May 21, 2014

Super cute inspiration for a summer wardrobe

Ahh, warm weather is upon us ladies, which means I recently headed off to my storage unit and unpacked my tubs marked “summer staples”. After unpacking, I sorted through what I had before compiling my summer wish list to make sure I didn’t end up with duplicates of any items, a girl on a budget’s worst nightmare. Below is my wish list for faking a fancy wardrobe all summer long:

Gladiator sandals

I love these! I would like to go on the record that I find flat Gladiator sandals too um, gladiator looking. I do not want to actually look like I’m from Sparta circa 400 A.D., and, as I am not the tallest girl on the block that is exactly what I look like when I wear them. So the fact that these have a little heel, but are not sky high wedges, means that they will be comfortable enough to wear all day, several times a week. I’m all about cost per wear people. If I can’t find the Payless shoes (their inventory can go quick) I might try these saucy Six Straps and UR Out booties from Go Jane.

Gauzy Long Sleeve Blouse

This kind of top never goes out of style and it fits all kinds of occasions. It looks just as good at your vacation on the beach as it does a Fourth of July picnic with the fam. And because it is sheer, you can add different colored tanks underneath it to make a plethora of outfits (do I get a bonus for using an SAT word?). From a beige lace number for date night, to a bright neon yellow tank for a fun day with the kids, layering this top will be one of my ‘go to’ outfits this summer.

Tie Dye Dress

Tie-dye is HUGE right now, but like camouflage, tie-dye is a trend I feel the over-forty crowd needs to be very careful with. You don’t want to look like you are wearing your teenage daughter’s clothes, or even worse, trying to be her. To tone down the cutesiness of this dress I’d belt it with a braided leather belt and top it with a white oxford or chambray shirt.

Open-back Cami

Like Taylor from It’s the Little Things blog (she is HILARIOUS btw) I’m a sucker for anything with an open back. It is soo sexy without trying too hard or showing too much. I mean, it’s still a whole lot of flesh, but no one is going to say, “Did you see Missy flaunting her shoulder blades at the park yesterday? I mean our children were right there! Danny Jr. is NOT having a playdate at that flashy whore’s tart’s house.” Ha-ha..hmm…nahhh.

Are these the only things I am lusting after? Nooo, but I have learned to focus on a few key pieces and use accessories to stretch my wardrobe dollar even further. Faking Fancy is about looking your best while spending as little as possible. No one needs to know you are wearing last year’s sandals and shorts from four years ago (but if they still fit, cheers to you sister!!).

Here’s to looking good, navigating trends, balancing our checkbooks and Faking Fancy!



May 19, 2014

Easiest BBQ chicken casserole ever…

casseroleMy ongoing dinner dilemma that consists of a small food budget, picky eaters and trying to avoid fast food.  I also don’t want to be eating the same five meals over and over. Recently I had this dinner dilemma happen on a snow day when I didn’t want to be driving to the store and my cupboards were pretty bare. All I had was some leftover rotisserie chicken, some shredded cheese and a bag of frozen potatoes. So I dumped those things with some BBQ sauce in a casserole dish and one of our family’s favorite casseroles was born!
Casseroles have been a favorite in the kitchen for decades. They are easy to make, they can disguise leftovers, and they are often made with five ingredients or less, making them very wallet-friendly. As is par for the course with most casseroles, this recipe is lacking in green any veggies, so if you can, be sure to add a veggie side dish or a salad for a more well-rounded meal.


BBQ chicken casserole
2 cups shredded chicken (I often use leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 package frozen potatoes (I like Alexa’s organic criss-cut fries)
¾ cup shredded cheese (I shred block cheese, as pre-shredded cheese contains all kinds of nasty, non-cheese items- read the label!)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a casserole dish (I used 9×9) and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Enjoy the smiles and slurping and groans of pleasure and occasional burp (man I miss eating by myself, it was so quiet…) but most of all, enjoy that manicure you get to go have because you saved so much money avoiding a $30 takeout bill!

Do you have an amazing casserole recipe with five or fewer ingredients that is kid friendly? Email me at – I will include one reader recipe along with my own over the next few months!



