May 19, 2017

Faking an endless summer wardrobe

How do you fake an endless summer wardrobe you ask? By renting it of course! If you missed my initial blog post announcing my love for Le Tote you can see it here. Basically, Le Tote is a clothing rental service that offers a variety of monthly subscription boxes, called “totes”. You fill out a brief style profile for the Le Tote stylists to work with when putting your tote together.  To ensure a tote of items you really love, you can also curate a wish list of specific pieces from their online catalog. Le Tote has a vast catalog of items to choose from, both clothing items and accessories like jewelry and handbags.

I will probably be getting a new tote each week, which means for $49 a month I will be wearing about $200 in clothing and accessories each week. The best part? I don’t have to worry about washing or storing these items after I wear them. I just place them in the prepaid return envelope, mail them, and wait for my new tote to arrive!

My summer wardrobe picks from Le Tote

Below is a list of items I will be renting this summer from Le Tote:

summer wardrobe

Calvin Klein Bermuda Short (Retail $60)

summer wardrobe

Max Studio Halter Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Boho Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

Sanctuary Camo Short (Retail $79)

summer le tote

1 State Confetti Halter Top (Retail $79)

summer wardrobe

Jessica Simpson Striped Tank (Retail $30)

summer wardrobe

Ava Ruffle One Shoulder Top (Retail $58)

summer wardrobe

Eliza J Off Shoulder Dress (Retail $138)


Johanne Beck Cascade Dress (Retail $140)

summer wardrobe

Tart Sleeveless Printed Romper (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Belted Knit Dress (Retail $98)

This list does not include the jewelry and handbags in my virtual Le Tote closet. But these Octavia & Co. earrings, Kate Spade bangle, and House of Harlow necklace are my most anticipated summer rentals.

Get $25 off your first tote!

Want to build a virtual closet and fake an endless summer wardrobe with Le Tote? It’s free to join and browse their catalog, just click here! If you sign up for one of Le Tote’s monthly subscriptions be sure to use this link to get a $25 credit off your first tote!



April 17, 2017

Pretty nude sandals to kick off Spring!

I have at least 3 pairs of nude sandals in the warmer months. Flat ones, a wedge heel, and a strappy pair. Why? I can wear one of those 3 pairs with every outfit in my closet all spring and summer long. Of course, when I find a great deal on a trendy pair in the current color of the year I nab them. But the nude sandals will be included in my warmer weather wardrobe (say that ten times fast…just for fun) for as many seasons as they’ll last. Bonus: Nude sandals not only go with everything, they also make your legs look miles longer!

Pretty Nude Sandals

The following nude sandals are my favorite picks to kick off spring in style (and they are all under $50!):

nude sandals

Details (starting clockwise, middle pair last):  Charlotte Russe nude wedge $39, Buckle DayTrip Selena sandal $33, ZooShoe Breckelle sandal $28, Pretty Little Things Olivia sandal $33, Lulus Nahele suede sandal $36, Elegant Footwear Hazel Platform sandal $37, and the NewLook Cutout Peep Toe sandal $35.

Update: It has come to my attention since publishing this article (about ten minutes ago) that a lot of the sandals featured above are already sold out. As a fashion and lifestyle blogger, I don’t want to publish posts where half of the items I feature are no longer available, so I looked for a few more options which I listed below.
nude sandals

These Pom Pom Tie-Up Espadrilles from Nastygal for $40.  I also love these gold-trimmed rope lace-ups from Charlotte Russe for $20.

nude sandals


These Two-Piece Wedge Espadrilles from Charlotte Russe for $33 look high but easy to walk in.

nude sandals

And my most favoritist (not a word, well, it is now) nude sandal to date? These gorgeous clear-strap Dory sandals on Zulily. Your legs will look especially long with the invisible upper straps, and the colorful beads in the heel make these sandals quite the statement piece!



