My Top Five Favorite Places to Shop

Hi, friend!

You’ve probably guessed by now that the day to day life of a style blogger involves a LOT of shopping. Shopping, styling, and then shooting looks to share on my blog and instagram is my job so while I am constantly on the lookout for new places to shop, I have my go-to spots that never let me down.

I consider my style to be pretty eclectic. I dress according to how I want to feel. So since I have such a wide variety of items being added to my closet, the list of places I like to shop varies pretty heavily too. Today’s blog post is going to be more than just sharing where I shop, if you follow me on instagram, you probably already know that! I wanna dive a little deeper into why I shop where I do, what I look for at each place, and what you guys can expect if you shop there.

Let’s dive right in!

 

Loft – The Loft is my go-to source for classic styles and statement pieces. They have great sweaters, accessories, dresses, and basics like jeans and tee shirts. Their prices are affordable on any given day but they are fantastic about running sales. I pretty much never pay full price there because I know if I wait a minute, they’ll be offering 40-50% off. They get new styles in often so it’s a fun place to frequent. The items arrive within about a week when I do order online. Here are a few of my recent favorite purchases from Loft!

ASOS – Pronounced “a-sauce”. Crazy, right? I’ve been saying it wrong for so long! Asos is an online only department type store with an incredible selection of unique items with a designer feel. I am constantly finding great deals on cardigans, pullover sweaters, skirts, and dresses. They’ve got awesome handbags and hats for fall. This is a super easy place to shop because they offer free shipping and returns. If you don’t like something you ordered, put it back in the same bag, attach the shipping label, put it in the mailbox, and you’re done. So easy! And wayyyyyyy better than shopping in a store, especially if you’ve got kids with you in the dressing room! One thing people get a little hung up on is the sizing. Here’s what you need to know: ASOS normally uses European sizing and occasionally will have US sizing. I’ve never found a rhyme or reason to when they use each one. But basically I always wear a UK 8 (which is US 4). Under each item they have a great description of what size they recommend for you based on past purchases. They also give you the models stats as well as what size she’s wearing. Once you figure out which brands you like from ASOS, you’ll get really good at figuring out sizing. The site is HUGE so in order to not get overwhelmed, I like to do searches for specific items like peplum tops, open front cardigans, or pullover sweaters. It helps to narrow things down. Here are a few recent purchases from ASOS!

Nordstrom – Every blogger’s favorite spot, right? But it really is just so good! Nordstrom constantly has new styles and great prices. Their website is super easy to navigate and their customer service is incredible. They offer great sales throughout the year, and y’all know how I feel about a sale! Nordstrom also offers free shipping and returns PLUS they have an awesome rewards program so every time you shop, you earn points. Your points add up to get you free clothes! Yes, please. My favorite brands to shop at Nordstrom are B.P, Hinge, and Caslon. Most of these brands will keep the price point under $50-$100 so you’ll get a good bang for your buck. Here are a few recent favorites from Nordstrom.

SheIn – This one may come as a suprise to some of you. There are definitely some mixed reviews out there about ordering from China, but I’m just going to share my experience. And just to clear things up, I have done collaborations with SheIn in the past, meaning they’ve sent me clothes for free to style and blog about. BUT I have also ordered clothes from them myself so I could test out the Non-Blogger experience for y’all. They have recently updated their shipping and returns policy, making it way faster to get your items and way easier to return what you don’t like. If you see something that I’ve posted from SheIn, you can bet your bottom dollar that the quality is good. I promise to never ever post anything to my blog that I don’t love. You just can’t beat the prices of SheIn. Like so so so so good y’all. And since the quality is good, it’s just a win/win. If you’re still nervous about ordering, maybe just try it once with an item you’ve seen a blogger wear and then one day you might be brave enough to do your own searching and purchasing! I have a big order coming in this week so I will share what I get then!

