Style Tips and Tricks for the Short Gal

If you feel like you are “vertically challenged”, here are a few quick tips to help a “sista” out!


1. Shorter tops or crop tops. Try to avoid the overly long tops. This will shorten your torso and make you look even shorter. If you love a top, but it’s too long, consider having it tailored to be shorter!

Courtesy of: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxiYFegnrdD/?utm_source=ig_embed


2. Fitted tops. The more fitted your top is, the more flattering you will appear. However, wear shape wear if you have more bumps and curves. (aka muffin top) Or choose a top that is semi-fitted and flairs at the base to hide those “love rolls”.

Courtesy of: https://www.ccwholesaleclothing.com/Ladies-fashion-long-sleeve-v-neck-fitted-rib-sweater-top-idCC35399b_p_17503.html

High Waist Pants. Skip the low rise pants and always choose high waist pants.

Courtesy of: https://www.zara.com/lu/en/jeans-z1975-high-waist-skinny-p05899151.html


4. Skirt and shorts length. Either go above the knee or do a midi length. Anything right at or below the knee will make you appear shorter. Choose 3 – 4 inches above the knee, or 3-4 inches below the knee.

Courtesy of: https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/clothing/skirts/black-wrap-midi-skirt-/p/621283801


5. Wrap dresses are your friend. A cute, stylish wrap dress is cute on any shape, but especially a more petite in height lady. Try one on and see what you think! Plus they are usually super comfortable!

Courtesy of: https://www.loft.com/wrap-dresses/cat3070008


6. Kitten heel shoes. I love a kitten heel shoe. You don’t feel like you will topple over, but you feel dressed up. Plus it’s great for a shorter stature.

Courtesy of: https://www.oasis-stores.com/gb/shoes-accessories/footwear/faux-snake-kitten-heel/068443.html


7. Smaller accessories. Choosing a smaller purse is important. You want your purse to stay in proportion to your body size. Same goes with your jewelry accessories.

Courtesy of: https://www.jumia.co.ke/fashion-guoaivo-women-fashion-handbagtassel-shoulder-bag-small-tote-ladies-purse-8837503.html


8. Opt for the long necklace. Longer necklaces can give the illusion that you are taller and leaner. Just remember “long necklaces are your friend!”

Courtesy of: http://www.parklanejewelry.com/rep/avanmanen

Simple Do’s and Don’t in Fashion

How many times have you read a Do and Don’t fashion article and thought “I’d rather “don’t” all of that! Maybe it’s living in Idaho that has drifted me off and away from the New York Style trends, but I love my casual, confident, comfortable Idaho style.

No matter where you live, these tips can help you!

We are smack in the middle of spring and heading towards summer, so some of these tips may not be seasonally appropriate, but let me help you with some biggies to keep in mind!

1. Booties 101…

Don’t tuck your pants in your booties. (Booties as in your ankle boots.) This is not a look you want, nor is it flattering.

Do roll your pants so there is an inch or two of leg showing between your pants and your booties. This will give the illusion that your legs are longer than they really are.

(Note: Do the same with long sleeve shirts to give the illusions that your arms are longer)

2. Proper socks…

Don’t wear a sock that can be seen when wearing your ankle booties, canvas shoes, converse tennis shoes, or flats!

Do buy proper socks. Not all socks work for all shoes! Amazon has specific ankle socks that are just perfect for ankle booties, canvas shoes & tennis shoes!) (Bambu is the brand that I like the best) The ankle socks for these shoes hint right at your ankle and the bend in your foot. For flats, get some no show socks that would just barely cover your toes.

3. Athletic shoes…

Please! Please! Don’t wear “years gone” by athletic shoes in public. Save these for the garden if you must! Especially not with “everyday clothes”. Rule of thumb – you should buy a new pair of tennis shoes each year. For style and proper fit. Ps Just because you need comfort, doesn’t mean you wear your old, worn out, tennis shoes to work at your desk job. This is a big pet peeve of mine.

