Behind the Scenes: THE. VEST.

She stood on the American Idol stage in March of 2010.

Didi Benami.


Oh, she had a good voice…and I noticed that a little as I heard her sing her heart out for all of America to hear and vote.

But mostly?

I was staring at her vest.

It was the most colorful, crazy, fun, piece of clothing that this hippie/boho-clothes lover has ever seen in her life.

I swooned.

It might be the only time I’ve. Actually. Really. And. Truly. Swooned. over an item of clothing.

Oh, I enjoy clothes.

But this vest was in a league of its own.

The next day I hopped online, just to see if anyone happened to love her vest as much as I did. It was that short, online, browsing session that confirmed two things for me.

First…Yep, a large portion of the female population of the world adored it.

And, second? Forever. 21.

I couldn’t get to their website fast enough.

I scoured the site and the internet until I found one in my size. (Let’s just say that the U.S. viewers…those lucky ducks…they got American Idol TWELVE WHOLE HOURS BEFORE I did…therefore, they got a huge jump on the cool-vest-shopping.) I found it on the Canadian Forever 21 site, and the price tag ran around $40. Plus shipping to the U.S.

Hubby said no.

He wasn’t mean about it…I mean, we’re talking $50ish.

We were living and working overseas and extra money wasn’t something we had a lot of.

I was pregnant, and my six-month belly was already popping waaaaaaaaay out. (A local thought I was at nine months around then, FYI.) πŸ˜‰

And $50 from our small salary was a lot.

So I let a tear drip…and then I let it go.


We moved back to the U.S. a few months later, had our baby girl, settled into life here.

But I never really forgot about the vest.

Occasionally I’d pop over to Ebay to see if one had miraculously surfaced. In a potentially bored (or desperate?) moment, I once even checked Craigslist.

I know.




Once every few months…I’d look for a few minutes. Just to see if someone had gotten bored with their wardrobe and needed to rid themselves of the coolest vest the world has ever seen. :)

I always came up with zero search results.

Then, toward the end of June this year, it was about time to look again, so I did it.

Hopped over to Ebay…and GUESS? WHAT?

I’m pretty sure the neighbors heard my joy.

There it was!

In my size!

And, oh…the bidding war that was already happening. (With five days left, there were already ten bids on it.)

Clearly there are other people out there who agree that this vest is fantastic.

Hubby and I (ok, mostly hubby) are pretty good at figuring out Ebay. We don’t bid right away, we simply watch and attempt to trump at the end. I quickly did the math and realized that at the very moment the auction ended, I’d be in the car headed to Iowa.

And so I asked him to please-please-oh-pretty-please watch the auction for me and do our usual, trump-all-the-bidders, thing at the end.

I told him how much of my birthday money I was willing to spend on it. (I’m just throwing out here that it wasn’t that much…because I don’t want you to think I throw money around like crazy. :))

He set a reminder in his phone, I left a few days later for Iowa.

I was so busy catching up with my dear friend early into the wee hours of the morning that I actually forgot about it. (I know.)

The next day, I shot him a quick text.

Remember the vest?

Guess what, friends?

He. Remembered. It…

And? He. Got. It.


I arrived home a few days later, and there it was on my dining room table in all of its rainbow glory. (Pardon the drama. ;))

I waited until our anniversary last weekend to wear it for the first time. :)

I love it.

I know there are probably a lot of people out there who look at it and think, Wowza, that’s kind of crazy. I’d never wear that.

And that’s ok.

It’s totally cute.

It’s totally me.

And it makes me break into a silly, cheesy grin (possibly accompanied by a song…) when I see it. πŸ˜‰

And I have the sweetest-ever hubby, one who went out of his way to make sure I could have a completely unnecessary, once-in-a-liftetime, in-his-words, psychodelic…vest.



Happy Tuesday, friends! This is one of my favorite parts of the week…the Behind the Scenes link up at my sweet friend, Crystal’s space.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

I hope you’ll take some time to stop by and read about the crazy and fun, the sweet and sentimental, (and sometimes the vests!) of life behind the camera lens. The writers are some of my favorite people, and I know you’ll love their stories! :)



  1. Dear Mel
    I think you should come over to South Africa and I will crochet you a few of those! So very pretty. I am so proud of you for letting only one tear spill when hubby said no the first time.
    Blessings XX

    • I would LOVE to visit you in South Africa…maybe someday I will! And you are always welcome to crochet one for me. πŸ˜‰ Blessings, friend…hope you have a fantastic week!

  2. Your post brought the biggest smile to my face today! Im so glad you got it! I hope to meet you at Allume :) too ~Jenny @jnnyrvn

  3. You look great in it! And what an awesome husband you have. God can bless us with the smallest things through the best people. So happy you got what you wanted!

    • Thank you, Sarah! :) That’s my favorite part of the story…the fact that he made a point to remember because it was important to me. :) Blessings and happy week!

