Mom Style Files: Find Your Fashion Identity

For years I wore what I wanted and didn’t care what people thought. I was the first one in my high school to wear booties with leggings, and rocked it.


In college I dabbled in menswear before finally succumbing to Birkenstocks and flannel. It was during that time that I made the bold decision to start dying my hair, and I never looked back.


I’ve changed just like the fashions, going from trendy backless shirts to mom slacks and button downs. I never thought much about what I wore. Sure I’d meet the dress code guidelines, but I would push them. With patterned tights and bright colors, including my hair. Which at one job, made my boss write in my review that I needed to be more conservative with my choices.


Mom Style Files Fashion Identity


It was the first and only time I was told my fashion choices went too far. I was upset, but toned back the hair color {a bit} and turned up the conservative fashion attitude.


In November I left that job for a trendier workplace and it came with a new type of wardrobe. One filled with conservative skirts, mixed with comic book t-shirts and converse sneakers.


It’s been an odd feeling of freedom and confusion.


For six years my fashion choices were defined by my work title and office culture, now I’m footloose and fancy-free, and my brain is about to explode.


There are pieces of my wardrobe that have burst wide open. I now have twice as many choices, and it’s been fun to mix and match my conservative side with my whimsical side.


Mom Style Files Fashion


Are you a mom who has changed roles, or jobs and are searching for you fashion identity? It’s a challenge to be sure, whether going from dressy to casual or vice versa.


For this month’s Mom Style Files mission – Find your Fashion Identity – we will show you a few examples so you can find one that’s just right for you, or even two…


Stay tuned.

Scenes: We Need a Vacation

This post is part of my partnership with the US Cellular Blogger Brigade Ambassador Program.


The snow is finally melting, specks of green are popping from the soil and my family is itching for a vacation.


Last summer we had our first official family vacation.


Two kids, eight hours in a car and seven days in a lake house. Overall, the vacation was great. Memories where made, in the form of canoe rides, chili dogs, s’mores by the campfire and endless games of Mastermind.


However, there were some rough patches, and lessons were learned.


As we begin plotting our attack for another fun, family-filled vacay, I’m using last year’s experience to guide us.


First and foremost I’m a planner, and I’m especially a bit Type-A when it comes to vacations. I know with kids there will be plenty of spontaneity, so why leave travel, lodging and the itinerary to chance.




Fortunately, there are a growing number of apps and accessories that we can use with our 4G LTE iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2, to streamline nearly every aspect of travel – improving the experience, as well as saving time and money.


Planning the Trip

Did you know 68% of smartphone owners used their smartphone to assist them while traveling, according to a recent U.S. Cellular survey.

I’ve used mine to find the best travel deals with apps like ExpediaOrbitz and Kayak. These all-inclusive apps present deals for hotels, rental vehicles and airlines. In fact, the survey found 27% of smartphone owners have booked a hotel room directly from their smartphone and 16% have purchased airline tickets.


En Route 

Ever been that person fumbling at the ticket counter for your confirmation number? Go paperless with Gate Guru, which organizes your full travel experience – from flight and rental vehicle information, to airport amenities.


The Drive

With more than 10 hours of battery life and up to 128 gigs of memory, the lightweight iPad Air 2 makes a perfect travel companion for reading, listening to music, watching movies or playing games.

It was indispensible during our eight-hour drive last summer. Plus, a pair of noise-cancelling urBeats In-Ear Headphones, are perfect for when I want to listen to something other than kids songs or my husband’s 1980’s music.


We Arrived Alive

Once I arrive at our destination, I like to live like a local. The Around Me app shows nearby restaurants, banks and more (including hospitals or emergency care centers for anyone traveling with an accident-prone family member), including directions to your destination. While I’m enjoying my vacation, Postagram keeps me in touch with loved ones. Just take a photo with the app, and for a nominal fee my message will be delivered as a mailed postcard! I can’t wait to use it, the grandparents will love it.


Relive the Fun

I love creating albums of our favorite vacation photos on my phone so I can show them off to friends and family.


Thanks to tech I can leave the stress at home, and create lasting vacation memories with my family.


Disclosure: Through the rest of the year I’ll be sharing some more of My BETTER MOMENTS as a US Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade Ambassador. All opinions are my own and an honest view of my story as a US Cellular customer. 

Scenes: The Red Shovel

“Mom can I go outside and play?” Big E asks.


“Yes! Of course,” I reply as the dish I’m washing falls from my hands like a hot a potato. It’s been hard to get my little homebody outside to play. I can’t say as I blame him, considering the past couple of days have been as cold as the Arctic. With weathermen warning that extreme exposure could make your face freeze off in less than a minute.


But today it was nice. The sun was shining the temperature a balmy 30 degrees, it was a veritable heat wave for Iowa.


I’d been trying for hours to get Big E to play outside, but of course the more I pushed the less enticing my request became.


Finally, I had stopped asking {nagging} and he willingly decided to go.


I was so excited my hands were shaking as we gathered all the winter accoutromone that accompanies an Iowa outdoor excursion in February.


Clunky snow boots, brightly colored gloves and hat, puffy snow pants, a cozy winter coat and the red snow shovel.


The damn red shovel.


Each winter we dive into the depths of the shed looking for it, finding it buried under winterized flower pots and bags of unused mulch.


It’s not much to look at. Constructed from cheap plastic that was made for scooping fake movie snow not the tough, brittle snow of Iowa.


Because of this we’ve had many red shovels find their way to the shovel graveyard. The space is filled with broken scoops, snapped handles and a lone wooden stick that once donned a bright red scoop.


“Can’t we just throw these away?” I plead with the boys.


“No mom we need them,” they reply. “We won’t be able to build without them.”


So there they sit.


Why are the boys so attached to this damn shovel?


It’s ironic considering they hate to actually shovel. I’ve tried numerous times to get them to use their red shovel to clear the driveway. They vehemently decline, opting instead to move small bits of snow from one place in the yard to another. Their plan of attack firmly locked in their brains.


I imagine their little minds dreaming of pretend scenerios in which they are moving mountains and creating castles. Any obstacle that dare block their progress is quickly disseminated by the red shovel’s power.


In reality, they are simply removing bits of snow from the yard. Revealing small grassy patches that otherwise would have stayed buried till May under a thick blanket of graying snow.


They are unfazed by the struggle of lifting each scoopful of snow. The large drifts scattering the yard don’t intimidate them in the least. Even when shoveling the driveway would have been much easier.


Instead of choosing the easy way, they chose their own way. No matter how difficult.


Eventually, I peek my head out the door hollering into the crisp air, “How’s it going? Ready to come in yet?”


“Good mom. Can I have a couple more minutes?” He replies with rosy cheeks and bright eyes.


He’s creating, working and having fun. Even in the face of a cold so bitter it freezes your eyeballs and nose hairs.


I admire his tenacity. They have no inner voice telling them “They can’t” or “That won’t work”.


All he has is that damn red shovel and the willingness to try.


Maybe it’s time for me to buy my own red shovel.

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