Seersucker Sass

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekend Reading + Nordstrom Sale Picks

Happy weekend, y'all!  After a whirlwind week, I am so happy to just be at home.  I spent last weekend in Nashville, and then on Wednesday found out that I would be going to Nashville again on Thursday and Friday.   Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to an opportunity to just unpack my bags, lay around, and get caught up some blog posts!

I'm excited to share my eight favorite links of the past few weeks with y'all, along with my favorite goodies from the Nordstrom Winter Sale.  Sunday is the last day to shop, so don't wait!  I'm hoping to end up with new jeans and a belt.

Office tour

Detox your life
Travel with dogs
DIY pom pillows with text

Feather print peplum
Beverly Hills Valentine
Chambray cold shoulder top
White button down & denim

What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Twenty-Six: The Year of Relationships

Happy Friday, y'all!  Today is an exciting day for me; it's my 26th birthday.

I know that most people set resolutions for the year on January 1, and I do that too, but I also set a resolution every year on my birthday.  Starting a new year is hard.  In my world, I'm still wrapping up the previous year while kicking off things for the new year, at work, at home, in my community involvement, and on this blog.  The first six weeks of the year start to feel like a blur, so I use my birthday as a day of reflection and time to really think about what I want to work on between this birthday and the next one.  25 was the year of owning it.  26 will be the year of relationships.

(outfit details in this post)

I'm happy to report that last year, I did in fact own it.  I owned the good parts of my life, the bad parts of my life, the messy parts of my life, the challenging parts of my life, and the new parts of my life.  I'm not saying I was always successful (because I totally wasn't), but by "owning" my life, I grew so much as a person.  I stopped apologizing for being me.  I presented my ideas as statements instead of questions.  Last year feels like I went through five years of growth.  How am I only turning 26 after that?!

I learned to travel alone.  I learned to cook actual meals.  I learned about politics and policy.  I learned about art.  I learned about the industry that I work in.  I learned about fundraising and leadership.  I learned about self-care and letting my body rest.  I learned how to use a curling wand and a Beauty Blender.

But in the midst of all of that learning, I didn't spend much time focusing on the relationships in my life.  In fact, I really sucked at it.  I realized that I knew a lot of people, but how many of them did I truly know?  I knew their faces, but I didn't know their stories.

My goal for the next 365 days is to focus on relationships.  I want to cultivate the relationships that are currently in my life and build new ones along the way.  And I hope that when the time comes to end toxic friendships and relationships that are plagued with negative energy, I'll have the strength to do so.

If you have any tips for me on how to be better at this, please send them my way!  And thanks for your continuous love and support.  I'm more blessed than I deserve, and that has been overwhelmingly apparent for the past 24 hours.

(And if you want to follow along with the birthday celebrations today and this weekend while I'm in Nashville, be sure to follow along on Snapchat.  username:  seersuckersass)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Splurge Item Wish List

One of the most difficult things for me to do is spend money on myself.  I have goals that I really want to achieve in the next three years, and saving money is something that I know that I should be doing.  But all work and no play makes a girl dull, and I constantly remind myself that it's okay to splurge on myself every once in awhile.

Whenever I splurge on things, I set a few rules for myself.  It needs to be something that I already have the money for (but I will put it on my Nordstrom card and pay it off at one time so that I can get the points! haha)  I also prefer to buy splurge items on my own.  Now that I'm an adult with an understanding of how much things cost, I can't bring myself to ask relatives for lavish gifts.  Plus, there is something so rewarding about saving up for something and treating myself!

Because my birthday will be here tomorrow and we are in the middle of tax return season (even though I'm a buzzkill and dump it all into savings), I thought it would be fun to share with y'all the splurges I have my eye on, and in some cases, why I haven't been able to pull the trigger yet.

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand //   I have heard so many bloggers rave about this curling wand set.  I finally learned the proper way to use a curling wand a few weeks ago, and now I am hooked.  I've heard that the curls last more than one day, which would be amazing.  

What's holding me back?  I have a $50 curling wand that I bought in high school, and saying that I have used it 10 times is a generous estimate.  I've discovered that with enough hair spray, I have two day curls with it.  The biggest drawback is that I'm really considering chopping my hair off, and I won't have enough hair to use the two larger barrels on.

