Do you have these 12 Wardrobe Must-Haves?

Like most of my content, this list is taken from Shari Braendel’s book “Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Woman” right here on

Tired of buying duplicates of the same item because you don’t know what’s in your closet? Do you wish you could go shopping for exactly the right pieces to add to your wardrobe?

Start shopping on purpose!

fantabulous women wardrobe basics

Use this check-list to inventory your closet then make a list of what you need to buy. Keep your list in your purse for impromptu shopping trips.

____ Jeans in a dark wash to wear with heels or boots

____ Jeans to wear with flats or casual shoes

____ A denim jacket in a neutral color*

____ A white or off-white blouse*

____ A suit (a jacket and pants, or skirt) in a neutral color that flatters you.* Choose a fabric that you can wear all year.

____ A flattering dress in chocolate, black, charcoal or navy*

____ A cashmere or cotton sweater in a soft color

____ A silk or cotton blouse in a print or solid pop color*

____ A V-neck or scoop-neck T-shirt in chocolate, black, charcoal or navy.* Look for one with 3/4″ sleeves.

____ Khaki, tweed, corduroy, linen, cotton or wool slacks

____ A jogging suit in your favorite color (for hanging out at home)

____ A lightweight coat

*Wondering what your best neutral or POP colors are? Check out my previous post all about determining your Dominant Color Category and make sure to “follow” the corresponding Pinterest board, too.

Ideally, each piece will reflect your individual style, whether modern, vintage, eclectic or something else. They may be basic pieces, but they should still be “you!”

With these basics in your closet, you can create lots of different combinations!

Stay tuned for the OTHER dozen essential items AND your must-have spring items, coming soon!

What pieces do you need to add to your wardrobe? Need help editing your closet and determining your must-haves? Contact me for a Closet Makeover!


How I Taught My Son to Say Thank You

People often point out to me that my youngest son, Ethan, is really good about saying “thank you,” even for mundane things like helping him put his shoes on or when you say “bless you” when he sneezes. I wish I could take credit for it but he has always been that way, and with very little prompting from us.

thank you baby ethan

On Jacksonville Beach, June 2013.

Here’s the background story: Ethan is our redemption baby because he came home from the hospital a year to the day after I suffered a miscarriage. It felt like God, in His great mercy and grace, gave us our Ethan to somehow ‘make up for’ the baby we lost. The date—May 13th—was at first a very sad day and is now forever a very happy day.

Ethan is a constant reminder of God’s redemption and the way that God can take something heinous and turn it into something glorious.

Just looking at my Ethan makes my heart feel like it’s going to fall out of my chest. From the moment he was born, we have clung to each other.

When a miscarriage rips a baby away from you, there is something deep and satisfying on an almost primal level about holding a flesh-and-bones child in your arms, especially when he’s rock solid, smells like the sky and giggles like a chipmunk when you kiss his ears.

I do not take his presence here with us for granted for one second.

fantabulouswomen redemption baby

From his first day, I have said, “Thank You, Lord, for this baby.”

In fact, just last week, we were hugging (like we do) and out of the blue Ethan said, “Thank You, Lord, for this mommy!” with a big grin on his face and I about melted into the ground.

I hug and kiss him every chance I get. People must think I’m crazy because I love on him all the time.

When I’m pushing him around in the cart at Target, I lean in and snuggle his neck and kiss his cheeks and we giggle together.

When we’re at the park, I grab him off the end of the slide and just squeeze him against me until he squirms to get away.

When I take him out of the car, I take a moment to just hold him and thank God for him and soak in his presence.

When he asks for a hug or a kiss (which is often), I give it to him every time.

And all the while, I say “thank you:” sometimes out loud and sometimes in my heart.

My husband and I marvel at him because he is so precious and angelic and fills our lives with so much joy. “He’s so alive,” I will point out. “He’s human and he’s perfect and he’s here.” We just can’t get over it.

He is our angel baby, our miracle, our gift from God.

And he has heard “thank you” time and time again for his entire life. The “thank you” of a mother who appreciates every strand of blond hair, every eyelash, every speck of dirt under his fingernails…who appreciates the chance to give him a bath, buy him an ice cream cone, push him on the swing, tuck him into bed and hold his precious little chubby hand as we walk through this Earthly life together…who feels the love of her heavenly Father every time she looks at her baby boy who’s quickly turning into a full-fledged big boy all too fast.

fantabulouswomen ethan tabitha

Then it hit me this week when, for the gazillionth time, I hugged my Ethan tight and whispered “thank you.”

