January 16, 2017

5 cute outfits using the same top & pants!

There has been a lot of talk lately about “minimalism” as it applies to fashion. How pairing your wardrobe into a few basics pieces that you really love can save you a ton of time and effort when getting dressed in the morning. French women are a perfect example of this. They are universally known for their incredible style, and yet I have read in several articles written by French women that their wardrobe consists of just a few simple basics. They say with a few key pieces you can create an unlimited wardrobe just by changing the accessories. Below is a cute outfit for every day of the (work) week using the same top and pants. I would love to see if the accessories REALLY made that much of a difference. Tell me your thoughts/opinion in the comments below!

5 Cute Outfits Using the Same Top and Pant!

cute outfits

Monday’s look (sans top and pants): Travel Safari Crinkle Vest $20, Rosegal Vintage Cuff Bracelet $2,  Belk Carolee Cubic Studs $35, Embossed Crocodile Shoulder Bag $20, Nelly Lacing Thigh High Boot $34.

No time for a shower? Grab some dry shampoo to soak up the greasies and throw your hair (if it’s long enough) into an easy updo. A two in one product, like this lip and cheek stain saves time when putting on your face. Some highlighter on the inner rim of your eyes will make you look less hungover perk you right up!

cute outfits

Tuesday’s look: Bling Sparkle Drop Earrings $14, Yoins Open Front Blazer $33, Eiffel Tower Alloy Watch $6, Vintage Bowtie Platform Pumps $22.

I love the girliness of this jacket & heel combo. The fake lashes and pretty pink lip complete this romantic “It Girl” look.


Wednesday’s lookcute outfits

Come hump day you will be looking to really shake things up. To keep people off your “same outfit” trail try donning some gorgeously bohemian fringed accessories and a bright lip.  Keep the rest of your makeup muted to really capture the “hippie chic” vibe.

cute outfits

Thursday’s look: Romwe Cat Stud Earrings $3,  Rare Lace Sweatheart Bodysuit $42H&M Tuxedo Jacket $42.

If you have drinks with the girls or a hot date after work simply wear a saucy bodysuit under your work-appropriate top and toss the top on the way to your after hours venue. Throw some liquid eyeliner in your purse and add some winged eyeliner to jazz up your daytime makeup look. The cute kitten earrings keep the look from veering into “street worker” territory.

cute outfits

Friday’s look: Shein Striped Blazer $28, Lydell NYC Filigree & Crystal Necklace $39, Newchic Vintage Zipper Shoulder Bag $23, Torrid Supersize Glasses $13.

End this week of “outfit deception” with a bang by adding a super bright (and distracting) pop of color. Bold, graphics like this striped blazer work overtime to create a whole new look. Another no shower day? Spritz on a fresh but saucy floral perfume like this one to boost your beauty mojo. Keep your updo or ponytail in place all day with some super-duper hold hairspray and strut your style-smart stuff!

What do you think? Would you be fooled into thinking someone had a HUGE wardrobe with these 5 cute outfits? Share your thoughts in the comments below!



January 15, 2017

Easy and delicious Valentine’s dessert idea!

Okay ladies, I am about to rock your world with the easiest, creamiest, chocolatiest dessert ever. And then to top it off I am going to tell you how you can make this dessert in an almost infinite variety of flavors! This easy and delicious Valentine’s dessert idea came to me a few years ago after making chocolate covered strawberries for my husband as a romantic Valentine’s gesture. I didn’t think they would be that complicated to make, and in a way they really aren’t. But it was insanely messy. I got chocolate everywhere. I needed something quick and simple. (Read: I don’t want to be cleaning the kitchen for an hour afterward..)

delicious valentine's dessert

My solution? A dessert that tasted like chocolate covered strawberries, but much, much easier to make. When I started noodling on this idea, I knew right away I wanted to make a no-bake cream pie. Pies are some of the easiest desserts to make, especially no-bake pies. Below is the recipe for my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie. I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did!

