Hip to be #Shopping: Make a statement with bell sleeves

Hip to be #Shopping: Make a statement with bell sleeves
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Trumpet, flute, bell, call them what you want. They all point to elaborately flared sleeves that would be the envy of Elvira (remember her from the Addams Family).

Embroidered Lace Insert Flute Sleeve Dress
Embroidered Lace Insert Flute Sleeve Dress

This is you, the Queen of Elegance, when you step out in this simple yet classy burgundy tunic. Let the long flute sleeves of see-through embroidered lace do all the talking as you strut into the spotlight.

Trumpet Sleeve Geo Crochet Overlay Form Fitting Dress
Trumpet Sleeve Geo Crochet Overlay Form Fitting Dress

Or you could be the Queen of Pastel Pink in this form-fitting mini dress of all-over pencil cutout lace, unlined and see-through in its elaborate trumpet sleeves. Perfect for an afternoon garden wedding or a tea party with friends.

Exaggerate Bell Sleeve Buttoned Keyhole Dress
Exaggerate Bell Sleeve Buttoned Keyhole Dress

For a night out on the town, this black mini dress displays all of its elaborate elegance in those dramatic bell sleeves. Wave your hand with a flourish or lift a glass with grace, the theatrics are yours to create.

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Hip to be #Shopping: Embroidered black #dresses

Hip to be #Shopping: Embroidered black #dresses
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As busy moms and working women, we can all relate to the need for a black dress. Whether it’s to appear professional at work or to camouflage the random stains inflicted by a cranky kid at an eat-out, black dresses are the answers.

If you’re thinking bland and boring, remember, not all black dresses are created equal. Guess what clever black dresses are doing to get to the top of the pile.

Contrast Embroidery Mesh Tied Sleeve Frill Detail Dress
Contrast Embroidery Mesh Tied Sleeve Frill Detail Dress

This simple black dress refuses to stay simple. Instead it insists on playing things up with beautifully colored floral embroidery in see-through sleeves that end in a long swishy tie. Genius! Clearly this loose-fitting shift dress is made for looks and comfort.

Aztec Embroidered Hem Dress
Aztec Embroidered Hem Dress

Prefer a sorta tribal look? No problem. How about this black tunic with short sleeves and a geometric embroidered hem to invoke images of hills, tents, skies and sand? Hmm, I like it.

Lantern Sleeve Embroidered Rose Applique Dress
Lantern Sleeve Embroidered Rose Applique Dress

Looking for something stretchy that will keep you comfortable all day? This black sweatshirt dress is perfect for the cooler days of fall and features an eye-catching embroidered rose applique on its long sleeves.

Elbow Sleeve Embroidered Flare Dress
Elbow Sleeve Embroidered Flare Dress

One word comes to mind – classy! This black flare dress with white floral embroidery on the half sleeves and hem is so pretty and classy it’s going to turn heads for sure. What more can I say?

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Hip to be #Shopping – In the mood for Halloween

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If you dress the kids up for Halloween every year but have always stood on the sidelines cheering them on their trick-or-treat adventures, then this may just be the year to join and get yourself into the mood for Halloween!

I promise you won’t have to gear up in some elaborate witchy outfit or block your vision with a pirate’s eye patch lol. This is going to be so simple you’ll wonder why you never got in the Halloween action sooner. Follow me, here’s what you do.

X-Ray Kitchen Oven Mitt

Baking monster cookies? Scare away the hungry little goblins milling around the cookie tray with these X-Ray Kitchen Oven Mitts.

Verae Much Appreciated Cardigan

Show your love, and your rib cage lol, and be that Verae Much Appreciated Cardigan-clad monster mom we all love.

Hell Bunny Haunt for Nothing Button-Up Top in Festive

Want something that’s sweet and subtle yet packs a punch with witches, ghouls and skeletons? This short-sleeved button down top is perfect for the job.

So don’t miss out. Have a fun Halloween with the kids this year. Booo!!

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Hip to be #Shopping: Summery open shoulder blouses

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Guess what, ladies? It’s time to bare some shoulders. What you hidin’ them for? These are swelterin’ days and it ain’t gonna get cooler any time soon. So come on, bring out those poor suffocating shoulders and give ’em some air, will ya?

Floral Print Mesh Contrast Off Shoulder Blouse
Floral Print Mesh Contrast Off Shoulder Blouse

Hip2bMom’s Choice! This multi-colored floral print blouse is made for showing off those toned shoulders that have been hidden away for far too long. And while you’re at it, let that mesh top show off just a little more.

