Seersucker Sass

Monday, January 15, 2018

Four Things I Don't Have Time for in 2018

It's hard to believe that we're already kicking off the third week of 2018.  I took the first three days of the year off to regroup, and I think I may have spoiled myself.  This year has started off with a bang - work has been busier than ever (so good!), my year as chairman of a volunteer board has kicked off, I've already read two books, and my brother's indoor track season kicked off, as well.

While it's still early in the year, I know one thing is for sure - this is my sassiest year yet.

Graphic Tee  •  Cardigan  •  Skinny pants  •  Heels

When the first week of 2018 was over, I was exhausted, and I knew something had to give.  So I made a list of things that don't serve me and that I no longer have time for. If you're already feeling exhausted, I encourage you to do the same.

In 2018, I don't have time for:

Self-doubt.  Having a leadership position is hard.  It's one of those things that you know is going to be hard, but every day it's just a different kind of hard.  Haha.  After spending so much time worrying myself silly that my body was physically aching, and I'm letting self-doubt go.

Weird self-imposed rules.  I had a nail appointment a week ago, and my nail place had sooo many beautiful new colors, including some colors that changed with your mood.  I wanted them so bad, but I talked myself out of it because pink sparkly nails that change colors aren't appropriate for a professional.  But as I sat down to get my nails done, I said screw it to Bubble Bath pink and went for it.  And I am so happy!  My nails don't define my professionalism; my behavior does.

This situation really made me think about how many weird rules I've made for myself.  My former co-worker Robin used to remind me that life gets a lot better when you let go of the rules you make for yourself, and I am learning that she is yet again right.

Blog comparison.  Two Sundays ago, I was sitting on my couch crying because I was so frustrated and felt like my blog was hopeless.  I had been making so many excuses about why I couldn't blog, and the biggest one was because I don't have light and airy photos like so many other bloggers do.  But it led to a great discussion, especially about my obsession with light and airy photos, as they don't necessarily represent my personality.  In 2018, I'm going to focus on doing my best, and doing so in a way that is authentic to me and my brand.

Criticism that isn't constructive.  I don't know if it's becoming more frequent or I'm just becoming more aware of it, but I feel like people have become so nit picky over the past year.  I used to let other people's criticism get to me, but in 2018, I'm letting go of all non-constructive criticism.  I am not for everyone, and that is okay.

Before I go, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the "DON'T" shirt I'm wearing in this post.  I am obsessed with Schitt's Creek, and when I saw Dan Levy's character David wearing this shirt I made a comment about how I've never related to a t-shirt so much.  I was so excited and surprised to receive it for Christmas!  Keep an eye out for it in future posts; it's too good to only style one way.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!  I want to hear from you - what is something that you don't have time for in 2018?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My 12 Goals for 2018

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We're a week into 2018, and I've been taking the past week to really reflect on what I hope to get out of this year.  It's so easy to step into a new year expecting to see results from all of the resolutions and lifestyle changes all at once.  This year, I'm reminding myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint.  And I'm not worrying about resolutions.  I've set 12 goals for myself - some experiences and some lifestyle changes, but nothing unrealistic or out of reach.  Maybe this is my year of managing expectations?! 


Visit Memphis.  To make a long story short, ten years ago I was on a high dosage of steroids for my chronic illness following a hospitalization and wasn't sleeping.  It was around the anniversary of Elvis's death... y'all, I watched an excessive amount of TV shows and documentaries about Elvis and most of his movies because that's what was on TV.  This sounds so cheesy, but it was seriously the best distraction.  Ever since then, I've been determined to make it to Graceland to pay my respects to the King.  From where I live in Tennessee, it is a shorter drive to Canada than to Memphis, but I am ready to make the trek this year.

Go to goat yoga.  I love goats.  They make me so happy that I could cry.  I have been wanting to go to goat yoga since I heard about it, and events keep getting closer to me, so I really have no excuse.  

Visit the Gentle Barn.  Goats are my obsession, but I really love all animals.  The Gentle Barn is another place I'm determined to visit this year.  The purpose of  The Gentle Barn is to open people's hearts to connections with nature, and one of the ways they do that is by allowing the public to love on rescued farm animals.

