Seersucker Sass: February 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekend Reading




We've all heard the term "trophy wife," but what about trophy husbands?  I love this article from Fortune.

Jordyn over at Southern Stylista recommended this Youtube video to me, and it was so cute that I may have cried... (PS - I usually hate videos, but this one is right at a minute and so worth the watch!)

If you enjoyed my "Barre vs. Ballet" article, you may enjoy this post about yoga vs. pilates.

I've been mooning after this skirt for a while, but I wasn't sure how I would wear it.  I really love the way that Crissy styled it.

I absolutely love this post about staying creative in a Pinterest obsessed world!

I am really in love with this outfit post on Gracefullee Made!  Thinking about snagging this up for myself.

Four years ago today, I was diagnosed with cancer.  Read my story here. 

I recently used this hair tutorial, and I received so many compliments!  Definitely worth checking out.

Remember my post about evian facial spray?  evian is currently doing a giveaway where 20 people will win 2 bottles of the facial spray!  Enter here. 

Giveaway Round-up:  $100 J.Crew Gift card | Two Gerard Yosca bracelets | $120 JORD Gift Certificate | 2 bottles of evian facial spray |


My favorite picks this week:
(PS - Can y'all believe it's already time to start shopping for a new bikini?!)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Announcing the Spring Fling Link Up!

Raise your hand if you are over this weather!  I've worn Bean Boots to work every day this week, and I still slipped on ice three different times when I took Francis out this morning.

With that being said, I am so excited to announce the upcoming "Spring Fling Link Up," hosted by myself and Pick Your Beau!  The link up will be March 20th (the first day of spring... there is a light at the end of this frozen tunnel!) and bloggers will link up a look featuring their favorite spring outfit or spring trend.  I am so excited to see what everyone is wearing and to get some inspiration for my spring wardrobe!

Below is the button for the link up :)

Pick Your Beau


I hope that you will join us on March 20th!  Have a great weekend, y'all!
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at seersuckersass@gmail.com :) 

XX,

SS

P.S. - If you need some inspiration, check out these picks:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dressed to Impress



 




Puppy Blouse:  Banana Republic (similar) | Blazer:  Macy's (similar) | Pants: J. CrewFlats: Lucky
White Bracelet: Francesca's (similar) | Red Bracelet:  White House Black Market (similar)
Black Bangle:  Bella Vida Accessories (c/o) | Cross Bangle:  Bella Vida Accessories (c/o) | Lipstick:  MAC Russian Red


I see a lot of blog posts that feature gorgeous outfits, but they're not work appropriate.  My goal when incorporating more fashion posts is to not only show you "weekend" outfits, but also to show y'all what I wear to work!  These are three of my favorite pieces from my wardrobe, all in one outfit!  The blazer is part of my bright red suit; I feel so confident when I wear it.  If you look closely at my blouse, there is a dalmatian print on it!  And I love the J. Crew Minnie pant.  It's basically a pair of work appropriate leggings.

On a side note - I found a new location to take photos by my apartment!  YAY!

What do y'all think?!  Hope you're staying safe & warm!

XX,

SS

P.S. Here are some of my other favorite puppy themed pieces :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom | Lessons from a Cancer Diagnosis

This Saturday, February 28, will mark four years since my cancer diagnosis.  Instead of my typical Wednesday Wisdom advice, I wanted to talk about some lessons I learned from my experience with cancer.  I really love the picture below because it was taken less than two weeks before my diagnosis, and my life was so carefree and fun.
 
 
The day I was diagnosed started out like any other day.  I went to my classes and had Chik-fil-A for lunch with one of my best friends in our student center.  I remember getting a call from the general surgeon who had taken a biopsy on my arm and letting it go to voicemail because it was so loud in the student center, and I knew it was one of those calls to let you know that you had a good result.  I tried to call back, and they told me I had just missed the surgeon, but that she would call me back shortly.
 
I went on about my day, thinking nothing of it.  I went to the library with my sorority little sister to study for a big Econ test that I had the next day.  When the general surgeon called, I was actually kind of excited because I hate Econ.  But then the words "cancer" and "treat quickly and aggressively" and "surgery" and "lymph nodes" were thrown around.  And I didn't know what to do, so I just laid my head on the table and then texted my parents, who promptly called me freaking out, my dad in God knows what time zone.  And then I just cried.  I was twenty, I was pretty, and I was going to be a lawyer... Cancer did not happen to girls like me.  It just didn't.  (That thought is the main reason that I've started speaking so openly about my battle... I want people to realize that cancer can happen to anyone.)
 