Other easy and delicious dessert ideas

Looking for an easy pie recipe that isn’t chocolate or strawberry? Try mixing lemon curd and Cool Whip and pouring it in a premade graham cracker crust..boom, Lemon Chiffon Pie! Or mix banana pudding and Cool Whip and pour it into a graham cracker pie crust, then top with Nilla Wafers for an easy Banana Cream Pie. The possibilities for a quick and easy pie using Cool Whip and a premade graham cracker crust are almost as limitless as your imagination! Well, maybe not that limitless. Don’t go mixing cut grass and Cool Whip for a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Pie or anything. But you get what I mean…

See below for the recipe (and printable recipe card) for this delicious pie!

delicious valentine's dessert
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie
Print Recipe
A quick and easy cream pie that tastes just like chocolate covered strawberries.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Slices 25 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Slices 25 Minutes
delicious valentine's dessert
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie
Print Recipe
A quick and easy cream pie that tastes just like chocolate covered strawberries.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Slices 25 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Slices 25 Minutes
Servings: Slices
  1. Slice the strawberries and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, make the chocolate pudding according to package directions. Spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the chocolate pie crust. Top with the chocolate pudding. Top the pudding with the sliced strawberries and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. You can enjoy it right then or chill it in the fridge until it is ready to eat!
    delicious valentine's dessert
Recipe Notes

Notes: You can even buy premade pudding cups and skip all that whisking! Also, I have 3TB of chocolate sauce listed, but I never measure it, I just drizzle it over the strawberries until a lovely swirl pattern partially covers them. To make this pie more "romantic" arrange the sliced strawberries in a heart shape on top of the pie!


Share this Recipe
January 14, 2017

The easiest Valentine’s date night dinner ever!

easiest valentine'sRecently, I was looking up recipes for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with my hubby. Now, I love to cook and bake, but even I panicked at the time and effort involved in some of the recipes I found. Valentine’s Day is on a weeknight this year, which means that even if I am willing to get complicated, I’m not going to have time for some fancy schmancy recipe like Beef Wellington or Steak Au Pouive.  What I need, and what I suppose most women need, are recipes for the easiest Valentine’s date night dinner ever! The recipes need to include few ingredients, be simple to make, and come together quickly. And let’s not forget that even if you are married, avoiding garlic and onions is a good idea! After browsing through hundreds of recipes, I had an epiphany…

Easiest Valentine’s Day dinner idea

My epiphany? Men like meat. (Okay, so it’s more of a realization of the obvious, but whatever, I heard angels singing and I was only one glass of wine in….) Now I ask you my Faking Fancy readers, what’s meatier than a thick, juicy burger? Hamburger also has the added bonus of being one of the most affordable meats available as well. What’s so romantic about a hamburger you ask? Well, if you shape the burger into a heart, draw a ketchup heart on top, and set it on a heart-shaped bun, it’s super romantic! Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the out the heart buns. You can also cut the cheese (yeah, I see what I did there) slices and tomato slices into hearts with the cookie cutter as well. If you have a few extra minutes, grab a paring knife to carve the pickles slices into little hearts as well. Aww….

easiest Valentine's

Hamburgers are one of the easiest meals to make, even easier if your “recipe” is to add a handful of breadcrumbs, seasoning, and an egg to some hamburger (nothing wrong with that!). But if you don’t have a “go-to” recipe, or you want to try something new for this special dinner, look through the mouth-watering hamburger recipes below. I can’t really pick a favorite- they are ALL delicious.  Tasty note: If I cook hamburgers on a skillet instead of a grill, I like to brush one side with liquid smoke when cooking to give them a rich and smoky flavor.

4 Easy & Delicious Hamburger Recipes

Don’t bother with making homemade french fries. Ore Ida makes thin cut fries called, “Fast Fries” that, as the name implies, taste almost like they came out of the fryer at McDonald’s. They will seriously change your life if you’ve never had them. Change. Your. Life.

You see? A lovely date night dinner really doesn’t get any easier than this! And trust me when I say that unless he’s a vegan your man will LOVE this meal! (And if he is vegan by chance, try this black bean walnut burger recipe, it’s actually really good.)