April 4, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas for Teens

easter basket

I love filling Easter baskets! My stepkids are all in their teens but that doesn’t mean I am any less excited to watch them run downstairs and start plowing through their Easter baskets, just like they did when they were little. Filling Easter baskets with fun and unique items has become a little more challenging as they get older, however. I’ve always tried to include more non-candy items than candy,  mostly because our kids just aren’t big candy eaters (weirdos!) – I mean, we still have Halloween candy from the previous Fall in our pantry. Maybe it’s just gross candy…because if I haven’t finished it….

So while coming up with cute, fun and useful Easter basket filler on a budget has always been a challenge, searching and finding products that are not only cool and useful but also affordable is my totally my jam! Below are my Easter basket filler ideas for both teen boys and girls. To keep the total basket cost for each kid around $25-30, I normally include just one larger non-candy item, like a t-shirt, with a couple of smaller non-candy items, like a card game and earrings. Lay it all on a healthy layer of Easter grass and add a box of Peeps and pastel Twizzlers (their favorite!) and wait for the Easter morning oohs and ahhs!

Easter basket filler for teen boys

easter basket

Items clockwise from top right: Uno Emoji Card Game, Scrabble Initial Keychain, Aeropostale Men’s Flip Flops, Like a Boss Junk Food Tee, Henna Hand Tattoo Kit, PB Teen Sports Phone Chargers, Popmap Men’s Black Sunglasses.

Easter basket filler for teen girls

easter basket


Items clockwise from top right: Yellow Sport Sandals, Pineapple iPhone Case, Striped Pineapple Beach Towel, Burt’s Bees Flavor Crystals Lip Balm, Island Escape Body Polish, Bright Yellow Pineapple Candle.

Happy Easter- He Has Risen!



March 31, 2017

Engagement Roast Chicken recipe & video

roast chicken

I love making roast chicken during the colder months of the year. The buttery, garlicky, comforting smell that wafts from the oven is just heavenly.  My favorite recipe for roast chicken is really the most simple. And the taste? Well, there is a reason it is called “Engagement Chicken“…

Click below to watch Ina Gartner make the famous Engagement Chicken. This recipe is included in my favorite cookbook of hers, Ina Garten At Home. She always makes everything so simple and easy, and this insanely delicious chicken recipe is no exception!

It doesn’t get any easier than that! Even if you are already married it is worth making as it’s the most delicious chicken you will ever serve!




March 23, 2017

Hate the way you look? Watch this popular beauty blogger’s video!

popular beauty

I came across the video below on the YouTube channel of Stephanie Lange, a popular beauty blogger. I started watching her videos because she has terrible skin and hooded eyes and does some of the most amazing makeup tutorials to address these issues. I don’t have any alerts or notifications set for her channel, but the minute I saw the title of this particular video I had to watch it.

Stephanie wears a bit more makeup than I personally prefer, but I still think she is just gorgeous. This video showed me how beautiful (and wise!) she is on the inside as well. If you have ever woke up thinking you hate the way you look or ended up thinking that way after comparing yourself to others (people you know, social media influencers,  celebrities, etc…) then this video is for you!

Isn’t she great? And don’t you feel better after watching this? Yes and yes, right?! Be sure to share this post with any girlfriends or female family members you feel need a boost. #truebeauty #girlpower #momboss #sherules



March 20, 2017

Easy breakfast meal prep for the week

meal prepWhen I went from being a single girl to a stepmom of three my morning routine changed quite a bit. I used to roll out of bed, grab a yogurt and log into my computer to start working. I can still do that when it’s just me and my husband, but when we have the kids, mornings can be rushed, stressful and a bit totally chaotic. I have incorporated several clever life hacks into my morning routine that have significantly reduced the stress and chaos. My favorite life hack is spending time on the weekends doing meal prep for the week. Prepping our breakfasts for the week has totally helped to streamline our mornings and create a more efficient and relaxed atmosphere.

Easy breakfast meal prep ideas

Preparing the following breakfast items on the weekend will save you loads of time on your weekday mornings. If you prep all your meals to save time during the week but spend half your weekend doing it, it’s not really very time-saving.  To avoid this sneaky meal prepping time suck, I made sure each recipe is not only delicious but super easy to prepare. Serving homemade breakfast items versus packaged, store-bought items saves you a ton of money and reduces any unnecessary chemicals and preservatives in your family’s diet.