Gucci Belt //  I have seen so many bloggers wearing these belts, and it's such a sharp look!  I wear a lot of flowy silk tops, and I think they would look great tucked in behind such a gorgeous belt.  Plus, I need a belt because none of my jeans fit the way that they should.

What's holding me back?  I couldn't tell you the last time I wore a belt.

Cartier LOVE bracelet //  This is my ultimate wish list item, and I'm embarrassed at how much time I spend researching these online.  If I could only purchase one more accessory and it had to last me the rest of my life, this is what I would want it to be.

What's holding me back?  The $7,000 price tag.  That is a lot of money, and I'd rather put that toward a new car or part of a down payment on a house or even just toward my retirement.  And imagine how many people I could help with $7,000!

Burberry Scarf //  I think a Burberry scarf is one of the most classic items you can own.  And as someone who loves practical things, what's more practical than a scarf?  Imagine how many winter looks this scarf could upgrade!

What's holding me back?  The price alone.  (But I'm warming up to it because you get complimentary monogramming if you order from Burberry!)

Ferragamo flats //  Ferragamo flats are classic and so chic.  I don't love buying shoes, so really investing in a pair would eliminate that problem for a few years.  Black flats have a really good cost-per-wear ratio, so I feel like this is justified.

What's holding me back?  I'm really rough on my shoes.  I rarely wear flat shoes.  Last time I bought a pair of designer flats, I had to wear blister block with them every day, and the sole wore out so quickly and couldn't be replaced.  #bummer

Hermes Clic H bracelet //  Another blogger staple, I feel major wrist admiration whenever I see one of these.  The white and gold would go with pretty much everything, but I'm also eyeing the black and silver.  (I know yellow gold is hot right now, but my watch is silver and my jewelry is white gold, and it would match so much better!)

What's holding me back?  I haven't had an opportunity to try one on... I worry that it would be bulky on my wrist.

Diva Ring //  I really want to dabble in Youtube.  I'd love to share tutorials with y'all on how I do certain hair styles (like my braided bun) or quick time lapse videos of how I do different makeup looks.  The lighting in my apartment isn't great, so Diva Ring to the rescue on that!

What's holding me back?  I have one video on my Youtube channel.  I'm going to start with mini-vlogs of different weekend adventures, and if I can figure it all out, I'll revisit this purchase in Q3.

David Yurman bracelet //  A Yurman bracelet has been on my wishlist for years, and I believe that it will be my first splurge of 2017.  We all have different pieces of jewelry that we love, and for me, it has always been bracelets.  (Arm party days were my favorite!)  I have my eye on a few of them - one // two // three // four

What's holding me back?  I have tiny baby wrists and physically need to try on items, which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

Black diamond earrings //  Over the past six months, I've really fallen in love with Mejuri.  I love jewelry that is dainty and perfect for everyday wear, and this brand just gets it.  I've been eyeing a lot of their black diamond pieces because I wear a lot of black, and I enjoy the uniqueness of black diamonds.

What's holding me back?  I've never invested in a pair of earrings because they are so easy to lose.  If I bought these, I think the only solution would be to never take them out.

Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress //  I have a small closet, so my wardrobe is something that I don't mind to invest in.  Something I've always wanted to add to my closet is a DVF wrap dress!  I bought my first wrap dress at 14 and never looked back.  This would be a beautiful addition to my closet, and sometimes you can even find DVF on Nordstrom Rack.

What's holding me back?  I prefer to splurge on accessories, as they have a better cost-per-wear ratio.

Thanks for letting me share my wishlist with you!  I want to hear from you - what's at the top of your splurge wishlist!

(And if this isn't your thing, no worries!  We'll be back to business tomorrow with more practical posts!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Small Business Spotlight: Mimi Mae Boutique

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!  How is your day going so far?  I hope that no matter what your relationship status is or your plans are, that you'll use today to spread a little love to someone in your life.  Today's post is really special to me, because I'm showing some love to my favorite local boutique - Mimi Mae Boutique.

Mimi Mae is owned by my friend Cori.  We met when I was in high school because we both took dance at the same studio.  For as long as I've known Cori, her goal has been to work in the fashion industry.  She started out by working in a formal wear shop, and eventually branched out to having an online boutique on the side.  Last August, Mimi Mae Boutique branched out into a brick and mortar shop.  (The exterior is pink, of course, and if you know Cori personally, this doesn't surprise you in the least bit!)