Do get a comfortable, cute pair of canvas shoes, or converse, or even a cute pair of tennis shoes (not the kind you’d mow your lawn in).

I truly believe you can be cute and comfortable! However keep in mind that if you have a stylish blouse, you may want to skip the athletic shoes and opt for a pair of flats or sexy sandals. Use the casual shoes for a graphic T or a tank top or a flannel shirt…

4. Layers…

Don’t skip wearing a tank top if your shirt is a little sheer or if you are you planning on wearing a long necklace. Tank tops will create a smooth fitted surface that will flatter your shape. It will also prevent a “valley” for your long necklace to fall into. A tank top that peeks out below your shirt, can break up the eye or add a pop of color!

Do think layers. Do update your tank tops each year. (Especially the white ones. You don’t want a dingy white peeking through) Do throw out tank tops that don’t fit properly.

5. Seasonal Colors….

Even though you don’t have to follow the “wear white after Memorial Day” rule, you DO want your spring and summer wardrobe to mimic the colors of the season.

I save my maroons, earth tones, and darker colors for fall and winter. Note: If I want to wear a black top in spring or summer, I’ll pair it with white pants, capris, or a skirt and summery jewelry. Maybe a bold turquoise, a pop of white, or long geode pendant.

6. What does your silhouette say about you?

In Kindergarten I remember a teacher doing our silhouettes. We had a projector, a chair, and a black sheet if bulletin board paper. I sat facing forward as the projector shone brightly on my side profile. The teacher carefully traced my facial silhouette on the blank paper. (Later to cute it out as a treasure for my mom on graduation day.)

How would your silhouette look if they did that but to your entire body? Are you clothes too curvy and revealing every lump, bump, and dimple? Or do you look frumpy with no shape because your clothes are loose and hang on you like a sack of potatoes?

Balance your silhouette! If you are wearing a loose peplum style blouse on the top, wear a fitted skinny jean or pencil skirt on the bottom.

If you are wearing a fitted bodysuit or tank top or graphic t on the top, then opt for a loose boyfriend jean or palooza style pant for the bottom,

Have a “maternity style” long top or dress? Opt for a pencil belt right on the rib cage to create a curve.

7. Can I get your opinion?

Do ask those close to you what they would change about your wardrobe and what they love about your style.

Don’t be offended. Take their advice into consideration. The things your don’t want to change…don’t. Embrace them as your style. However the things you think are portraying you the way you don’t want, change it. Sometimes it’s the little tweaking that makes all the difference!

What are your favorite Do’s and Don’ts?

Xoxo,

Amy

I don’t have anything to wear!

Have you ever heard yourself saying this? “I have nothing to wear!” I have battled with it often in the past. However, I have found some tips that really help this problem!

1. Sort out that closet! This first tip may not be brain science but it’s so helpful. Twice a year (at the season change – from hot to cold & visa versa) I “flip my closet”. I have severe ADD and so less choices is always better especially if I don’t have to look past 5 sleeveless tops, 3 pairs of shorts, a sundress, and swimsuit coverup to find my blush cashmere sweater.

I pack away all of the previous seasons items, including shoes. While packing them all away, I purge. If I didn’t wear it that season, it must go. If it has holes that can’t be repaired or wearing signs…”bye Felicia!”

Note: a good rule of thumb is if you bought 10 items that season, get rid of at least 10 items while packing it away.

I also purge items when I bring them out for the season. Maybe styles have changed or if my body shape changed. 🤪

Also sort your clothes in categories. I’m a partial “type A” personality. I organize by items and styles but not so much color…except black – I do lump those together. Example: I have sundresses, short sleeve dresses, and then maxi dresses.

