Seersucker Sass: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Seven Tips for Increasing Your Blog Traffic

I'll preface this by saying that I know my blog is a small blog; I don't have a million readers every month.  However, I've noticed that in 2015, my traffic has increased drastically.  I'm really excited to share with you how I increased my blog traffic, and I hope that these tips will help you to increase your blog's traffic, as well!


1. Create quality content.  If your content isn't up to par, there's a good chance that people won't come back.  I always strive for my content to be genuine and a reflection of who I am, and I keep my reviews honest to preserve my integrity.  When I submit a post on here, I'm showing y'all a little piece of myself, so I want to be sure everything is linked properly and spelled correctly!  (If you're taking the time out of your day to check out my little corner of the internet, it's the least that I can do for you!)  One of the most helpful things I've found in creating quality content is printing a blank calendar for the month (I like WinCalendar,) writing out holidays or major sales, and then planning out relevant content around them.  It has done wonders with curbing my writer's block!

2. Display "pinnable" images.  I spent a large part of my blogging "career" in denial that my images sucked.  So I started studying the "bigger bloggers" and how they posed, where they posed, their methods to laying things out for product shots, etc., and I definitely think that has helped me to improve.  When I take photos or create graphics, I try to make them "Pinterest" worthy.  (Again, if you're taking the time to come check out my blog, the least that I can do is provide you with aesthetically pleasing graphics!)  

3. Cross promote your posts.  I share my posts on every form of social media that I use - Twitter, InstagramPinterest, and Google+.  Sometimes tweeting (and remembering to tweet) can be a lot of work, so I use Hootsuite to schedule my blog related tweets for the day!  I started out using their Pro plan, but I found that the free was just as sufficient for what I needed to do.  I'm always looking for programs to maximize the ease of social media, so if you have any you'd like to recommend, I am alllll ears!  I also think it's super helpful to put your blog link in your social media bios.  Honestly, whenever someone follows me on social media, I do some minor creeping.  If they have a blog link in their bio, I usually click it to check them out!

4. Engage!  Engage with your readers and other bloggers on social media!  Try to respond to comments, whether it be on your post or via email.  (That one has been a biggie for me!)  And always respond to emails, even if it's just to say that you're appreciative, but not interested.  Some of the emails I get can be kind of condescending, but I always try to reply with a positive spin.  Quick story about the importance of responding to emails - a blogger wrote a post that I really related to (and would later realize was sponsored.)  It was emotional and had me in tears at my desk.  I sent her an email about how much I related to her post, how appreciative I was of it, and how much it helped me to cope with what had happened in my life.  She never responded, and I was kind of bummed out.  I continued to comment on her posts and say nice things to her on social media, but she never responded. So I just stopped reading her blog.  On the other hand, I sent Emily at Life with Emily an email about how I was having a hard time finding jeans and asked for some recommendations since we seem to have similar body types.  She sent me the nicest, most thorough email with suggestions for different brands, different styles, and different price points.  Because she was so nice to me, I go back to her blog more frequently, and I think so highly of her and her opinions, and I'm more likely to check out products and brands that she recommends.  

5. Comment on other blogs.  This one could probably go with engage, but I think it's so important that it needs it's own line item.  I'm not familiar with other sites, but I know with Blogger, I can check my "traffic sources."  It's amazing how much traffic is generated just by commenting on other sites!  (Confession - When I'm looking to check out new blogs, I'll go to a blog that I like, and click on the clickable blog links in the comments.)  When you comment, I would recommend including your blog link.  (If you're unsure how to do this, click here.)  I'm all about ease, so I want people to have a really easy time getting to my site!  Also, please leave sincere comments on people's posts!  There's nothing more annoying than pouring your heat into a blog post, only to be met by a two word comment, followed by "Check out my newest blog post!!! *link*"

6. Join groups.  I'm an Admin for the Millennial Blogger Network, along with Annaliese & Caroline, and I have found being in a group of lifestyle and fashion bloggers to be so beneficial!  It's a great opportunity to ask questions and share your content with bloggers that you actually have things in common with.

