Monday, October 25, 2010


Good Morning girlfriends!
It's that time again...
it's our Monday Morning Makeover post
and today you get to meet


Let me tell you about her!

Mariah used to LOVE clothes. She was more concerned with fit and style than colors and accessories. Beginning in elementary school, she would even create her own styles. She was praised by her peers and even strangers for it, but as she says, that was before kids.
Mariah grew up in Southern California and is 24 years old (young). She married a Catalina Island boy six months after they graduated from high school. They moved to Wyoming and lived there for six years. They reared three children there and got roughed up a bit by the chilly, wild, wild, west.
They recently moved to Washington state and she just started homeschooling her oldest who is in kindergarten. She is enjoying the bountiful evergreen trees, the Columbia River and the delicate bright green mossy lined paths. She says it's BEAUTIFUL there! 

Here are some pictures of Mariah. The BEFORE pictures are the ones without the accessories or any extras, like tights. She says they are very typical outfits she would have worn BEFORE she read the book. The AFTER pics are those with accessories, tights, etc. What do you think?

Describe the woman you saw in the mirror before you read the book Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad:

I gave up on my appearance (not fully, but definitely lacking in a fresh, fun way). I was consumed by guilt to buy anything new for myself. Over a 6 year period I ranged from size 0 to size 13 and up and down many times. My clothes were old, plain, and mismatched clearance finds (and I’m a fashionista; I know clothes!), but I just didn’t feel worthy to look nice anymore, since, after all, 3 kids really took a toll on my tiny, young body.

Inquiring minds want to know all about you! Give details!

On page 26 Shari asks the reader to write down answers to 2 questions. I want to share my answers, because they reflect who I am and what kind of body type I dress for.

Q: what do you like about your body?

A: shoulders, “smaller” waist, back, long neck, high cheekbones, chin.

Q:List [your] trouble spots here:

A: Lower belly(baby pooch), super flat chest, rear end(not my exact wording), and thighs (cellulite---ugh!), bigger than average nose.

That’s what I wrote. I’m an x body type, but lean towards being a “d”. I’m 5’ 2.5”. I don’t know how much I weigh, because I avoid the scale, lol, but I’m definitely a glamour girl. I can pretty much pull off any style, but most of my fall look this year is mostly Pure Natural. I’m a clear and soft mix, but the soft wins out over the clear. I have an oval face, green eyes, a big nose, and small mouth. I would consider myself an average looking girl, but sometimes when Jesus shines out of me, I can be beautiful.

Did this book affect you spiritually? If so, how?

I was very blessed by what God showed me through Shari’s words. I’m sometimes hard headed and difficult to convince, but it hit me on page 15,

I quote: “Those hips you are always complaining about? Well, He made them for you.”

Pair that with my next favorite quote (same page)

“ Perfect beauty in God’s eyes is not what I look like or what your sister, your child’s teacher, or your college roommate looks like. It’s about what you look like.”

I’ll admit it; I’m not the brainy bookworm. I’m the one who knows the designer brands and who also knows who in town actually wears them, get it? I’m terrible and continually compare myself to others. When I know the love God has for me, the jealously of someone being more beautiful than I am seems to be a much smaller problem. Sometimes I can even feel so secure in God’s love that I can honestly admire her and compliment her. I’m still a work in progress, but being secure in God’s love for me is something that didn’t happen overnight. I choose daily to believe Him. Shari’s book really helped hammer that in. I know I’m beautiful because God says so and I’m believing God. Plus, I’m also just thankful I have a body that is somewhat healthy (walking and talking) and can currently help raise 3 children.

What was your favorite chapter and why?

I pretty much loved the accessories chapter, because “I can make a beautiful cake, but I always leave off the frosting”. An easy scarf here, an easy necklace there, sure I can do that, but I never really worked at it much. I was blessed by the 16-point rule, making chapter 3 my favorite!  It’s a really great chapter for any fine touches you need; especially if you are already style-savvy.

What practical steps did you take to give yourself this makeover?

Here goes nothing: So, I went to the mall…scanned every item, in every possible store. I carefully weighed all my options, specifically remembered items from each store, and how they would coordinate together, and then made my rounds of purchases. I spent more than I ever have on myself (it wasn’t that much), and 5 hours after shopping, threw a huge bag filled with many smaller ones into my trunk and bawled my eyes out driving home. I felt so guilty. I couldn’t let myself accept the nice things I was purchasing. Things normal, everyday women were wearing, that I didn’t think I was good enough for. I thought ‘I am a SAHM and I have to dress down to play the part’, but I don’t. I can still have fun and feel great. I want to show my kids a happy mom, and one that reflects how I want them to take care of themselves when they grow up. After the shopping trip, when I put together my first outfit at home and showed my husband, his jaw dropped, literally. I felt like a million bucks, even my kids were happy for me and investigated my new purchases, which were mostly accessories thanks to Chapter 3.

Who do you see in the mirror now?

I now see a mom who is concerned about making others feel good about themselves and who doesn’t have to spend time worrying about herself and what to wear and fretting over not being stylish enough(it’s in my bones, lol). I’m confident in God first and the way He made me and I’m learning to love my “curves” and how to take care of them (conceal) in an appropriate way (trouser style-my best friend!).

