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Magazine Features & a Risky Outfit


Before we go any further, I want to clarify that the outfit mentioned in the title of this post is risky, not risque, lest there be any confusion.

So, several weeks ago, I received a few e-mails in a row from magazines requesting content for a feature.  I can’t imagine a day when I casually sigh and say, “Yeah, I got an e-mail from another magazine editor…” like it’s a boring thing.  It’s always a giggle-inducing, spine-tingling moment.  I have backed off on calling all of my friends to tell them immediately.  Anyway, each magazine had a different kind of feature in mind.  For American Farmhouse Style, they initially asked for some ideas of things to feature in my home, but I saw this as a great opportunity to pitch a MMS Milk Paint feature, so I sent along some of the gorgeous images Maria shot for me and they were sold.

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I haven’t looked through the full magazine in detail, but it looks charming at a flip-through-read.  (The magazine is available on newsstands now and I found it at Wegman’s.)  I was giddy when I saw Maria’s pictures and my words.  I immediately took a picture of the contributor’s list (including me and Maria) and texted it to her.  I’m not sure if Maria is as dorky about that sort of thing as I am…

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The spread is sort of a Milk Paint 101 article that features several of our colors and highlights the farmhouse look that can be achieved with milk paint.

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The second feature in Make It Over magazine focuses on the before & after pictures in my home.

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I did the photography in this feature with my new Nikon d800 and I was so pleased with how they turned out.  I’ve come a long way since my first shoot for Cottages & Bungalows magazine.

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The final feature is in Fresh Style Magazine, which will be available in January.  The article highlights my business and personal story as well as my decorating style.  This article is the most personal one I’ve read about myself and it made me a little misty to hear my story through another writer’s point of view.

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And it made me blush to read the words “energetic entrepreneur” and “creative phenom.”

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They’re all lovely features and I am so thankful for opportunities like these.

As a side note, I was showing my mom the feature in Fresh Style Magazine and she said, “Wow.  Your home actually looks like a magazine home in these!”  That made me laugh.  She sees my home, as I do, as our home.  A place sprinkled with Legos and rug fuzz and little boy’s shoes, dirty dishes, trash outside the front door and stains on the slipcovers.  It may look “magazine-ish” in these pictures, but I assure you they are painstakingly cleaned, strategically staged and carefully cropped.  It’s my home, but it’s like seeing it dressed up for a night of dinner and the theatre, not right after a workout.

That’s true of most “magazine homes”, so let those images inspire, but never let them make you feel like less.

As another side note, I flipped to the back American Farmhouse Style and I saw this ad…

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I showed it to my husband and we both laughed.  I wonder where they got that idea…?

Maybe it’s just coincidence, but I thought it was funny.  It’s at least validation for me, since my husband hates the cow head and thought it looked even dumber with the wreath around it!  Shows what he knows!


Now to the risky outfit.  Not risque, as I mentioned above.  By the way, this has nothing to do with decorating, but some have asked for a regular style update, so this is for them.

So, back to risky.  By risky, I mean something that feels a little off the wall.  Ella taught me about this when she had me put a cardigan sweater on backwards.  I really wanted to wear my new Christmas boots, but I didn’t think I had anything to wear with them.  So, I started to dig in my closet to see what I had that might work in a different way.  It’s pretty hard to take a picture of myself, so you’re going to get bits and pieces of this outfit.  I wore this sleeveless black jersey dress I bought for a wedding a few years ago…

…and layered it over a long sleeve charcoal GAP body tee by GAP.  It gave sort of a jumper look without being too jumper-ish.

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I layered a black and white hounds tooth scarf over it to hide the neckline.  It looked a little strange with the high neckline of the tee under the lower neckline of the dress, so the scarf camouflaged that and added another touch of style.

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I wore charcoal tights and cream lace boot socks.

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I liked it, but the outfit felt a little eccentric…risky.  So, as I’ve been trying new outfits and makeup, here is how I’ve approached it.

First, I wear it at home to see how I feel in it and how my family reacts.  Sometimes my husband will say, “You look nice.” or “What in the world…?” or nothing at all.  If I get nothing or “you look nice”, then I know it’s okay to wear in public.  If I feel comfortable in it through the day, I know it’s not too odd.  Today we were running a few errands, but I didn’t expect to run into people we knew, so I wore this outfit around to see how it felt.  No one pointed or laughed or gawked.  People just went about their business.

I’m learning that a lot of the restrictions we put on our style choices like, “I could never pull that off” or “I love it, but I don’t know what other people will think…” are about assumptions and fears.  Most that are totally groundless. I’m trying to work beyond some of those things and not be so worried about looking a little quirky to someone.  I’m not talking about wearing things you’re not comfortable in, but being confident to wear things you love, even if they aren’t a part of your usual “uniform.”

I’m a comfort/jeans and t-shirts kinda girl and wearing the jersey dress over a workout tee was like wearing one big comfy t-shirt, so this outfit worked with my stylish, but comfortable outfit guideline.