A co-worker was diagnosed with cancer recently, and I was sitting on the other side of the cubicle wall when she got the call.  I immediately felt so ill for her that I thought I was going to have to be sent home.  And my heart broke in half, because I knew not only what she was going through, but how my little must have felt being in the room with me and watching a metaphorical car crash.
 
I give my little Ashley so much credit, though.  She saved the day.  It was late and anything that could have been fun became difficult because my arm still wasn't functioning properly from the biopsy.  We eventually just went to Wal-Mart and goofed off and took ridiculous pictures and then went to Cookout where we sat and gorged ourselves on onion rings and Diet Cokes for hours.  And as awful as it was, it's one of the best memories I have with Ashley.
 
[photo credit:  My Sweet Savannah]
 
One of the biggest lessons I learned from my experience was to love everyone.  Not a selective love, but a love like Jesus loves us.  When I was dealing with things, I was horrible.  I was withdrawn, I was snarky, I was an all around unpleasant person.  I refused to tell my sisters what was going on, but they loved me anyway.  Once, my sorority sister Kayla heard me talking about having a PET Scan and pulled me aside, basically demanding to know what was going on.  She had been through her own cancer battle and ended up being my roommate my junior year.  Whenever I was going to need to do something that I physically couldn't do or didn't have the energy to do, she maneuvered around and saw that it got done without anyone realizing anything was wrong. Another sorority sister was super interested in medicine and used to ask to massage my scar for me.  Some days I was just flat out unlovable, but the people around me continued to love me.  That's the biggest piece of advice I could ever give anyone - love everyone.  You really never know what anyone is going through.
 
For anyone that is facing cancer or a chronic illness, it's important to accept that your life is different, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.  After my surgery, I lost most of the range of motion in my right arm.  (I finally gave in and went to physical therapy a year later.)  It was hard to brush, straighten, or braid my hair.  So I accepted that, and I adapted.  I was living off campus for awhile, so I sucked it up and parked in handicap so that I could go out to my car and switch my books out in between classes instead of trying to carry a bunch of heavy books.  They think that my cancer was caused by a medication that I take, so I went from taking the highest dose every four weeks to the lowest dose every six weeks.  That was rough at first, but I eventually had to accept it and move on.  I don't think that accepting that your life is different is admitting defeat, but instead, accepting that sometimes you're dealt a bad hand, and making the best of it.
 
 
 
The biggest thing I learned from my cancer battle was to be resilient.  Cancer is a horrible, awful disease, and I learned very quickly that it does not discriminate.  My doctors and friends told me to take time off from school during my diagnosis.  But I absolutely refused.  My GPA suffered, but I knew I needed the stability of classes and a work schedule.  I love Relay for Life because of their motto "Fight Back!"  I used to hate the scar on my arm because I felt like cancer had literally taken a piece of my arm and all of my confidence away from me, but now I wear it proudly.  It's a daily reminder that I won my battle.
 
I want to say thank you so much for reading my story about my diagnosis and lessons learned.  I promise tomorrow's post will be much more light hearted :)  Have a very happy Wednesday!
 
XX,
 
SS

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ladylike in Leather

East Tennessee has been a snowy mess for the past week and a half, but I love my new faux leather dress so much that I couldn't let a little snow stop me from having a lunch break photo shoot!  What's better than a cute new dress & a good hair day?  Not many things, my friends.






Dress: Banana Republic (similar) | Blazer:  J. Crew | Tights:  Target | Flats:  Jessica Simpson
White Bracelet:  Francesca's (similar)| Red Bracelet:  White House Black Market (similar)
Lip Color: MAC Russian Red | Nail Color:  OPI Glitzerland

My favorite thing about this dress is that it is faux leather at the top and tweed on the bottom - the perfect mix of edgy & ladylike.

What do y'all think about the leather trend?  Happy Tuesday!

