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Beauty and Fashion

Dollar Tree Home & Mom Style Haul {Video}

Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to watch this Dollar Tree home haul and mom style haul video!

I try to make my way through the dollar stores at least once each season or holiday so I can get what I need for less than retail price.  In my town, we have Dollar Tree and the 99¢ Only Store.  I always find lots of amazing items for only $1. 

Normally I like to sort out the beauty, makeup, and style items and put those in hauls that are on the SimDanelleStyle channel.  This time, however, I included the beauty products because moms need to have style too!

Dollar Tree Home & Mom Style Haul:


If you don’t see the video above, click here to watch the video. Want more of my videos?  Subscribe to my Home Ever After YouTube channel.

40 Prom Dresses under $200 that Look Expensive Enough for the Oscars!

40 Prom Dresses Under $200 Oscars

This is a sponsored post written by me about JenJenHouse.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Alright moms of teens, it’s prom season again and that means it’s time to start prom dress shopping.  It doesn’t have to be hard to find classy and glamorous prom dresses that are modest enough for your teen and still affordable on your budget.  I picked out 40 prom dresses under $200 that are so glamorous that they look expensive enough to have been worn by celebrities at the Oscars! Keep Reading

11 Beach Ready Spring Purses – Palm Trees, Nautical Stripes & More

With the changing of the season, it’s time to switch out your dark winter purse or handbag for a bright, colorful tote for spring.  Even if it’s not warm enough where you live yet for beach weather (I live on the California coast, so I’m a little anxious!), you can still get your wardrobe ready with the perfect beachy bag or purse right now.

I love purse shopping as much as the next mom, and even if a new purse isn’t in the budget right now, it’s still fun to look!

Plus, use our last day of April promo code to save a little!  Click here to use the eBags April Spring Cleaning! 20% + Free Shipping over $49! promo code.  If I get my hands on a code for May, I’ll link it here ASAP!

{Beach Time} 11 Perfect Purses for Spring

This white sequin palm tree tote is subtly sparkly with a bold handle.  It’s perfect for a day at the beach or just a shopping day around town! Juicy Couture Sequin Palm Tote Natural – Juicy Couture Designer Handbags, $98

Juicy Couture Sequin Palm Tote Natural - Juicy Couture Designer Handbags

A palm tree clutch may be too small for every day use, but imagine carrying this one with you to a date night at the movies with some strappy sandals!   Juicy Couture Palm Tree Print Clutch Palm Tree Print – Juicy Couture Designer Handbags, $78

Juicy Couture Palm Tree Print Clutch Palm Tree Print - Juicy Couture Designer Handbags

I love palm tree prints!  This fun green and white purse can be your go-to bag all summer long.   Sun ‘N’ Sand Palm Island Green – Sun ‘N’ Sand Fabric Handbags, $17.60

Sun 'N' Sand Palm Island Green - Sun 'N' Sand Fabric Handbags


Imagine throwing this antique rose bag over your shoulder with a sweet printed summer dress for a Sunday brunch with friends.   Tignanello Class Act Hobo Antique Rose – Tignanello Leather Handbags, $135.20

Tignanello Class Act Hobo Antique Rose - Tignanello Leather Handbags

This nautical red and white striped tote can double for all the patriotic holidays of summer.  MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Stripe Med Tote Red/White – MICHAEL Michael Kors Designer Handbags, $328

MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Stripe Med Tote Red/White - MICHAEL Michael Kors Designer Handbags

This purse just says to me “summer farmer’s market”!  Sun ‘N’ Sand Hibiscus Red – Sun ‘N’ Sand Fabric Handbags, $45

Sun 'N' Sand Hibiscus Red - Sun 'N' Sand Fabric Handbags

Another clutch, but this time a rich blue waves print.   Juicy Couture Wave Print Clutch Wave Print – Juicy Couture Designer Handbags, $78

Juicy Couture Wave Print Clutch Wave Print - Juicy Couture Designer Handbags

Here is your must-have evening clutch, a gorgeous pale pink Rebecca Minkoff.  Rebecca Minkoff Vincent Minaudiere Petal Pink – Rebecca Minkoff Designer Handbags, $295

Rebecca Minkoff Vincent Minaudiere Petal Pink - Rebecca Minkoff Designer Handbags


Pink flamingos are perfect for spring in this bright beach tote!  Sun ‘N’ Sand Island Flamingo Yellow – Sun ‘N’ Sand Boutique Designer, $39

Sun 'N' Sand Island Flamingo Yellow - Sun 'N' Sand Boutique Designer

Buxton Gabriella Drawstring Orange (OR) – Buxton Leather Handbags $144

Buxton Gabriella Drawstring Orange (OR) - Buxton Leather Handbags


Anuschka Classic Flap Over Accordion Karmic Koi – Anuschka Leather Handbags, $253

Anuschka Classic Flap Over Accordion Karmic Koi - Anuschka Leather Handbags

I hope you liked looking at my spring purse finds!  Let us know how many times a year you switch your purse in the comments below.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links and readers may assume that receives compensation when my referral links are used.