7. Find your tribe!  In a world full of women who aren't always so supportive of other successful women, it's important to have your "tribe."  I know that I can always count on my friend K from Pick Your Beau,  Brittany at Life Like a Twenty Something, and Katelyn of Southern Samplings.  Your tribe shouldn't be girls that are all like you; it's good to have a different group of strengths!  I personally enjoy having different brands in my tribe, as well.  Sharing each other's content and writing guest posts for members of your tribe is a really great way to bring in new readers from a different niche, as well as support your favorite ladies!

Did you find this to be helpful?  Do you have any other tips that I should include?

Feel free to shoot me an email or leave me a comment with any questions you may have or suggestions for future blogging related posts!

Happy Thursday!  Don't forget about tomorrow's floral link up with Pick Your Beau!  My post will go live at 6 AM so that you can link up as early as you would like :)

XX,

SS




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Navy + Coral

My navy + coral obsession began when I was a junior in college, and it has only gotten worse since then!  After deciding to renew my lease in my current apartment, I've decided to make the bedroom "nautical themed."

I'm so excited that I was finally able to shoot some photos in my new navy + coral Janice Shift dress from Lilly Pulitzer.  If you read this post, this is the dress that I was referencing when I said that my boyfriend bought me a Lilly!  The dress is so pretty on it's own that I didn't want to add many accessories.  






Dress || Sandals || Earrings: Lilly Pulitzer (similar) || Lipstick (shade: Unapologetic)


I always feel like I glow when I wear this dress, just because the memory behind it makes me so happy!

What are y'all up to on this Wednesday?  I plan on making a Derby hat after work!

Don't forget about the "May Showers" Link-Up I'm hosting with Pick Your Beau on Friday!!  Can't wait to see your best floral ensembles :)



XX,

SS

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Macaron Mania

Good afternoon, y'all!  Warning - this post is so sweet that it may give you a tooth ache ;)




Apron // Compact // Print // Weekend Bag // Eye Shadow Palette // Tote //  Tank

    
Are you as into the macaron trend as I am? :)

XX,

SS

P.S. - I'm so excited about content for the rest of the week - tips on how to boost your blog's traffic, an outfit post featuring the Lilly dress my boyfriend bought me, and Friday's Link-Up that I hope you will join me for :)

P.P.S - The Instagram giveaway is going on through 9PM EST tonight!  Have you entered yet?!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Thank God for Mommas.  The older I get, the more I respect mine.  (Seriously, Momma D is a saint.)  Last year, I wasn't in the position financially to get her a really nice gift, so this year, I've been putting some money aside so that I can really spoil her!  If you need an idea of what to get for your mother for Mother's Day, here are some ideas!




Scentbird Subscription ||  I love subscription services because they're a gift that keeps giving!  If you missed out on my review of Scentbird, I absolutely love it.  You get a new scent vial every month, and you can choose them based on the season, occasion, etc!  My favorite thing about a subscription service is that it comes in the mail... I don't know about y'all, but I'm absolutely tickled every time goodies arrive for me at the mailbox!

Kendra Scott Bracelet ||  I tried this on in a local boutique this weekend, and I'm in love with how dainty it is!

Mom Photo Frame ||  Okay, I know this one is a little cheesy, but isn't it cute?   My brother and I got our mom a similar frame at Cracker Barrel years ago, and it's still sitting on display on the mantle at home.

Philosophy 3-in-1 ||   If you've never used Philosophy products before, you need to immediately buy one for you and one for your Momma!  I love the scent "Amazing Grace," because how many people on this Earth show us more grace than our mothers?

Tumbler ||  These are a hit with my momma!  She's always on the go with my little brother's athletics and a 30 minute commute to work, and tumblers with straws are so much easier than constantly trying to open a water bottle while cruising down the road.

Alex and Ani Mom Bracelet ||  Here's a helpful hint about buying gifts for people who are difficult to buy for- buy things that can be collected.  Alex and Ani bracelets & Pandora charms make great gifts for the person that has everything!  My mom wears Alex and Ani and my stepmom wears Pandora, so holidays are always a little easier to shop for now!