Oh, and I did quite a bit of walking in the boots and they were very comfy.  More updates to come…

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  1. I’m digging the boots! :) And hooray for magazine editor emails and all the goodness that follows!

  2. Chelle says:

    Love it! The whole outfit works for me, and I am really digging those boots! Congrats on the magazine articles, that is so cool. I’m going to have to find them.

  3. I love this, Marian! I love how much fun you’re having with your clothes now! And I thought the same thing about that cow shot!!

  4. Georgina says:

    Congrats on the magazine features! I am going to be on the lookout for them. I LOVE the outfit! You have a real sense of style there MMS.

  5. Marty Cotton says:

    I love the outfit you put together! You look great!!!!

  6. ‘It’s my home, but it’s like seeing it dressed up for a night of dinner and the theatre, not right after a workout. That’s true of most “magazine homes”, so let those images inspire, but never let them make you feel like less.’

    I LOVE this quote Marian! So so important for us to remember! Thanks so much!

  7. Congrats on the magazine features Marian!!! Luv those new boots and it sounds like you are having fun playing around with your clothes (it’s kinda like playing with our home décor items).


    P.S. I enjoyed using my “Noel” banner that I purchased from you back in October.

  8. Renee Rogers says:

    Everyone is saying how much they love the boots, but I also wanna know where I can get some just like yours? 😛 “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and all that stuff…. :)

  9. Congratulations on the Magazine features! Isn’t it amazing what our homes can look like when they are all cleaned up, dressed up, and propped? Reality is things thrown around, laundry waiting to be folded, socks tossed around, etc. I really like the boxwood wreath around the Cow’s head, and the patterned drapes in the dining room.

  10. Kathy G says:

    I got the Fresh Style at CVS last week. great Article. Will look for the others. Congrats!

  11. Congratulations on all the magazine features! Your home is amazing! And I really like your risky outfit

  12. Congrats on the magazine features, Marian! Looking forward to reading your personal story in Fresh Style Magazine. You are an inspiration to so many! ox

  13. The outfit is perfect! I bet you will love wearing it! The magazine article looks wonderful and it is well deserved.

    Flora Doora

  14. I laughed out loud over the “what in the world” comment. I have gotten several versions of that myself. I know IF he notices then it’s either great or ALL bad! Thanks for the belly laugh!

  15. Sandy V says:

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading what you write. Your creativity, genuineness and faith shines through, and I suspect you are a fun friend in real life, too! :0) Happy New Year to you and your family!

  16. Can I tell you what a comfort it is to read that such a successful and grounded person as your is still struggling to find parts of herself?? And believe me, Marian, I mean the little parts cause the big parts you share with us daily are so awesome! Thank you !

  17. Lorie says:

    I had to laugh about your husbands response to your outfit (which looks great, by the way)
    I get a similar response, or lack thereof, from mine if he likes my outfit, but if not I get a “is that what you’re wearing?’ Congrats on your success, so well deserved!

  18. woot woot magazine features! and my girl sarah dorsey is on the cover of the second! she is moving here and i am SOOOO excited! meeting up with her tomorrow! :)
    and i loe the outfit- i am all about eccentric layers. you just need to feel good in what you are wearing and it will look good!

  19. Wandalee says:

    CONGRATS on the three articles…as for the cow with the wreath…that could be intellectual property infringement …your outfit is too stinking cute…oh, and I painted a child’s toy dresser today with your paint…I loved using it! When I am finished I MIGHT SUBMIT IT FOR FFF…

  20. I saw another blogger with tat cow head and a boxwood wreath recently and I thought, “I know where she got that idea!”

    Congratulations on the magazine features! How exciting!

    I think that “eccentric” dressers are very confident people. I remember a woman who lived next door to me in college. She had a great thrift store vintage 60’s choice of clothing. She loved what she wore, and I loved that about her, even though I’m more a 20’s-40’s style person :)

    I went to Target recently and I saw the coats they had for sale. She had vintage ones that looked like ALL of the ones that I saw there–the polka dot one, the green one, the one with a huge fur collar–and I smiled, remembering her and her coats, and her beautifully decorated room.

    My just-turned 12-year-old loves scarves and dresses. The other girls don’t dress like she does (she’s just like me in this regard :) ). One of her church leaders said that she wished she had the confidence to wear a scarf like my daughter does. It’s just like you said–perception and fear.

    Wear what you like. People always said stuff to me–they still do–because I like to wear dresses. I’ve been mocked for wearing dresses since I was a little girl (I’m femalel, so I don’t see what the big deal is with a GIRL wearing a dress!) People often ask why I’m “so dressed up.” I always have to explain that I just LIKE dresses. It’s a hard concept for people to understand for some reason.

    Your outfit looks great. Good for you!

  21. Congrats on all of the beautiful features! I think the fact that they don’t get old plays to your humility and graciousness, 2 things I really admire about you, Marian! Thanks so much for sharing and have a beautiful week!

  22. Rock it girl! Congrats!

  23. Good for you Marian! and you look great!

  24. Jenn A says:

    Love your outfit – especially the lace boot socks touch. Very cute all together. Love seeing your stuff in magazines too. Congratulations!

