Thursday, June 30, 2016

Outfit Evolution: Madison Skirt & Owl Tee

Hey! Today's post is about the trial and error aspect in my personal fashion journey. 

What do you get when you mix a lack of detail with creativity? 
Accidental outfit cuteness. 

That's me. I try things. And sometimes it looks great and other times it's laughable. I say this to encourage others who also struggle with an eye for detail OR color. Some days you will look oh so cute! Other days the struggle will be real. 

"It's cute but it's missing something."
"Something is a little off. I just don't see what it is." (There is a good reason why I don't trim my own bangs, or pluck my own eyebrows.)

Here's a good example...

It was a morning like any other morning, so basically I was running behind. This means there's no margin for playing around with accessories. In addition to no margin,  I heeded not a fellow blogger's advice to pick the shoes first, and chose my top and skirt before ensuring there would be a complimenting shoe. 

I grabbed at my go-to silver jewelry pieces for black, cobalt blue, etc and still have not shoes.

It's time to leave and being late is far worse than a "perfect" outfit, so I scurry over to my closet and look for a casual black sandal. 

I see a pair of "beach" flops and one other pair. Option 2 won't work. The style is all wrong. That leaves option 1. How do I not have a casual pair of simple black sandals?? 

Sporty Beach flops. Nike. 

Switching out purses is not an option.  I had to go "as is"...

Outfit Attempt #1: Sporty Beach Flops & Dressy Silver

I may not love this completed ensemble, but I wanted to try the skirt and top again. However, black sandals are still an issue, which means I need to ditch the black shoe idea and take a different approach.

Outfit Attempt #2 - Camel Colored Wedges & Copper

Leather Cuff by Peachy Pruitts, English Rose by Premier Designs

Outfit Breakdown:
Top: Illusionist Event
Skirt: LuLaRoe (Megan Cook)
Shoes: LOFT

By george, I think we've got it for this one! What do you think?

Linking up with High Latitude StyleMix Match Fashion , Elegance and Mommyhood and Fashion Should Be Fun  and Posh Classy Mom today. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Feminine All the Way

 Once again I posted a few pics of my manequinn with different necklaces on the same dress to get extra opinions on Facebook. These are the four options I shared...

The vote was a landslide in favor of "B", top right, so that's what I went with.

"I love your outfit. It looks so feminine!", said a sweet woman at the grocery store checkout. 

Thank you sweet woman. You put extra bounce in my step as I sashayed to my mom-mobile, and inspired today's blog post. I think the floral print and the pleats from the waist down may be what gives this outfit that "feminine" vibe.  Who doesn't love an outfit made easy by a great dress? The jewelry was decided by Facebook friends, leaving me with the simple decision on what shoes and purse to use. It takes a village to help this indecisive girl pick out her clothes! (Not to mention choosing a "brand" for this blog. I'll save that for another day!)

Outfit Breakdown:
Dress: LuLaRoe (by Megan Cook)
Necklace & Bracelet: Premier Catalog
Shoes: WHBM (fun optionfun option 2)
Clutch: Fossil (fun optionfun option 2)

I'd like to close with a reminder this sweet woman gave me.  Words effect others, negatively or positively.  Words can have the power to brighten someone's day or keep them up at night, rehashing ugly criticism or hurtful remarks. I want to make people smile and feel good about themselves. There are those that make it easy to lavish with uplifting remarks and there are those that make it bite-the-inside-of-your-cheek and clench-your-teeth laborious. But I recognize that there are days when I'm easy to love and then there are those other days. Taking a good look at my own shortcomings (where they are "short", they do not lack in quantity) helps me to keep my attitude in check. Work in progress!

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lordmy Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

One more that requires much prayer...

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

Have a wonderful day my reader friends!