Leather iPad Case ||  Talk about a chic gift!  This iPad case will definitely make your momma stand out at staff meetings or just add a touch of glamour to browsing the web.

Drybar Bestsellers ||  I'm a big advocate of at-home pampering!  If your mom feels the same way (or loves the Drybar,) this is the perfect gift!

What are you getting your Momma this year? :)

Happy Monday, y'all!  Be sure to enter the Lilly for Target Giveaway that I'm part of!

XX,

SS

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Finds

TGIF, right?!  This week has been insane, but I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend of painting canvases, getting caught up on blog comments, and celebrating my best friend's birthday!

Here are some things I've seen while shopping this week that I feel like I need to spread the word about!  (P.S. - They're all under $50!  Blogging on a budget, over here!)



Bra Society Bikini ||  I ordered this for myself on a whim yesterday.  I've had multiple bad experiences with Zulily, but I really hope this is a redeeming & positive one.  The suit looks identical to the Triangle suits that I had been eyeing, but it's only like $35 with shipping!  (PS - They have additional colors and styles.  If you're new to Zulily, I'd love if you used my referral link!)

Jack Rogers Georgica Jellies ||  I'm not really a fan of rubber flip flops, but I needed a pair of pool shoes.  I'd been eyeing these for while, so when they went on sale for like $37, I snagged them!  They came in the mail yesterday, and I truly love them.  (I ordered the blush/platinum shade for myself if you wanna be twinsies!)

Kate Spade Studs ||  I have a pair of studs very similar to these, and I absolutely love them!  I'd love to add this pair of tortoiseshell studs to my collection, because they will add a touch of polish to any look!  Bonus points because they're on sale!

L'Oreal Lash Serum ||  I touched on this in my Five Minute Face blog post, and there will be a full post about this product in the coming months when I've completed the full 8 weeks, but y'all, this stuff is amazing!  Saturday will mark three weeks of use, and I can already see such a difference in my lashes.  

Pineapple Tote ||  Wouldn't this make an adorable beach bag?  I know pineapples were super hot last summer, but I'm glad that they've stuck around for this year!  (PS - It's only $12!!)

Alex & Ani Bangle || My boyfriend is Armenian, and I have been very fortunate to have so many opportunities to learn about their culture.  I have been eyeing this Armenian Cross bracelet for quite some time, and I think it's finally about time that I pick it up for myself.  Today marks the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

What has been your favorite find this week?

Don't forget - the May Flowers Linkup is one week from today!!

Happy Friday, y'all!!

XX,

SS

Thursday, April 23, 2015

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea

Way back when, one of the items on my 24 Before 24 List was to devote myself to a devotional.  I want to tell y'all about the one I've been using - God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea.



The "teaser" for this book is "God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection. "

I'm really picky about devotionals, because I feel like they can get a little fluffy.  There's nothing wrong with fluff, but it's just not my style.  What I love so much about God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is that it feels like a conversation.  You feel like you could be sitting on the porch swing chatting about life and Jesus with the author, Rose Chandler Johnson.   

I love structure, so I also really enjoy the way that this devotional is laid out.  
• A short devotional
• A few verses of suggested reading
• A couple of journaling questions
• A prayer
• A daily "sweet tea moment" for reflection
• A prayer focus (This is my favorite piece because it really reminds me every evening just how fortunate I am.)

The biggest thing for me with this devotional is that I was able to relate to it.  Sometimes when I read books about big cities or far away places, I really have to use my imagination.  I don't know what it's like to take a subway to work or to have a Starbucks within walking distance.  I've lived in Northeast Tennessee all of my life, so I really relate to the "Southern" element of this book.

If you have any questions about this devotional, I'm glad to answer them in the comments section or via email!  Do you have a favorite devotional?