  25. Great features, all, Marian!

    And I love your put-together outfit. My daughter pulls off the layered style very well – even with mismatched prints – skirts, mini dresses, leggings, boots, sweaters & scarves. I used to do the same, but find myself in a Steve Jobs style uniform a lot these days – black turtleneck and jeans in winter, t-shirts in summer, lol. It’s fun to break the mold – go bold, break the mold! Next, you can be a fashion phenom! 😉
    Happy New Year!
    Rita C. at Panoply

  26. Talitha says:

    Saw you in Fresh Style today at Barnes and Nobles, before I read this post! Congratulations! Would you know other shops that might sell the American Farmhouse magazine? Never seen it and I don’t know the store you mentioned. I don’t know you personally, but I felt proud of you when I saw you in Fresh Style! You are a talented, hard working lady!

  27. I would say that since you were a theater geek, you are fearless and anything goes. Be the stylemaker you are, and wear it with pride….:)

  28. Oh Marian,
    I was clapping and cheering out loud as I read this post. (My husband thought we’d won big time, sorry hubs). It just tickles me to read about these wonderful opportunities coming your way. Couldn’t be happier for you and all the hard work (and trial and error we don’t always see).
    Kudos to you and wishing you a very Happy and healthy 2014.

  29. Just love that you’re giving a go to taking a bit of ‘risk’, I think I’m following your path a bit. I do love to thrift shop and recently have decided it’s OK to take a bit more risk in clothing that I like, but wonder if it’s too ‘risky’ to use your words. I’m so glad I did! Take a look at a sweater/jacket I am so glad I didn’t let pass me by at – and yes, it is hard to get a full self picture … maybe I’ll wear it again soon and entice the Mr to get a few shots for a blog post. Looks like I need to make a shopping trip out for some magazines and that sweater will be just the thing to wear! : )

  30. Beautiful home ….and thank you for your honesty….about your home and your clothing style.
    I go to your book quite often when I need a “home pick me up”
    Happy New year

  31. I so dig everything about you. Your home style, your “new” personal style that is coming out, your honesty about weight, your honesty that your home isn’t ALWAYS perfect and etc., etc., etc.,

    Thank you for sharing so much with your followers (by the way, I signed up to get notified each time you add a post to your blog). A D D I C T E D to MMS. :)

    Happy New Year… may you be blessed over and over again.

    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  32. Patty says:

    Love the articles! I received the same boots for my birthday in October and LOVE them! I wore them to a football game the first day I had them and thought I might regret it by the end of the day but they were so comfortable! I have to make myself choose other boots and shoes so I don’t end up wearing them everyday. I also love how you paired them with black and gray in your outfit. I do that as well even though some say not to pair black and brown. I think it’s super chic!

  33. I hope it was rewarding and felt good to step out of the outfit box….great choice for the boots, Debra

  34. Congrats! Your magazine features look wonderful and so do you! Wow! I never knew you had a nose ring!

  35. kimberly kuehneman says:

    Love today’s blog! Outfit looks great too.

  36. Cindy Hayes says:

    Love, Love, Love the boots!!!! I just ordered a pair. Wish I could have scored them for $80, like you did, but can’t wait til they get here. I’m a leggings and tunic kinda gal, so they will look great. I am a CAbi consultant and am always trying to get clients to step outside the box…just a little. Most of the time they are pleasantly surprised.

  37. Siouxzie Q says:

    Bravo for you! Can’t wait to pick up the magazines.

  38. Nancy says:

    I am just going to say one negative thing, I think the lace boot socks are darling, but they really “chop up” the lines of your clothing and don’ t really fit the overall look. Just my opinion, mind you. Congrats on the magazine features.

  39. Paola Norman says:

    Congratulations on all three wonderful magazine features, may there be many more to come. It’s fun to see you experiment with new styles, thanks for sharing it with us.

  40. Sara S says:

    So cute! May I ask where you got the dress/cardigan/necklace? I love your new style! Congrats on the magazine features!

  41. Just look at you and all the insanely amazing things you have going on!!! I LOVE your idea with the dress… sounds adorable with the boots and boot socks! Dresses are comfortable!
    Anyway, you’re like so famous and stuff… with books and magazines, and photography, and milk paint… and lord have mercy just everything. And you look gorgeous! Just sparkly and happy. the photos of your milk paint look amazing in the magazine feature too… It all blows my mind and then makes me smile just thinking of all the wonderfulness going on here…


  42. Leslie Rae says:

    Congrats on the wonderful features…. I also love your outfit and boots!! :)

  43. Barbara Z says:

    Congrats on even more fabulous undertakings! Also love your personal styling updates, so keep them coming!

  44. Melanie says:

    Where did you purchase the leggings and boot socks? Love them and the outfit!

  45. Cheryl says:

    Interesting to see Piper Classics ad. They are a long time family owned and run retailer Iin my neck of the. woods. Sadly they closed about a year ago. Though a longtime gal at the shop opened her own shop in the area Piper Hill, and does a great job !?

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