Create a vision board and update it quarterly.  My stepmom has been taking courses to become a life coach and has been sharing nuggets of wisdom with me.  When I visited over Thanksgiving, she encouraged me to create a vision board.  This is something that I have been trying to do for years, but have never completed.  This year, it's happening.  There will be visuals for my 2018 goals and a list of affirmations.  If you have any vision board best practices, send them my way!

Read 12 books.  Growing up, I was a total bookworm.  I recently started reading for pleasure again this summer, when I realized just how helpful it was to my anxiety to read before bed.  My goal for 2018 is to read 12 books.  I'm off to a good start on this one, as this weekend I read In Over Her Head and Can't Stand the Heat.  (I alternate between chick-lit, autobiographies, and self help, and I'd love to hear your recommendations and connect with you on Goodreads!)

Organize.  I'd really like to be more organized when it comes to clothing, accessories, and beauty/skincare/hair care products.  I've tried this before and have gotten extremely overwhelmed, so I'm tackling it in slow steps this year, giving myself a small project each weekend.

Go on more fancy dates with my girlfriends.  I could not ask for better friends.  They inspire me in so many ways, and I am convinced they are all saints for putting up with me.  Something I always look forward to is going on "fancy dates" with them.  It's nice to have an excuse to get a little more dressed up than usual and go to a place that's typically saved for special occasions!  

Incorporate more natural products into my daily routine.  In July, I made the decision to see if I could control my chronic illness by diet and without any medication besides my infusion.  (If you're considering this, please consult your doctor.  My doctor monitors me very closely because of this, and I'm thankful for that!)  This eventually spilled over into wanting to eliminate more chemicals from my life.  So far, I've switched over my yoga mat cleanser, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss, and I have a natural deodorant on the way.  I don't think I'll ever fully switch over to all natural products (like yesterday when I was thanking the Lord for Clorox wipes because my boss has the flu and I have to be healthy for my infusion on Friday), but I do hope to drastically cut back on chemicals.

Do things that make me feel like "me."  I'll have a whole post about this in the future, but when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, I really felt like I lost my sense of self.  In 2017, almost nine years later, I finally felt like myself again.  So I'm going to cling to those moments where things feel right and keep doing those things.

Meditate daily.  I've never really felt like meditation would be a good fit for me.  I don't like sitting still.  But this post from Carly inspired me to give it a try.  I use the Headspace app for three minutes each evening to meditate before bed.

Write more.  I love writing.  It's my favorite part of having a blog.  If I could outsource everything else and just write and do social media, there's no telling how much content you'd be seeing on the blog.  My goal for this year is just to write what I'm feeling - whether it be a blog post, a short story, a poem, or 100 words about my day.

Have New Year's Eve plans.  I haven't had NYE plans since 2013.  There's nothing wrong with that, I'm just sick of having FOMO every NYE.  I'm looking forward to changing that this year!

What are your goals for 2018?  What steps are you taking to achieve them?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Best Purchases of 2017

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Happy New Year!  As I'm putting the finishing touches on my list of goals for 2018, I wanted to share one last post about 2017 with y'all.    2017 was the year that I cut back on the amount of stuff that I purchased and started investing in myself a little bit more.  In today's post, I'm sharing the best purchases I made in 2017, with prices ranging from $3 to $395.  (Most are under $30!)  You'll find a lot of practical stuff on my list, because I really enjoy products that make life easier.

Young Living Set • ChapstickTea Tree OilMascara
JacketTopSkin SmoothieCandyTurtleneck
HighlighterIce scraperLink braceletDavid Yurman BraceletCuff braceletInvisibobbles
EarringsIT CosmeticsNikes

Young Living Premium Starter Kit ($160)  MLMs can get a really bad rap, but I love Young Living.  After about a year of bumming oils off of my best friend when I had a random ailment, I bought a starter kit.  It was the cheapest way to get a good selection of oils and a high quality diffuser, and it also gives you access to wholesale pricing.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with different oils last year, and I hope to learn even more about them in 2018.  (And it doesn't hurt that I've made a little extra cash from Young Living!)