XX,

SS


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review through a partnership with Litfuse Group.  All opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands that support A Little Seersucker Sass.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Five Minute Face


Yesterday, I shared with y'all one of my skin care secrets - at-home microdermabrasion.  One of the main reasons that I try to take good care of my skin is so I don't have to deal with makeup as much.  I wear a lot of makeup in the winter because my skin gets so red, but in the spring and summer, I like to go as natural as possible! Today I'm going to share with you the products and process that I use for my "five minute face."


Step One - MOISTURIZE!  
The foundation that I use is amazing, but if it isn't applied right after moisturizing, it looks like your skin is peeling.  I've found that regardless of what kind of foundation you use, it looks a million times better if you put it on right after moisturizing.  I really like Olay Regenerist Luminous Moisturizer!  I received it for free in a VoxBox last year, and I've grown to really love it.  (See this post for a full review.)

Step Two - FOUNDATION
I've been playing around with different foundations, BB Creams, and CC Creams for the past year.  I'm currently using Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, and it is perfect for spring and summer.  It gives that "I'm not wearing makeup, my skin is just #flawless" type of effect.  It photographs much nicer than any of the BB Creams I've used, and I give it mega bonus points for SPF 30.  I'm in love, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a foundation!

Step Three - BRONZER
I usually powder immediately to seal my foundation, but I've found with the product that I use, it works best to put my bronzer on first.  I received this Mary Kay Bronzing Powder in a VoxBox last summer, and I've been super impressed by it.  I'm super pale, so a good bronzer is an absolute must for me.  (See this post for a full review)  

Step Four - TRANSLUCENT POWDER
I like to seal everything using Make Up For Ever's Microfinish Powder.  It gives the whole look a really airbrushed effect.  I like translucent powder because I feel like powder that matches your skin tone can get tricky.  (Especially if you're pale like me, because it can leave you looking like a geisha.)

Step Five - EYE SHADOW
I use the second lightest shade in my Naked 3 Palette.  On days where I'm a little less rushed, I'll add in a second color for the crease or just on the eye lid.  If I'm running super short on time, eye shadow is the first thing I omit!

Step Six - EYELINER (optional)
This one totally depends on time.  Sometimes, if I'm in a super rush, I don't even bother with eyeliner because trying to get my eyes to match gets me all stressed out, and I could probably spend my full five minutes on that.  When I do wear eyeliner, I use the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen.  It's affordable, and I personally find liquid eye pens to be the easiest.

Step Seven - LASH SERUM
This is one that I never skip, ever.  Stress affects my body in super interesting ways, and the most recent one was causing my eyelashes to start falling out.  #lovely  I'm a big believer in L'Oreal's Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum.  This is the first lash serum I've ever used, so I didn't want to sink a lot of money into it.  I was also in a panic because I wanted something immediately.  I've been so pleased with this product.  I can't wait to show y'all before and after photos :)

Step Eight - MASCARA
I received YSL's Volume Effet Faux Cils recently in a Vox Box, and it has really started to grow on me!  My trick to making sure my mascara isn't clumpy and is natural looking is just scrape some of it off of the brush on the inside of the tube.  (If that's unsanitary, I so apologize for the recommendation.)  After seeing a before and after photo of my lashes with this mascara, I have refused to leave the house without it on!  (See this post for a full product review.)


Voila!



I've linked up the products I've used (and a few similar products) if you're interested in checking them out!



Now I want to know - What products do you use to perfect your five minute face?!

As always, feel free to email me any questions or leave them in the comments section :)

Happy Wednesday, y'all!!

XX,

SS

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pamper Yourself with At-Home Microdermabrasion


By now, y'all probably know that I'm a skin care junkie.  Most nights, I use four serums on my skin.  It may sounds a little excessive, but I like to focus on good skin care so that I don't have to wear as much make up.



I recently had the opportunity to try three Exuviance products - the Purifying Cleansing Gel, Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish, and the Collagen Triple Boost Serum.  I love the idea of being able to do an at home microdermabrasion treatment on myself!

