Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Green Jeans, Local Places & Goodbyes

I usually don't try and fit so much into one post, so bear with me and hold onto your seats.

The day began with a trip to a new favorite store of mine: Marisa Jill's Boutique. It's a local gem, nestled in a downtown shopping center surrounded by historic charm. A few friends introduced me to this gateway of fashion versatility and I knew from my first moment in the door that I'd return. Not only were the clothes cute, but they fit nicely and are AFFORDABLE, which is a biggie for me!

I also noticed a photo studio right in the store with a flyer that explained if you wanted to model their clothes for social media, simply come in wearing purchases from their store. While, I don't consider myself a model I thought this would be a fun blog idea. Little did I know how awkward I would feel when that day came...

I circle the store a few times, wondering if I should leave.
How silly. Why all this sudden insecurity??
I approach the counter.

"Hi. Yes. So, I heard that if one comes into your boutique dressed in clothes from your store, you'll take pics for your social media. 
Ahem. Throat Clear. 
"Yes. Yes, we do."
Awkward silence.
I smile.
The young man at the counter clears his throat. 
"Do you want to model for our store?"he asked.
Oh! Did he have to use the word model?? And how many ladies are standing around me right now??

I stammar for a moment and say something like "do you, uh, mind older ladies?". (what in the world???)

I felt silly and self-conscious. What if they didn't like how I styled the clothes? And really, I scoped out their social media page and didn't see anyone my age on there.

He laughs at my semi-joke and tells me that I can go freshen up at the mirror if I like. 

So this is me. Freshening up. 

What you see is what you get at that point! And I hope you don't see how much I was perspiring. 

Since my shoes, jewelry and handbag were not from there, he lent me accessories from the store for the pictures.  I loved the pops of purple and was so tempted to purchase those to take home with me! Here are the shots he sent me...

I left feeling good about the experience and learned to get over myself! Honestly, I enjoyed interacting with the staff there and could see myself going again. Especially since they have an incredibly comfortable pair of jeans that I want to add to my closet. Did I grow from this experience? Did I learn to think through my ideas before charging forward? Maybe even do a little prayer, ya know?? Ok. I can always do the prayer, but too much over thinking is probably better left at home.

Outfit Breakdown:

Now my day didn't end at Marissa Jill's. Later that night, after a crazy amount of juggling and maneuvering, the hubby and I were able to escape with my sister and her husband  (oh and one of my kiddos) to a local coffee shop.

Mocha Moes...

Ordinary on the Outside... 

Fun and adorable on the inside...

Kid Play Area!

And of course...GREAT Coffee...

Now let's get back to our outing that evening...

My brother in law is in the army and that means moves. Lots of moves. But you know what? Our family has been spoiled. For years they've been stationed at two different bases right here in Georgia; just a drive away. However, back in the spring they received orders to head to Alaska. Alaska. Cold, long wintery, FAR Alaska. At first, it seemed terrible! But we adapted and our excitement for their new adventure grew.

Come August 1st, they moved out of their home and my sister and daughters were able to come stay with us (my mom, his mom and even our crew some) until the 29th.

It was great and we tried to squeeze in as much as we could! So, since we share a love for coffee I had to take her to my new favorite place.  We had a great time and I was glad we made the extra efforts to go. I need to post about our trip to Disney last September. When I learned about their big move, it made me grateful for time well spent!

Here are our goofy photos from that night. They left Monday morning and I miss her already!! Snap chat is keeping us in touch right now.

Quality time. Quality time. So thankful for good moments and heart-felt conversations.

Yup. There's my boy photobombing

I just had to share that one with my husband's crazy eyes. He said his contact was drying out.

Well, my friends go hug someone today. It will feel so good.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Backpack Purses & Other Accessories

Gold Earrings and Necklace by Premier Designs

I've had this outfit on my list of "to blog" for months now. What's sad is it took a company prompting me with a post on layering in the fall for the work place to get motivated. Now that's it done I wonder what took me so long. I may not work outside the home, but it felt fabulous to dress for success; like I was ready to take on the world.

So in today's world takeover, I want to highlight my new fall wardrobe addition, the backpack purse, and. the rest of the fabulous accessories that turn ordinary clothes into a styled outfit.

The backpack purse has a padded compartment for a tablet, as well as other pocket to organize makeup, pens, papers, etc. It's nice to be hands free without the alternative but awkward look that most cross body purses give through your chest area.

I was excited to find this leather purse for under $40 at Clarks (sale plus a 20% off coupon for the win!).

Fun Tablet Pocket

I like having pockets for extra organization. Do dumping please.

And as far as the jewelry accessories, all the pieces are by Premier Designs. Since my adventure with this company began back in April, I've earned over $500 in free jewelry! That sure does make styling outfits a whole lot easier. And it keeps driving home the idea that an outfit isn't an outfit until you throw in some accessories.  So bring on that fav purse and some fun jewelry...A scarf, watch, sunglasses, hair candy and the list goes on.

What do you think of backpack purses coming back? Would you use one?