Whether it’s all year or just for those few magical months, those happy, bouncy gathers scream girlish fun and laughter. Pretty enough to be worn in the day and just peeky enough to be worn at night.

Butterfly Print Open Shoulder Blouse
Butterfly Print Open Shoulder Blouse

Keeping things simple is what this open shoulder blouse says to me. Let the pretty butterflies do all the talking as they flutter around those puffy sleeves so reminiscent of lanterns that flicker on the beach in the fading light. Save this top for a gorgeous day out.

Ruffle Sleeve Open Shoulder Floral Embroidered Blouse
Ruffle Sleeve Open Shoulder Floral Embroidered Blouse

Feeling like keeping things low-key? This blouse may seem plain and simple but it ain’t ordinary. Why? Because those embroidered red flowers bring just the right pop of attention to your day. And you just gotta love those cute ruffled sleeves with the cute ties.

Lace Contrast Open Shoulder Blouse
Lace Contrast Open Shoulder Blouse

Hip2bMom’s Choice! Feeling all bright and perky this morning? This is the perfect blouse for you – light pink and casual with enough pretty lace, gathers and puffs to lift your spirits up, up and away.

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Hip to be #Shopping: Lace tops for high tea

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Some days, you just feel girly and want to look pretty. And lace is both pretty and girly, don’t you think? So go ahead, go lace-y!

Set: Plain Camisole Top + Lace 3/4-Sleeve Top
Set: Plain Camisole Top + Lace 3/4-Sleeve Top

This beautiful bluish grey all-lace blouse features a plain camisole and three-quarter trumpet sleeves. Perfect for all occasions.

Set: Short-Sleeve Top + Spaghetti Strap Lace Top
Set: Short-Sleeve Top + Spaghetti Strap Lace Top

This cutesy combo of a short sleeved top and a contrasting strappy lace top is perfect for an afternoon out to high tea with your high school friends you haven’t seen in years.

Set: Plain Camisole Top + Lace Tank Top
Set: Plain Camisole Top + Lace Tank Top

This lace tank top is perfect for the changing of the seasons. It comes with a plain nude camisole to be worn inside. There are 2 earthy colors to choose from, take your pick.

Set: Hooded Light Jacket + Ruffled Camisole Top
Set: Hooded Light Jacket + Ruffled Camisole Top

Okay, this isn’t lace but it’s so cute I just had to throw it in. You can wear the ruffled camisole top on its own and throw on the light hooded jacket when it gets windy or chilly. This sweet dual function set is perfect for going from day to night.

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Hip to be #Shopping: Long sleeves with character

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With cooler weather (fall or spring, depending on which hemisphere you’re at) just around the corner, you’re probably thinking you should be adding some sleeves to your tops. And you’d be right. But instead of those same old long sleeves, how about long sleeves with character? Like these?

Choker Neck Bell Sleeve Heather Knit Top
Choker Neck Bell Sleeve Heather Knit Top

This elegant grey knit-top features beautiful bell sleeves that fall all the way down to your fingers. The stretchy fabric of this casual top lends itself so well to these overly-lengthy sleeves. Great for work or a day out with the hubs or your girl friends.

Trumpet Sleeve Pearl Embellished Keyhole Top
Trumpet Sleeve Pearl Embellished Keyhole Top

Striped and beaded, this red and white blouse is both cute and practical. Gotta love those three-quarter length trumpet sleeves – long enough to shield from the chill and short enough that they don’t get in the way of handling kids, groceries or work.

Keyhole Back Tiered Ruffle Sleeve Top
Keyhole Back Tiered Ruffle Sleeve Top

Here’s my favorite – an otherwise simple burgundy top made instantly chic by tiers of ruffles running down the three-quarter sleeves. This all-occasion top is best worn tucked into your pants or jeans to accentuate those gorgeous tiered ruffle sleeves.

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Hip2bMom’s professional hair cutting shears

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears
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Just as I was congratulating myself on having successfully palmed off my hair cutting duties to Nick the Pro, he absconded on us. I’m really disappointed in you, Nick! I hope your hair turns algae green when you bleach it blond 😉.

Well, as I recall, there’s a piece of sweet wisdom that says – when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. So off I went and hohoho, what did I find?

My first pair of, dare I say, professional hair cutting shears! And just like that, I’m back at my old job as the family’s official hairdresser!

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

I figured if I can’t claim to be a pro, I can at least pretend to be one with these professional hair cutting shears lol! My old stainless steel pair has served me well through my kids’ growing years. But now that I have to deal with way more hair and length, I need a bigger pair that takes off more hair at one go and won’t slow me down.