Looking for a crazy easy dessert recipe for Valentine’s Day? That’s tomorrow’s post…stay tuned!




January 9, 2017

The perfect winter skincare routine

I live in Colorado, where the humidity is pretty low year-round, particularly in the winter months. Lips get more chapped, fine lines become more pronounced…every part of your body that was slightly dry in the spring and summer now become positively parched. To help prevent my skin from looking and feeling like the Sahara desert every winter I worked hard to develop the perfect winter skincare routine. I looked for products that were not only effective but affordable. This girl can’t afford a $100 face cream and shoes food.

Winter skincare routine

Below are my favorite products for making sure my body is super-moisturized from head to toe!

winter skincare routine

Product details

Top row: Korea Moisture Your Face Mask $7.99, Dry Bar Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask $15, Sephora Avocado Hand Mask $6, Middle: Baxter Hydrosalve Lip Balm $10, Bottom row: Shiseido Instant Fix Mask Eye Wrinkle Smoother $18, Boots Mediterranean Eden Luxuriously Rich Body Butter $9.99, Forever21 Botanical Choice Foot Mask $2.90.

I’ve heard beautiful women in their sixties and seventies with gorgeous skin claim their “secret” to a youthful glow was anything from vaseline to rice bran oil to $300 face serums. Personally, I think the secret is consistency. When you hear women like Jaclyn Smith and Christie Brinkley talk about skin care the one thing they have in common is a dedication and commitment to moisturizing, exfoliating and protecting their skin every day since their teen years.

Stick to a regular regime with products like the ones above and a brighter future (or at least brighter skin in the future) is yours for the taking!




January 5, 2017

Tutorials for quick and easy hairstyles

easy hairstyles

Are you tired of your hairstyle or lack of? Have you been wearing your hair in a ponytail for the past three months? If you answered yes to either of these questions (or to both like me), then this post is for you! I watched hours and hours of YouTube to find tutorials for easy hairstyles that were as simple as they were pretty. I can’t tell you how many tutorials with the term “easy” in the title involved a curling iron, a flat iron and six different styling products. Ummm, no. Next video…

Below are my favorite easy hairstyle tutorials, categorized by hair length:

Easy  hairstyles for short hair

These next two tutorials come from my favorite hair guru of all time, Kate at The Small Things Blog. She is so stinking cute, and an actual hairstylist she really knows her stuff. She started doing tutorials years ago when she had a shortish bob and now she has long hair, so she has a wide range of tutorials for various lengths. Her styles are all really pretty and her instructions are super easy to follow.

Easy hairstyles for medium length hair

Easy hairstyles for long hair



December 28, 2016

Best Small Space Organization Hacks

My house was built in the 1970s, which apparently was before the advent of the walk-in closet or open floor plans. There are actually quite a few closets throughout the house, the problem is they are all insanely tiny. My three and a half bathrooms are also on the smaller side. Because of these small space issues, I started researching and collecting organizational ideas and tips for making the most out of a small space about a year ago. Below are (in my opinion) the BEST small space organizational hacks.

Top Small Space Organizational Hacks
Small Bedrooms

Design blogger MinYang Lu of Haive shows us the incredible power of paint in a small space through her compilation of small bedroom makeovers. She also illustrates the optical illusion certain patterns can have. Check out the difference wall-length curtains do to expand the room below. I’d think it would make it smaller but it’s the opposite!

small space

I also like this “closet to changing room” idea for a small nursery from Charlie & Chooka, and the corner desk and floating shelves from Shanty to Chic that turns a tiny teen room into a multi-functional and fun space!