May 14, 2014

Faking Fancy fashion trends

I love (read: get highly annoyed) when fashion magazines have a “Splurge versus Steal” page and their “steal” options are things like a necklace for $47, or a skirt for $88. They are so proud of themselves for displaying a piece that is under $100, although frankly, with everything else they publish costing between $200 and $2000 you really can’t blame them. What I want to know is – who is buying the $325 blouses and $450 shoes that makes the $47 necklace such a huge bargain? To me, $47 on a necklace is a total splurge, I mean, it’s an accessory, it’s not even a main article of clothing, and there are certainly more affordable necklaces out there.

P.S. The gorgeous Paul Andrews floral pumps above can be yours for a mere $595 on


I realize there is a league of women, especially in the more metropolitan areas like New York City, where a $450 pair of shoes is not even an annual splurge but a monthly purchase, or (gasp) even more frequent. But hedge fund managers, models and plastic surgeons aside, the rest of us need to figure out how to get the “look” shown in fashion magazines without being shown any actual pieces of affordable fashion, or told where to buy them.

I’ve decided to take on some of the trends in the fashion mags and see if I can copy the look for a price that my friends and I can pay. If colbalt is the color of the moment there is no reason why we need to look at page after page of Jimmy Choo heels and Kate Spade dresses as our only examples of said trend and think that yet again another trend is beyond our reach. With exactly $32 in our fashion budget for the month we run off to Old Navy hoping they have something in colbalt not realizing there are SO many other options out there!

This month’s trend I am choosing to focus on is the May 2014 InStyle trend of “Modern Florals” (can’t you just hear Miranda Priestly from the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada” rolling her eyes and saying, “Florals for Spring? How utterly original!”)

But florals for spring are a recurring trend for a reason. After wearing the darker, more somber colors of winter, floral patterns always seem to pick us up and lift us out of any wardrobe funk we may be suffering from. Below are a few ideas of how to get the Modern Floral look, Faking Fancy style:

How saucy are these floral pumps from Payless? I love ankle straps on pumps because they keep them from slipping off my feet. And they are only $26.99!

I am one of those people who think wearing crop tops after you turn 30 is a no-no, but I’ve found that layering a cute tank top underneath not only makes a crop top acceptable for us “mature” ladies, it can also turn one top into several outfits depending on the color of tank or cami you use as a bottom layer. This bright, floral crop top from Target gives me plenty of colors options to use for a layering tank, I could go light or dark depending on my mood, and it is only $17.99.

It’s hard to wear a dress in a floral print without looking like you recycled some curtains. Your best bet is to pair a strapless or sleeveless floral dress with a chambray shirt or solid blouse -the solid color tones down the sweetness of the floral pattern so people don’t get cavities looking at you. However, this $24.80 floral peasant dress from Forever 21 just needs a pair of gladiator heels or open-toed booties to toughen it up and keep the Tooth Fairy at bay…

Showing up in the latest trends does NOT have to cost you an arm and a leg, or force you to feed your family nothing but ramen noodles for a month. So get out there and add a little bloom to your wardrobe without the guilt, I won’t tell anyone you are Faking all that Fancy if you don’t!



May 5, 2014

Steel Magnolias Monday: accessories of the moment

One of the many priceless lines in the movie Steel Magnolias is when Dolly Parton’s character Truvy says, “The only difference between us and animals is our ability to accessorize!” Accessories are the great transformers of any tired wardrobe. You can take something as basic as a plain white tee and boyfriend jeans and turn it into a hundred different outfits depending on the accessories you add.

Feeling a little rock and roll? Throw on a pair of leopard print booties and a cargo jacket.

How about preppy? Maybe a shrunken pinstriped blazer and some Converse.

Heading to date night at a jazz festival? Throw on a fedora and some neon pumps.