Any final words for us?

The book covers it all. It’s such a fun read. I’ve never met Shari, but she is a great friend to take this journey with. It’s a very positive, peaceful, and comfortable environment too--love that! I knew a lot about style already before I read her book, but I learned a lot too from reading it. I think every girl should have a copy… I really do!

I’m currently giving away a $25 Old Navy giftcard on my blog. Your blog readers would not be required to follow the blog, just leave a comment here:
I'd love to offer each of you a chance to win it! On my blog, the way to win is to "follow me" on my site, however, since I'm guest posting here on Shari's blog today you don't need to do that. All you have to do is hop over and say, "I'm visiting from Shari Braendel's blog" and you'll be entered to win! Closing date is October 27th so you have 2 days to enter.

Words from Shari:

So there you go! I have to tell you that the first time I read her answers I had tears in my eyes. Girls, it's time to drop the guilt and know it's okay to look and feel good about yourselves. I appreciate your honesty, Mariah and I know that all our readers will too.

Girls, go to Mariah's blog and leave a comment to win the $25 gift card! And I hope you'll leave a comment here, too, telling Mariah what it meant to you to hear from her. I'd specifically like to know what you think about her before and after pics!

I have to find out who won Tabitha's pretty flower pin....will find out and let you know! She may have told us on her blog but I just got back in town so will check on that today and post the winner on Wednesday.

Love you girls!


One More Equals Four said...

Mariah, LOVE the accessories! You look like you are having so much fun! Thanks for sharing your makeover!

Anita - Soaring Eagle said...

Mariah - what a beautiful lady you are! I bet you do shine because of Jesus! Glad to know that your children were happy too - showing just how much they love their "Mom".

Another great post Shari! Something to look forward on Mondays for sure.

Daphne said...

This has been a great addition, Shari :-) Love Mariah's pics and her story. Moms, we don't have to be dumpy just because we're SAHMs! Easier said than done, I know, as I sit here in jammie pants and a fleece. Time to let go of the guilt and update!!

Carol said...

Mariah - You a beauliful woman - and courageous. 'Cause that's what it took to step out and do what you did. Way to go! God's blessings.

Michelle Angelique said...

You are beautful girl, inside and out! Don't believe the lies that satan tells you that your nose is too big or your baby pooch and cellulite detract from your beauty. We may not be super model cover girls, but we are Jesus girls and that will always make us more beautiful than all the others. I know it is easy to compare but honestly we are much happier and more at peace with ourselves if we stop comparing and just be thankful for what God has given us and done for us. It was so freeing to finally let go of the guilt of how imperfect my body is! The fact that you made your hubbys jaw drop should be a beautiful sign of his love for you right there - he loves you no matter if your body isnt perfect! God bless you!!!

b said...

She's beautiful!

~Brenda said...

Mariah, you deserve to look great, remember you are the woman that your husband and children see on a daily basis and I love how you accessorize! I can tell you took Shari’s book to heart, just like I did. You went from so-so to stylish!

Love your smile!

Anonymous said...

She's so pretty & cute! I feel like society has put such an emphasis on women's bodies, etc. that alot of us are constantly feeling bad about not being what society defines as really irritates me. It's hard not to "compare" and feel jealous of someone we perceive to be better looking but men don't seem to have these concerns - why? As a stranger looking at her photos I saw a really pretty young lady & none of the negative things she sees in herself.

The accessorizing does give you more "pop" and shows off a bit of your personality. I liked it!

Heather said...

I can so relate to the feelings of guilt when making purchases for yourself. My kids and my hubby have so many clothing needs so when I purchase things for me I feel like I am being selfish. I have several items from the thrift store that I bought this weekend for me and have debated all weekend about whether to take them back or not. My daughter's need for church shoes is greater than my need to be stylish. I am sure there is a balance to be had but haven't quite figured it out yet. Thank you Mariah for sharing!

Mariah said...

@ Heather:

I'm really working hard to come up with a great list on women's essentials, men's essentials, and children's essentials lists. I have some posts about the children's list on my blog under the kids label. I know that you can have a very minimal apporach to what you wear and still look great. Trust me, this is coming from a girl who recently went to the local food bank for my family's main source of food for the last few months...(but we are moving and my hubby just got a great job!!!) The point is, us moms who don't have many funds for wardrobes need to band together and come up with creative ideas. I have some ideas started on my blog...feel free to share yours as well!!! Truly, God bless you and your decision on what to do. :) love your sister in Christ,

Susan said...

Love it Mariah! Don't know if I could shake the guilt! Would love to go shopping sometime!! Westfield or Clackamas???? :)

Mariah said...

I shopped Westfield, but Clackamas is Far better, don't you think? also, most all the accessories I bought were under or around $5 at Forever 21. :)

Dina-Marie said...

What a difference in the before and after pics - Mariah, you look great! I have been enjoying the info on your blog for a couple of weeks - my daughter-in-law found and told me about you. It is so easy to feel guilty but taking care of ourselves makes us better for everyone who depends upon us! Keep it up:)

Anonymous said...

Mariah, the accessories DO make a difference! Thanks for sharing your before and after pictures!