XX,

SS

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fitness Fashion


One of my goals for 2015 was to get more in shape.  I've noticed that I'm a lot more motivated to actually go to the gym if I'm in a cute outfit!  When I feel like I look put together, event at the gym, I have a lot more confidence.  Here are some items that I already own or would love to have in my gym "wardrobe."



(1) Barre So Hard. tank | I've become a barre believer.  Isn't this tank fun?!
(2) Krass & Co shorts | I own almost every color in Norts, and I love that Krass & Co offers different little patterns on the sides!
(3) Victoria's Secret sports bra | I own one of these, and I love it.  Confession - I wish that I could wear sports bras every day.
(4) Under Armour lightweight headband | I have a really similar headband from Under Armor, and I've been so impressed with it!
(5) Lululemon Wild tank | This is on the top of my wishlist!  Isn't it fun?!
(6) Lucy Ballet Grip socks (on sale!) | As a former ballerina, I want these just to play around my apartment in!
(7) Yoga mat bag | I've started going to yoga again, and I hate lugging my mat back and forth.  I love the simplicity of this bag, and also that you could easily have it monogrammed.
(8) Yoga legging | I don't think it's possible to have too many pairs of yoga leggings.  I love the affordability of these!
(9) Tory Burch Fitbit | I never hopped on the Fitbit trend because (1) I was sedentary and (2) I didn't want to wear a not so cute Fitbit on my wrist.  I love this trendy one from Tory Burch!
(10) Kate Spade glass water bottle | I'm so glad that Kate Spade has hopped on the glass water bottle trend!  I have a Kate Spade tumbler, and I've been so impressed with the quality.  If you don't love glitter at the gym, they also have cute candy colored ones and black & white polka dots.


What do you like to wear to the gym?  Do you feel more "gym ready" when you're wearing a cute outfit?  Hope you're having a happy Monday!

XX,

SS







Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekend Reading


I apologize for the lack of links this weekend!  If you come across anything you think I should check out, be sure to leave it in the comments :)  I hope to spend this weekend reading blog posts & this book and planning content for next week.  Anything specific you want to see?! Xx


You don't want to miss this article about an absolutely adorable 3-Year-Old Fashionista!

In love with this simple yet gorgeous outfit by Brie of Think Pink.

Last weekend I was wayyy too sick, so I'm very excited to finally get to go back to barre classes this weekend.  If you're curious about my first experience, check it out here.  (PS - It might make you giggle ;) )

Like the majority of women, I'm kind of obsessed with weddings.  You've got to see this one - an airstream trailer converted into a bourbon & cigar lounge?  Sign me up!

If you follow me on twitter, you know I'm kind of obsessed with workout wear.  I really enjoyed this article about how to dress for the gym like a Parisian.

If you're looking to enter a giveaway:  $100 Kohl's Gift Card

PS - Last minute addition - I just signed up for 2 years of Vogue for less than $12.  That's about the cost of two issues.  Here's the post that lead me to it.


And if you do any shopping over the weekend, be sure to check out these faves:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Barre vs. Ballet: My First Barre Experience


I started taking ballet lessons at two and a half years old, and I continued until I was seventeen.  Out of all of the classes that I was able to take, ballet continued to be my favorite.  I loved the fluidity of movement, and the discipline and poise that it taught me.

When I started hearing about the "barre class" trend, I was psyched.  It took awhile for a barre class to come to my area, and I almost joined the most expensive gym in town just for access to the weekly barre class.  After a rough day at work, I went to yoga for the first time in months and found out that my class pass now covered barre class too!  I spent the rest of the week excited about it and was the first to arrive to my class early Saturday morning.

The biggest thing for me to get used to was just how unlike barre was to actual ballet.

I had no idea what a social activity barre is!  I was the only person in the class that came alone, and instead of stretching before class, everyone stood around and chatted with their friends while waiting for the instructor.  Two women showed up 20 minutes tardy for the 60 minute class and then piled up on top of the attendees that had already staked out our spots.  They were unapologetic, and no side eye was given by anyone.  (Except for me... Sorry, I have personal space issues!)

