique side of Freshair:

The Boutique happened by accident. I had ordered clothes for myself and had them out on the counter. About 5 women came up to me wondering if I had their size and when I would be getting more in. I told them they were mine but then a light bulb went off and that is when the boutique started at Freshair 3 years ago this June.

We try to keep everything under a $50 price point. Making trendy fashion not only fun but affordable so you can change with the seasons and trends without breaking the bank.

freshair chevronQ: What is your top-selling clothing or jewelry item for summer?

Our big statement necklaces seem to be our hottest seller. And Mint and Peach seem to be what is in for the summer. We sell a LOT of Piko tops. We are the lowest price in town at $25!  And we sell tons of maxi dresses right now as well for the summer.

Q: What is the hottest hairstyle right now?

We are not seeing just one hairstyle right now but more of color and style. Women are wearing their hair longer and we see a lot of the boho waves. People are wanting that sexy slept in look. And with the Ombre’ being the popular color technique right now the long boho waves go hand in hand.  Low upkeep and easy to style. For short hair, you can never go wrong with the classic bob or super short pixie!

Q: Are there any cool new products right now for hair?

We always have the latest and greatest hair products at Freshair! Keune has amazing color mousse that can refine, enhance or refresh your color between color services. Keune is our biggest line of hair care at Freshair. We also have two Keune Regional Educators on our staff of stylists. Moroccan Oil has a new Heat Protectant that is a must when using a blowdryer, or flat iron. And Keratin Complex has one of our favorite deep conditioners, Kerawhip. It is like a drink of water for you hair!

Q: How do you keep up with the latest styles/trends?

As you can see from our Facebook page we love Education! We attend classes all over the U.S., from LA learning the latest cutting trends at the Institute of Courage with Michael O’rourke to Atlanta brushing up on our coloring skills at the Keune Academy.

We also have in-salon training as well as going to hair shows in NYC. We are constantly staying on top of the latest trends and sharpening our skills for our craft.

Q: We understand that Freshair is 10 years old! Congratulations! Tell us about your upcoming “Freshair Fete”:

We are so excited to celebrate with our friends, family, clients and guests at our Freshair Fete! It will be July 1, 2013  from 6-9 at Freshair Salon.

We will have fantastic door prizes for the first 50 guests to arrive, 20% off of everything in the boutique and hair products. Even our sale items will be an extra 20% off! We will have amazing giveaways such as a Moroccan Oil Flat Iron, Brushes, Products, and a $100 Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Gift Card!

We will be having amazing appetizers from Early Bird Catering, dessert bar including french macaroons from Meridienne Dessert Salon, flowers will be done by Pigmint, live music by Bottlerocket and $10 pre-sale of Botox from Lips N Lines. And much much more! We love a good party and all are welcome to join us!

Freshair fete

Q: What’s your favorite thing about owning a salon/boutique?

The clients and the stylists. I LOVE seeing my guests and working with the girls I work with. It’s a very busy job and always lots to do but being with all of these wonderful people make it worth it. I couldn’t ask for a better career. It’s truly fun everyday, which in turn makes it not feel like work or a job.

When you’re not stylin’, what do you do in your “spare” time?

I don’t have much spare time! lol! But if I’m not doing hair, I am usually working or ordering for the salon/boutique. Or planning big parties like the Freshair Fete! ;-) But, my first priority is my two wonderful sons, Nicholas and Theo.  They keep me pretty busy and on the go!  I feel like I have the perfect balance with family and work and it feels good.

CLICK HERE to visit Freshair’s Facebookbook page to see cuts/styles and boutique items that are new in store! Call Freshair at 479-251-1877.

freshair salon, resized

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