A Real Woman's Guide to Crop Tops: 5 Ways to Make Them Work for You


As much as we wanted to think crop tops are just a passing phase, it looks like they are here to say (see the recent sartorial choices at the Teen Choice Awards). And lest you believe that pop stars (we're looking at you, Taylor Swift) or ladies who are a size two are the only ones who can pull them off, we're here to prove you wrong. Follow our real woman's guide to baring your midriff. We'll show you five brilliant ways to style them so you can rock this trend while looking chic and sophisticated.

1. Layer a Blazer on Top

With crop tops, we've learned that less (skin) is more. Even though blogger Gabi Fresh is curvy, she paired this crop top with an adorable shorts suit, showing off just a sliver of skin. This look is perfect for a weekend outing.

2. Look for Tops with Volume

If you're body conscious, choose a crop top that doesn't hug the body, so that the hem grazes the waistband of your bottom. Pair it with an A-line or pencil skirt, depending on your body type. You'll create a lovely silhouette without any effort. The look below is from Monique Lhuiller's resort collection, and this could work for a wedding or formal event.

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3. Choose High-Waisted Bottoms

Even if you don't have six-pack abs, make crop tops work for you by choosing a skirt or pair of pants with a high waist. This will slim your hips, butt and thighs while also highlighting the thinnest part of your waist.

4. Choose Matching Separates

If you're especially nervous about rocking a crop top, this is the way to go. Wearing two pieces of matching fabric will create a cohesive look that doesn't draw attention to the skin you're baring around your midsection.

5. Try a High-Low Hem

This is another super flattering way to whittle your middle. Having a crop top that is higher in the front than the back will draw attention to the cascading hem, going away from your body, and not your belly.

-- Mara Betsch

More Fashion Advice:

Amazing "What Not to Wear" Makeovers

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You Have to Hear This Best Man's Speech to "Let It Go"

Trust me, even if you think you've heard enough rendentions of "Let It Go," you need to hear this one. With a fresh take on wedding speeches, the brilliant "Best Man Joe" tweaks the lyrics of the "Frozen" hit to create a personalized song for this lucky couple. Don't worry, he gets a few jabs and inside jokes in there as well as a nice shout-out to a deceased parent. Though customized wedding dances, songs and raps aren't exactly new ideas, especially on our shows like "Four Weddings", this one seemed refreshingly original. The overall result is a thoughtful performance that actually made us LOL. Watch the charming video below:

-- Mara Betsch

More on Weddings:

A Brief, Suprising History of Weddings

The Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Wedding Venues

Is this the Nerdiest Wedding You've Ever Seen?

All-New 'Kate Plus Eight' Episodes Will Air in December


Kate-plus-8-2014-special-12You watched Kate Gosselin plan the sextuplets' 10th birthday bash in June (and have an epic meltdown) and now you can follow your favorite oversized family on their summer vacation and into the new school year. "Kate Plus Eight" will return to TLC in December with all-new episodes! This time around, Kate and her eight growing kids will travel to Boston and explore different parts of New England on a family vacation.

You'll also see the kids rounding out the final days of summer with fun activities, while Kate preps the household for another school year. Teenagers Cara and Mady start 8th grade, and the sextuplets you know and love -- Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel -- are beginning 4th grade. We can't wait to see the kids prepare for pencils, books and maybe even teachers' dirty looks, while balancing their time between friends and siblings. And you can be we'll see more classic Kate moments and funny banter from the outspoken kids.

-- Mara Betsch

More "Kate Plus Eight":

Memorable Gosselin Moments

Watch Kate's Most Unique Parenting Methods

Photos of the Sextuplets' 10th Birthday Party

The Pros and Cons of the 10 Most Popular Wedding Venues


You'll see all sorts of unique venues on "Four Weddings," including everything from a trapeze school to a zoo. There are wedding venues to fit every bride's personality, but the hardest part is picking the right one for you (and your budget). Every venue has its perks, but it also has its downsides. So how do you choose the perfect place for your perfect day? Before you sign on the dotted line, take a peek at our pros and cons list, which will make finding the ideal setting much easier.

Tlc-wedding-blog-04-250x1501. The Rustic Chic Barn or Ranch

Pros: A laidback country feel and a guaranteed killer sunset.