Small Bathrooms

This over-the-toilet shelf idea below from Rachel, a contributor for the online DIY mecca Hometalk, is just one of many brilliant ideas in her small bathroom makeover.

small space

If you have a towel rack over your toilet like I do in my kids’ bathroom and powder room, consider moving it to the back of the bathroom door, as blogger Lilly from Listotic has done below. (Lilly is so amazing she’s got two ideas in this post!)

small space

Small Kitchens

Not a lot people can afford to renovate their kitchen, and for some people with loadbearing walls lining their kitchen, it’s structurally impossible to make a kitchen bigger. The latter was the case in our kitchen, so I had to find ways to make the most out of the space we already had. Luckily I found some creative ways to make our smallish kitchen much more organized and functional! Below are my favorite solutions for a small kitchen.

I love this under cabinet shelf below from DIY blogger Jen Caputo. While under cabinet shelves are not a new idea, the fact that these shelves match the cabinets in material and color makes the overal design much more seamless and chic!

small space

When I am frustrated with a small space I tend to fall back on hanging things inside of cabinet doors with 3M peelable hooks. But when I saw this idea from Listotic for hanging sandwich bag boxes with simple thumbtacks I was almost embarrassed I hadn’t thought of it on my own! I also love the pretty simplicity of this baking rack storage idea from Amanda at IamBaker. My favorite kitchen space saver, however, is this outer cabinet shelf idea from Ashley at MyPerfectNest. When she ran out of space in her kitchen she simply created more space with floating shelves and baskets…genius!

Small Closets

Built-in closet organizers can be a godsend for those of us with small closets. Take a look at the impressive transformation of this small closet before and after from Abby at JustAGirlAndHerBlog. It really highlights the point that sometimes the best space saver (or finder) is proper organization, pure and simple.

Another favorite source of home design and decor inspiration comes from Lela at InTheNewHouse. Her linen closet makeover is an example of how sometimes organizing does not always lead to more space, but it can make a normally cluttered or sloppy space look much more streamlined and clean. As you can see from Lela’s after shot below, you can even have some wasted space, but still make a space look better. I don’t know about you gals, but my linen closet can look very pretty lined with my neatly folded towels and sheets, but it all becomes a flaming hot mess once one the kids rummages for a washcloth or pillowcase. The basket solution is perfect- everything looks so pretty and sorted, I don’t care how messy the inside of the baskets are!

small space

While it’s true you can’t put lipstick on a pig (although seriously, who would want to?), you can transform a small space from cluttered and unsightly to smart and orderly by using just a few of the amazing organizational hacks above.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and organized 2017!




Thrifty Thursday Button

December 26, 2016

Get out of debt in 2017! Top 5 budgeting blogs

Are you one of the millions of American’s who put at least 50% of their Christmas expenses on credit cards? Or perhaps your debt has been slowly adding up the past year(s)- to the point of being overwhelming, all-consuming, and just plain SCARY? If you said yes (or simply nodded) then this post is or you!  The following 5 budgeting blogs helped me crawl out of debt and learn how to be smarter with money and personal finance in general.  I know they can do the same for you!

budgeting blogs

Proof that debt ages you…this was me six years ago, before I learned to budget.

Top 5  Budgeting Blogs
  1. Living Well Spending Less: blog founder Ruth Soukup is a self-proclaimed former shopaholic. She started her site as a way of maintaining accountability with her new, smarter money habits, and as a resource to others who are also looking to clean up their financial act. She is also the founder the Elite Blogging Academy (EBA), an absolute must for any blogger looking to grow their blog from a hobby to a business.
  2. The Busy Budgeter This is one of my favorite blogs overall. Blogger Rosemarie Groner’s paradigm on money and how it should be spent changed my life. She is also big on staying organized in order to save money, and her organizational ideas and tricks are killer. She also has a blogging series with articles and online courses for starting, growing and earning an income with a blog. Visit her website and sign up for the 90-day budgeting challenge – it’s free!
  3. The Budget Mama: Need a budgeting planner for 2017? Check out blogger Jessi Fearon’s 2017 Real Life on a Budget Planner for only $20! In addition to a 2017 calendar, this comprehensive planner has monthly budget pages, monthly expense tracking pages, goal tracking, monthly check-ins, debt repayment tracking, savings tracking, bill pay tracking, holiday budget planning and more. Be sure to check out the rest of her blog- she’s so savvy and sincere it almost makes budgeting less “blech”!
  4. Barefoot Budgeting: Blogger Kim Elizabeth posts all kinds of tips, tricks, and tools for both saving and making money. Her “Daily Deals” series is a GREAT resource for online and in-store discounts and freebies. Barefoot Budgeting also has a Facebook group where even more helpful resources are shared!
  5. Thrifty & Chic: This is a great site if you are into home renovation and decor DIY projects. Blog founder Alicia’s favorite places to shop are Target & Home Depot, and her projects are always both super chic and super easy!