When it comes to Faking Fancy with an outfit, accessories are an easy way to go. I mean, we all know there are purse snobs out there, and even shoe snobs. But for the most part, as far as costume jewelry goes, no one usually cares what brand of bangles those are on your arm. Accessories are the great equalizer in an outfit. No one is going to call you out for having a Forever 21 fedora on your head versus a hat from Nordstrom’s. Should they have the balls nerve to do so you should ask them why they are the only vegetarian wearing a leather belt and driving a Tahoe…(Just kidding. Let it go and be proud of your Forever 21 bracelets – they are cute!) Below is a list of some of my favorite places to find super cute and affordable accessories:

Forever 21


Old Navy (in certain stores only)


Charming Charlie

Charlotte Russe

The next time you find yourself with nothing to wear (that’s every other day if you are like me) and not enough money to buy a new outfit, try adding a cheap– affordable-but-snazzy new pair of earrings or necklace to something you already own – you may see that tired old blouse or dress you’ve worn a million times in a whole new light without spending a fancy fortune!



April 30, 2014

Lips like sugar, sugar kisses…lipstick to love!

Every time I put on my Fresh Sugar lip treatment I get Echo and the Bunnymen stuck in my head…but that is just showing my age so I’ll segway into my topic- paraben free lip products. Although the decade-old myth that we ingest about 7lbs of lipstick in our lifetime has been debunked; being an avid lip biter I know I am probably eating more of it than I should, so I’ve been trying to use all natural lip products for years, like Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in Blush and Lip Shimmer in Strawberry. Recently I’ve become more of a lipstick girl so I hunted around for some paraben-free lipsticks and found a few gorgeous options which I’ve listed below. The price range of these lipsticks is around $17-$25, so if someone knows of a paraben free brand with lower, more drugstore-ish prices, feel free to comment below!

My latest paraben free lipstick obsessions!

Bright: Tarte Amazonian Lip Butter in Watermelon


Click here to buy

Nude: Nars Lip Pencil in Belle Du Jour


Click here to buy

Rose: theBalm Girls Lipstick in Ima Goodkisser


Click here to buy

xoxo, (those are paraben-free kisses too!)


April 30, 2014

Trends I refuse to bury

I was browsing through some old posts on one of my favorite blogs the other day, The Stylish Housewife, when I stumbled upon her January 28, 2014, post that that featured the Who What Wear (WWW) article titled, “18 trends we’re totally over”. Now, I normally do not buy into most trends, so I am not THAT worried about what I will need to give up from my closet after reading this. I am not model tall nor stick thin, so sticking to the classics works best for me when it comes to most of the pieces in my closet. Buying the classics over trendy pieces also works for my wallet as well.


Trends I refuse to bury

Photo courtesy of

As I click through trends listed in the WWW article I am horrified to discover that ballerina buns are over. What the??? To be fair, the article actually said that “sock buns” are over. Apparently, some contributor at WWW decided that now that you can use a sock to create what used to take a visit to a salon, it is no longer a chic, classic hairstyle. I mean, we are not talking about a high side pony or Dutch braided hairbands for Pete’s sake, the sock bun is a BALLERINA BUN. Are you telling me that if some girl walks down the street with one of these perfectly coifed buns I am supposed to look down my nose and say, “Oh that is soo last year’s bun.” I don’t think so.  I still think they look beautiful. And I am keeping my sock.

Photo courtesy of

The next supposedly dead trend that made my heart sink is the “bubble necklace”. To be fair, the bubble necklace that the WWW article showed really was too big, it took over this poor woman’s entire shirt. But they do not discriminate between small, medium, or big bubbles when they say that these “maddeningly cutesy necklaces are done”. Dang.  I have about five of these bubble necklaces and they totally add polish whenever I wear them. Now I have to stop wearing them because someone deemed them untrendy? Call me a fashion rebel but I’m not buying it. Or not not buying know what I mean.


Photo courtesy of

Next up on my “what the?” list from the WWW article is infinity scarfs. Infinity scarves?? I have at least ten of them. WWW’s reasoning? They just don’t get them. Well, now I am just embarrassed for them, because I am pretty sure infinity scarves were invented to help people who did not “get” how to wrap a regular scarf.  (One of those people being me.) Infinity scarves came out and I heard angels singing. So my question to the article author, is this- if the ends of your scarf are hanging out then you are cool, but if you wear an infinity scarf or tuck the ends of your scarf in, then you are like, soo last season? There are so many reasons this rule is ridiculous, I mean I could go on and on…forever…I’d never stop….(kudos if you are getting me right now…)

The rest of the tired trends that WWW listed are not so bad. I get the reasoning behind the wedge tennis shoes, the cut-out shoulder blouses, the graphic printed leggings (even though they JUST came out in stores around here), and the cat print items (which doesn’t look good on anyone over twelve). But as for the rest, I feel like they were just pulling random clothing items just to bulk up the list or to make sure only certain people are able to afford true fashion- maybe making something too easy or accessible makes it unfashionable? After reading a lot of the readers’ comments on the article, as well as comments from the very stylish Stylish Housewife, I felt much better. Almost everyone else agreed with my opinions on the above items. Phew….