Cons: Barns don't always have air conditioning or heat and cranky neighbors may be an issue. According to the New York Times, some rural residents have begun protesting some barn owners. And no one wants Farmer John chasing rowdy guests with a pitchfork.

Tlc-wedding-blog-vineyard-250x1502. The Vineyard

Pros: An awesome setting and probably some great deals on the wine made there.

Cons: If there's not a large tasting room or gather space, you may have to rent a tent and/or flooring. Vineyards are also rarely close to, well, anything, so you may need to consider transportation for guests.

3. The Big Hotel Banquet Hall Tlc-wedding-blog-hotel-banquet-5

Pros: They've done hundreds of weddings and have everything you need on-site. And, if you have a lot of out-of-town guests, they can stay on-site.

Cons: Depending on the size of your wedding, there may be a food or drink minimum. Also, depending on the venue, you may have to bring in lots of décor items to personalize a bland ballroom.

Tlc-wedding-blog-02-250x1504. The Seaside Venue

Pros: A positively lovely backdrop and the distant sounds of waves hitting the shore to complement your stringed quartet.

Cons: Unpredictable weather and the potential for some seriously windblown guests. And if you're a fan of heels, sand may make it tough to walk down the aisle.

5. The Historic Home Tlc-wedding-blog-historic-250x150

Pros: You get a charming, intimate setting without even trying. If you're going for a vintage or romantic feel, this type of venue is a great choice.

Cons: Size. Most historic places were built a long time ago, when 200-person weddings weren't the norm, so spacing may be an issue. If you're planning on having a big band, the acoustics in an old home may also be tricky.

6. The Art Gallery or MuseumTlc-wedding-blog-gallery-250x150

Pros: Who needs decorations when you have amazing original art as your backdrop?

Cons: You'll probably be restricted to certain parts of the venue, and if you have a rowdy group, you may have to put down a big security deposit.

7. The Country Club

Tlc-wedding-blog-03-250x150Pros: Amazing service. Country clubs usually have excellent, experienced staff.

Cons: Not a lot of flexibility. These places typically have designated caterers and other vendors that you may be obligated to use. And if you're not a member, they can get pricey.

8. The Botanical Garden

Tlc-wedding-blog-botanical-garden-250x150Pros: Nature is your background and you may be able to use some of the plants as décor, saving you money in your flower budget.

Cons: Weather can be an issue if the ceremony is outdoors, and, unfortunately, bugs can also be a big problem in the warmer months.

9. Backyard Affair

Tlc-wedding-blog-01-250x150Pros: You'll be saving money on the cost of a venue.

Cons: You have to organize everything, including restrooms, electrical set-up and a bunch of other important but annoying details. If there's no kitchen on-site, finding a caterer may also be problematic.

10. The Urban Loft

Pros: You can have any theme Tlc-wedding-blog-loftyou want in this space, plus it's conveniently located in town so guests probably won't have to drive very far.

Cons: Most of the time, these venues require you to bring everything in – that includes tables, chairs, plates, silverware, linens, and the list goes on. They also don't always have staff available for setup and cleanup.

-- Mara Betsch

 More on Weddings:

Photos: Real-Life Wedding Inspiration

10 Fabulous Celebrity Weddings

Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?


One Direction Hits Up "Cake Boss" Bakery, Fans Go Wild


Apparently the Valastros aren't the only ones who like their cakes Hoboken-style, baby! Liam Payne, one of the adorable guys in the British boy band One Direction, and his girlfriend Sophia Smith hit up Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. We talked to our friends at Carlo's, and they gave us all the details!

One Direction was playing two shows nearby, so we're sure the boys wanted to take in the local flavor. He called the bakery and asked to stop by, since he is a big fan of "Cake Boss." Buddy Valastro and his family were on vacation, so one of the bakery employees greeted him and invited him behind the counter, where he even helped serve customers. Then, it was over to the Cake Factory so that a decorator could set them up with piping bags and cakes to decorate.

According to Carlo's Bakery employees "Liam did a great job on his cake. It was covered in blue fondant and decorated with white icing. His girlfriend had a pink and purple tie-dye fondant cake."

Baking seems to be a passion of Payne's, as he changed his name on Twitter to "‘Liam Payne The Baker" during his visit. Unfortunately for "Cake Boss" fans, Payne and Smith will not be on an upcoming episode. "They just came in for fun" Carlo's Bakery employee Garbiella Parisi said on Instagram.