I also didn't realize that barre was such a fashion show!  Everyone showed up in adorable workout gear that was definitely in "their color", seemingly unnecessary matching headbands, and having done everything possible to look great without makeup.  (I was at that moment thankful that my friend Chicago Prepster had told me how amazing Lululemon is, and that I had worn it that day.  I also really wished I had a headband to cover up my hair that hadn't been washed since 6 am Thursday morning.)  Water breaks were frequent and encouraged, and some of the women had the cutest little glass water bottles!  (Another big change from ballet class - we were given water breaks as a class, and we all lined up at the old water fountain in the hallway.)  The biggest thing that shocked me was that women wore their rings!  In ballet, we weren't allowed to wear any jewelry, with the exception of one student who was Catholic and wore a necklace with a Saint on it.

The thing that it was hardest for me to grasp was that the barre was actually used!  I was always taught that the barre was just kind of there as backup.  Your hand rested lightly on it, and you expected your teacher to come by and lift your hand off at any time as a little balance test.  But in my class, women were putting all of their weight on the barre, even just to stretch out after a series of exercises, and the barre shook and buckled the entire class.  I think this is the biggest thing that I will have to adapt to!

After the class, my legs were jello.  I couldn't figure out if I was going to vomit or pass out first.  (Luckily, neither happened.  But I did sit in the car for 10 minutes before attempting to drive, drove the 1.5 miles home, and then plopped down on my couch and drank a gallon of water.)  On Tuesday afternoon, the soreness in my legs finally started to subside.  (Am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with being sore?!)

Will I go back?  Absolutely!  My first class was a big learning experience, but I enjoyed actually understanding a workout.  I'll be taking four yoga classes before my next scheduled class, so I hope that will help me to be a little more prepared.  Other things I will do to prepare:  eat breakfast before I go, remember my water bottle, have my boyfriend drop me off/pick me up, and scope out an end spot at the barre to hopefully eliminate being at the "buckling" spot at the barre.

Have you been to barre class before?  What did you think?!

XX,

SS

Note:  I paid for my barre class pass with my own money.  All opinions are my own and are just that - opinions.  :)  I'm sure all barre classes are different, and this specific review is the barre class where I hold my class pass.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

24th Birthday Recap!


I celebrated my 24th birthday over the long weekend, and I wanted to share some photos with y'all!  I apologize in advance for the low quality, but good news - I have been reunited with my camera!  After four long months, my dad brought it to me in Tennessee. 

Friday was rough - I was stressed about my dad coming in, and I was sick on top of all of that and didn't know where I was going to find energy to clean.  Surprise!  A package comes in the mail from my friend Berlynn of Bella Vida Accessories, and my day is made.  If you've ever seen the beautiful bangles I wear in a lot of my Insta photos, they are from her!  She sent me FIVE more bracelets.  I was in tears.  Talk about a day maker!  How did I get so lucky?!


Top:  Old Navy (similar) | Skirt:  Lilly Pulitzer in Resort White Spritz (similar) |
Tights: Target | Flats:  Lucky

My dad came in Saturday night, and C & I went on a double date with him and my stepmom to my absolute favorite restaurant!  Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, so I dressed festively for the occasion!  It felt so good to be around so many people that I love.



We grabbed brunch at Bonefish on Sunday, and it was so rich and delicious.  OMG.  I am still full from that meal!  And Bonefish gave me a cute little box of artisan chocolates since it was my birthday.

We went shopping, and I picked out a few practical gifts - a tea kettle, a Vegetti, and a new book - plus some cash to order the Wunder Under II crops I've been eyeing.  (I think I'm going to buy the Wild tank instead though... so.  fun! OR maybe these crops that are on major sale!)

The weather was forecasted to get pretty bad outside, so my dad and stepmom had to leave after dinner.  I was bummed, but I'm just so glad that I got to see them since I hadn't seen them since Mexico!



Monday was the perfect lazy day.  It snowed all day, and Franny absolutely loved it!  I get so irritated taking her out after dark, but I didn't even mind because she loved the snow so much!  She hates rain and anything wet, so it was a pleasant surprise.


Boots:  LL Bean |  Jacket:  Patagonia

Tuesday was my birthday!  We had a snow day at work, but since I live next door, I walked over to run the switchboard for half of the day.  Thank goodness for my Bean Boots in this snowy weather!!  (I was a little bummed that I didn't get to wear my new birthday dress, though!)