How to Do a DIY Hair Blowout

Hair Blowout Salon att bradleypjohnsonAfter getting a hair blowout (the hair salon term for having your hair dried and styled), women leave the salon with silky, shiny hair that looks beautiful for days. Many women think it is impossible to create such beautiful hair on their own.

However, by following our do it yourself (DIY) hair blowout tutorial below, you can replicate that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look without the help of a professional hair stylist.

We’ll teach you how to do a DIY hair blowout with our easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

DIY Hair Blowout: Start with a Good Wash

Begin by washing your hair with a good shampoo that is specific to your hair type.

  • For thinner, flatter hair, wash with a good volume boosting shampoo.
  • Dry hair needs a good moisturizing shampoo and damaged hair with frayed ends should be washed with a strengthening and repair complex.

The next step in your DIY hair blowout is to follow the shampoo step with a good conditioner.  Make sure it fits your individual needs. For dry hair, use a deep conditioner but one that is not too heavy. Fine hair should have conditioner applied only to the strands and down to the tips, avoiding the roots.

DIY Hair Blowout: Dry and Prep

After cleansing and conditioning, you will want to towel dry your hair by blotting up excess moisture. Refrain from rubbing with the towel, as this will promote tangling and can possibly damage hair.

When hair is towel-dried, apply a good styling product to add body, tame flyaways and reduce frizziness before your DIY hair blowout.  Be sure to coat all of your hair, concentrate on ends and avoid getting on scalp.

  • Curly hair will benefit from a straightening balm or shine serum.
  • For thinning hair that does not have a lot of body, apply a thickening spray or some volumizing mousse, but avoid gels that will tend to weight hair down.

DIY Hair Blowout: Section and Blowout

Before you blow dry you will need to separate hair into sections and secure pieces with hair clips or bobby pins. Leave out the first chunk that you will be drying.

1.  Glide your fingers through the section of hair beginning at the roots and continuing through to the ends. Hold the ends and pull hair taut, out and away from your head.

This is to allow the blow drier to reach the area at the scalp that the hair brush can not get to. Point dryer at crown and blow hair at crown, continuing down to ends.

2.  After the roots of your hair are dry, you will need to use a round-barreled brush to continue. While aiming dryer at hair, aim the nozzle facing down onto the hair and pull brush through your hair.

3.  The most damaged part of the hair shaft is the tip, so the ends will dry fastest. Begin the blowout process with the ends to ensure they are styled before they dry too much on their own. While pulling the brush through your hair, hold the dryer 2 inches away and follow the brush through the hair.

4.  After hair is dry, switch dryer setting to cool, pull hair taut and shoot it with a blast of cold air. This will lock in the style and maintain straightness.

5.  Repeat steps above for each individual section of hair.

When finished, apply a nice finishing serum to lock in moisture and prevent flyaways. If your hair is fine or oily, apply serum only to very ends of hair.

A good DIY hair blowout can last for several days. If your hair starts to become greasy at the roots, dab on some baby powder to soak up the excess oils and add volume.  Good luck with your first DIY hair blowout!  Enjoy learning this frugal skill so you can save money from not going to the hair salon!

Photo credit (top) bradleypjohnson.

8 Quick Rules to Grow Up Your Wardrobe


“Help!  I Have No Style…”

It can be hard to transition from high school student to college student to young newlywed to career woman to mommy on the go.  Many women’s closets are still harboring pieces of clothing from each time period, including many too-young pieces that don’t fit properly anymore, are out of style, or are just plain too young.  If your closet looks like a mishmash of a tween/teen closet, a college grunge collection and a mom trying to figure out what her style is, this guide is for you!

When you look good, you feel good.  The manner in which you package yourself often times dictates if you will be taken seriously and treated accordingly.  We want to feel modern, in control, and productive when transitioning from carpool to work to errands to dinner preparation.  Trying to dress in too-young clothes can age a woman and leave the impression of an older person trying (unsuccessfully) to look young.  Shapeless, oversized or overly-casual clothes (pajamas and workout clothes) will make you look like a harried, tired, overwhelmed woman who just can’t keep up with life.  If you need to break out of the “tired mom” rut, read Don’t Look Like a Tired Mom: 13 Quick Mini Makeovers.