He has learned to say “thank you” because he has heard us say it over and over and over again.

We didn’t teach him to say “thank you”—we modeled it to him.

It reminds me of the importance of what words we speak over people, especially the people we love the most. Of all the things for him to have absorbed, I’m glad it was “thank you.”

My Ethan knows what gratitude is all about. He is the embodiment of my “thank you” to God and now he is dispensing it to the people around him.

And I am grateful.

Introducing…Shari Braendel

It was a life-changing book for me. I still pick it up every so often to check on my ‘pop colors,’ to help me decide what pieces to add to my wardrobe or to see what makeup colors Shari recommends for a certain customer who needs new cosmetics.

It’s like my fashion and beauty Bible.

Good Girls don't Have to Dress Bad book cover

‘Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad’ by Shari Braendel is available on Amazon.

I actually appeared on Shari’s blog in October 2010 in her ‘What To Wear Wednesdays’ feature. Check out my ‘interview’ HERE.

I also wrote a ‘book review’ on my former Pleasant Places blog. It talks all about what the book has to offer and what I got out of it. Check it out!

This, by the way, was my ‘after’ picture, using the tips from her book.

Tabitha after Shari Braendel makeover

Want to find out more about Shari? Here is her Fashion Meets Faith website

Shari also has a Fashion Meets Faith Facebook page.

And you MUST do her Color E-nalysis to find out what colors look best on you!! You will be surprised at what a difference it makes!

This book is a must-have and I highly recommend connecting with Shari–she is a lovely woman and truly FanTABulous!

{Disclaimers: I am NOT trying to promote my former blog. I just didn’t want to cut and paste everything from there to here! And Shari is not compensating me in any way–I just adore her, her book and what she’s about and want to promote her in any way that I can!}

RETREAT: Your Personal Mission Statement

My mom and I are trying something new: weekend retreats!

Our first one is set for early November.


Two days IN the valley. 11:00am Saturday, November 3rd to 3:00pm Sunday, November 4th at the charming Indian Springs Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Goodyear, Arizona. Elaine, the inn keeper, is lovely. I had my 30th birthday party at the Ranch and it was a marvelous experience. I’m excited to go back!

mission statement retreat indian springs ranch

Participants will arrive for lunch then we will have a few afternoon sessions, a Crafternoon, dinner, another session, fun pajama/pampering party and a night devotion before bed.

mission statement retreat indian springs ranch

Sunday, we’ll start with yoga, walking and breathing then have breakfast together in the B&B dining room.

mission statement retreat indian springs ranch dining room

After that, we’ll have a couple of sessions, lunch, wrap-up and reflection and head home in the afternoon.

We’re trying to mix the learning/thinking/growing component with relaxation, a chance to get our creative juices flowing and just taking the opportunity to get away from the world for a bit and regain our balance.


The title is “Discovering Your Mission: Because to move forward, you have to know where you’ve been and where you’re going.”

Here’s the blurb I wrote for the invitation:

Do you know your personal mission statement? Do you have it displayed somewhere you can see it every day? Do you use your mission statement to help you decide what activities to participate in, what people to surround yourself with, how to spend your money and what boundaries you need to put into place to keep yourself sane?

If not, allow Patricia and Tabitha to guide you on a two-day journey to discovering your personal mission statement and how to use it to make 2013 your best year yet!

Along with practical, hands-on exercises, we’ll help you turn your mission statement into a work of art to display in your home.

Once you have your mission, you’ll wonder how you’ll find the time and space to fulfill it! We’ve got that covered, too. Outside of our Mission Statement Sessions, you’ll have plenty of time to reconnect with God, get creative, pamper yourself, fellowship with other women and even get some exercise! Not only will you have a wonderful time but you’ll discover ways to prioritize your ‘self care’ once you return home, too.

You’ll leave this retreat feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready to live your life with purpose! Won’t you join us? Space is limited, register soon!


$150 includes accommodations, meals, materials and goodies. Your payment secures your spot. Only SEVEN spots are available!

Family and friends are welcome, too. If you’d like to cut your cost a little, you can share a queen or kind-size bed.

For more details and information, e-mail me at letmerephrasethat(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you can’t make it to this one but want to receive the information for the next one, e-mail me!

FanTABulous Quote #5

This one came to me and I wanted to share. That’s a rose bud on the bush my son got me for Mother’s Day. faith quote

Have you had to exercise your faith muscles lately?

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.