The original birthday plan was to go to a really nice Italian restaurant, but most places were closed due to weather.  So we had a late lunch at our local Cheddar's, complete with grocery store cupcakes and glittery candles!  I give my mom credit - even when the majority of the town is shut down, she makes sure I have proper provisions to celebrate my birthday.

Sandals:  Jack Rogers in Platinum |  Polish:  OPI Big Apple Red 

One of my gifts was a new pair of Jack Rogers sandals!  After 2 years, my first pair of platinum Jacks bit the dust, so I'm super thankful to have a replacement pair!

Sweater:  LOFT (super similar) | Lip color:  MAC Russian Red

And is it really your birthday without a blurry selfie in your puppy dog sweater?!


Thanks for celebrating with me, y'all!  I'm super excited about tomorrow's post; I hope you will stop by to check it out :)  (P.S. - It's not birthday related ;) )

XX,

SS


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom: Dealing with Gossip

First of all, I want to say that I apologize that my blog has lacked "rhythm" lately.  I try to keep certain types of posts on certain days, but this month has just been a little bit of everywhere!  (I'm also hoping to do more fashion posts when it starts to thaw out a little outside, so if you have any suggestions of trends or outfits you'd like to see me take on, I'd love to hear your suggestions!)


Sticking with the "Wednesday Wisdom" theme, I wanted to talk about something that I see is afflicting a lot of people in my life right now:  Gossip.  I have friends, family, and co-workers dealing with divorce, major health issues, and family drama, and it breaks my heart.  I really feel like it has been laid on my heart to say something.

I found out about a really touchy situation by walking in on one of the strongest people I know sobbing uncontrollably.  One of the things that we talked about was how dealing with something heavy is hard enough, but it makes it even harder when you know everyone knows, and you feel like you have a million eyes on you and a million mouths spreading misinformation.  Her advice to people that were concerned about the situation?  Talk to her.  Such a simple thing that I think so many of us avoid like the plague.  If someone is going through something rough and you genuinely want to help, talk to them!  Ask them what you can do.  And when someone asks you about the situation?  Tell them to ask the person.  It's not your story to tell. 

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a saint.  Like all women, I have been guilty of gossiping so many times, and I probably will be until the day that I die.  But it's a trait that I've noticed about myself and that I'm working really hard to improve upon.  After having that little seed planted, I've found myself approaching people who are hurting instead of speculating with others about what we could possibly do to help them or what might be hurting them.

This week, I challenge you to remember the quote above "If it's not your story to tell, you don't tell it."

How do you deal with gossip?

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. - Psalms 141:3

XX,

SS


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cheers to 24 Years!


I really love birthdays!  Growing up, I always chose to have a party with my friends instead of asking for specific gifts.  I've always felt like birthdays are more about celebrating your life with the people you love and less about material things.  (But I still make a wish list, just in case ;) )


  A fun little throwback to my Sweet 16!


23 was really the year that I felt like I "came into my own."  I have battled anxiety my entire life, but I really pushed myself to do things that made me uncomfortable - whether it be chopping off a foot of my hair, choreographing a dance for some of the most influential people in the city where I live, moving out on my own, taking more time off before law school, or becoming more personal in my blog posts.  I have become less concerned with what people think of me, and I've also learned to be nicer to myself.

The thought that has kept popping into my mind in 2015 is "I wonder what my younger self would think of me."  And you know what?  I'm pretty sure she would high five me.  I have a wonderful boyfriend, a job that I love so much, and goals that I am dead set on achieving.  And most importantly, I have become resilient in my short 24 years.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me, and thanks for dropping by to celebrate with me today!  I hope that everyone had a great weekend and has a lovely Tuesday.

XX,

SS

Monday, February 16, 2015

24 Before 24 - The Finale!

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday!  I seriously can't wait, y'all.  My dad came in this weekend to celebrate with me, and even though I'll be working on my birthday, I'm looking forward to dinner with my family that evening.   My birthday also means its time to wrap up my 24 Before 24 Series!

One thing I did that threw my plans for a loop this year was move out.  I hadn't planned on it and kind of left on a whim, so I didn't have the funds to do as much as I would have liked to.  However, I'm pretty proud of all that I accomplished!  The past year has really felt like I've grown into my own, and I'm so thankful that you've been following along with me.  Here's my progress!