Forever 21 – Or as I like to call it, Foever 31. This is one of those places I’ve been shopping at for at least 15 years now and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I love F21 because their prices are just amazing. Super affordable but also super on trend. I have already found some precious pieces for Fall and I had to reign it in. So far I’ve found skirts, dresses, and sweaters. They also have great hats and accessories at a surprisingly low price point. Their in store experience kind of stinks but their online customer service is great. They used to have a policy that you could only return for a store credit but now you can just get your money back if something doesn’t work! Here are a few things I’ve gotten recently.

I also really love me some Target, H&M, and Old Navy!

I hope this helps give you a little bit of guidance into what kinds of things to be looking for at each place. If you ever have any questions about any of the places I shop when it comes to sizing, customer service, returns, or whatever…. just let me know! I’m so happy to help!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Loving Where You Live

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to you! There’s a shiny new week ahead and I want to start it out with a perspective shift. It’s so easy to get hung up in the game of comparing and contrasting the haves and have nots in our lives. Unfortunately comparison just wont’t stay put in one area either. It buries it’s claws into all the areas. I mean I could talk about how it affects my parenting, how it affects the way I view my looks, or even what kind of purse I carry, but today we are going to focus how it affects the place I wake up and take up space day in and day out.

Let’s talk about the home.

We’ve lived in our house for almost nine years. She’s a cutie but she’s got her faults. Not too long ago I found myself throwing a massive pity party when I started to realize that most of my friends had moved out of “starter homes” into bigger and better houses. I was still “stuck” in this one. Bless my poor heart. As luck would have it (or God would ordain it!), that same week, my little potty trainer had an accident on the couch. I took the cushion off to wash it and in the process, the zipper busted and the cushion cover didn’t even fit anymore. We put a towel over the cushion as a temporary solution. Just use your imagination to envision how classy it looks.

In the past I might have tried to pep talk myself into feeling better about the situation. I used to find myself saying things like “Well, at least you have a couch. People in other countries sleep in the dirt and have no place to sit”. But comparison, even if you’re the “winner” in the game, still doesn’t help in the long run. What does help is to shift your perspective. Here’s what this looks like for me…

First off, I speak life into my space. I know it sounds cheesy but we’ve gotten into the practice of saying something kind about our home every time we pull into the driveway. We’ve done it long enough now that we even hear the girls say “Look at that sweet little house” when we get home most days. We also say things like “Isn’t it so fun that we have a porch to swing on?” or “I love that we have such big trees in our yard!” It’s simple but it’s effective. Remind yourself daily why where you live is a good place to be.

Another thing I do when I begin to feel dissatisfied is to CLEAN the heck out of my house. Even an old car looks good with a little wash and wax. Get rid of clutter and excess in your home, give her a good clean, light a candle, and voila! Some days I’m shocked at how much I can fall in love with my home again just because I took the time to clean her up.

Now that the house is clean, I invite people over! There’s nothing sweeter than hearing conversation and laughter flow through your home. I always find myself wishing I had a bigger house so I could host more people and then I’m like WAIT. I can totally host people here now! I used to think I had to have a perfectly planned and executed dinner party in order to have people over. Now I’m kind of loving the idea of having a big pot of soup, a football game, and letting people fight over who gets to sit on our “special cushion” 😉

What I love about perspective is that it changes nothing about your life but how you view it. There is sooooo much power in that! I love in Romans 12:2 where Paul reminds us to “renew our minds”. Shifting our perspective to an attitude of gratitude helps us to do that.

I hope you already love where you live! But if you don’t, I hope that a few of these ideas will change that for you.

Happy first of the week, sweet friends!

 

DIY Balloon Garland

Hi!

I’m excited to share this DIY Balloon Garland tutorial with y’all today because it actually ended up being pretty simple to create. You also really don’t have to be the queen of the crafty to make it happen! If you’re someone that (like me!) normally likes for things to be very exact, you’ll have to silence that part of your brain for this one. It is a little more whimsical.

Let’s jump right in!

 

What you’ll need:

 

Bakers twine

80-ish Balloons (I used 40 pearl, 40 white, and just a few light pink!)