2. Create a picture file. Okay this has revolutionized my world! (I can’t remember where I got this idea but if I did, I’d give you credit)

Let me paint the picture for you: one day you randomly put an outfit on and rush off to work, school, or church…you feel amazing! You literally feel like you could run the world! (Insert song Run the World by Beyoncé) You are rocking it! You must snap a full length mirror selfie ASAP. No! not to post on Social Media BUT to put in a special photo album on your phone called “Outfits”.

I’ve done this for years and love it. On those days that you have no clue what to wear or you (are like me) and can’t remember what you wore that one day when your look was on point … you now have “evidence”. (aka outfit pics)

Confession time: I have laid in bed for those 5 extra minutes and picked out what I wanted to wear that day just by looking through my outfit album!

This album will come in handy when you are trying to remember what you wore when the boss came to town last time for dinner. Or last summer what you wore that was so cute! Also when you have that cute outfit, but can’t remember what shoes or jewelry you paired with it!

(Okay don’t go viral! Lol 😂 But here’s a screen shot of some of my fall/winter outfits. Don’t judge items in background or spots on the mirror)

I hope this helps your “I have nothing to wear” issues. Feel free to message me any wardrobe or outfit issues you have. I’d love to help!

Xoxo,

Amy

Doing Life on Purpose

(The story behind the blog)

Previously I had never even considered writing a blog. I had heard people say before that they write a blog or they were bloggers, but never had I personalized it to think “Amy you should write a blog!”
Towards the end of 2018 I started a #last90dayschallenge (thank you Rachel and Dave Hollis and Girl Wash Your Face). I became “hungry” for knowledge on how to end and start a year on my best foot. I listened to podcasts, read books, followed people on Instagram…I could not get enough. One thing I heard Brendon Burchard say was “If you want change, you must try something new!” His words rang over and over in my head. But what could I try new? Then like a light bulb in a cartoon scene the thought came into my head to write a blog. I literally LOL’d (laughed out loud). Yeah right! Would I have anything to write about? Why would anyone want to read what I’d have to say if I did write anything!….
But then I thought “what do I have to loose? It’s not like anyone has to read it!”

Next step was where to start?!?! Google is a great friend. Also anyone currently going to college for advertising, design, computers…I took a 5 minute course on which blog site would be best and the difference between free and low cost. Okay! WordPress it is! As I drove to Boise, in a silent car (there is something serine about a quiet car), I thought “if…IF I did do a blog, what would I even call it?” Brendon Burchard’s words rang in my head again. Passion! What are you passionate about? I felt like I was writing my IG bio “I love Jesus, fashion, bling, inspiring others, helping women find their purpose…” What could sum all this up in one word or phrase?
DOING LIFE ON PURPOSE as soon as the name came into my head I had an overwhelming sense of excitement! I got to Boise, turned off my car, and grabbed my phone to google “Doing Life on Purpose”. Some Psychology articles came up, but no websites with that name. Excitement grew. Then I tried it again, but with no spaces in between each word. Still no websites. Okay Amy breath! Now the big test…wordpress.com, search, doinglifeonpurpose……..nothing found! I seriously was going to shout, cry, or pee my pants! My heart was racing. Somehow I just felt this was a sign that I was doing the right thing! Maybe it won’t be famous or make millions, but it was me doing something different to create change!
With tears rolling down my eyes, I sat in my VW Passat and signed up, logged in, and created doinglifeonpurpose.blog

So you may ask, why the name “Doing life on purpose”? There are many reasons, but here are a few:
In the fall of 2017 our LifeGroup did the study What On Earth Am I Here For? It was a great study, but to be honest, I really didn’t personalize it much. I just enjoyed the fellowship of LifeGroup! Fast forward over 6 months. A sweet friend approached me wondering if there was a God, how I knew there was, and many deep life questions. I offered to do a study with her to help her discover these answers and more. I had no clue what study I was going to do with her, but I felt it was the right thing to offer at the time. God led us to use the 40 days of purpose book What On Earth Am I Here For? I know without a doubt it was just as much for me as it was for my friend. Life changed for me during this 40 day study. Our family was going through a trial at this same time and I saw God work in my heart more than I have ever seen Him work before. It also solidified that I (as well as everyone else) has a purpose.