  4. You are so fun – and this vest is totally you. Love it!

  5. I love this Behind the Scenes Story!! :) I would never wear that vest in a million years, but you must promise me that the vest is coming to Allume and you will be wearing it! I want picture with you…

    …I wanna be like you when I grow up…

    • Well, *blush*…and yep, I promise it will be there! Can you believe in TEN WEEKS we’ll be giving (in)RL hugs? I can’t wait! Blessings and happy week to you, friend! :)

  6. Every other sentence I had to refrain from saying, I can make you one! Or, let me teach you yo make that. Or, have you seen all the crazy patterns on that could be this kind of awesome with a rainbow of yarns? You don’t crochet yet so maybe you arent interested but you sure could have a lot of fun, or a crochet loving friend could have a lot of fun making things for you :) I want to adopt you now so I can crochet knowing something I made that looks like that will be loved… did i mention yarn is cheap πŸ˜‰
    Oh and congrats on your vest! The item is knee high dark brown leather boots. But somehow 35 bucks never seems to surface for them…

    • :) You are sweet, friend. The funny thing is that I can crochet…just cute hats and scarves. I’ve looked at patterns for things like this vest several times, and it all looks too overwhelming. Maybe someday I’ll find the time to figure it out, though! But you are welcome to adopt me anyway. πŸ˜‰ I’ll say a prayer that the perfect boots will show up, too…I know it sounds crazy, but in the last two years, I’ve found two great pairs of boots at Goodwill. You never know what you might find there! :) Blessings and happy Tuesday!

  7. You look great in your new vest! I know there are a lot of people saying they can make that. I can NOT make anything and understand the importance of a great find and amazing deal! I especially can appreciate a husband who is awesome online. I would be lost if it were not for my tech savvy man! Enjoy! You look adorable!

    • I agree with that…in all honesty, my blog would be a disaster without my hubby. He’s so great about helping me out with things like that (including ebay auctions!). πŸ˜‰ Thanks, friend…I hope your week is wonderful!

  8. I love the vest! We do the same outbid-everybody-at-the-end thing on eBay. It actually has a name – “sniping”! Also, we have a connection with Didi BenAmi. Her sister Elinor was a classmate of my oldest daughter’s back when they were in middle school and high school. Dana actually knew Didi a little, like you know your friend’s siblings. :-)

    • Thanks! And I never knew we were “snipers”! πŸ˜‰ That’s an awesome connection to Didi, too…it totally made me smile. :) Hope you have a fantastic week, sweet friend! Blessings! :)

  9. Ok first you are totally BEAUTIFUL !!! Love the vest! I think it would have been a dress on me πŸ˜‰ I was reading your words and my heart smiled……Just another reminder that sometimes the very BEST things come from the waiting…..and it makes them all the more beautiful :) Thank you for your words today…..He whispered to me and that makes them all the more precious….love to you sweet friend!!

    • Ok, friend…you are just the sweetest. Thank you. :) You are a blessing…thank you for stopping by to read my words and bless me with yours. Love to you…happy Tuesday!

  10. Totally made me smile! I only know you through online, but that vest is totally YOU! :) It is very pretty….I like it!

  11. Oh Mel – you totally crack me up. This is why we’re great friends :) You write simply and awesomely and personably… and I love it. It’s like we’re hanging out in your living room chatting. And this vest must must must make it into your bag for allume. MUST! It’s not me at all, but totally you :) Love it!

    • You make me smile, friend…thank you. :) Yep, the vest will be there…I decided it’s worth saving for the most special days, and Allume is definitely up there! I seriously can’t wait until we can finally chat (in)RL…it’s getting close! And if you need anything in the next weeks, let me know…I’m here for you and praying for you! Love you, friend! :)

  12. OMW! That is FABULOUS!!! What a wonderful man you have. :)

    • Thanks! Yep, he’s pretty great…I think my favorite part of the story is that he made it a priority to remember because it meant so much to me. :) Blessings, friend!

  13. Oh my heavens…you had me cracking up and smiling so big!! I love that you finally got your vest…after all that waiting and never forgetting about it! Such a cute and fun story…and it looks adorable on you!

  14. The vest, the lady — 100% gorgeous!! Love it :)

  15. Best EBAY story EVAH!!! Love it. I would spot you a mile away at Allume with that vest on! This is a great piece!!

    • Thanks, friend! :) I’m sure the vest will make an appearance at Allume…not sure when, though. I’ll just have to surprise y’all. :) Blessings!

  16. Friend… I love this story and the vest!!! And I think it’s so much better because you waited sooooooooo long to get it… Who says instant gratification is where it’s at.

    • I’ve thought of that…if I had gotten it right away, I’m sure it would be buried in a pile by now. I think it’s sweeter now. :) Thanks, friend…hope you’re having a great week!

  17. I am sitting here just grinning as I read your story. It is crazy how as we settle into life it just takes the little things to make us happy. I love the vest but love that he remembered even more.

    • I love that, too. Just looking at the vest makes me smile and reminds me that he loves me. Thank you, friend…hope you are having a beautiful week! Blessings! :)

  18. Wow. What a story! You are a gifted storyteller. I was smiling and tearing up at the same time. Have a great week and wear the heck out of that vest!

  19. I look forward to seeing you in church with it on, singing your heart out with a bigger smile than usual as you song lead! :)

  20. I grinned from ear to ear reading this. I know well how a piece of clothing or adornment can transform. So I get it and I appreciate your story. The vest IS fab and you look great in it. Congratulations on the fashion score and anniversary blessings to you both!

  21. I love it! The story… the vest… the whole thing! (I just did a Boho/Gypsy Photo Event and you just may have swooned a few more times!)


    • Cool…I bet it was awesome! Yep, I probably would have. :) Especially with some of the styles that are coming back, I have to show a lot of self control or I’d buy way too much that I don’t need. πŸ˜‰ Hope you’re having a great week, friend!

  22. Fantastic! I think the vest rocks. And its awesomeness becomes you. Well done!

  23. ah great story. Persistence! :)

  24. LOVE the vest, and your story behind the picture! Bless you today, Mel!

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