I start out by using the Purifying Cleansing Gel.  Have you ever put a product on your fingers to apply it and immediately feel like it's going to be an amazing product?  That's the feeling I had when I tried this cleanser for the first time.  It makes my oily skin feel so clean!  It's described as an "anti aging face cleanser... to soothe and improve the skin's texture," and that it does.

After cleansing, I go on to use the Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish.  For a face polish, it was much more gentle than I was expecting.  You massage a small amount of the product on to your face for 30 seconds, and then leave it for up to two minutes.  (It's recommended to only use it for one minute if you have sensitive skin, and I agree.  My skin is very sensitive, but I insisted on using it for two minutes the first time... and my skin was red the next day.)  I expected really dramatic results the first time I used this, but after using it multiple times, I've come to realize that it really does work best when you use it twice a week.  I've used it a few times now, and my pores look sooo much better!  (I wish I had taken before and after photos... that's how much better they look!)

My last step in my Exuviance trio is the Collagen Triple Boost Serum.  Your skin stops making collagen before you're even old enough to understand how important collage is to having youthful looking skin, so I love that this product helps to stimulate new collagen!  This serum is unlike any other serum that I've used.  It feels like an oil while applying it, but it sets up on your skin like a gel.  I definitely got a little carried away when applying it the first time, so be sure to remember that a little bit goes a long way.

I follow up using my regular moisturizer.  It's can get a little gunky when applying over the serum, so keep that in mind.

Have y'all ever tried a microdermabrasion product before?  Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a fun makeup post :) Happy Tuesday!


XX,

SS

A big thank you to Exuviance Products (via BrandBacker) for providing me with product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands who support A Little Seersucker Sass :) 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekend Recap // Lilly for Target // Palm Village Knoxville

This was another weekend where I planned to take lots of photos, but real life outweighed blog life!  (Such a blessing!)  I don't usually do weekend recaps, but this weekend was a little unusual and actually newsworthy!  It may seem a little rambly, so I bolded the high points for you ;) 

Friday was supposed to be a cleaning party after work, but my boyfriend surprised me by changing things up at the last minute... and we went to look at rings!  After multiple trips to chain stores, we went to a local family owned store and had the most amazing, relaxing, and educational experience I could have ever asked for.  If you're looking to purchase a ring in East Tennessee, please shoot me an email because I would love to give you their information!

Saturday was one of those days where I had planned on sleeping in, but instead got up early and went to do a little apartment shopping.  Since deciding to stay in my one bedroom, I'm concentrating on really making it feel like home.  My boyfriend picked up a toaster, and I picked up some throw pillows to go with the new nautical theme of the bedroom.



That afternoon, we had a little putt putt date!  I was much better at putt putt than I remembered, and only lost by two strokes!  There's a local place not far from my apartment, and I can't wait to go on more dates there this summer.  Nothing better than a little competition & supporting a small, family owned business at the same time ;)

Saturday night was one of the most mortifying nights of my life.  I had to leave a restaurant because my boyfriend (who is almost 23) was accused of having a fake ID.  The way we were treated was all around inappropriate.  I like to give myself a goal to keep in mind every week because I feel like repetitively doing something will make it a habit.  Because of this, my goal for this week is not to slack on giving exceptional customer service!  Some days I get exhausted answering questions that could easily be googled or that are answered earlier on in an email chain, but my goal for this week is to be extra patient and positive, even when I don't feel like it.

Sunday morning was what I expected to by my redeeming day of the weekend since Saturday night was such a mess.  I got to target about thirty minutes early and waited in line in the pouring rain because I was so excited about Lilly for Target.  Y'all, it didn't take sixty seconds for everything to be gone at my local Target.  Women were being aggressive, elbowing people, and yanking things out of each others hands.  It was absolutely disgusting.  Like I imagine Lilly was probably looking down on everything going on with her eyes covered.  I tried waiting for people to come out of the dressing rooms to return things to the racks, but everyone was buying everything.  (Probably to sell on eBay at a trillion percent mark up... Jackasses.)  Needless to say, I will not be buying any $60 packs of bobby pins on eBay, and I hope that you won't either.  (I can't even keep up with the 100 pack of pins that I buy for like $3.)