The thing about Mimi Mae that sets it apart from other boutiques is that it feels like home.  The posh pink sofa, that would typically seem just for looks, beckons you to have a seat.  Take a piece of candy from the bowl.  Watch an episode of Gossip Girl.  Enjoy a donut or a chicken mini or whatever kind of treat Cori may have brought in for her shoppers that day.  

When I think about my favorite brands, so much of what I love about them comes from that in-store shopping experience.  There's something about being inside of Lilly Pulitzer that just makes me feel happy and giddy.  When I go to Kate Spade, it's like sensory overload, and I love every minute of it.  And riding the escalator to the next floor at Nordstrom makes me feel like I'm transporting into another world.  So for Mimi Mae, a small, local boutique to make me feel the same way says a lot about how Cori turns shopping into an experience.

I had the opportunity to ask Cori a few questions about being a small business owner, work/life balance, and upcoming trends, so keep reading for more of that!

Tell us a little bit about you.

Anyone with a Pinterest account has surely come across the fun pin that reads Glitter in My Veins at  some point. It is more or a less an accurate description of me. I grew up as the older sister of two brothers, and even though Hot Wheels and Scooby-Doo dominated my Mary Kate and Ashley obsession, I never  strayed away from my girly girl roots. Every special occasion I wanted to wear a fancy dress and shoes to  match. Some things never change. J-14 magazines and Teen Vogue were my literary bibles that I constantly  had stashed away in my bedroom. I could not stop wondering about the up and coming fashion pieces. 

When I was 16 years old I got a call from a formal wear store to work part time. That phone call led to a job that I had for 10 years. I learned so very much from my former boss Kristie. You can study fashion day in and day out but until you work in it you are clueless. 

When Mimi Mae started out, it was strictly online, pop-up shops, and meeting people locally to deliver their goodies, while you still worked a full time job.  When did you know it was the right time to set up shop with a brick and mortar location?

Mimi Mae grew quicker and into something more than I would have ever imagined. Though yes, I had been dreaming of someday having my own store, I never expected it to all evolve to what it is now. The formal wear store I mentioned earlier, Annies Room,  was my life for a decade and I will always have a special place for it in my heart; I like to think that I could pick right back up where I left off but I knew I needed to spread my wings when I truly just could not keep up both anymore. 

Okay, let me rephrase that. I could keep both up, but I truly was not giving my all to my second born. MM. My mom once told me that she feared I would wait and wait to branch out with my online store, and the day I did decide to branch out it would be too late. Needless to say her, words haunted me.

You're a wife, a mother, and a small business owner.  How do you balance it all?

Balance seems to be something I learn to manage a bit better as each day comes. I was blessed with a wonderful husband and father who understands my lifestyle and is always giving great advice as he himself is a small business owner. Our daughter Sophie Mae (like Mae in Mimi Mae hehe) is a spirit like no other. She gives me the motivation to get up and do what I do. Being a boutique owner has been rewarding over the past soon to be four years, and I give all the credit to the amazing customers I have acquired. I figure if I have a positive attitude and do the right thing, everything else will fall into place.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?  (Submitted by @Livi_Burke)

My favorite thing about what I do would have to be the buying process. I was introduced to buying when I was a teenager ( over a decade ago, Im getting old lol) by a local formalwear store. Seeing all the new trends and styles every season are very exciting but for me personally analyzing past trend reports and choosing pieces and items to bring to the store that I think my girls will love is the coolest.

Hmmm, my least favorite thing. Gosh this is a tough one. Ok for that question I would say that like any business owner, knowing that one day you can be profitable and the next day is not. Everyday I open the store is another day I thank God that I seem to be surviving. 

What are your three favorite pieces of inventory - past or present?  How do you choose your inventory?

Picking three favorite pieces of Mimi is super hard. More like impossible. I just scrolled through the 2,136 posts and looked I've come to realize rompers + Piko dresses in any color + gift items are my most favorite things that I bring into the store but one piece did stand out to me as one of my most favorite.

Like many people that buy, I do take a look at current trends BUT for me personally, if it looks different and gives me butterflies when I see it come down the runway or spot it in an upcoming seasonal catalog, count me in.