Think about this for a second – what if everyone in the world did their God given purpose? What would our world be like? Would there be as many crimes? Wars? Child abuse? No! we would all be focused on doing what God created us to do and be!

Secondly, I truly enjoy my jewelry business. Yes it’s a “job” but to me it’s so much more. I love being around women and adding value to them. Whether it’s putting a necklace on them and helping them realize how beautiful they really are, or listening about their day, or giving them comfort through a trial. I love giving style tips and advice for the “everyday Idaho woman”. I love to inspire them to get up, get dressed, and care about how they look each and every day! Doing life on purpose in how we look will help the outcome of our day and how we present ourselves (even if we are just home alone all day).

Thirdly, I hope to inspire others to do life on purpose. Don’t let life just happen to you! Be in control of how you handle it. It’s not always going to be roses, rainbows, and unicorns. That person at work, or family member will say things to try to tear you down. Not because it’s true, but because they are miserable themselves. When you have a dream or goal, there are going to be those who try to discourage you. Not because they don’t like you. Many times it’s someone close to you, and they are trying to protect you from disappointment. Often times the person who tries most to discourage you from going for that goal or dream or plan is yourself. Would you talk to your daughter that way if she said she wanted to try out for gymnastics? Or would you discourage your son when he says he wants to try out for basketball? The answer is NO! You’d tell them to go for it! You never know until you try! If they had a bad day, you’d tell them to keep going! Don’t give up! YOU OWE YOURSELF THAT SAME PEP TALK. That’s doing life on purpose!

So this blog will have a little Jesus, a little fashion, and a little inspiration…to me that’s doinglifeonpurpose!

Hugs,
Amy

Fashion Style 101

What emotions do you have when you hear the word fashion or style?
Do you get overwhelmed? Start sweating? Want to run?
Or do you get excited? Want to learn? Love Style?

Whatever you are feeling, I hope these fun tips will help you in some way, shape, or form! Because the truth of the matter is, we all have a style. Yours may be thought out and planned….or….maybe not! Maybe you never even thought “What is my style?”

Finding your style
Just like our fingerprints or DNA, we all have our own style. Now you can browse other peoples style to eclectically find your own style, but embracing who you are is so important! Also your own style will evolve and continue to evolve. Actually I should say, your style SHOULD evolve and continue to evolve. Styles change and even if you aren’t a “New York style chaser” it should have at least a slow change. Here’s a good test: look at pictures of yourself 5-10 years ago….are you still wearing the same items? Or are there some pictures you are thinking “what was I thinking”? LOL Or “Phew…I’m glad that style is gone!”
If you know what your style is, skip this next section. But if are clueless…here are some tips:
Search Pinterest – My style/Fashion for Spring/Winter Style….
Start a “My Style” Board and pin items that you feel are your style. Here’s an important tip. When you see a look you like ask yourself “Do I like this look or just like that the gal is skinny or curvy or tan or blond….” Squint your eyes and imagine that outfit on your body shape. If it’s a keeper, pin it!
Check out Youtube – Style haul/Maurices haul/Ross haul…
Search your favorite store and then the word “haul”. There’s even a WalMart haul :). Make a list or note of items you really liked. I saw a Fall WalMart haul and fell in love with some animal print booties. I went to WalMart and couldn’t find them…so I hopped on Amazon and found a pair for under $20. It took awhile to get them, since they came from China, but they are SO comfortable and I love them!
Look at your friends – Typically your friends live in your region and area and that shapes the style you choose. Now just because you live in the country doesn’t mean you have to embrace country style, especially if you don’t like it! But it also doesn’t mean you dress like you are walking the runway in New York. Some of your friends may have a style that you are like “I know 100% that is not my style!” Great! It’s the process of elimination!