My Utopia Care professional hair cutting shears arrived in a neat portable case that’s great for storage and even better for travel. The shears are just the right size, very sharp and with finger inserts for a better grip. I don’t use the inserts as I like to be able to slip the shears on and off quickly. The blades are 100% stainless steel so no worries about rusting or tarnishing.

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

So far, we’ve used these shears for 2 rounds of haircuts and we’re lovin’ every snip. I say we because Hip2bDaughter1 is now my trusted hairdresser. Yup, you heard me. My baby now styles and cuts MY hair and she does an amazing job.

Somewhere along the line, you guys are probably wondering, so why don’t you just go to another hairdresser? Well, yes, that would be the logical next step for many people. Not for me. I’m a very hands-on mom who enjoys doing stuff for/with my kids. It’s what I call seamless bonding.

Personal experience also tells me that dream haircuts don’t always turn out the way you envision them, even after forking out those big bucks. So I’d rather steer clear of any potential hairy situations and take matters into my own hands.

Thankfully my amateur haircuts are turning out okay. This week alone, the girls have had 3 random people complimenting them on their cute haircuts at school. I heard that these 3 people when told they are Mom’s home haircuts, and not pro cuts, were impressed and gave the thumbs up.

Many people here cut their own hair or for their families and are proud of it. Others applaud and encourage them. That’s the spirit. Many of us have never been to hair school but have simply learned the techniques from watching videos. All you need is a good pair of shears like my new professional hair cutting shears which gives me the precision I need to do a better job. Who would’ve thought some of the best haircuts in the world are free?

(I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way for writing this post (though it’d be nice if Utopia would send me a free pair of these amazing shears, hint hint) but it does contain affiliate links. Opinions are entirely mine. Thanks for clicking on these links.)

Hip2bMom’s hair salon

Hip2bMom's hair salon
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If you’re a mom, you’ll agree that moms have the world’s most unexpected job specifications, often running into uncharted territory, such as Chief Executive Hairdresser, for instance. One without proper qualifications, I might add lol.

Back in college, I used to attack my bangs every once in a while. It was the only part of my hair that needed maintenance. Since I have an aversion to hair salons, this worked out perfectly. And that’s all the ‘training’ and experience I have.

When time came for my kids to have their first haircuts, I naturally assumed it was my job. Taking them to the hair salon was never an option. It might have to do with having witnessed kids being hauled up by their parents, kicking and screaming, and pinned down to that dreaded chair so a complete stranger, armed with a deadly weapon, could attempt to snip off what little hair they had.

I couldn’t bear to think of subjecting my kids to that kind of trauma. So when it came time for my firstborn to have his first ever haircut, I took it upon myself. If I could cut my own hair, a kid’s hair should be a piece of cake and it’s not like he’s going to see the Queen, right?

Hip2bMom's hair salon

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So that’s how far back Hip to be Mom’s home hair salon goes. I designed my bathroom to be 3 times bigger than normal so I’d have enough wriggle room to turn it into a hair salon every few weeks. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, right? lol Don’t even get me started on the things I’ve done to child-proof the house.

And so that’s how I ended up being my children’s hairdresser from kindy through college, and all the years in between. Those early haircuts were without struggles. My kids would sit there quietly and patiently while I danced around them. Cutting boys’ hair or even layered haircut for girls isn’t hard. It just needs confidence and some juggling skills.

I probably don’t say this enough but my kids are such sweethearts about a lot of things, which is why I’ve been inspired to do things with/for them that I might otherwise have been hesitant to try. They always cheer me on and tell me I do a good job – and in this case, give me the Nike assurance: “it’s okay, Mom, hair will grow back so just do it!” – and I love them for it.

There was a spell during their teen years when I got lazy found Nick and sent them on their merry way. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know Nick. He was just some random guy who had a different hairstyle and color every other day. But I figured, well, if he had hair like a k-popper, he should be okay. Yup, I’m deep like that lol.

Nick the Pro would definitely be able to cater to a whole range of different hair styles that I couldn’t possibly offer. “Kids, you’re not babies any more. It’s time you went to a pro. Nick does a better job than me. So off you go!”

And just like that, I washed my hands off this whole hairy business. Or so I thought…

(to be continued)

Tigers in the woods

Tigers in the woods
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This is one of those weekends that Hip2Dad isn’t playing the El Nino Open. I say, what a great decision! Better to be enjoying a day in the comfort of home than chasing golf balls all day in this oppressive heatwave.