Always a pleasure,


Outfit Breakdown:

Top: Chicos (hand me down)
Black Skinnies:  White House Black Market (Similar)
Backpack Purse: Clarks (Similar - $130, Similar - $40)
Necklace: Livey (Premier Designs)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dressing for Work in the Unpredictable Fall

School is back in session and football games are up on the calendar. My mom already has pumpkin coffee stashed in her pantry. All signs point to fall, but it's only August, and for those of us in Georgia, instead of cool breezes and crisp air, we're experiencing heavy rains, temps in the high 80's and 90's with humidity that leaves you breathlessly in need of a shower after mere minutes spent outside. Just the same, the weather can still surprise you with a cool morning. Who knows.

Even if it's hot outside does the office feel like a meat locker with an air vent blasting right over your work space? Then the only solution is to layer.

There are lots of options for layers in the fall such as: blazers, cardigans, denim jackets, scarves and even the latest trend - kimonos!

Inspired by the collage to the left, I decided to style a couple outfits from my own closet.

With my first ensemble, I went with a pencil skirt, button up top and a kimono for my extra layer.

 ***Kimonos & Pencil Skirts***

For a little variety, I tried the same skirt and top but changed to a kimono vest and flats.

Top: LOFT/ Vest: Marissa Jill Boutique /Skirt: LuLaRoe / Flats: Baldino / Necklaces & Earrings: Premier Designs
Bag: Target

****Black Skinnies & Chambray****

One of my personal favorites is to style black skinnies with a simple white oxford and jacket. 

Blazer: Banana Republic / Oxford: Chicos /Skinnies: WHBM / Shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Jewelry: Premier Designs / Backpack Purse: Clarks

If I'm out and about and humidity strikes, I can remove the jacket without feeling under dressed. When planning the fall wardrobe, it's best to refrain from outfits that look strangely remiss or incomplete without a third layer.  Am I the only one that adds a third layer to hide bulges or bra lines from time to time? Yeah. I'll save those for the winter.

Another aspect of fall is the continued use of sandals and open toe shoes. I'm taking full advantage with some of my favorites in these ensembles. The heeled sandals (or wedges) are both clearance finds at Nordstrom Rack, while the flats were actually given to me.

***How about those men?***

What do those men do? Sure they layer, but not every guy is a cardigan kind of man. Could it be that their most important layer is what lies beneath the clothing that we see? With the right undershirt, guys can keep warm or cool depending on the fabric and quality of material. I'm going to test this theory out of my husband for sure.

Sweating in that suit? Take off the jacket and then rest assured that your undershirt is absorbing and drying quickly.

What are your favorite styles for business casual in the fall? And what do you think is the secret to men staying comfortable, but fashionable in unpredictable weather?



Monday, August 22, 2016

Another Day, Another Dress

Hello my friends. My weekend was a whirlwind of sports, family in town, fun outings with said family and church activities. We hit a football game, the ladies shopped local boutiques at one point, we all went to a birthday party featuring a belly dancer (that's different!) and closed the weekend with Jerad Hall, a comedian/illusionist.  By the way that comedian was great at his craft. I'd definitely recommend seeing him if he comes your way (schedule).

So while that was an incredibly fun weekend, I find myself in a dragging fog. Not to mention, catching whatever is being passed around our parts. Other than laundry and a failed loaf of bread (looks like the bread machine is going out), I've not accomplished too much on the list today.

However, I enjoy the distraction of a blog post, so today I share my latest dress from Marissa Jill's.  I wore the dress, in hot and humid Georgia, all day without discomfort or wrinkle. Now I realize it could be the humidity swearing off wrinkles, but I'll stick with the plausibility of it being the material. The dress is also a great length and easy to style. I'd say that fits all the requirements I've had lately. :) By the way, my hair grew exponentially throughout the day (yeah, even bigger than the photos). And I know that actually was due to the humidity.

What about you? Do you like wearing dresses?

And my shopping trip with my mother-in-law was fruitful with fall bounty and I can't wait to share. I hope your feeling well (I just had another sneezing fit. Aren't you glad you're not here with me??), pumping the probiotics either way and that your week is off to a good start.

Outfit Breakdown:
Dress: Marissa Jill Boutique (Facebook Page)
Shoes: Clothes Mentor
Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Purse: Clarks (most current)
Jewelry: Premier Designs (My Online Catalog)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Off The Shoulder Dress & Leisure Walks

It was just before sunset when my hubby and I were returning from dinner out. While passing a local park we decide on a short walk. From experience we know there is something about walking together that produces good conversation. Besides the health benefits, we break away from life and mentally relax. I can feel myself releasing stress as I breath in the outside world, especially when surrounded by nature.

This particular walk rewarded us with numerous deer going about their nightly business of grazing.  Accustomed to people, the deer hardly pay us any mind and allow us to come quite close before scampering back into the woods. That was alright because we didn't have to go far before we'd see more.

"From experience we know there is something about walking together that produces good conversation. "

Of course we kept our pace slow, as I wasn't dressed for walking. And I couldn't resist pestering my date for a few blog pics. Too bad the deer wouldn't cooperate and hang in the back drop.