ChapStick Sweet Papaya ($3) [c/o]  I was sent a set of ChapStick for a blog campaign and when I finally went through the other tubes and got to this flavor, I was hooked.  I ended up getting my entire family hooked on it.  I have no clue if they even make it any more since I can't find it in stores, but I'm consistently ordering tubes of this at a time.

Tea Tree Oil ($26)  As I've learned more about oils, I've started incorporating them into my skincare routine.  My brother and I both use tea tree oil for our blemishes, and it works better than anything else we've tried.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($26)  This mascara takes me back to my lash extension days, as it makes my lashes crazy long.  Since I don't wear much makeup, I love having dramatic lashes.

Ralph Lauren quilted jacket ($140)  There was a gap in my wardrobe for a really good jacket.  I own two beautiful jackets, but neither one has a hood.  I adore this jacket because it's warm, it has a hood, and it also has snap tabs on the side to cinch it in a little bit at the waist to prevent you from looking like a blob.

Lilly Pulitzer Sunny Shoulders Top ($148)  When I graduated from college, I basically stopped purchasing clothing that couldn't be worn to work.  I wasn't making much, and my clothes budget was strictly for business casual pieces.  When spring rolled around, I realized I had a serious deficit in my closet.  I love this top because it's not only amazing for weekends or casual Fridays, but I can throw a blazer over it and wear it to work.

Skin Smoothie Primer/Moisturizer ($28)  This has been a game changing product.  Most days, I don't wear face makeup and just wears this.  It makes my skin look so glowy.  Out of all of the products on this list, this one is my favorite.

Williams Sonoma S'mores ($20)  These are my favorite candy of all time.  I wait until they go on sale after Christmas, buy a couple of tins, and try to ration them through at least March.  They're individually wrapped, making it easier to actually only eat one at a time.

Tissue Turtleneck ($30)  I really love easy pieces, and this turtleneck is amazing.  It's incredibly soft and comfortable, and it's great alone or layered.  It is 100% worth $30, but keep an eye out for sales - it's on sale pretty frequently.  I paid $18 for it.

Trestique Highlight and Multipurpose Stick ($28)  This is another one of the five beauty products that I use every day.  I'm pale and can look pretty sickly at times, so I love to add a little life to my cheekbones using this product.

Ice Scraper Mitt ($15)  These are a game changer.  No more freezing your hand off while scraping off your car.  I loved this so much that I ordered two more as gifts!

Statement Bracelets - 2017 was the year of bracelets.  Haha.  I don't wear much jewelry, but I love having a stack on my wrist.  This year I started with the David Yurman Starburst bracelet ($395) as a birthday gift to myself, then received the J.Crew Factory gold link bracelet ($16) as a Christmas gift from my best friend and the J.Crew Factory golf cuff bracelet ($10) as a Christmas gift from my mom.

Invisibobbles ($9)  I was never able to rock a topknot until I purchased these.  These are great for any updo, but especially buns because you can wrap the stray hairs around the coils.

SugarFix drop earrings ($13)  I picked these up at Target on a whim, and I wear them constantly.  They're a lot lighter than the Cripsin drops I own, and the gray color goes with just about anything.

It Cosmetics products  I had a makeover this February, and the make up artist used all IT Cosmetics products.  I needed foundation at the time, so I picked some up and made it a goal to slowly transition all of my makeup products over to the brand.  Slowly but surely, I've made it a reality!  My favorites are Brow Power ($24), this contour palette, and this lip color that I also use as blush.

If you're interested in trying IT Cosmetics, this $73 superstar set is a great place to start.  You receive five full sized products (CC Cream, pressed powder, brow power, mascara, and lip color) valued at $197!!

Nike Flex Supreme TR5 ($60)  I finally broke down and bought a new pair of tennis shoes after my beloved neon pink Nikes bit the dust.  These are so comfortable, and the light gray color goes with everything.