Hair and Makeup
We’ll dive into this more another time, but for now, as you are discovering your style, make note of what hair style and makeup style you are drawn to.
Hair – Do you like the look of a bob? Easy & exact! Or precise defined curls? Or carefree waves? Or are you more of a “boho chic” where a messy bun or loose braid are your style? Or do you like to have your hair style match your clothing style for the day? (dressy, casual, ball cap & tshirt)
Make up – Do you like the natural looking makeup? Or the “God gave us color, and I embrace it” type makeup? Maybe you don’t even know how to do your make up. (Free tip: search Youtube and Pinterest! When I get a new eye shadow palette, I search to see how Youtubers wear it.)

Closet Staples
Once you figure out your style and what you are comfortable with, here are some closet staples you need to have:
* Jeans (I suggest classy jeans and more casual jeans)
* Black dress pants (check out Ponte pants…its your blend of comfort meets job standards)
* Colored Jeggings (Olive or Cranberry are my current favorite)
* Skirt (research the best shape for your body. You can’t go wrong with a Midi Skirt – they are the most flattering for every shape)
* LBD – Little Black dress (have one casual and one dressy)
* Wrap Dress (this can look great with a nice dress pump, flats, or knee boots)
* Tunic or t-shirt dress (these can be worn with leggings or if long enough, solo in the summer time)
* White Button Down Dress Shirt
* Chambray Shirt (fancy word for a jean shirt)
* Jean Jacket
* Black crop Jacket
* Knit sweater (can be layered on top of the button down or under a jacket)
* Plaid Shirt
* Graphic T (these are just fun right now)
* Solid t-shirt or tank (get in as many colors as you like, but at least white and black)
* Shoes: Pumps, Flats, Wedge, Booties, canvas sneakers (tip: save athletic sneakers for athletic activity, not everyday wear)
* Scarf, layering necklaces, stylish coat (nothings worse than a super cute outfit and then your mom’s ski jacket)

Purge Your Closet
Don’t be tempted to keep things that aren’t your style…donate them. There are many great local organizations that would love your donations. (I personally take mine to Love INC. here in Nampa)
The less clutter and misc. items in your closet, the simpler the job will be in putting together just the right outfits.
Ask for help! Whether you bribe or flatter a friend to help you, or you hire me, get the help needed! If you are just feeling lost, ask for help! However, make sure your “help” will give you honest opinions and not be a “yes man!”

Don’t fall for Clearance
Clearance can be awesome if you find that white button down that you’ve been looking for. However, it can also be a time and money waster if you buy something just because it’s $5.99 on clearance.

For more help finding your style, contact me via this blog, http://www.Instagram.com/amyjvanmanen or drmnbig@gmail.com

Thriving in the Blahze’ Winter

Winter can be such a dark gloomy time. And if you aren’t careful your style, attitude, and look can take on that same blahze’ feeling. I mean seriously! Some days when it’s cold and the inversion (in Idaho this is what we call smog that hovers over our valley) has set in, you just want to wear your comfty raggedy sweatshirt and well worn sweats…and forget about the hair even getting fixed. Even though it’s what you are feeling at the time, it won’t help your mood. I promise!

Tips for Surviving:

Light those candles! Whether you like real flame candles, artificial candles, or Scentsy (this is not an ad), it’s proven that the glow from these will improve your mood! Plus the fresh smell doesn’t hurt either. Actually did you know they use scents to trigger memories in Alzheimer’s patients! So if certain smells can help them, it can help you. Isn’t it funny when you smell something and it brings you back to your teen years. Salon Selectives smell takes me to teen camp! Shout out to Camp Northwest (because all the cool girls used Salon Selectives Lol) Or Exclamation perfume… HELLO early 90’s!

