February 23, 2016

Focus on Fashion Unfolded by Mandy

I go through what I call "stages" which chiefly revolve around decorating or fashion.    Right now I'm in my fashion "stage".    I've lost about 20 pounds during the last year which necessitated a new wardrobe (yay!).    However, I usually stay true to the style I'm most comfortable with....casual but classic.

I'm not sure how I found out about Mandy and her Instagram page but boy, am I glad I did!   She's one stylish lady that has given me a lot of inspiration about putting outfits together and even branching out beyond my normal comfort zone to try other things.

Please meet Mandy....the force behind the wildly popular fashion Instagram called Fashion Unfolded by Mandy.

I just love her hair too!   In fact, I recently changed my hairstyle (it was time too) and it's similar to hers, just not quite as short.    Since I had my hair cut in a similar style (just last Friday) I get compliments everywhere I go!   In fact, on my way home the day I had it cut, the toll booth guy said "darlin', I love your hair"!     The next day at a restaurant, the waitress took out her phone to take a picture of it!     But I digress......

Based out of Davenport, Iowa Mandy is a wardrobe stylist who helps women organize their closets.    She can help you weed out unwanted and unused clothing and accessories, take you shopping to buy needed items and style you so you look your best using things you have!

Look how she takes a simple classic black jumpsuit to get all these different looks.       You could also do this with a black dress or black top and pants.     I have styled black on black with a denim jacket and zebra scarf like Mandy and love this look!

This is one of my favorite go-to outfits....so simple yet looks fabulous!   And check out the red purse!

I'd love to find a denim tunic to wear with my black leggings....throw on a scarf and it takes it up a notch.

Does it get any classier than a great white shirt and jeans?  

I'm looking for a black denim vest to get this look....add some silver jewelry and you can go anywhere

I've featured the above outfits as they represent how I usually dress so I was happy to see I have a little fashion sense!   I love having simple, classic pieces that you can pair with accessories for completely different looks.

I recently had a chance to ask Mandy a few questions and wanted to share with you a little about her.

 1.   When you can't think of anything to wear, what's your go to outfit?

As of right now, I would say it's a pair of distressed slim boyfriend jeans, a pair of heels or booties, a long sweater/jacket/vest layered over a basic t-shirt or tank.   I also throw on a long necklace or scarf to balance it all out.

2.    What's the one wardrobe essential you can't live without?

A structured blazer!   Love, love love!!   A fitted blazer just looks so polished and put together.   I love pairing my blazers with boyfriend or flare jeans.

3.    What would you say is your favorite fashion piece at the moment?

That's a tough one.   I have so many right now!   If I had to pick one, it would be my long black leather vest from Vince.   It's a fabulous layering piece and adds interest to any outfit!

4.   Where do you get your fashion inspiration?

Being from the Midwest, I have always drawn inspiration from magazines and looks I have seen on television.   However, one of my favorite hobbies is to go shopping!   Not always to purchase items, but to see what the latest trends are.   This would be my main source of inspiration!   Of course social media too....Instagram!!

5.   Have you always been interested in fashion?

Yes!   Growing up in a small town in Iowa, my exposure to fashion was limited to say the least.   Despite this, I was particular about how I looked even from a very early age.   Fashion magazines and television were my resources as I found my personal style.   I learned to put together stylish outfits by using the clothes and accessories that I had, taught myself how to do my makeup, and even cut off my long hair myself to prepare for the new school year!

6.  Where do you live and tell a little about yourself.

I live in the Quad Cities, which is on the Iowa/Illinois border and my business is located in Davenport, Iowa.   We have all heard the expression, "If you love what you are doing, you never work a day in your life!"   This certainly has become true for me as I have decided to turn my love of fashion and great style into a business.   My name is Mandy Wiebenga, and I am the founder and owner of Fashion Unfolded by Mandy.    

My husband and I have been married 21 years and we own a landscaping company in the Quad Cities along with some rental property.

I enjoy traveling, shopping, working out and entertaining friends and family!

I appreciate Mandy sharing a little about herself with me.    My only complaint is she doesn't live close enough for me to get some help with my wardrobe!    Maybe one day she can do some kind of Skype or come into our homes via computer to help!