Command Hooks

Scissors

 

What to do:

Begin by measuring your space. I took the bakers twine and stretched it across the wall and down the side and then left a few feet on each end. Go ahead and attach your command hooks to the wall so they can be settling in.

Next, you’ll want to turn on a good show and start blowing up those balloons! You can get a pump to make this process a lot less labor intensive. I didn’t even consider that so needless to say I was pretty winded by the end of it! As you’re blowing up the balloons, be sure to include four different sizes. Large, medium, small, and smaller. I know the “smaller” part sounds silly but they work great as fillers once you get to the end.

Once you’ve got all your balloons blown up, you’ll want to take your extra bakers twine and cut it into strips. You’ll need about 85 strips. One for each balloon. Tie a knot around the base of each balloon and set aside.

 

Now get a chair and tie one end of your previously measured twine to the top of the chair. If you have the space to spread out, you can attach the other end to another chair so the twine is suspended in air. This just makes the balloons a little easier to work with.

Now you just start taking different size balloons and tying them to the twine. Once you tie it on (double knot!), just slide it down to the end. The more you attach, the more you’ll start to see it take shape. If you’re doing a lot of one color with an accent, I would advise going ahead and adding all the same color balloons first and then at the end adding the accent color balloon.

Once all your balloons are attached, you’ll tie each end of your measured twine to the command hook and start adjusting the balloons. This will involve quite a bit of moving around but after a few minutes, you’ll get the hang of it.

I removed and reattached a few balloons to get it exactly how I wanted so don’t feel defeated if you have to do that!

I added a few sprigs of eucalyptus throughout just to give it a little more depth and texture. There’s no trick to that except just sliding them in and hoping they stay put!

I hope this helps y’all with future party planning! It’s crazy that the whole project cost less than $20 yet it was SO beautiful as a backdrop for the party!

Please let me know if you have questions about the process. I’m not balloon expert but I am happy to help where I can!

Thanks for reading!

What To Wear To A Fall Wedding + How To Be The Best Guest Ever

Some of you may not know that I used to own a wedding planning business. I absolutely loved this season of my life and there are still times when I miss it, but I knew after I had Reese, I didn’t want to keep that kind of schedule anymore. I worked all weekend almost every weekend and also a lot of evenings. It made family time too rare so I decided to step out of it and I’ve never looked back.

I learned a LOT from the industry while I was in it so I want to share a few tips on how to be the BEST guest at the wedding!

1. Send your gift before hand. It’s so thoughtful to give a gift in any capacity at all, but if you really want to take thoughtful to the next level, consider delivering the gift before the wedding. One of the hardest parts of the wedding day is when it’s midnight, everyone is exhausted, the bride and groom are off, and the family has to load tons of gifts into a car. Then unload at a hotel so they don’t get stolen, then load them back up, the take them home. It’s a lot of work! Sending the gift beforehand means one less thing for you to have to worry about when attending the wedding and it makes life SO much easier for the family of the bride and groom.

2. Arrive on time: Ok, let me clarify something… to arrive “on time” at a wedding means to arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony is supposed to begin. This is the sweet spot. If you arrive any earlier than that, set up is still taking place. Too much later and you’re walking in with the processional. As a wedding planner there were few things more frustrating than trying to line up the wedding party and trying to figure out where to put late guests.

3. Participate: One of my favorite memories from my own wedding was dancing with our friends and family. I loved seeing people eat cake and take favors. Some of the smallest details of my wedding made the most impact for me when I saw people enjoying them. So when you attend a wedding, know that you’re an invaluable part of the overall experience for the couple and their family. Put down your phone and just be present.

4. Stay Til The End: All the men would be rolling their eyes at this point, I know. But when you go to a wedding, try not to be in a rush to leave it. The amount of time, energy, and money that goes into weddings these days is insane. The couple planned this entire experience with their guests in mind! Instead of rushing to leave whenever you can, consider planning ahead to just stay til the end. It will mean so much to bride and groom to see your face lined up wishing them farewell as they go to leave!