24 Before 24 | Update One | Update Two | Update Three | Update Four |


  1. Learn calligraphy - Confession:  I tried to write in calligraphy for my secret santa tags at work, and it was freaking hard!  I've been reading up on different tips and markers and tools, so I hope to take a little bit of my birthday money and buy myself some tools!  I'd really love to be able to address my wedding envelopes & place cards whenever that day may come.
  2. Devote myself to a devotional -  I'm embarrassed to admit that I still haven't done this.  I spoke to an exercise instructor one day about how it doesn't feel like there are enough hours in the day to take care of me, and she told me her biggest trick is to schedule it!  Put it on your calendar like a meeting!  So, I hope to do that this year - set aside an hour a couple of days a week to just focus on His word.
  3. Spend a weekend in Asheville - I had two day trips here, but no weekend visit.  And I still haven't made it to Biltmore!  I'm not a "Bucket List" person, but visiting Biltmore is one of like five things on my bucket list.
  4. Regularly attend church - I grew up in church, and I've been really hurt by church in the past.  I found a church that I really loved, but it was an hour from home.  I have really been exploring the Catholic faith lately, as I am very impressed with Pope Francis.  (My boyfriend and his family are Catholic, my stepmother is Catholic, and my dad was Catholic before he married my mother.)  I have been praying for healing, and I hope that soon I will feel prepared to attend church soon, and hopefully begin my conversion this year.
  5. 100 Happy Days Challenge  If you want a free way to change your life, do this!  I am really contemplating doing this again this year.  When I was dealing with so much violence at home, this challenge really forced me to think of something that made me happy! 
  6. Utilize the shift key Y'all, I can use a shift key now! 
  7. Become a devoted yogi  I wouldn't call myself a yogi, but I have started going back to yoga AND even taking more workout classes!  Whoooo!
  8. Plan an amazing bridal shower Anddd I'm going to be in a wedding this summer so bring on round two!
  9. Law school "stuff"   I'm ready, y'all!  I've started studying, I've picked a date, I've researched schools, and I've met with a financial planner to start saving.  My applications will be going in on September 1!
  10. Visit a "Paint your own pottery" studio  Technically, I did this twice!  I painted my own pottery AND went to a canvas painting party, as well!
  11. Have a 3-year cancer free celebration This ended up being moving into my apartment!  What a way to celebrate :)
  12. Plan another sold out event   And now that 2015 is here, it's time to plan my last huge work event!
  13. Stay away from caffeine   I have really made progress on this one!  Caffeine free is the way to be, and my body loves me for it.
  14. Do more Meals on Wheels routes - Still trying to force myself to sign up for some 2015 routes.  I don't know why this stresses me out so much.  I was terrified of nursing homes as a child, and I really think this is part of why I get so nervous about doing it.  (We don't deliver to nursing homes, but we do deliver to some places that might as well be.)
  15. Add to my Lilly Pulitzer collection - I've definitely been killing it on this one.  *hairflip*
  16. Continue improvements on the blog -  The blog redesign has started!  I know I say that every month, but I promise, it's coming along.
  17. Visit Nashville again - This one didn't work out after all :(  There's always next year!
  18. Be a birthday fairy 
  19. Go to a concert  Train is amazing in concert.  If you ever have the chance, GO!
  20. Plan a brunch - I had planned to do this for my 24th, but my dad and stepmom came in, so I decided to brunch with them instead :)  Definitely doing this for my 25th!
  21. Find a diet that works  Y'all, I actually enjoy cooking now.  I don't know what happened, but I have started making kind of a "go to" meal - grilled chicken, brown rice, cucumber slices, hummus, and a string cheese.  I usually make it either for lunch or dinner.  I've also started eating lots of healthy snacks, and that has helped my potato chip craving go away!
  22. Put more effort into my professional appearance  Now that I've chopped my hair off, I do something with it every morning! And I actually have time to put on my makeup now!
  23. Keep smiling   #cheese
  24. Continue doing things that scare me   This is what I'm proudest of.  I've come a long way, baby!
Thanks again for following along with my journey!  17 out of 24 isn't too shabby!


XX,

SS

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Weekend Reading



If you're celebrating Valentine's Day with a night-in, check out this list of movies!