My boyfriend accompanied me to Target and could tell that I was a little bummed.  I had been really excited about this, but there were bigger things to worry about in the world, so I figured I'd go home, nap, and then clean my apartment really good.  Nope.  C decides that we're going to take a daytrip to Knoxville, go to the Lilly store there, and he's going to get me a new dress.  Y'all, I was floored.  We live very modestly. and to be honest, most of the cool things that I get are because of this blog or from my mom on holidays.  My rent takes up about 30% of my income, and we both put money away each month for me to live off of when I go to law school.



In Knoxville, we went to Lilly Pulitzer Palm Village, and I had the BEST experience.  The ladies that worked there were so sweet and attentive.  It was, hands down, my best Lilly shopping experience ever!  After trying on ten different dresses (including the crop top set!) I selected the Janice shift dress in Navy!  I was silly and forgot my gift card, so I'm going to go back before the wedding in June to pick up this dress!


If you read all of that (or any of that) you deserve a prize!  So... how was your weekend?  Any luck shopping Lilly for Target?  Do you have a favorite Lilly store?

Happy Monday, y'all!

XX,

SS

Note:  This is not a sponsored post, just needed to brag on some exceptional customer service that I have received this week :) 

P.S. - My posts may start to become a little less frequent... I'm a little over 6 weeks away from the LSAT, so I'm kicking studying into high gear!  Prayers and positive vibes appreciated :)



Friday, April 17, 2015

Announcing the "April Showers Bring May Flowers" Link Up!

Y'all, I am so excited to be teaming up with my girl K at Pick Your Beau for another awesome link up!  Last month we hosted the Spring Fling Link Up, where 14 bloggers showed off our favorite spring looks!

I'm very excited to announce that on May 1, we will be hosting the "April Showers Bring May Flowers" Link Up!  The theme is floral, and I can't wait to see everyone rocking their favorite floral pieces!

Here's the button that you can grab for your site if you participate (which I so hope you do!)

April Showers Bring May Flowers Blogger Link Up

And who loves hashtags more than bloggers? Am I right?  The official hashtag of this linkup is #MayFlowersLinkUp :)

  If you need any floral inspiration, here are some of my favorite picks:

Happy Friday, y'all!  What are y'all getting into this weekend?!

XX,
SS


P.S. - I apologize that I'm so behind on blog comments, but I'm working on getting caught up!  No energy + a busy schedule this week has my butt in bed earlier and earlier each night! Haha

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beach Bag Essentials

I'm super excited to be participating in the Beach Bag Essentials Link Up today!  If y'all ever needed proof that I'm an over packer & the "mom" of my friend group... here's your proof!



Evian Facial Spray ||  This stuff is my favorite product ever.  You can use it for just about anything - a toner, refreshing your makeup, refreshing your skin, etc.  I often feel really sticky after being out in the sun, and this stuff is kind of like a makeshift bath in a bottle for those occasions!

Sunscreen ||  I cannot stress the importance of sunscreen.  I have always used it religiously, but after having melanoma, I am basically a psycho about it.  I really love spray sunscreens because they make reapplication so much simpler.

Facial Sunscreen ||  My foundation has SPF in it, but when I know I'm going to be out in the sun for more than a few minutes, I like to go ahead and use an actual sunscreen product.  I'm big on reapplication, so I choose something that's untinted.

SPF Lip Balm ||  The skin on your lips is important too!  (And sunburned lips hurt like the dickens... oh my goodness.)

Waterproof Mascara ||  I don't like to go anywhere without mascara on, so waterproof mascara is a must for a day at the beach.  Sometimes I like to throw on some bronzer, as well!

Tumbler ||  I love that this one is insulated to keep your drink cold!

Wet Bikini Bag ||   I think this is the part of a beach bag this is most often overlooked.  It's no fun when you have to throw your wet bikni back in the bag with all of your other dry items!