Check out some of the giddy fan reactions below:

-- Mara Betsch

More Cake Boss

The Valastro Kids Get in the Kitchen 

Get to Know the "Cake Boss" Team

See How Buddy Makes His Cakes

The Most Creative Pregnancy Announcement Video We've Ever Seen


If your Facebook newsfeed is anything like ours, you've probably seen your fair share of pictures of buns in ovens, baby shoes next to size 12 sneakers and plenty of other sweet, but maybe a little generic, ways to announce a pregnancy. Our TLC ladies like to be more direct with their announcements. But we have to say this couple's creative take, making use of the #shareacoke campaign, had us laughing from the very beginning. With the perfect mix of humor and sentimentality, you'll be wishing you had thought of this couple's idea first. Watch them create a truly original pregnancy announcement below:

-- Mara Betsch

More on Pregnancy:

Gypsy Sisters: How Mellie Announced Her Pregnancy!

World's Cutest Couple Makes an Adorable Video Documenting Their Pregnancy

Josh and Anna Duggar's Super Cute Pregnancy Photos

Hilarious Kid Says "Apparently" About a Dozen Times, Is Too Cute for His Own Good


This news reporter got way more than she bargained for when she stumbled upon this chatty young man. Though he seems a little nervous at first, he gamely talks about his amusement park experience while using his new favorite word "apparently" nearly a dozen times. Even when his grandfather tries to get him to leave the camera and mic behind, he comes back for more, becoming an instant YouTube sensation. Enjoy his amazing interview. It's the best thing you'll watch all day, apparently.

-- Mara Betsch

More Cute Kids:

Babies Try Their First Tastes of New Foods

Watch Adults Do Whatever Kids Say

Adorable Kid Teaches Puppies to Crawl

Brilliant Mom Finds Surprising Way to Comfort a Crying Baby

Most moms know that sometimes it's darn near impossible to comfort an upset baby. But when rattles, car rides and silly faces won't calm a fussy child, there may be a simple solution. And that simple solution is...Katy Perry?! A brilliant mom discoved that her daughter went bananas for Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" and caught the entire thing on video. This little girl go from tearing up to breaking it down in about two seconds flat. If her huge grin isn't enough to convince you that Katy Perry is secretly a baby whisperer, her perfectly-in-sync hand motions will.

-- Mara Betsch

More on Babies:

Watch This Adorable Video of a Dog Helping a Baby to Crawl

The World's Most Famous Baby

Why Are Babies So Stinkin' Cute?


Adorable Video of the Day: Little Girl Doesn't Want Her Little Brother to Grow Up


We have our fair share of adorable siblings on TLC (hi, Will and Zoey!), but this brother-sister interaction may be one of the cutest things we've seen in a while. Sadie, the five-year-old in the video below, discovers that her adorable baby brother will -- gasp! -- grow up. She finds the news completely devastating. The thought of his "cute little smiles" turning into toothy adolescent grins is just too much for her to take, and she has her first existential over the fact that she "doesn't want to die when she's 100." Watch her meltdown below:

-- Mara Betsch

More Cute Kids on TLC:

"The Little Couple": Jen Plays Doctor with Will and Zoey

"19 Kids and Counting": Josie's First Birthday

"Gypsy Sisters" Photos: Meet Baby Richard

5 Times Leah Remini and J. Lo Proved They Were BFFs

If Jennifer Lopez's Instagram account proves anything (other than that she looks great in everything!), it's that she and Leah Remini are really, truly great friends. Not friends who casually grab lunch or friends of convenience, but the type of friends who crack each other up, take vacations together and act like total goofballs. See the evidence in Jennifer's Instagram pictures and videos below:

5. They Take Selfies Together

4. They Don't Wear Makeup Around Each Other

3. They Make Amazing Music Together

2. They Crack Each Other Up

1. They Aren't Afraid to Keep It Real

-- Mara Betsch

More on Leah Remini:

See Hilarious Deleted Scenes from "Leah Remini: It's All Relative"

Photos: Leah's Changing Looks

Meet Leah's Kooky Family

About the Blog

This is the place for the scoop on TLC shows and talent, the latest story we're captivated by, the viral video we just had to share. The new things we're talking about now.








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