What do you think will be the hottest trends for 2017?

So far anything with a grunge or Kylie Jenner appeal has been doing wonders on the racks at 3813 Memorial. As a matter of fact, the more holes and rips the better for some customers. 

I expect to see prints debut heavily come spring and summer.  Gingham will most likely appear as it does from time to time and is always such a classic. 

Anything with a lace up detail will be well taken with the fashion world. Mimi critics too.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own boutique?

The best advice that I could give to someone aspiring to open up a boutique of their own would be to remain different. Whether it be the aesthetic of your store or your ways of customer service, just be different. People fail daily because they are only trying to climb higher with the ideas of someone else. My favorite college professor once told me: You can set up shop next to a store carrying exactly the same product that you do. But find your reason to make the customer want to walk in your door and not their door.

I'd highly encourage y'all to connect with Mimi Mae Boutique on Twitter and Instagram.  (You can place your future orders through the MM Instagram!)  A big thanks to Cori for working with me on this post.  (And if you're as obsessed with her skirt as I am, you can find it here.)

If there's a business you'd like to see highlighted here, I'd love to hear from ya!  Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!  Love you, mean it!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Current Beauty Favorites & Wishlist

Despite the fact that I don't wear makeup every day, I love trying new beauty products.  My friend Katie did my makeup two weekends ago for the gala we attended, and my beauty wishlist has grown by about a mile because of that.  If I could have one of everything in her makeup bag, I might just wear a full face of makeup every day ;)

I've also received some products lately that I'm absolutely in love with and that deserve a place on your beauty wishlist!

Current Favorites

Saying that I'm obsessed with this product is no exaggeration.  (Seriously, it made the cut on my daily essentials post!)  Exfoliation products are usually not my favorite; they take me back to my self tanning days and scrubbing my skin.  I wish I would have had a product like this back then!  To use the product, you use two pumps, massage it into your skin for 20 seconds, then rinse off the clumps.  Perfect for those days that you need a face mask, but don't want to spare 10 minutes.  This product has done wonders for my pores.  

I was nervous about trying out another eye cream because the last one I tried out was too much for my oily skin.  This is a gel, it's very light, and basically a dream for oily skin.

Katie and I both wore this for the gala, and I was so obsessed that I ordered it for myself!  (Tip - If you order, order from Nordstrom.  Free shipping, free returns, and three awesome samples.)  This is a really pretty nude, and I was pleased with how long lasting it was.  I only needed to touch up once between 6:30 PM and 1:30 AM, and that was right after dinner (and red wine.)

My blood sugar crashed the night that I was planning to get my spray tan, so I ended up just self tanning on my own a few hours before the event.  I use this product during the summer, and I was a little concerned about having flashback on my legs because of the SPF, but I ended up having no issues.  (I did carry around a towel while getting ready because there was a little bronzer transfer while getting ready.)  This product is perfect for spring break or a beach vacation!

Beauty Wishlist

I currently use a really basic contour kit that I bought while prepping for this gala in 2016 because I wasn't sure if I would ever use it again.  I have a really round face, and my cheekbones are nothing to write home about, so when I wear face makeup, contouring is my best friend.  Katie used this product on me, and I really liked all of the color options.

A serum based foundation
Katie used Bobbi Brown's Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40 when she did my makeup, and I fell in love with it.  However, I didn't fall in love with the $65 price tag.  After browsing on Sephora, I've found a few more affordable options from Sephora ($11), Bare Minerals ($30), and Clinique ($35).  I'm going to make a Sephora run soon for samples, and I'll report back to you!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Liquid Peel
After trying the Youth Liquid Peel, I'm super intrigued by liquid peels and want to try more!  This one is oily skin friendly.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
I've been reading so much about this in the blogosphere and would love to give it a try!  I currently use a gentle cleanser and then have to go behind and remove my makeup afterward, so I love that this is supposed to totally remove your makeup.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil
This is another product that's great for oily and blemish-prone skin, which is what I'm dealing with right now.  This is clinically proven to give you visibly clearer looking skin in one week, so sign me up for that!

I want to hear from y'all - what are you current beauty favorites?  What's on your beauty wishlist?  I'll be reading your responses before making a Sephora (or Ulta!) trip this week!