P.S. I'm linking up with  Elegantly FashionableElegantly Dressed and StylishMyriad Musings, Style Elixir , Sydney Fashion Hunter

Friday, June 17, 2016

Beach Getaways: Part 2

Here is the skirt I purchased from LuLaRoe back in May. Turns out it doubles as a maxi. I love versatility! This ensemble was comfortable and so easy. Simply pull skirt up beneath shoulders, add shrug and necklace. Oh wait. My beach hair usually requires a hat. Out of the entire week, I only put together one outfit.

Outfit Breakdown:

This next dress is actually worn by my niece, Izzy.

My sister, mom and I had a routine. Wake up. Have coffee. Grab beach tent and chairs. Set up on the beach. Take a stroll. And all this happened before the children woke up. On this particular morning we bumped into my brother, his wife and my niece Izzy.

Hello niece, Izzy. Might I snap a photo of you for my blog? Your dress is just darling. :)

Outfit Breakdown: 
Dress:  Wal-Mart! Similar

What's your go to beach outfit?? Linking up with The Pleated Poppy today.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Do You Color Your Own Hair?

About a year ago I was sent an invitation from a friend to try Madison-Reed permanent hair color. It just happened to come right when I was contemplating one of life's quandary's - to color or not to color??  My hair stylist and friend gently encouraged me with soothing words.

There, there Chrissy. Coloring your hair will add vibrancy to your overall color, as well as cover your greys! 

Apparently, not only do we grey with age but we also become dull. I protest!

That being said, I decided to check out the website and investigate just a smidge.  On their "about" page I  read...


Ammonia, Resorcinol, and PPD-Free, with No Parabens Added

The granola in me smiled. 


Our Color Lasts Longer and Is Gentler on Your Hair
My bank account and husband smiled. 

With $15 off my first order, I was willing to invest the remaining $10.00 to try it. Excitedly, I began the short process of filling out my personal profile, clicked "done" and was rewarded with color recommendations. After two attempts, I found my perfect match and learned the easy process of at home-do-it-yourself-coloring.

 Once my box arrived, I timidly opened my package. What if there was a cap and hook in there?? Visions of watching my mom and her friend poking a hook through the marked holes on mom's cap, and pulling out a small clump of hair, over and over again, came flooding back. That looked painful and there was no way. Of course I realize that's for frosting or highlighting, but the visions still came.

My fears were unfounded. I was greeted by stylish packaging and uplifting compliments.

  • There is minimal odor or chemical smell. 
  • My hair is softer when I'm done!
  • My grey is covered
  • The lustre in my overall color has returned
  • I only have to color ever 6-8 weeks
  • They have a colorist on standby for "live" chat to assist
  • They tell me I'm beautiful (I mean...)
  • I have to do it myself
  • It's an added cost and added "to-do"

What's the price?

First time use with $15 off: $10, plus $5.00 shipping. (Message me with your email and I'll send you one!)
Regular price: $24.95, plus $5.00
Automatic Renewal Price: 19.95, plus $5.00 shipping - you can adjust date as needed

I've posted a couple of videos on my Facebook page if you're just that curious! ;) What do you think? What kind of hair color do you use?

As always thanks for reading!

Linking up with Elegantly Dressed and Sylish, Sydney Fashion Hunter and Beauty101by Lisa


Monday, June 13, 2016

Beach Getaways: Part 1

This is my ultimate favorite beach wear. Ripped up jean shorts, comfy, casual sneakers, a cardigan for the night chill and a hat because there's no time to waste on my hair. Honestly, why do I even bother to pack several outfits?? I only end up wearing these shorts with different tops.

Outfit Breakdown:
Hat: Khol's 
Striped Tee: the Limited
Shorts: Old Gap jeans that I cut off
Shoes: Vans (similar)
Purse: Gift

Linking up with Elegantly Fashionable. Cuz I'm so elegant. Also linking up with Beauty 101 by Lisa.

This year my family and I are blessed with a few trips to the beach!  Under our belt so far is a quick spring break getaway,  a couples trip to Seaside for a birthday surprise, and a big family trip with grandma, siblings and their children. I'll highlight the first two today. :)

****Without the kids****

SEASIDE: I still can't believe this one happened. A trip with friends; without our boys. Yeah. That was not on my radar.