It is NEVER too late to start a budget, learn how to save and/or make more money, and get off the “my debt makes my chest tight” train. If I can do it, anyone can!



December 19, 2016

Beautiful and affordable gift wrap options


gift wrap

Gift wrap seems to be one product (among many) that is increasing in price and decreasing in quality. A $2 roll of gift wrap doesn’t seem that costly, until it splits and tears as you are wrapping the gift, making you need to roll out twice as much as you need. Below are some beautiful and affordable alternatives to traditional gift wrap. Instead of my normal M.O. of featuring items that are under $50 ( which is kind of silly for gift wrap unless you are using chinchilla fur),  I looked for options that would be less expensive per gift than the average $4 roll of wrapping paper (which wraps about 6 gifts on average).

Kraft Paper Gift Wrap Ideas

Kraft paper comes in much larger rolls than most gift wrap, and it is normally made of much stronger paper as well. Its plain brown appearance can be quite deceiving. You can dress it up in as many ways as your imagination (or someone else’s imagination via Pinterest) will allow!

gift wrap

How adorable is this gift wrap idea from The Shady Acre! The only supplies you’ll need are a hot glue gun and a couple skeins of yarn. As you can see from the simple designs displayed, you don’t need an art degree to successfully pull this project off. I think some of the easiest options, like the initials and yarn tree, are the prettiest!

gift wrap

I love the chic simplicity of this polka dot wrap idea from Stylecaster! My one caveat to this craft is the size of the dots.  If I used something as small as a pencil, I’d run out of patience about halfway through the third first package, so maybe grab a larger circular foam stamper or use something around the house with a larger lid/top to do the stamping.

gift wrap

This idea from On Sutton Place is of my favorites! Just take some red and white twine and/or ribbon, along with some greenery and small holiday themed accessories from the dollar store…et voila- the most charmingly festive wrapping paper ever!

Other gift wrap ideas

gift wrap

I’ve heard of people using old newspaper for gift wrap before, but I never saw the appeal until I came across these sweet examples from Indulgy. It shows how simple, pretty accessories in a specific color scheme can turn non-holiday gift wrap into a gorgeously themed gift assortment.

Even More Ideas!

Other ideas include old roadmaps, paper lunch bags, and mason jars, but only if you already have them lying around. None of these items, with paper bags being the exception, are cheaper than wrapping paper- and you are limited to wrapping small gifts in the latter two.

If you have a creative, non-traditional way of wrapping gifts that is cheaper than traditional store-bought gift wrap please share it in the comments below – I would love to hear about it!



December 15, 2016

Gift guide for those “hard to buy for” people in your life!

I consider myself an excellent “present giver”.  I try to make sure that every gift guide I create contains unique, useful and fun items for a wide variety of recipients. But sometimes figuring out the perfect gift, or ANY gift, is made almost impossible by the following two types of people:

  1. People that seem to have no hobbies or interests. They aren’t a foodie, a sports fan, a gardener, a crafter, an avid reader, a Comi-Con enthusiast, etc…
  2. The people who make more money than God. What the heck do you get these people that they cannot get themselves?