Chambray Tunic ||   Because my surgery scars are on my arms, I prefer to have a cover up with sleeves.  Chambray is nice because it's super light and looks presentable if you decided to pop into a little beach cafe.

Floppy Hat ||  Again, this one goes back to sun protection!  I hate getting sun on my face because I don't want my skin to age.  Floppy hats look cute and shield you from the rays :)

Beach Towel || Isn't this one with the lobster adorable?!

Sunglasses ||  I've been eyeing these foreverrrr!  I'm a big baby and can't stand getting the sun in my eyes, so the bigger the better!

A good book ||  What's more relaxing than reading on the beach?  I like having an actual paper book with me just so that I don't have to worry about the heat damaging my Nook!


Did I forget anything?  What are your beach bag essentials?

XX,

SS

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom | Share Yours!



I had my first Junior League event last night, and I seriously had the absolute best time.  I had to leave work a few minutes early because I was super sick, napped until the last possible moment, and I had such a great time that I didn't even remember I didn't feel very well, and I stayed out until 10.  I am super psyched to be getting involved with such an awesome organization!

Needless to say, I'm a little bit behind today!  So instead of preaching to y'all like I usually do during "Wednesday Wisdom," I'd love for you to share a piece of wisdom with me and my readers!  It can be about anything you want it to be!  Who knows... I may even use it for a future project ;)

I hope that everyone is having an absolutely amazing Wednesday!

XX,

SS

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Black + White




Printed Shift Dress:  Tommy Hilfiger (similar) || Sandals:  Jack Rogers || Glasses:  c/o Firmoo
  Necklace:  Marley Lilly || Earrings:  Lilly Pulitzer  (similar) ||  Bracelet:  J. Crew Factory (similar)


Confession:  I hated this dress for THE longest time.  I'm not big on logos (unless it's a Louis bag) so I think I had this for two years before I threw it on one morning because I was super desperate for something to wear to work.  Now, I love it!  Unless you're looking at it up close, you don't really notice what the pattern is.

I'm also super excited that it goes perfectly with my favorite sandals!  I live in Jacks in the summer, and I can't wait to buy my next pair.

If you like my look, be sure to look through these similar pieces... a lot of them are on sale!
  


Have you ever had a piece in your closet that you absolutely hated at first, but now you can't live without it in your wardrobe?

XX,

SS




Monday, April 13, 2015

Pretty Little Prints (Round 2)

Blogger confession - Today's post was supposed to be a fashion post, but I had such a lazy weekend that I didn't wear real clothes.  (And it. was. fabulous.)  So I pushed the fashion post back to tomorrow, and decided to focus on some fun little prints.  I don't know about y'all, but the warm weather is making me want to add some colorful little touches to my apartment.  I am working on two gallery walls in my home, so I'm looking for a few colorful pieces to update them for spring!  Here are some pieces I would love to showcase on my walls:

   


|| Happy Flowers ||  A Good Hair Day ||  125 ||  Essie Watercolor ||    

|| Find What You Love ||  Pineapple Print ||  Skirt the Rules ||


If you're looking for more print-spiration, check out a similar post that I did last year and some of these fun prints:



Do you have a favorite artist?  Any fun prints hanging in your house?

(My favorite is this gorgeous one that Laura Trevey gave me.  It's the anchor to my bedroom gallery wall!)

Happy Monday, y'all!  See you tomorrow with a fun fashion post :)

XX,

SS

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Weekend Reading




Tips for:

DIY's & recipes to try:

Inspiration to get you through the day:

Shameless Plugs:

A few fun pieces that I really like:

What are y'all up to this weekend?  I'm so excited that I have nothing going on, so I'm celebrating by crafting.  I just stocked up at Michael's last night, and today I'm going to make tassels galore + some crafts for friends who have donated to my Relay for Life Campaign!

