Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blogging Mamas Who Rock: Brittany

This week's Blogging Mama Who Rocks is Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage. She specializes in vintage for curvy figures which is great, since most of us don't have a 24 inch waist! So whether you are curvy, a mom, or just a lover of great vintage fashion, you'll soon be a fan!
Q: How did you first get into blogging?
A.That's a long story! I was as a housewife for a year before having my daughter, Olivia. It was wonderful because I had a lot of "me" time. Being a housewife, I was home alone almost every day and I was living in sweatpants and t-shirts with my hair in a ponytail and no makeup. I saw myself in the mirror one day and made a promise that I would devote just a little bit of time every day to me or else I was going to lose my mind! I have always loved fashion and this t-shirt and ponytail mommy that I had become simply couldn't do anymore. I had already been reading a lot of fashion blogs so I decided to start my own. Being a housewife and stay at home mom is my dream job but even then, there are days when you start to go a little nuts, talking to the cats and knowing exactly what the daytime tv schedule is. Through blogging, I found a way to connect to the world and talk to "grown-ups" even if it's just online. Blogging has motivated me to do what I really love and inspired me to always try to be fashionable (even if that vintage purse contains cheerios and diapers)!
Q:Tell me a bit about your kids.
Olivia is like a 30 year old in a toddler's body. She's been known to wag her finger at us and say "Don't Touch!" She's very stubborn and independent but she is such a daddy's girl! Even though she likes to do things her own way, she's a very good listener. I bring her with me to antique malls and vintage clothing shops and she is always well-behaved, which makes me SO proud! She's a year and a half old (born 10-2-09) and she loves Elmo, fresh fruit and splashing in the tub.
Olivia loves to get dressed up too. She carries my purses around on her arm and wears my clip-on earrings and bakelite bangles. When we go shopping, she looks at the jewelry cases with me and feels different fabrics while I push her around in her stroller. When she's not playing dress up, she loves to rough-house with her Daddy, romp around outside and chase our 3 cats around the house. She looks like me when she's serious but she has her daddy's smile and sense of humor. There's never a dull moment with Olivia around!
Rhys is my little boy, born April 18th. He was just 6 pounds so he's very tiny. He looks just like his daddy and Olivia adores him. He's brand new and he sleeps most of the time but when he's awake, he's very alert and curious. I'm still getting to know him but I can already tell that I'll really have my hands full with these two once Rhys is old enough to get into mischief with his sister!
You always look so cute! Do you have any tips on staying fashionable while pregnant?
Thank you! My best advice for staying fashionable while pregnant is to stick with the basics and accessorize. Since I've been limited to a smaller selection of clothes, I really made the most of my purses, hats and jewelry. Pregnancy wardrobes are such a pain because you'll only be wearing those clothes for a few short months. Mommies-to-be can often use a lot of what they already have in their closets without spending a fortune on designated maternity clothes. I turned towards dresses with full skirts (such as shirtwaist dresses) because the full skirts allow for room for the belly to grow. Stretchy skirts and cardigans are always cute and comfy and you can wear them after the baby is born. For winter pregnancies, look for capes, ponchos and loose-fitting 50's style coats. If your hometown is icy in the cold months, a good pair of sturdy shoes with a low heel and traction are a must have for winter. In the summer, cotton dresses and skirts with low heeled sandals or flats keep a big-bellied momma comfortable and cute.
What is your favorite thing about wearing vintage fashion?
I have always loved fashion history and when I wear vintage clothes, I feel like I'm preserving and displaying a piece of history. I love when I find a really amazing garment that's been badly damaged because I get to bring it home, mend and wash it and give it a new life. Digging through piles of junk to find treasure and putting these "bones" together to create a vintage look is like fashion archaeology.
Do you have any wardrobe staples you can’t live without?
Ahh, you should call this segment "Confessions of a Vintage Mommy" *lol*
My first staple items are cardigans. My best friend and I love to have "cardigan day" where we go to every thrift store in the area looking for cardigans. They're great with dresses, skirts, trousers- you name it! As mom, my cardigans are extremely important to me because the chances of me getting pudding, applesauce or who-knows-what on my blouse while I'm out and about with the kids are very high. They protect my vintage and they're machine washable. My cardigan is like my "mommy bib".
My other must-have items are half-slips. When Olivia was a baby, we were driving around in the summer time and the sun was shining right in her eyes. We forgot to bring a blanket to drape over her car seat and the poor baby was crying her eyes out! My husband was driving so I just took off my seat belt, pulled my slip off from under my dress and draped it over her car seat to keep the sun off of her. I'll never forget the look of shock from my girlfriend in the back seat but hey, a mommy does what she can for her babies!
One night, we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant about an hour from home. Just as we were leaving, Olivia's sippy cup tipped over. The lid wasn't on so ice cold soda spilled all over my lap, soaking my skirt. It was dark outside when we got to the car so I took off my skirt right there in the parking lot and rode home in my slip!
If you could give your daughter one piece of fashion advice, what would it be?
I'd like to tell her to always dress like a lady but I was a teenager once and I know that's just not realistic so instead, I'll tell her, "Stay true to yourself".
Kids can be so cruel when it comes to what someone is wearing. I hope that as my kids grow up, they feel comfortable enough with who they are that they don't feel the need to fall in with a certain crowd to be cool. When I was in high school, we had all of the typical cliques, defined by what they wore. You know, 10 kids all wearing the same t-shirt that proclaimed "I'm an individual!" And the kids always said "And then there's Brittany...She's not really any of those things!" I refused to be labeled until I knew exactly who and what I wanted to be. I could wear my Hot Topic knee-high boots and fish nets one day and wear a little pink sun dress and sandals the next day. I loved to keep people guessing and teach them that you shouldn't judge people for how they dress. Through not falling in with a certain crowd, I was able to fall in with almost everyone and it made my teenage years a lot easier, I think. I hope to also teach my kids to embrace others, regardless of what they wear. When you judge others, you're really hurting yourself because you miss out on meeting a lot of amazing, interesting people. My mom was always wonderful and allowed me to express myself however I saw fit. For years, I was known as "the blue-haired girl". I plan to do the same with my kids, even if I have to deal with a few mini skirts along the way!
Thanks Brittany for being a Blogging Mama Who Rocks!

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