I want to hear from you - What were your top three purchases in 2017?! Also, how did you spend your new year?! One of my goals for 2018 is to actually have NYE plans, so leave me some inspiration for my planning :)

HAPPY 2018, Y'ALL!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Holiday Day Trip to Asheville, NC

Christmas may have officially come and gone, but that doesn't mean the holiday spirit has to end.  Because the holidays are such a busy time, my family often did (and continues to do!) "touristy" Christmas stuff the week after Christmas.  While there are definitely still crowds, the pace of life is a little slower.  You're not thinking about all of the holiday errands that need to be ran, and you can be fully present.

If you're looking for a fun, holiday day trip to take between now and new years, let me recommend Asheville, North Carolina.

I don't live far from Asheville, and it's also a stop on the way to the lake house in South Carolina.  However, I don't go nearly enough.  There is so much to do there that I sometimes get a little overwhelmed.  However, I had a really great, relaxing visit there a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to take you along with me!

We started our day out with brunch at Corner Kitchen.  I discovered Corner Kitchen in college when we used to take day trips to Asheville to shop at Lilly Pulitzer, and it's always my first recommendation when someone asks where to eat in Asheville!  It's affordable, the portions are large, and the drinks are delicious.  I had the Latin American style breakfast plate and a revolver mimosa... so good.  I get something different every time I go, and it never lets me down.

Corner Kitchen helpful hint - Reservations are your friend!

After having lunch at Corner Kitchen, we explored the shops at Biltmore Village.  I love shopping at Biltmore Village because it has some of my favorite chain stores - Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew, Lululemon, Brooks Brothers, Williams Sonoma - and also fun boutiques like Monkees.

(PS - I didn't end up purchasing this top because it was too short on my long torso, but I did purchase this tissue turtleneck & I plan on ordering at least two more.  So comfy!)

Biltmore Village helpful hint - If you're planning to visit Biltmore Village, there is a free parking garage under the J.Crew/Williams Sonoma/Soma stores.  There's also a parking area right next to these stores; it's not expensive, but bring cash.

Less than a mile from Biltmore Village is... you guessed it... Biltmore!  This was my second time visiting Biltmore, and all of the Christmas decor added a touch of magic.  It was absolutely beautiful!

We got there a little early, so we explored the grounds, including the Conservatory.  It was full of gorgeous plants, including orchids, succulents and cacti, and the most vibrant poinsettias I've ever seen.

When it was time to check in, we began our tour of the actual estate.  The home is giant, so expect to spend at least an hour winding through the different rooms.  My personal favorite part of the tour is closer to the end.  The first half is a very formal space, but the second half gets into their kitchen, laundry room, indoor pool (!!!) and other more functional spaces.

Christmas at Biltmore is happening through January 7, so if you're feeling major FOMO, there's still time to enjoy the beautiful holiday decor.

Biltmore helpful hints - Wear comfortable shoes.  Even if you choose to ride a shuttle from the parking lot to the front of the home, there's still a lot of walking inside.

Flash photography isn't permitted in the home.  

It's surprisingly warm in the home, so you may want to dress in layers.  I would also recommend taking a smaller handbag.

Be prepared to wait.  It gets a little congested in certain parts of the home because of the layout and staged photo locations.  (It also gets congested because people buy audio tour speaker things and block everything to listen to them.  If that's not your scene, grab one of the booklets on your way in.  It shares a lot of history about the home, even down to the art.)

Order your tickets in advance and know that there's not really a bad time to go.  On my first visit, our only option was the evening-ish option.  However, we ended up touring the home during golden hour, and it was absolutely stunning.

After our tour of the grounds, we visited the Biltmore Winery.  It's about a two mile drive, but it's conveniently located on the path that you take to exit, so why not stop in for your free wine tasting?!  I really enjoyed the wine, especially the malbec.  We left with a bottle of Christmas at Biltmore Red. 

Biltmore Winery is in a charming little village that also includes the Fashionable Romance exhibit.  (The last time I visited Biltmore was actually specifically to see this exhibit!  My mom and I wanted to see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's veil.)  If you're interested in wedding fashion at all, it's definitely worth checking out... especially since it is included in the price of your ticket!

Biltmore Winery helpful hints - Bring cash for a tip.