I’ve run into these issues enough times to develop a tried-and-true gift guide that includes items that almost anyone (except dead people, duh)  can appreciate.  Are all these items in this list under $50 like my other gift guides for ladies, guys, and teens? Heck ya they are! Creative, unique gifts for under fiddy bucks? You can thank me by signing up for my Faking Fancy newsletter. Your checkbook will thank you after signing up, so you’ll just be paying it forward…

Gift ideas for “hard to buy for” recipients


Personalized popcorn bowl, $27. EVERYONE likes popcorn, and this personalized bowl makes eating it even more special! The only exception to this rule would be your low-carbing buddies. That’s okay because ALL of the other gift ideas have zero carbs! To “jazz up” this gift I would add some popped corn as filler and nestle a few flavored popcorn salts in the bowl before tying in up in a clear cellophane bag.

Nordstrom Rack Plush Throw $25. You can never have too many super soft, luxurious throws lying around your house. Especially since the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting this winter to be the coldest in a decade. Add a lovely tin of hot cocoa to boost the “cuddle factor” of this already cozy gift.

F in Exams book $10. This hilarious book is filled with actual answers from students who’s incorrect answers on tests were so hilarious it almost made up for the fact that they were wrong. Don’t worry if your picky recipient does not have a sense of humor or eat carbs – you still have many more options to choose from in this list!

Amore Beaute Customized Pillow Case $39.50. This is advertised as a great gift for newlyweds, but you can use other important dates, like a graduation date, prison release date (I’m sure ex-cons like pillows, don’t judge) or even birth dates to make it a great gift for anyone.

Hot Cocoa & Cream Candle $11. I know candles can be a tricky gift because what smells “good” to some people can smell like a dead hamster to others. But, if you know someone who does not like the delicious and homey smell of hot cocoa you should be worried…because that is not normal. Those people don’t really deserve a gift because they also probably don’t like kittens, macaroni & cheese, or chocolate cake. Weirdos.

Other gift ideas for “hard to buy for” recipients

Other great gifts for the person who has everything- name a star after them, or adopt a unique animal like a manatee in their name! The star thing is kind of a scam as about 10,000 other people also have that same star, but I still think they are kind of cool. The recipient gets a print-out of where their star’s constellation is with the star highlighted, so they can look into the night sky and see your gift on any clear sky night -forever!

I hope the ideas in this gift guide help you in your search for the perfect present for everyone on your list this holiday season!




December 12, 2016

Sequin skirts that will make you shine!

sequin skirts

Figuring out an outfit for holiday parties and events can be tricky when you are trying to be frugal. While you want to wear something that is extra festive during the holidays,  you also want to be able to wear it on more than one occasion. Otherwise, it isn’t a very frugal purchase no matter how cheap it is! The answer to this fashion dilemma is a sequin skirt! While you are pretty much stuck with a “fancy” outfit theme when you purchase a sparkly or sequined dress for the holidays. Sequin skirts can be dressed down enough to wear on date night, drinks with the girls and even to work.

Below are four of the prettiest and sparkliest skirts under $50, as well as some outfit inspiration for both holiday and casual looks using sequin skirts.

Affordable sparkles!

sequined skirts

From left: Misguided Sequin & Pearl Mini Skirt $36, Sheinside Gold Sequin Mini Skirt $13, Sheinside Gold Scallop Sequin Skirt $13, Charlotte Russe Sequin Pencil Skirt $20.

Outfit inspiration with sequin skirts

sequin skirts

I was thrilled when I saw this outfit post on Pinterest from extrapetite.com, it’s the perfect illustration of how you can take a sequin skirt and dress it up or down. Both outfits are equally stylish and appropriate. If you are under 5’5″ tall I encourage you to check out all of Jean’s outfit pairings on extrapetite.com- her style is flawless!

More party looks

sequin skirts

Outfit courtesy of hercampus.com

sequin skirts

Outfit courtesy of fashforfashion.com

Everyday sequin looks

sequin skirts

Outfit courtesy of glamradar.com

sequin skirts

Outfit courtesy of lifetimeofrain.com

I hope that this post encourages those of you who think sequins are only for Vegas clubs and holiday parties to expand your horizons. As hard-working women, we deserve to shine for more than just one or two days a year!

Here’s to hoping your holidays are merry and bright!



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