That said, I have to admit that at one point in my working life, I too had a golf club standing in my office. Scattered across that corner of my room were golf balls, each bearing the initials of my beloved boss, carefully carved out in permanent marker.

At random times of the work day, you could find me behind closed doors whacking the living daylights out of said golf balls✌. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in violence any more than I believe them initials should be allowed to run amok in the workplace. But there were times when 5:00 pm was just too far away and I needed to de-stress pronto.

Speaking of which, I wonder why ‘coming home from the office to your kids’ isn’t listed anywhere as a stress reliever. For me, it wasn’t meditation or a vacation away from it all. It was my kids who kept me sane when work was a beech (oops, I’ve done it again, haven’t I? and this ain’t no Britney Spears song either!).

Back then, I did consider taking up golf. That was when Hip2bDad began telling me to stop calling golf clubs ‘golf sticks’. He introduced me to each golf club by name. Meet Dasher, Dancer and Prancer Putter, Driver and Iron! But that didn’t stop me from using a driver to putt. Duh!

And he showed me how to swing a golf club without killing anyone in the process. Good thing we never got to the real game where I had to drive the ball across the grass, I mean, green. Apparently someone drove a ball right smack into our K-friend’s head and he promptly fainted. See, it could happen even to experienced golfers. So don’t even try to imagine what I would’ve done!

Tigers in the woods

At some point, Hip2bDad began to think he saw potential Tigers in our three pre-teens. In fact, he was so sure he signed them all up for golf lessons. So began our suntanning sessions as I played doting golf mom! Soon we all began to look like roasted potatoes even as our sunblock investments went shooting through the roof.

Golf fashion quickly dominated our weekend lives. “Hey, why are you wearing that? Where’s your polo shirt?” our resident golf fashion police could be heard hollering up the stairs. “Belts please! Hey, hey, don’t forget to tuck in your shirt!” No offense but who even wears belts any more unless they’ve been living in the woods since World War 2?! You have no idea how much it pained me to see my poor kids dressed up like fusty old men with golf sticks!!

Never could understand golf fashion. Which is why it’s probably a good thing I never signed up for lessons myself. One look at Mrs K-friend in long-sleeved polo shirts and covering herself 머리부터 발끝까지 (from head to toe) in sun-protective garb and I was like, no no no, I ain’t wearing no hasmat suit!! There’s just no way!

To top it off, they even have golf fashion police patrolling the course in case you decide to get all New York Fashion Week-like. My kids got told off a few times but they just shrugged and carried on. Go kids!! Honestly, who the heck cares? It’s only a game! Or a work stress reliever, if you’re like me?

New eyeglasses from Firmoo

New eyeglasses from Firmoo
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Okay, so I’ve been long overdue for a new pair of eyeglasses but between the hectic days and the usual dose of procrastination, this whole idea never quite got off the ground. Along comes Firmoo.com offering to send me a pair of glasses for review, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

So I set off on my mission. Yup, I could literally spend hours browsing through Firmoo’s amazing collection of fashionable eyeglasses and sunglasses for men and women, and I did! I do this every time! If you’re guessing that this isn’t my first time ordering from them, you’re right. The fun part is you can upload your photo to try on your frames, and actually see how each one looks on you.

And each frame comes with detailed measurements of the lens width, length height, bridge distance and even the temple size so you can easily compare frame sizes. I usually shortlist like a ton of frames and then spend the next few days “trying them on”. It’s hard to decide when you like almost everything, you know!! I think it’s a girrrl thing? *wink*

Well, my package finally arrived in the mail over the weekend – ta-daa! – and inside was a hard case and a drawstring pouch. Love the storage options especially when I travel. But if I were to be completely honest, I would’ve preferred the hard case to be a more funky color like magenta or neon green maybe? Brown is so not my color but…

iglass1

I’m really loving my hipster frame though! It’s the perfect size for my face and it makes me look every bit the hip mom that I am too (lol)!

iglass2

Inside the black pouch, I found a little surprise – a mini screwdriver on a key ring. Just what I need! The one I used to have in my bag went missing on one of my travels and I’ve been wanting a replacement ever since. The best part is this came free with my order.

iglass3

So am I happy with my new glasses? You betcha. They are so lightweight sometimes I forget I’m even wearing them. The frame is super cute, and the lenses come with anti-reflection and anti-UV coatings. Love!!

Okay, so enough about my glasses. Let’s talk about getting you a new pair. Firmoo.com is offering new customers 15% off all frames on their entire site. You can grab the coupon code from their 15% off page and remember, new arrivals are updated every day.

I received a pair of free eyeglasses from Firmoo.com to facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

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