You can find Mandy on Instagram or Facebook here.

I hope you visit Mandy....I know you'll love her style as much as I do!

February 15, 2016

Annie Get Your Gun...and other random musings

What a week last week was!   If you read my blog you will recall I asked for prayers for a precious family whose daughter had taken her life on Super Bowl Sunday.   She was a friend of my 11 year old granddaughter, they had played tee ball and softball together for several years.    The memorial was held this past weekend at the high school.   There are just no words to describe something this horrendous....I still can't take it in.   

I started having a stomach bug that Sunday night and into Monday.   Then on Tuesday my daughter called saying she and the baby were home sick.   I went to her house and she was literally lying on the floor burning up!   I took her to an Urgent Care as the doctor couldn't work her in until Thursday!   I knew she couldn't wait that long.    Oh, and did I mention the baby had been diagnosed with the flu on Monday!?    She did not test positive for flu or strep but the doctor put her on Tamiflu and an antibiotic anyway.    I went to her house Tuesday through Thursday and by then she was much, much better.    But I forgot how much work a little 13 month old baby is....he's constantly on the move!   I had to run to the store to get some groceries for her as she had not had a chance to go.    Thankfully her husband has not been sick (yet)!

My husband and I had planned on going out of town on Friday then onto our son's house for the weekend but I got up Friday morning with major headache and sore throat.    I got my doctor to call me in a prescription and I stayed in bed all weekend.

Yeah, it's been fun around here but I think we're all on the road to recovery, finally!

This may be a touchy subject for some of you and I don't want to post anything that will bring about conflict or disagreements.    I'm talking about gun ownership.    For years my husband has wanted me to get a small one for protection.    I'm terrified of guns and don't even like to look at them.    But some things have happened to me recently that have me giving consideration to owning one.

About a month ago I was at one of our local malls.   I had picked something up I'd ordered and was just browsing on my way out to my car.    All of a sudden I heard a man yelling very loud the word "B_____________" (fill in the blank).    He yelled it several times and I thought maybe a couple was having a big argument in the store.   When I turned to see what was going on I saw this huge guy yelling at the security cop!   The guy was taking clothes off the racks and throwing them at security....he even threw the metal rack at the security man!   I was scared to death!   I hightailed it out and as soon as I got in my car I called the police who said they had someone either there or on the way (I was so shook up I couldn't remember what they said).     I later found out the guy had been banned from coming to the mall but he came anyway.

The very next day I was in a drug store and heard a woman yelling!    She didn't curse but she was telling the pharmacist she was "tired of it" and just generally making a fool of herself.    When she went to check out she had a small package of toilet paper and was yelling at the manager that if he wouldn't take her coupon that wasn't "the end of it".....I really don't know what she was talking about but when I checked out the manager said she didn't want to follow rules.    I guess with this happening the day after the mall incident, it brought home to me how vulnerable we are when we are out and about going about our day and something like this can happen anywhere and any time.

Now I know neither one of these incidents is extremely bad but they were (and are) upsetting to me.   I now am having second thoughts on having something to protect myself in the event I find myself in a precarious situation.     I don't even know if I could use a gun.    I do know that if I go that route, I plan on taking a course in the proper use of handling a weapon and defending myself.

Do any of you have a gun?   Did you take a course and do you feel that helped?   

I don't want this post to evolve into a political discussion....I will just delete those comments as I have found you can't argue politics or religion with anyone.    I simply want to know how you would go about defending yourself if you are even in a situation that you would need to.

On a different note, I hope anyone in the path of the severe weather headed your way stays safe and warm.   I think we are only supposed to get some pretty heavy rains.    Spring can't get here soon enough for me!

February 8, 2016

Prayer Request

I had a post ready to go this morning but last night we got some devastating news right in the middle of watching the Super Bowl at my daughter's home.   A precious 14 year old girl, who had played on my granddaughter's softball team, unexpectedly took her own life.   At this point, no one knows why and I can't even imagine what her family is going through.     They were a very close family who doted on and loved their two girls.   

Please keep this precious family in your prayers.    

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