Breakfast burritos

meal prep

These delicious breakfast burritos from The Country Cook are very similar to the ones I make. I replace the shredded hashbrowns with hash brown patties because they take only 10min to toast. I cut each pattie into chunks and put bout 1/2 a patty in each burrito. Making your own breakfast burritos ensures your picky eaters get what they want in their burrito (no cheese, a squirt of ketchup, etc..).

Pancake-sausage “McGriddle” sandwiches

meal prep

This recipe from mantitlement actually includes the recipe for making homemade sausage and pancakes. While it is healthier than store-bought sausage and pancakes, I don’t have the time to make everything from scratch, so I buy Jimmy Dean’s maple sausage and make the patties, then sandwich them between two frozen premade pancakes. They freeze well and take only 18-22 minutes in a 375-degree oven if you put them in the fridge to thaw the night before. Frozen cooking time is closer to 30 minutes. But if you pop them in the oven when you first wake up they’ll be hot & ready by the time everyone gets downstairs to breakfast.

Bacon & egg “McMuffin” sandwiches

meal prep

Egg McMuffins are the healthiest breakfast sandwich on the McDonalds menu, and they can be made even healthier at home!  This recipe from The Suburban Soapbox includes a brilliant cooking hack for the eggs and was created specifically as a freezer meal. She doesn’t include this tip, but be sure to toast the muffins briefly before assembling and freezing the sandwiches for a fresher, “just cooked” texture and taste.

Cheesy sausage breakfast sliders

meal prep

Sliders for breakfast? Yes please! The recipe for these delicious cheese, egg and sausage sliders from The Slow Roasted Italian isn’t specifically a for a meal prep “freezer meal”, but I made them in a foil pan, froze them, thawed them, and baked them according to the directions in this recipe and they tasted like they were made that morning!

Meal prep supplies

I get my gallons bags and aluminum foil at the Dollar Tree. The best prices on foil pans and lids are available on Amazon. If you get an Amazon Prime membership you get free 2-day shipping on ALL of your orders for twelve months. Amazone Prime is $99 a year, but it comes with a ton of other benefits in addition to free shipping, like free movies, books, magazines, and much, much more.  I encourage you to check it out and see how it can save you money!

I am curious to see if these easy and delicious meal prep ideas save you as much time and money as they do for me. If you make any of these yummy breakfast meal prep ideas be sure to share your experience in the comments below!



March 17, 2017

Easy Irish Beer Cheese Soup- tutorial included!

beer cheese soup

This is not only one of the easiest meals to make for St. Patrick’s Day, it is also one of the most delicious! While corn beef and cabbage is a meal reserved for only St. Patrick’s Day in most American households, beer cheese soup is a quick and easy meal for any day of the week, any time of the year. This easy beer cheese soup recipe is made even easier with the tutorial video below from Man Cave Munchies.

Easy Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

I chose this video over several others because Mr.  Man Cave gives the ingredient measurements in addition to easy-to-follow instructions (some videos actually skipped the measurements!). Also, some cooking tutorials out there have really detailed instructions but they are waaay to long. This video shows every step of the soup-making process and still keeps the video length to under four minutes!

Beer Cheese Soup Bread Bowl

Bread bowls are great for rich, creamy soups like clam chowder, lobster bisque, and broccoli cheddar. This video tutorial from PopSugar shows how to quickly and easily make bread bowls for soups or dips!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!







March 11, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day ideas for food, fun, decor and more!