My bottom line is actually in my first paragraph of this post. Stick with the classics and you cannot go wrong. If you do buy a few items from the latest trends make sure they are at a lower price point- that way if they are “out” five minutes after you bought them you are not both broke and bitter.

To infinity scarves and beyond!!


April 27, 2014

Pretty bright heels to light up your winter wardrobe!

Have you ever seen a pair of heels and thought, “If I owned those shoes, my life would be perfect. It would never rain. I would never get sick in these shoes. Happiness would follow me everywhere…” That is how I felt when I first laid eyes upon this pair of Kate Spade neon pink pumps.

Ohhhh baby, come to mama! It’s the ultimate girlie color in a very sexy, womanly shoe. These pink beauties would be such a fun, easy way to brighten up anyone’s winter wardrobe- or any season for that matter. The price however, is far, far beyond my budget. Like four flights, a train ride, a bus ride (where you sit next to a chicken), another bus ride, and then a seven-mile hike…-like that far beyond.

I knew I needed to find some similar but much more affordable options. I listed my favorite finds for gorgeously bright heels below- all under $50!

Pretty Bright Heels

bright pumps

(Um, hello perfect copycat!) Women’s Pleaser,, $48.95

bright pumps

Cupid Trench,, $39.44

bright pumps

Fabulicious Lumina,, $49

bright pumps

Michael Antonio Lamiss,, $46

bright pumps

FedraPump,, $40

Ohhh yeah, this saucy stepmom is totally gonna be rocking the bright pink pair at next school play! What? I’ll pair it with some tasteful boyfriend jeans and a pink plaid shirt to keep it appropriately saucy.  In fact, wearing bright pumps is actually super easy even in everyday life. Just pair them neutral basics et voila…instant glam!

Outfit Inspo with Bright Heels

bright pumps

Jessica Alba adds a pop of edgy chic to her outfit with these neon yellow pumps.


bright pumps

I LOVE this outfit! The pink really makes the whole outfit pop. Notice how she keeps the pink from seeming too random by adding a small, matching accessory.


bright pumps

Again, neutral basics + bright pumps = easy, casual glam!



April 21, 2014

Non-toxic cleaning products on a budget

non-toxic cleaning

“It ain’t easy being green.” Boy, Kermit was not exaggerating when he first sang that song back in 1970. And although he was not talking about being ecologically friendly or environmentally safe, I am sure that both he and Jim Henson would be horrified at exactly how hard it is to be “green” in society today. Although using non-toxic cleaning products is much more chic than it was back then, or even ten years ago, the price of being green has not changed that much, leaving us Faking Fancy types struggling to find ways to live a non-toxic lifestyle in a world where a lot of our food, cleaning products, and other household items have been sprayed, painted or doused in a toxic chemical of some sort.

My “going green” story

I had a boyfriend die of stomach cancer about eight years ago, my dad is in remission from lymphoma, and I recently had a scary mammogram incident where an “unidentified mass” caused enough alarm to do a same-day ultrasound – it turned out to be just a swollen lymph node, but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. After reading several books by Kris Carr, Suzanne Somers, and Rory Freedman, I became convinced that cancer can be prevented by eating right, exercising and getting rid of toxic chemicals throughout your household.

Non-toxic cleaning products


I didn’t have to look far when deciding to convert to non-toxic cleaners.  I had just moved in with my boyfriend (now husband), and he as already a devout user of Shaklee cleaning products which just happen to be non-toxic. Apparently, he was introduced to them by his ex-wife who was a distributor. Why he still used them and even purchased them through her was a tribute to how well they worked! I don’t know many divorced people who fork over cash to an ex-spouse for something unless they are ordered to, so the fact that Shaklee is the only kind of cleaning products he uses is really a testament to how well it works.