I was so flattered to be included in Cristina's "20 Beautiful Women" post!  She is such a ray of sunshine, and I highly encourage you to check it!

I get a handful of emails each week asking me to write blog posts without compensation.  This article gives a polite response to handling those emails.

I love this idea for how to ask your girls to be your bridesmaids!  Or better yet - throw them an adorable, Disney princess themed brunch!

Donut fingernails?  You won't believe how cute it is until you see it!

This article is over a year old, but I think it's perfect since we're all nipping at the bud to start our spring wardrobes.

I'm kind of obsessed with the Olsen twins, so imagine my excitement when I found this article on Pinterest!

I'm all about finding better ways to do things, but here is a list of 7 blogging shortcuts that you should avoid.

A lot of schools are gearing up for spring recruitment, so I wanted to share this post for girls who are about to rush!  It's the most viewed post I've ever published.

Giveaways you should check out:  3 Months Free of Endless Eyewear | $50 Sugar Love Boutique Gift Card

Last but not least, a big Happy Valentine's Day to my sweet boyfriend, Chris!  Putting up with me isn't an easy task, but you make it look so easy.  Thanks for loving me unconditionally...and taking the best blog photos :)   

And if you do any online shopping this weekend, be sure to check out these goodies that I'm currently obsessed with!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Franny Friday

It's the best day of the week - Franny Friday!  Franny is celebrating the same way she celebrates every day - lays in bed until about 10, moves to the couch, goes out around noon, eats, begs for more food, eats more food (repeat x2), then lays on the couch and waits for Momma to get home from work.  I envy her every morning when I leave for work, and she's giving me the stink eye from bed.



Despite having two dog beds, a human bed, and a couch to take over, Francis has taken to laying on the floor.  Last weekend, she sprawled out under C's desk.  I bought him a really cool print for Christmas, and since we haven't gotten it framed yet, it's been sitting under his desk in a tube.  The tube fell on Franny this weekend, and it was one of the top five funniest things I have ever seen.  She is such a weird dog to begin with, so her doggy meltdown was hilarious.


Throw Pillow | Throw pillows in our home have become Franny's babies.  She doesn't try to destroy them like toys, but she guards them under her little arm.

Fleece Blanket | We are still having fights over the fleece blanket.  When Fran isn't licking it, she's busy sprawling out across it so that no one else can use it.

SkinnyGirl Popcorn | Fran would sell me out in a heart beat for some SkinnyGirl popcorn.  I have never seen her so obsessed with something.  Her little head will follow my hand to the bag and into my mouth.

Cupid Costume | I've been joking all month about getting her one.  But then I saw it on etsy, and actually want to get her one.  Wouldn't she be an adorable and super awkward little cupid?

York River Traders Collar | We've been switching Fran's collars back and forth, and she's back to this one.  It's almost like she knows that it's fancy and instantly sits like a regal little gal.


What have your fur babies been up to this week?  TGIF!
I'm so excited because my dad is coming in town tomorrow night for my birthday, and Franny is going to get to meet her Grandpaw!

XX,

SS



Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Bags Under My Eyes WERE Designer


We've all heard the saying "The bags under my eyes are designer."  I love that saying - it made me feel better about the dark circles and bags under my eyes that were more hereditary than "designer."



I jumped at the chance to review InstaNatural's Youth Express Eye Gel and Youth Express Eye Serum.  I've always hated the bags and circles under my eyes, and InstaNatural products continue to exceed my expectations!

When using the products, I generally shower, put on my toner, and then apply the Youth Express Eye Gel to my forehead and cheeks.  I put it on my fingertips and lightly tap away.  I've been using the product for a little over a week, and the skin in those areas just looks better.  It's firmer (which is nice because your skin stops producing collagen way before you realize how important collagen is) and brighter.  Application directions say that the product can be used twice daily, but I prefer to just use it at night after my shower.




From there, I move on to the Youth Express Eye Serum.  I start at the inner corner of my eye, and lightly tap it from the inner corner to the outer corner.  It's important to tap it very gently!  Sometimes I get a little excited about getting rid of those dark circles and use too much, so I lightly tap a piece of toilet paper over it to absorb the extra.  I can already tell an improvement with the skin under my eyes!  I no longer freak out when putting on eye shadow with fear that it will just make the dark circles appear event darker.  Application directions say that this product can be used twice daily, as well, but I only use it at night after my shower.  The product is orange, so I'm not sure how well it would blend under my makeup.