How cool would it be to wake up and think you're on your way to a nice dinner outing with friends, only to find out you're actually about to be whisked away to Florida for a long weekend trip to Seaside...with a group of your friends?? Well, that's what one friend experienced because of his super cool wife (and a few helpers). 

After recovering from our nerves and he from he shock, we ate a quick dinner and hit the road. From start to finish, this was such a great trip. 

The place we stayed in was beautiful. All ten of us would hop on our rented bikes and ride around like teenagers. We ate out, but enjoyed staying in just as much. We sat on the beach all day and did nothing.  And we'd visit. I'm not gonna lie. I missed my boys, but this trip was fabulous. Simply fabulous. 

Hush Puppies for the win

Our room!

I know. Why the john?? I thought it would be funny to pose by the porta-potty. However, as I prepared to lean up against it there was a sudden clunking sound, indicating that this facility was, in fact, occupied.  Apparently, one of the builders was on break. My friend snapped a pic and we rode quickly away, laughing at my ridiculousness.

Lost with no children to look after

****With the kids****

Look how much our eldest enjoys hanging out with us.

On our second getaway, I was able to unplug and enjoy my husband and children without distraction.  They played, explored and were rewarded for their efforts. Just look at all those starfish! Have you ever seen such an abundance??  (Don't worry. All but one starfish were returned to their rightful place.)

My husband and I are learning that quality time requires intentionality, as memory making moments can slip through our fingers. I'm so glad summer is here and I'm praying that we make that most of it!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Ramblings of the Heart

Good morning.

It's my favorite time of day. The house is at rest. Only the hum of the fridge and the song of the birds interrupt silence. With coffee in hand I slip on whatever shoes I can find and sneak outside. Though its summer, I shiver from the morning chill. 

We finally planted a few flowers and I want to see their progress. Experience has taught me not to plant an abundance, for I struggle with the discipline of watering them. The sun is still rising and the air smells so good. Was that a hint of our gardenia bushes I smell? I smile to myself and feel at peace. God's with me. He made all this. 

The grass is tall. Too tall. I brush aside thoughts of task and to-do lists and seek out my small cluster of potted plants, while savoring another sip of coffee.

This beautiful bloom awaits me. How does something so small bring me tremendous joy? 

Can I stay here? Live in this moment with time slowed. No trial. No struggle. No pain. No longing. No temptation. Perfect contentment. Perfect peace. Whole. 
One day I will. Heaven. Earth's beauty will pale in comparison. 

But as I live and breathe, my time has not come yet.  Soon the household will awaken. And responsibility awaits. Beyond the home, one will be celebrated while another will be mourned. 
I take one more look (and snap a picture of course) before returning to life inside. I'm thankful for the peace and comfort He brings in these quiet moments. But oh how thankful I am that peace, comfort, joy and guidance is available to me (and ANYONE) whenever I seek Him. Good times. Times of sorrowful loss. Disappointment. He's there. Always.

"Anyone who comes to (God) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Heb. 11:6)


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Preppy Attempt & My First Podcast Experience

Hello blogger world! School's out and summer vacation begins. The children are foot loose and fancy free, but what about momma? Usually, my summers consist of poolside views and strategic road trips to family that lives by bodies of water.  This means I try and keep our calendar as clear as possible. My boys are growing quickly and I want to spend the days going on adventures, big or small, with them. Though I still feel that way, our summer schedule looks a little different in 2016. 

My firstborn will be a freshman this upcoming school year (what?! What?!) and has decided to play football. His practices are in the morning, four days a week. There are upcoming women's events that require preparation and I continue to work on a new business start up with Premier Designs. Phew! I'd say that's enough to keep me on my toes!

So we started off the summer with an appointment in the recording studio to record my first podcast ever (more on that below). This is the outfit I ran out the door in. It's my interpretation of a comfortable, yet preppy look. How'd I do?

Preppy or not, I love how the purse highlights the orange stripes in this scarf. Pops of color are so fun to me.