 

Now that we’ve covered some of the ways you can make yourself the favorite wedding guest, let’s talk about how you can be the best looking!

I’m absolutely LOVING the jumpsuit trend right now. It’s so classy and comfortable. Easy to dress up and down and totally appropriate for a wedding. My pink high neck jumpsuit is linked here. I’m wearing a UK 8. It’s only $66 and pairs perfectly with this light pink statement necklace. It’s only $25 and comes in a few different colors.

 

 

 

Here are a few of my other wedding wear suggestions!

The Road To 25K

Hi, friends!

I’m so grateful that you’re here today! This post has been a long time coming and if you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have told you it would never come. But here it is and I’m just so full of gratitude to be able to share this little part of my story.

About a year and a half ago, our whole life turned upside down when my husband Matt had a horrible relapse. He was diagnosed his senior year of high school with an auto immune disease and throughout most of our marriage, we have been able to keep it under control. Things were spiraling out of control around Christmas time in 2015 and we felt helpless as to what was going on and how to stop it. Finally in January Matt was admitted to the hospital and had emergency surgery. Turns out, he was almost septic and in a very dangerous situation. The surgery was a temporary fix but he would end up being in the hospital for over three weeks and then in and out of the hospital for the next year to follow.

I say all that to give you a little glimpse into what our lives looked like when I thought to myself “Hey, maybe a blog would be a good idea!” Ha! I was in the hospital one day with Matt when I got this sinking feeling that he might not ever be able to go back to work. I started wondering what we would do. Since he owns his own business, if he doesn’t work, we find ourselves in a pickle! I also knew that our medical expenses were going to start adding up. The anxiety started causing me to dip further and further into fear.

I was willing myself to take deep breaths when I got this thought “I should start blogging again.” I had dabbled with it a bit before but let it go while my babies were really little. I even had the crazy idea that maybe I could make it into a business and actually help support my family, all the while staying home with my babies. It still felt like a dream.

At the time, I’m pretty sure I had about 5 followers on Instagram and couldn’t even remember my blogger password. I was also frazzled and un-showered any given day of the week. I loved putting outfits together and I loved helping other people. So if I could help other people put outfits together, I may actually stumble into something I really enjoy.

A few weeks later we were back in the hospital but this time, Matt was well enough to be able to walk around a bit. We took an afternoon walk around the hospital/college campus and it was a glorious day. I was so nervous but I said “Hey, babe. I know this sounds crazy. But could you take a picture of me?” My sweet Matt has really never thought any of my ideas were crazy (bless him) so he said yes of course. So there he was barely able to walk, still in so much pain and he’s taking my very first OOTD. There I am with confidence the size of a mustard seed watching all these people walk by while I’m trying to act natural for the picture. Looking back it was just so funny and precious at the same time.

I posted the picture that afternoon and then decided to keep on going. My goal was to reach 1000 followers on Instagram and I made myself a promise that even if it was hard, I wouldn’t give up til I had at least given it a year.

Now into year two and here we are at 25 THOUSAND of you following along and being a part of our every day lives. You guys are the ones that have sent countless prayers up on our behalf when Matt’s been sick and you’ve laughed alongside me in this hilarious journey of motherhood. Yes, we have talked a lot of clothes but I think we’ve done more than that. My dream for this space has always been to build a community where we encourage and lift each other up. One of my favorite Proverbs tells a story about a wife of Noble Character. it describes her as being clothed in fine linen and purple, which would be equivalent to suede and Louie Vuitton (or something close to that!) but it also says she is clothed with strength and dignity. The two don’t have to mutually exclusive. I want to learn to do both well.

I have learned SO much about myself over this past year and a half and I am really SO grateful to those of you who have followed along with me and given a lot of grace as I’ve learned what the heck I’m doing.

This week is all about celebrating YOU GUYS and I’m excited to be giving away a few of my favorite things as a way to say THANK YOU!

All my love to all of you! You are a blessing to me and I’m so so so grateful that you’re not just followers, you’re FRIENDS!

Thank you!!!!!

All my love to YOU!