A few years ago I burned my hand on a hot cookie sheet. Like the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” my husband walked over and put a few drops of the Basic H cleaner on my hand. “Soothes burns too,” he said. I stared at him and then down at the glossy drops of Basic H pooling out over the burn…and you know what? It did feel better. It also took red wine juice out of an expensive white, wool pillow.  I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone about this product!


Most non-toxic cleaners are way more expensive than their chemical-laden counterparts, but the Basic H2 cleaner is concentrated, so one $13 bottle cleaned my whole house for a year.  Are all of the products non-toxic and paraben-free? Yep! Do I buy every single one of their products? Nope. I definitely have my favorites, like the Scour Off paste that smells like bubblegum and cleans gunky shower scum super easy. And the Nature Bright Laundry booster which, mixed in a spray bottle with water is what made the red wine stain on my “dry clean only” pillow disappear.

If you visit my Shaklee website and click on the “About me” page you’ll see a few more products I love. That’s right, now I am a distributor and a proud user of some of the most amazing green products in the world. At least in my opinion. And Oprah’s. And Lara Spencer from Good Morning America…

It ain’t easy being green, but every baby step you take towards leading a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle can add years of love, laughter and lots of future adventures for you and your family!



*Picture courtesy of Jim Henson Productions.

April 16, 2014

Beauty school drop out…luxurious facials on a budget

luxurious facials

Photo courtesy of

Actually, I am a beauty school drop IN. I used to get relaxing pedicures twice monthly and luxurious facials about once a month. I LOVE getting facials. Not just for the benefits to my skin, but to me, they are just as relaxing as a full-body massage. And the price? While I used to pay about $60 for a facial at my local salon (a pretty good price considering most salons charge $75 and up) my local beauty school in Colorado Springs charges…drumroll please….(are you rolling your tongue or tapping on your desk? It’s worth it I swear…) $17.00 for an hour-long facial. Bananas! And every month the school runs specials on services, like a $15 pumpkin facial in October (it was Chocolate in February!).

That’s right folks, I can get an hour-long facial for less than half the national average, and you can too if you have a beauty school that offers client services in your area! My local beauty school performs their facials in private, individual rooms, so it really is like a real, honest-to-goodness, fancy salon facial. I have been to beauty schools where they perform the facial in a large room with a lot of beds, so if grandma falls asleep next to you, you have to listen to her snoring. But if I only have to spend about $25 on a $100 facial I will take some snoring – even better, bring your iPod with some downloaded spa music…ahhhh.

Not sure if your town/city has a beauty school that offers fabulously discounted services? Try this link HERE or google beauty schools in your city and click on the “salon services” link on their site.

Fancy facials a thing of the past? I don’t think so ladies!! Now get out there and glow!



P.S. If you like this post you’ll love my post, Drugstore Dupes of Expensive of Fancy Makeup!

April 7, 2014

A fancy fairy tale gets real…..

about me

About Me

In my former life, I was a single girl making great money and spending my disposable income freely on facials, clothes and whatever snazzy home décor item came my way. Then I met my prince charming and his three amazing kids…fast forward three years later and I am part of this wonderful family – only now, instead of being one girl with an income that only needed to provide for me; I am part of a five-person, two income household. Even with prince charming making good money as well, the math does not work out to the same as it did in my former life. With hockey league fees, school clothes, three stockings under the tree, dance recital costumes… I soon realized there is not a lot of money left for the facials; clothes and the snazzy home décor that I used to be able to afford …or is there?

While I LOVE my new life, this blog is a result of my wanting to not give up any of the fancy things I used to be able to afford before I had a family. I see so many moms, real, step or otherwise, give up a sense of their former “fancy” selves in order to provide for their kids and their family. Ladies- you CAN live a fabulously fancy life with less time and money than you ever thought possible- and Faking Fancy is here to help!

We all know the term “faking it” is normally used in a negative way, but with Faking Fancy you’ll learn that “faking it” is a good thing! Living a fancy life on a budget with less time and effort- what’s not to love? So thanks for stopping by. If you have any topics you’d like to see in the future on this site please send me an email at I look forward to hearing from you!

Fancy air kisses,



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