Look at me. Sitting so preppy like. A lopsided scarf is the in thing you know. 

Outfit Breakdown:

Top: Altar'd State
Skirt: Cassie by LuLaRoe Megan Cook
Shoes: Vans
Purse: Clarks
Scarf: LOFT

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy, Sydney Fashion Hunter


Now let's talk about that podcast...In late March, we featured a panel of five women with varying stories. We asked them specific questions in regards to where they find their identity, where they go for encouragement and how they balance life overall. Their responses blessed us tremendously. Regardless of how different their answers were, one could not miss the beautiful, common thread woven into each account.  They shared a love for Jesus and personal experiences with God's provision, faithfulness and comfort . 

Before we knew it, the night came to an end leaving many with a desire to hear more. Would we post a transcript of their stories?

Well, I had the bright idea to record some podcasts instead. How hard could it be? Can I just say that I have a lot more respect for those with podcasts and radio djs?? Words don't fail me now!!  This experience gave me an appreciation for a visible audience. I like to see facial expression, body language, etc.  Speaking into a mic with no one there proved to be challenging for me. Nevertheless, this humbled amateur will be getting over herself and sharing those interviews soon. It's not about me anyway. :)

Here are a few behind the scenes shots from some of our panel. Have a fabulous day and thank you for reading!


The talented Judy interviews Pamela
 (Judy moderated the questions on our panel night. This arena is her jam!)

 My zany, hilarious friend Lindsey

The sweet and talented Tania


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Colorful Leggings & Market Day Fun

On yet another whim, I commented on a LuLaRoe entry to win a free pair of mystery leggings. It was Friday the 13th, so the consultant, Kara, said to comment with your favorite horror film. I'm not a fan of horror flicks because they mess with my head, so I responded with "Call the Midwife" and went about my day. Now, before you're like, "What?! I love that show!", I love it as well. However, my husband's comment in regards to the show came to mind. He would say, "I don't need to be in the room with you to figure out what your watching. The screams tell all." Makes me laugh every time. It's true. There was a lot of yelling, screaming, etc in that show. Those women were birthing those babies without pain assistance!

Thus I commented with the horrors of giving birth in mind, and went about my day. Some time later I received a FB notification stating that I won! Excitedly, I messaged the rep with a note of gratitude, my size and home address!

Mystery leggings. Mystery leggings were en route to my home. Would the print of these mystery leggings match the only IRMA I own?? If not, would I have something else to match? I was in such suspense, but I didn't have to wait long. When the time came for mail delivery, the boys and I watched from the kitchen window. Was that a package?? They beat me to the mail box. (Hey! No judging. It's the little things.)

I wasted no time wearing my prize on a planned trip to my sister's.

Outfit Breakdown:

Top: Irma by LuLaRoe (from Megan Cook)
Leggings: LuLaRoe (from Kara Leary)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Triplet (Online Catalog)
Linking up with Elegantly Fashionable today and Beauty 101 by Lisa
Allow me to share a few pictures from our city market adventures in Uptown Columbus, which happens to be a military town. Quite appropriate considering that was the weekend before Memorial Day.

I wanted to buy something from every tent! Vendors beckoned potential patrons to sample their homemade goodies. From signs, flowers, bat houses to jams, jellies, barbecue sauce, farm fresh eggs, yogurt, and milk, there seem to be no end of talent and creativity.

As you can see from the pictures, we stopped for flowers and empanadas. Empanadas. A Puerto Rican specialty that neither, my sister nor I, can make. Tsk. Tsk.

"Would you like chicken, beef, or guava and cream cheese?" Yes. Yes. And, yes. 

Before departing the sweet market, we strolled down to the river where our only mishap occurred...

That stinks. He was a champ but I'm fairly certain that shirt is done for. At least we were getting ready to leave.

What do you think about the legging craze that continues to live on? And do you frequent a local market? If so, what's your usual?

Well, that's plenty for today my reader friends. Thank you for sharing in my adventures!

© Granola and Grace
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