Treat Yo-self!  Rumor has it that January is a great month to shop. (Don’t tell you Significant Other that I said that! Haha) Find something that makes you feel like a million dollars. Okay DON’T purchase something that a millionaire would buy, but something in your budget. Instead of coffee at the drive-thru for the next week or two, or instead of fast food this month, buy a cute pair of booties/a new necklace/ a new sweater/ a hot new purse….Often time one new item can energize your desire to look your best which in turns help you feel your best! Don’t know what to get? Either go see what “speaks to you” at the stores OR hop on pinterest or google “Winter Style”.
Example:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AeBGO6h03BVRTrCliJ_L2lsbQ7oeqYKPnkjGDnvMK2rGD7x3UMmUO_c/

Plan for the best! Planning actually makes your life easier! I have learned that planning meals for the week, helps my week go so much better! Sunday evening is what works for me. I look at our week’s schedule and plan what we are eating for dinner. If I’m on my “A Game” I will plan our other meals too. But let’s just talk dinner. After I plan what meals we will have, I grab a cookie sheet, go out into the garage “meat freezer”. I find what meat we already have and set it on the cookie sheet in the garage fridge. I discovered that if the meat is defrosted or almost defrosted, we will not be as tempted to “just grab something” on the way home from work. Then I hop on grocery pick up and place my grocery order for pick up the next day. Give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to grocery pick up!!! Can I get an “Amen”! LOL
On my day off, or on a Saturday, I will make a breakfast casserole or breakfast burritos. Not for every day, because that gets boring, but for at least 2 days the next week.
Now maybe it was because I grew up in a house of 7 and there wasn’t many left overs, but I LOVE left overs. Or maybe because it’s one less meal I have to be creative and make. So I love to plan at least 1 meal for the week large enough so that we will have left overs. Or even enough left overs for lunch.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Soup (we love Ham Cheddar Chowder)
  • Pinto Beans (can be for beans & cornbread, and then chili)
  • Roast
  • Pulled Pork
  • Tacos…then Taco Salad the next day
  • Rotisserie Chicken from Costco (not an ad)

Last tip on Planning – Sunday nights is also when my husband and I “Game Plan”. I can let him know my schedule and I know his. Then we “divide and conquer” the week. He knows which nights I need him to cook dinner and I know which night’s I’m in charge of dinner. If we are both busy, we know then that Autumn, our daughter, is making dinner for her a Sophie. This also helps when deciding the meals too. I know my husband LOVES to make eggs and he’s a softy so he lets the girls choose what they want for dinner (many times it’s Ramen Noodles or Quesadillas). I don’t get my “panties in a wad”; I am just glad they are eating. Or to make life “simpler” if he has a busy day, I will plan ahead for the crockpot or instapot “easy dinner”.

Finally…TO SURVIVE THE WINTER BLAHZE‘ … inspired from the movie What About Bob … TAKE A VACATION! Schedule when you are taking your Spring Break Vacation or Summer Vacation. Nothing is better than envisioning that warm beach in Aruba, or a fun cabin in McCall. Life is short, take that vacation. Note: but vacations don’t just happen…you have to plan! Get out your calendar now and mark those dates off!

Lastly, SPRING IS COMING! Make these next few winter months count!

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of 2018

We decided to take the kids to the Oregon Coast between Christmas and New Year. As we were driving we thought it would be a great time to discuss 2018 – what our best memory was and what’s something we wish we would have handled better or differently.

Sophie piped up right away and said “let’s go youngest to oldest! I’m ready!” We were blown away with the response this little 5 year old had. Actually I was impressed with everyone in our car that shared. Some were personal, otherwise I wish I would have video’d each one.

This is a priceless moment I am so glad we did. You may feel vulnerable, but that’s how we do life on purpose!

Whether you are at a place to do this with family or a best friend or even just by yourself in a notebook. I encourage you to take the time to reflect:

1.) What’s your favorite memory from 2018?

2.) What’s something you wish you would have handled better or differently in 2018?

If you do it alone, feel free to message me yours! I’ll share in this moment with you!

Hugs,

Amy