St. Patrick’s Day used to be one of those holidays I did not pay much attention to. I mean, I dressed in some green to avoid getting goosed at school by a perverted boy, and then later in life by a perverted co-worker, but I wasn’t much for decorating or seeking out green-colored food or decor. Then I married a man who is part Irish, and my whole paradigm on St. Patrick’s Day changed. Now I need to represent yo! But you know me, my darling Faking Fancy readers, I don’t just throw out some green M&M’s and call it a day. Nooo sir. I have to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a fancy way! But I needed  St. Patrick’s Day ideas for clothing, food, drinks and decor that was cheap and easy, like my cousin Cheryl…(Just kidding, she’s married now. And what happens in Lake Havasu…)

Cute, affordable St. Patrick’s Day outfits

First things first I’m a realist..(my blog’s fight song!) and I know that NO ONE looks good in head-to-toe green. I’m also not big on buying holiday-themed” clothing you can only wear one day of the year. Using the pieces below for inspiration, you can get all gussied up for St. Patty’s in style, without purchasing specific St. Patrick’s themed wear.

We all know the St. Patrick’s Day clothing rule, as long as you are wearing something green you are good. I love this outfit inspo collage above from Shoes & Tricks on Tumbler. Her site asked me for a password so I couldn’t get to the sources for each piece. But I found this super cute long sleeve blouse and this flirty cap sleeve blouse, both green and both only $11! If you aren’t going to wear it often try your local Goodwill or consignment store for green clothing that is even more affordable.

st patrick's day

This outfit from Polyvore is St. Patty’s Day perfection to me, minus the Tom’s. I hate those shoes. I’ve got some gray slip-on Vans I’d pair with it instead. Brown riding boots or white espadrilles would look super cute too, depending on your local weather.

Easy St. Patrick’s Day Beauty

Last year I took some green-colored hair powder my stepdaughter had and threw a streak in my under layers. It looked cool, yet totally mom-appropriate. (You can see it in my profile pic on Facebook this month!) If you don’t have green eyeshadow or nail polish on hand don’t sweat, cheap versions of each are found at the Dollar Store or even at Walgreens. If you are doing a green eye keep the rest of your face neutral, no matter how many people tell you a red lip is totally Irish. Unless you are twenty-three and dancing at the Irish festival, it’s just tooo much.

st patrick's day

How great is this Irish flag eye look? If you have hooded eyes like me the look is even more subtle and only shows when you blink or look down. The link went to t-shirt shop, but the look doesn’t really require a tutorial.

st patrick's day

I also loved this subtle St. Patrick’s eye from iheartmakeupart at  This look is pretty and versatile enough to wear out on a non-holiday as well!

st. patrick's day

With the nail art pens they have on the market now it’s possible to create all kinds of cool and creative nail looks, but I usually don’t have the time for anything too intricate. The fun and sparkly green & gold mani above is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and doesn’t get any easier!

Quick and Delicious St. Patrick’s Day Food

I’ve never been a fan of the cabbage and corned beef dinner that is the normal dinner fare for most St. Patrick’s celebrations. But I found a few ideas and recipes for meals and snacks that are delicious AND use the same elements found in more traditional St. Patrick’s Day meals.

st patrick's day

Who doesn’t love sliders? These genius little sandwiches from look totally amazing, and, if you use potato rolls as the buns, they could not be more Irish!

This recipe for corned beef Reubens caught my eye for two reasons. One, I love Reuben sandwiches! And two, these are made in a crock-pot so you don’t have to slave over a hot stove all day.  An added bonus is the house will smell sooo good all day long!

st patrick's day

Dessert doesn’t get any easier than this scrumptious puppy chow! Just set some plastic cups and a scoop next a big bowl of it and let people scoop their own chow. Less mess and only one bowl to wash!

st patrick's day

Unless you want to hike it on down to McDonald’s sometime after dinner, making your own shamrock shakes is a MUST for St. Patrick’s Day dessert! Add some Irish cream to a separate pitcher for the grown-ups!

Fun and easy St. Patrick’s Day decor

I’m still not big on decorating for a holiday that is celebrated for only one day (versus Christmas, Halloween, and Easter). But I’ll frame some cute free printables like these ones and throw out some easy DIY decor with items. Most of the decor below can be made last minute and with items you probably already have around the house!

st patrick's day

Irish decor doesn’t get any cuter than these beer mug centerpieces filled with gold water gems and mint carnations! Carnations are super cheap and you probably already have the mugs, so the only investment is the water gems which can be found at any at amazon, any craft store and even Walmart.

st. patrick's day

The beauty of pillar vases and candles is you can use a huge variety of cheap items to fit the St. Patrick’s Day theme. The vase filler above is just dried peas, but you could also use green candy or beads. I once filled a couple of vases with coins from our vacation jar and added green candles. You could also grab a bunch of small pebbles from your neighbor’s xeriscaped lawn (shhh) and spray paint them gold. Add some green Dollar Store candles, et voila!!