If you're in a group larger than two people, you will probably have to wait a few minutes after getting to the front of the line.

All in all, it was a great little holiday one-day getaway!  It doesn't get better than delicious food, beautiful holiday decor, good wine, and being in the company of  wonderful people, especially around the holidays.

I hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas!  I want to hear from you - what was the highlight of your holiday season so far?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Gift Guide: Favorite Things

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  If you're like me, you probably have a little bit of shopping left.  If that's the case, then you're in luck... I have one gift guide left for the season.  I know you're probably in a rush, so I'll keep today's post brief!  There's no time to mess around this close to Christmas, so I'm sharing my tried and true favorites.

Mophie Case ($70)  This is the perfect gift for a blogger or anyone who lives on their phone.  If you're unfamiliar with Mophie cases, you just push a button and they charge your phone.  I've been using a Mophie for about four years, and once you use it, it's hard to use anything else.  In my experience, they last really well.  I've had my current Mophie for a year.

Fragrance is typically a really good gift!  Depending on what you're looking for, I like Blush for every day, Black Opium for evenings or when I need a little boost of confidence, and Mademoiselle for fancier occasions.

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara ($8)  This is my favorite drug store mascara, hands-down.  It makes a great stocking stuffer.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($26)  If you're looking for a higher end mascara, I love this one.  It gives me the drama that I craved when I had lash extensions... minus the eye infections and maintenance.

Stress Away essential oil ($38)  This may seem a little pricey, but it lasts forever.  I use this oil almost daily, and I cannot get on a plane without it.

Pieces of Me Cuff (c/o) ($30)  The wonderful thing about Pieces of Me is that you can find something for all of the women on your gift list!  The jewelry features different symbols for different traits.  What I love about Pieces of Me is that the symbols are a great way to display your personality, but they're also a good way to remind you of who you are.  These would make excellent "grown up" friendship bracelets!

Tissue Tank ($18)  These tissue tanks are soooo comfy and great alone or layered.  I regret not purchasing them in every color.

Sugarfix drop earrings ($13)  I. love. these. earrings.  Not only are they super affordable, but they're so light that you don't even notice you're wearing them.  I have them in gray and wear them at least three times a week.

Wet Brush ($9)  Another awesome stocking stuffer!  This brush works on my super long, fine hair, my mom's thick, curly hair, and my brother's thick, short hair.  It may seem weird to give someone a hair brush, but if you've ever used a Wet Brush before, you know it's a total hair care game changer!

You are a Badass book ($7)  This book will rock your world.  It talks about letting go of things that hold you back and weigh you down, and constantly reminds you of how loved and amazing you are.  It's great for people who love self help books, but also for people who are a little skeptical about self help books.  (This book definitely pokes a little fun at some of the really strange suggestions that self help books are known for.)

IT Cosmetics gloss & stain duo ($30)  This gloss is amazing because it can also be used as the most beautiful, natural blush.  It also lasts forever.

Vineyard Vines Shep Shirt ($98)  Shep Shirts may be a little pricey, but they are amazing quality and super versatile.  It's great for casual Fridays and lazy weekends, and I love it in the summer for those days when the air conditioner is cranked so high that you're in danger of becoming an ice cube.

Williams Sonoma S'Mores ($30)  I am not the kind of girl that spends $30 on candy, so I hope that tells you just how delicious these are!  Haha.  They're individually wrapped, so you can break them up and use them as stocking stuffers, or they also make a great hostess gift.  If you're keeping them for yourself, know that the tin is sturdy and reusable.  I like to use mine in my craft cabinet.

Invisibobble hair ties ($10)  These are amazing.  Gone are the days of hair ties breaking in half or fighting with a hair tie to give it an extra wrap around your ponytail.  These are especially amazing for people who wear their hair in a bun.  Instead of having to break out the bobby pins for flyaways, just wrap them around the coil until they're hidden.

See anything you'll be picking up for someone on your list?  I want to hear from you - have you completed your shopping?!

Also, I want to say thank you for all of the prayers, kind words, and well wishes for my momma.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness, and I am hopeful that she'll be able to come home before Christmas.