What a beautiful way to end the evening! I think we need to schedule more walks. Nightly would be amazing, but not feasible in this season of life. Maybe weekly. And what's wrong with a leisure walk from time to time? We multi-task too much. I want more exercise but there's a big health benefit to just enjoying life.

What about you? Do you go for walks much?

By the way, this dress is incredibly comfortable. My only complaint is if I want the sleeves to stay off the shoulder, I can only lift my arms so high. Anyone else struggle with this off the shoulder trend?

Always a pleasure!


Outfit Breakdown:

Dress: Target Clearance find - $18.00
Sandals: Local Boutique
Clutch: GAP


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fringe Top & My Love Language

Million dollar smile right there folks. The last of my four boys returned to school and I need to get back into a routine of sorts, but I'm not there yet. Today's my birthday and I'd like to pause time for a moment to enjoy it; soak in my surroundings, think about where I am now and where I've come from.  I want to savor morsels of gratitude...thankfulness. Gratitude for God's blessings in family, friends, health, and a roof over our heads.

You can blame my feely intro on the thoughtful, surprise gifts I received from a few friends; as gifts are one of my love languages. It's true, they fill me up. But why this language? Out of the 5 love languages (derived from Gary Chapman's the Five Love Languages) which are quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, touch and gifts, I'm wired to feel appreciated by tokens of love wrapped up, bagged up or sitting in plain sight cutesy things, chocolates and the list goes on.  Who doesn't feel like a goober saying, "I feel loved when you give me stuff"? And to make things worse, I'm not the greatest gift giver because I over think the gift. I sweat, shift weight from one foot to the other and my brain fogs over as I deliberate over what item will make the receiver happy. Often times I'll walk out of the store empty-handed, bringing me down to the wire on gift selection. One of my friends buys gifts way ahead time, as she finds deals and items that remind her of a certain person. This is my answer!

In the meantime, allow me to bring your attention back to this top - the culprit that started this whole tangent.

Striped, Fringe Top

And not only was I given a shirt, but I was introduced to a new store, called Marisa Jill's Boutique. I know. Some of the locals are saying, "you haven't been to Marisa Jill's"? Nope. Never even heard of it. However, I'm deprived no more and shall share my findings in posts to come. :)

So, what's your love language? And any other lover of gifts struggle with feeling silly or materialistic?

Finally I close with a closer look at a pair of my favorite earrings...

Sea Spray earrings and Keep It Personal by Premier Designs
Outfit Breakdown:
Jeans: WHBM (Old)
Shoes: Target
Purse: Clarks
Earrings, Bracelets & Necklace by Premier Designs (I do individual orders!)

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Unmistakable Floral Dress

Do you own an article of clothing that is bold or distinct in such a way that hiding it's identity with a change up of accessories or outwear is impossible? Well, I most certainly do. Take for instance, my black, floral print dress. I've worn this dress with a black leather jacket and ankle boots, silver accessories and now neutral accessories. There's no mistaking this dress. However, I like to get as much wear as I can, so this time I tried neutral accessories for the fun of it.

And let me reiterate how comfortable this dress is, with it's convenient, hidden pockets. The waist line is high but not fitted, making Sunday lunch far more consumable. Plus. Plus.

Right now these are my favorite bracelets by Premier Designs. Two are easy wrap bracelets, while the third bracelet, with 1 Thessalonias 5:16-18 partially inscribed, is a simple peg closure.

This look may be my favorite and it inspires some extra ideas for fall that I look forward to styling. Stay tuned for that because I'm going to get another wear out of this dress. :)

Outfit Breakdown:

Unmistakable Dress: LuLaRoe Ameila 
Shoes: LOFT, several seasons ago
Bracelets and Earrings: Premier Designs

And just for fun, I'll add the pics from the previous ways I've worn this dress. Which way do you like the best?

Silver Accessories & Red Shoes

Leather Jacket, Ankle Boots & a Cow


Monday, August 1, 2016

The Denim Dress: 2 Ways

Finally! Christmas was my last clothes hunting adventure and I've felt overdue. A friend wanted to go shopping for white pants and that was all the excuse I needed to get a date on the calendar. It's so nice to have a second opinion when you're clothes shopping.

Our first store was Target, which is where I found this denim dress. I've worn it styled 2 ways and of course I want to share those with you. :)

Style 1: Simply Accessorized

Outfit Breakdown
Denim Dress: Target (similar)
Sandals: Target (same)
Necklace: Down to Earth, 3 in one by Premier (Catalog)
Bead Bracelet: Gift

Style 2- An Extra Layer

These earrings are big on style, but super light weight
I think I'm leaning towards Style 2. It looks complete with the added layer and texture of the cardigan,  AND it received a random compliment during a grocery store run. That seals the deal for me.  I'm looking forward to styling this dress for fall, which is coming up soon.

Outfit Breakdown
Cardigan/Sweater: LOFT clearance ($9.00!)
Sandals: Local Boutique
Bangles, Necklace & Earrings: Premier Designs (Catalog)
Purse: Coach

Which style do you prefer??

Well, that's all for today friends. School has started for some of our boys and I must get organized! I close with this lovely shot of me and my tambourine. Yeah, it's my first time attempting to keep rhythm while singing back up. I'll better keep practicing.


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