What do you think?  Anything you would be interested in trying?!  If you have any questions about the products, feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email :)

A big thank you to InstaNatural for providing me with their product in exchange for an honest review!

XX,

SS


P.S. - Here are a few of my InstaNatural favorites!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spread the Love!

I bet that y'all will be super happy when Valentine's Day is over so that I will stop posting about it.  Buttt, until then- here's a little post about ways to spread the love to those around you!

When I was in college, one of my best friends and I stayed up late one night to bake Valentine's Day cupcakes for a sorority bake sale.  No one touched them, so we dropped them off at the fraternity house.  Let me tell you - we were the belles of the ball that night!  The guys were so happy that someone had thought of them, and I may or may not have gotten a date out of it ;)

Last year, I made homemade Valentines for all of my co-workers!  It was so much work, but so much fun.  This year, we have lots of new employees, so I'll probably just be corny and through a kid's valentine in their mailbox.

Here are some ideas for easy ways to spread the love - whether it just be at home with your parents, for your sorority house, or for your co-workers!  I think the biggest thing about Valentine's Day is letting people around you know that they're important to you!



  BAKE:
Baked goods are a simple and yummy way to celebrate!  I am currently debating between making these yummy Red Velvet Cookie Cups and these S'mores Bites!  (P.S. - This Betty Crocker cake mix is what was such a hit when we were baking for the boys!)

MAKE:
I've been dying to make these wine gummies!  Our potlucks at work get a little wild, and I could see these being such a hit!  And what better snack to enjoy while spending Galentine's with your sisters?

TAKE...the time to:
Craft homemade valentines!  It may be a little pain in the rear, but you have no idea how much they are appreciated!  I took pieces of red card stock, wrote a note on them, folded them, then tied them with tulle.  It was a really good opportunity for me to take inventory about what traits I truly appreciated about my co-workers.  If you're looking for something simple, I love this idea - Peppermint Patty candy with "You're cool." on a paper heart!  


Are you doing anything special for the special people in your life this year?  I'd love to hear about it!! Happy Wednesday :)

XX,

SS

PS. - I do not own any of the photos in the collage.  However, they are linked back to their original post in this post.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

SS Reads: Beyond All Dreams (+ Giveaway!)

I have been reading a lot lately, so when given the opportunity to review a book, I jumped on it!  I was especially excited to read this book because it is written around the life of a librarian - my mamaw, who was my absolute favorite person in the world, was a librarian!  It's so sweet and romantic - a perfect read right around Valentine's Day!

About the book:
Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for their futures?

Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for their futures?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1BbxWeR

My thoughts: 
It took me a little while to get into this book, so if it seems slow at first keep reading!  (It takes me a little while to get into most books... I think it takes my brain a bit to realize that I'm not at work.)  The more I read this book, the more I related to it and enjoyed it.  Both of the main characters grew up in with less than functional home lives, and if you've been following my blog for a while, you know that's something I'm unfortunately familiar with.  I also love the Christian themes that are woven within the story!  I love a romance novel that focuses on the romance rather than physical encounters between the characters, and this one is perfect for that.

About the author: Elizabeth Camden
 is the author of six books and a RITA and Christy Award winner. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida.

Find Elizabeth online: websiteFacebook










And now a word from Litfuse publicity, who so graciously gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for a review!

Travel back in time to the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress in Elizabeth Camden's newest release, Beyond All Dreams. From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for their futures?


Elizabeth is celebrating the release of Beyond All Dreams with a Kindle giveaway and Facebook party on February 17.


beyondalldreams-400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Beyond All Dreams
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/17. Winner will be announced at Elizabeth's 2/17 Beyond All Dreams Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Elizabeth and historical fiction fans, as well as for the opportunity to win some great prizes!


beyondalldreams-enterbanner
{Not on Facebook? Enter here.}
RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest,  and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!  (It's my birthday, so maybe that will be good luck for one of my readers!)


What do you think?  Does Beyond All Dreams sound like it's up your alley?  Have you entered the giveaway yet?!  Hope you're having a happy Tuesday!

XX,

SS