Creating a new identity with a new clothing style is possible, even with little time for shopping and a small budget.  Clothes that look great can cost the same or less than clothes that look inappropriate or unflattering.  We all know that the right clothes can make or break the woman in terms of how she is seen by others, and in turn how she is seen by herself.  With this in mind, choose to make time for yourself and make your style makeover a priority.  Transform your wardrobe into a powerful tool that works FOR you, not against you!  You’ll look good, you’ll feel good, and your clothes will let the world know to take you seriously.  Use these 8 quick rules to start growing up your wardrobe and finding your own personal style right now:

8 Quick Rules to Grow Up Your Wardrobe

1.  Cut out the cartoons.  Throw out all clothing with pictures of cartoon characters, even if it was purchased as a souvenir.  (If you have a hard time parting with clothes, especially souvenirs, read Declutter Your Closet: Why is it So Hard to Let Go of Clothes?)  Nothing says junior high like a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt.  Keep your favorite characters in your kids’ rooms, NOT on your clothes.

2.  Stick with solid colored socks.  Socks with crazy heart prints, ducky designs and fuzzy pom poms may look cute on a 6 year old, but are not appropriate on an adult woman who wants to be taken seriously!  Stick with solid basic colors such as black, white, grey, beige, and chocolate brown that match with a variety of outfits.

3.  Trade in hoodies (hooded sweatshirts) for jackets.  Whether you’re hooked on childish hoodies or big baggy sweatshirts, there are plenty of other ways to stay warm and layer your clothing.  Jackets are easy to throw on over a top with pants or jeans and instantly add a put-together look.

Just Say NO to childish hoodies and shapeless sweatshirts:

Just say YES to fitted jackets, blazers and coats:


4.  Say goodbye to sweat pants, track pants and workout pants.  Put the sweat pants in a box in the garage – reserved only for wearing while CLEANING out the GARAGE!  Sweats are sloppy and unflattering on every figure, and workout pants should only be worn – you guessed it – while working out.  Opt for a stretchy wash-and-wear pair of khakis or straight-legged dark wash jeans for a sophisticated, modern look.  Remember that regular pants take the same 2 minutes to put on that sweats do, but look worlds better!

5.  Donate all your tee-shirts and shapeless tops (hint: they look like rectangles with arms when placed flat on the bed).  Shapeless, boxy shirts not only add the illusion of carrying extra pounds, but also look very young since many are designed for the yet-shapeless tween/teen body.

6.  Choose fitted shirts that add shape to your body.  Tops don’t have to be clingy to fit right – choose a top with structure to accentuate your figure while camouflaging any extra weight around the midsection that you don’t want seen.  As seen in the photos below, choose styles that emphasize a small bust with shirring, create the visual of a small waist with horizontal seaming, have banded necklines on sophisticated tanks, and create a feminine look with draped necklines.

Don’t pick this young boxy style:


Choose tops similar to these flattering styles:


7.  Stop wearing dirty sneakers.  Old dirty sneakers make you look like you’ve been trampled by life (and perhaps a herd of buffalo) and can ruin even the most fashionable outfit.  Opt for dark colors to camouflage dirt and keep shoes looking new longer.  Not everyone has the ability (or desire) to wear high heels every day.  The good news is that there are many alternatives to heels that will project you as a modern woman, such as non-athletic sneakers.  Try the new cool styles of non-athletic footwear, such as these:


Non-athletic sneakers come in all different colors and are meant for running errands in, not for running a marathon!  These shoes are a great alternative to dirty sneakers in your new fashionable wardrobe for a hip mommy-on-the-go.

8.  Jeans with holes are for teens.  Distressed does not mean the same thing as ripped!  Holey jeans contribute to a very young and overly-casual look.  Jeans can look worn, weathered, and distressed straight off the rack without having holes in them.  Opt for dark colored jeans that are still in one piece when you purchase them, and leave the holey jeans for the teens.

Choosing the right clothes that project you as a capable superwoman is easy when you grow up your wardrobe.  Use the 8 quick rules above to start making over your closet and developing your new style today!

Next, read Don’t Look Like a Tired Mom: 13 Quick Mini Makeovers and 7 Thrifty Tips to Update Your Wardrobe for Spring. 

We originally published “8 Quick Rules to Grow Up Your Wardrobe” on Home Ever After on September 10, 2008.