St. Patrick’s Family Activities

st patrick's day

The Leprechaun toilet visit above is totally happening at my house! My kids are all teenagers but they will still find it hilarious. Check out for 22 other fun and easy ideas for kid-friendly activities.

st patrick's day

Yep. Again this leprechaun beard game is definitely happening at our house. I don’t care HOW messy it gets. And knowing my stepsons, whip cream is guaranteed to get everywhere. But laughing until my stomach hurts and the resulting photo opportunities will make it well worth the mess!

I hope these fun, easy and affordable ideas help to make your St. Patrick’s Day the best ever!



February 27, 2017

Quick and easy stress relief for busy moms!

stress relieving
Did you know that stress can be a major factor in women who suffer from adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, and sudden weight gain? Recently, my doctor suggested I try to reduce stress in order to better regulate my hormones and help me lose weight. But reducing stress is one of those things that are much easier said than done.  To me, trying to fit stress-busting solutions into my already jam-packed schedule only seemed to add to my stress.  When you don’t have time for a nightly bubble bath or the money for a monthly massage, what’s a girl to do? I set about to find some easy stress relief for busy moms. It needed to be super simple and completed in under ten minutes a day.

Five actions for quick and easy stress relief!

I interviewed a few holistic practitioners and family therapists in my area and compiled a list of five quick and easy stress busters.  Each of the actions below has a proven record of success with my experts, are extremely affordable or free, and only take 5-10 minutes to complete. The perfect stress solutions for busy moms, or busy women in general!

Four-Minute Calming Yoga Routine: This Youtube video from The Yoga Solution with Tara Styles is only four minutes and nine seconds! It’s great to do in the evening before bed; it helps me to unwind and let go of any stressful energy acquired that day. I also love to do this six-minute Clear Your Mind routine in the morning after the kids leave for school. It really helps to “reset” my brain and de-stress from the hectic morning!

Ashwagandha: Having been a Deepak Chopra follower for years, I have heard a lot about Ashwagandha and its ability to help alleviate stress and fatigue. Chopra sells an Ashwagandha supplement, but I prefer Shaklee’s Stress Relief Complex* because it also contains L-theanine and L-tyrosine, both very beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety. I normally take one pill a day. If I am facing a stressful event, like a large social group setting or a plane ride, I pop two. To me, it’s like an all natural Xanax!

Five-Minute Meditation: This quick and easy meditation is more of a breathing exercise, which is perfect for me as most days I cannot seem to shut off my thoughts for all the money in the world. This meditation is different than most because you are focusing more on your breathing instead quieting your mind. You don’t need a special mat or even a designated space. This easy meditation exercise can be done anywhere, even sitting in your car while waiting in the insanely chaotic pick-up line at your kids’ school…especially then…

Squeeze Some Glitter Goo: There is a reason stress balls have been so insanely popular in the corporate world for decades. It’s small, convenient, and works like a charm! In the same vein as a stress ball, but much prettier, I made some pink glitter goo and filled a few plastic Easter eggs with it. I keep one in my purse, one in my desk drawer, and one in my nightstand. It’s a very quick and easy way to release extra tension. The best part is you can customize the goo in your favorite color, and even include tiny jewelry beads, sequins or glitter inside- whatever makes you happy!

Aromatherapy: This is the quickest stress reliever I know! Simply unscrew the bottle lid, lift it to your nose and breathe in for about ten seconds…ahhhh.. You can also dab a couple drops of oil on your pulse points or put a few drops in a diffuser for more lasting relief. Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot are three popular calming scents. I put Lavender in a diffuser next to my bed every night. I also love this USB port diffuser* from Young Living – I fill it with YL Stress Away oil* and stick it in my computer where it releases a little calming mist every 60 seconds for as long as I have it plugged in.

