My Navy ball woes and where I should’ve gone dress shopping


This post was written by me on behalf of All opinions are my own.

Before my husband and I started dating, he asked me to attend the Navy Ball with him. Well, I didn’t take him seriously. After all, his non-romantic invitation was literally a casual text message that said, “Hey, you should go to the Navy Ball with me.” Now I realize he was just shy and didn’t want to get shot down! We got together shortly after that, but I never did go to the ball with him.

The second time the Navy Ball came around, J was deployed. And then the third time, I didn’t want to go, because I still had an extra 20 pounds or so that I’d gained while pregnant. I assured J that the next time, we would finally go to the ball together. That brings us to this fall. In September, just a few weeks before the ball, I started dress shopping. The thing is I was hesitant to buy from any of the local stores. The last thing I wanted was to show up in the same dress as someone else. Especially if she looked better in it, right??? And I also wasn’t happy with the prices of the dresses I was seeing. I tried thrift stores and found some nice dresses, but they weren’t nice on me.

The first key is to know what type of dress flatters your body type. The Internet is full of quizzes and diagrams that are supposed to show you at the end what body type you are. If you’re like me, you’ve probably been frustrated that you don’t fit into any one “body type.” But I’ve been shopping for enough years and tried on enough clothes, that I have a good idea of what styles are going to be flattering and what aren’t.

The next important thing when shopping for formal dresses, is finding a store that has a large inventory of dresses, so you can find those flattering styles, and there’s also no worry you and someone else at the party will be dressed the same!

Finally, find a store that has affordable dresses within your budget.

Next year, I’ll be looking at DressFirst. They have more than 1,000 styles of dresses available. That includes wedding dresses, LBDs, and prom dresses. Since I want more children in the near future, I was happy to see a quick search of their site brought up almost 60 maternity dresses.

If you like a particular style of dress, it’s probably available in several colors. The sizes at DressFirst run from 2 to 26W. You can click on the size chart to see what size you would need, but I also noticed some dresses have exact dimensions listed right above the “Add to Cart” button.

The prices vary according to the detail on the dresses, but they also have a sale section. There’s also an “Under $100 Section,” but when I clicked on the link some of the dresses were not actually under $100. Hmmmmm. They were close though. Perhaps it’s because I had the site set to US currency? There were a lot of dresses around $80 to 90 that were really cute! They look too short for the Navy ball, but they’d definitely be great for holiday parties.

Below, I’ll show you my top five picks for a Navy ball dress. Each of these dresses is between $100-150. (In case you’re not used to shopping for formal dresses, these prices are reasonable!) All of these dresses are available in other colors.

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PayPal is accepted at, as well as major credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, and Western Union. There are a variety of world-wide shipping options available.

So did I ever make it to the Navy ball?

Nope. Trying again next year. I know now (too late) that dress shopping doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful.

What’s your favorite dress from the photos above? Or what’s your favorite dress from DressFirst?

Note- I was compensated for this post, but the opinions are my own and may differ from yours or the opinions of others.

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Deals for the weekend

  • Have you shopped at Zulily before? They always have tons of deals going on at once. This weekend you can find sales on workout clothes, handbags, footwear, rugs, water toys, baby accessories, costumes, clothing for all ages, and much more. Click (referral link>) HERE to see what they have.
  • The Steals Network is my favorite discount shopping site. Their deals are always amazing on high-quality items, and shipping is fast. They feature a deal twice a day; however, browse through their archives to see hundreds of items still available. Current archive products in their baby section include cloth diapers, diaper bags, baby/toddler slings, sleep sacks, activity gyms, and maternity swimwear. There’s also a kids section and mom section that have their own archives. Click HERE to visit.
  • MamaBargains is another deal site. This one I haven’t purchased from yet, but they often have cute items for sale. Today they have toddler t-shirts featuring Spongebob, Snoopy, Iron Man, Captain America, and others. Click HERE to visit.
Do you shop online? What are your favorite sites to score deals for the family?

Note: I was not compensated for this post. If you sign up for Zulily through my link, I’ll receive store credit once after your first purchase.

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CLOSED The Green Family Giveaway Hop Sept. 15-30

I’ll be participating in the Green Family Giveaway Hop from Sept. 15-30! Nearly 50 blogs have teamed up together, and each blog will hold a giveaway and offer a different “green” or family-friendly prize worth at least $20. The grand prize for this event will be given away on Formula Mom’s blog and is provided by Glow Bug Cloth Diapers. One lucky reader will win a full stash of 24 Glow Bug Cloth Diapers in the new prints that Glow Bug has just released! That’s a $300 value!

For the giveaway held on this blog, I’m teaming up with Amy and Michelle from The Knotted Pineapple and Gina from Gina Jordan’s Shop to bring you beautiful handmade items!


The Knotted Pineapple is an Etsy shop offering hip and trendy crotched pieces to suit the modern child (or adult)! Amy and Michelle will be giving away any custom item from their shop. Visit their store to check out their lovely handmade beanies, earflap hats, and headbands, valued at $16-28!


Keeping with our theme of being “green,” Gina Jordan’s Shop will be giving away 30 paperless towels, an eco-friendly alternative to paper towels! That’s a $25 value! Paperless towels are an easy way to eliminate trash and and reduce your impact on the environment.


From Gina:

These paper-less towels are super absorbent, premium quality, 100% birds eye cotton and are serged around the edges for a clean finish. You can expect these work-horses to last for a very long time. I have used mine for about 2 years, and have washed them about 200 times each……still going strong! Use them to mop up any spill, dry your hands, or for any typical use of paper towels. I throw mine in the washer and dryer with any and all loads of laundry (they take up very little space), because no special care is required.

This giveaway begins Sept. 15, so mark it down on your calendar!

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