I hope my favorite stress relievers above can also provide easy relief for busy moms, or any woman who is stressed out and needs a quick and simple solution!




*Disclaimer: To be fully transparent I am a distributor for both Young Living and Shaklee, but only for the distributor discount on my own orders- I am promoting Stress Relief supplement and Stress Away oil because they work for me, and if you order either product from another distributor I will NOT be offended!

February 13, 2017

Unlimited outfits with Le Tote- my latest tote picks!

I’ve posted on Facebook how much I love Le Tote, but I have yet to do an actual blog post on them.  (This is not a sponsored post btw, I just love them!) Le Tote is a clothing rental company with a HUGE selection of clothes and accessories. It is super easy to get started with Le Tote – just log in, create a style & size profile, browse their massive online catalog, and add items into your own personal style closet. You truly can create an unlimited number of outfits by adding a Le Tote subscription to your current wardrobe basics. And creating the style closet is FREE – you can add and delete items for as long as you want without being charged a penny. But if you want to supplement your meager wardrobe for an incredibly affordable price, signing up for a monthly subscription is totally the way to go.

How its works

The basic monthly subscription service includes 2 clothing items and 1 accessory per tote and costs $44. However, there is no maximum to the number of totes you can go through in a month. And, Le Tote starts building your next tote the minute the return label for your last tote is scanned at the post office, so you only wait 2 shipping days between totes! Let’s say you keep each tote for about 5 days, you can receive an average of 8 new clothing items and 4 accessories per month for only $44. That’s less than $5 per item!!

My Le Tote picks for this week


The cropped length and bright, artsy pattern of this dress gives it a very 60’s It Girl vibe. Like “worked at Vogue and was best friends with Andy Warhol” kind of cool. I have three step-kids and the closest I’ve come to anything Warhol is the tomato soup in my pantry, but a girl can rent a dress and dream…


I love sweaters like this! You can pair it with jeans for a day of running errands or glam it up with some black skinny pants and heels. Either way it’s the perfect mix of style and comfort.


I mean, because they are PINK. and Kate Spade. That is all.

Pretty maternity outfits

If there is ever a time when you don’t want to go out and spend money on clothes, it is when you are pregnant. I’ve seen a lot of articles on how to stretch your normal wardrobe with safety pins and elastics so you don’t have to buy (normally expensive) clothing you’ll probably only wear for a few months. Le Tote’s maternity option is the perfect solution for women of any means, but especially those on a budget! The maternity totes start at $54 for 2 clothing items and 1 accessory per tote. I’ve included a few pretty maternity outfit ideas with Le Tote items below:


How chic is this working-girl maternity outfit? Pair it with some flats for running errands or a long day on your feet.


These vegan ‘leather’ leggings are proof that if your normal style is “edgy rocker chic” that doesn’t doesn’t have to change because you are pregnant!


It’s hard to feel glamorous or elegant when you look like you just ate a watermelon, but the stunning simplicity of this off-the-shoulder dress makes for a very sexy-but-classy silhouette.

Each tote is a collaboration!

When the stylists pull items from your online closet or style profile, they always send you a preview of your tote before mailing it out. When you get the preview you either can approve the selected items or switch any of the items out for another item in your closet! I’ve heard other clothing subscription companies have you build a style profile, but what is sent to you is up to the stylists. This makes me nervous and has prevented me from signing up for a clothing subscription service in the past.

Try before you buy!

If you find yourself loving an item in your tote so much you don’t want to return it, don’t worry! Every item in your tote is available for purchase as well, often at a heavy discount off the retail price. Love everything in a tote? The deal actually gets even better! My last tote had a retail value of $158, but was available for purchase for $103. Plus, whenever you purchase an entire tote you get a credit for a free tote in the future (which to me makes the total of the purchased items $44 cheaper!).

Click here to browse Le Tote and start a free, customized style closet.  Bonus alert: If you sign up in the next few weeks you will get $25 off your first tote! 



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