XX,

SS

Friday, April 10, 2015

Franny Friday // Fundraising Friday

Y'all are getting a twofer today, so be sure to read the whole post!  Don't you love when you think you know what you want to write about & then get a little kink in your plans?!  Haha :)

Franny Friday

A lot has happened since our last Franny Friday!  I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos... Most are taken with my phone because she's ridiculous and does crazy things that you have to capture that moment!  What has Franny been up to since our last meeting?

LOTS OF NAPS


 



Seriously, she does not discriminate when it comes to napping.


MEETING GRANDMA & GRANDPA


Really the only picture I got because Francis was SO excited... so excited that she peed everywhere.  She has officially met all of her grandparents now.


SCAVENGING


Someone scraped her nose all to pieces while trying to open the cabinet drawer to get into the trash can.

OTHER DISCOVERIES

Francis is afraid of storms.  It's so sad.  I almost took off work because it was breaking my heart so badly.

We are getting ready to start the Purina One 28 day challenge!!  Expect an update next month :) 



Fundraising Friday


I'm really excited to share this with y'all.  So much that I couldn't wait until next week.  

I was very involved with Relay for Life in college.  (If you don't know much about Relay for Life, it is an event that's held to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.  ACS provides resources and services for cancer patients and survivors - rides to treatment and doctor appointments, lodging for out of state doctor appointments, wigs, research grants, etc!)  Last year, I created a team at work.  I set our goal for $200, and I was bummed when we only raised $50.

This year, I made it my personal crusade.  I've come to realize over the past year that everyone I work with has an organization that they're passionate about, and I can't expect everyone to be as into Relay as I am.  I set my goal for $150 (the same as my team goal).  I kept telling myself "If 10 people donate $15, I can do it."  My heart was really set on raising $400, because this year will mark four years cancer free, but after everything last year, I didn't want to disappoint myself again.

Last night, I started a Yankee Candle fundraiser, and I tweeted about it.  A few of my online friends asked for the link & for my personal fundraising link.  Y'all - thanks to @SthrnMiss_MRS & Michael, I reached my original goal of $150!  I was sobbing.  I'm so thankful for this blog and the connections that it has allowed me to make.  God is good, and y'all are good people.  My heart is so full.

Since I've met the $150 goal, I feel like my new $400 goal is now obtainable.  If you'd like to help me reach that goal, there are a few options.

1. You can donate to my personal fundraising page!

2. You can order Yankee Candle products, and I will receive 40% of the proceeds.  If I sell 25 more candles, I've met my fundraising goal!  (You will need to following info - Group Number:  990039004; Seller ID - Dana92)

3. If you aren't in a position to or don't feel called to donate financially but still want to help, social media is an awesome way to do that!

If you donate, I ask one extra thing - please send me an email!  I want to send you a thank you note and a small, handmade gift, and I also want to give you some blog & social media shout outs.  It doesn't matter if you donate $1 or $1,000, every single dollar helps, and I want to thank you for your help!


Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet, looking at picture of my dog, and letting me talk about something that I'm super passionate about.  I am so appreciative of you!

2 questions - What are you getting into this weekend?  What organizations are you passionate about!

TGIF, Y'ALL!

XX,

SS

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Housewarming!

I'm currently at a point in my life where my friends are doing big things - engagements, weddings, babies, and... buying their first homes! How exciting, right?!  With two of my best friends both buying homes, I've been on the hunt for the perfect little housewarming gifts.  Here are some of my favorite finds:



Monogrammed Acrylic Pitcher |  Pitchers may seem a little unnecessary, but I think they're so useful.  In the summer, I keep a pitcher full of lemonade or infused water in my fridge at all times just for my personal enjoyment.  They're also great if you have to do some last minute entertaining.  I'm all about useful gifts, and this one is about as useful as they come.

Moscow Mule Mugs |  Moscow Mules are my drink of choice, and I've slowly been turning my friends on to them.  If you wanted to go all out on this one, you could also provide the ingredients for Moscow Mules - Ginger beer, vodka, and lime.

Agate Coasters |  I've been swooning over these lately.  I desperately need a set to split between my nightstand & my desk.  They're a little pricey to order, but I've heard of people having luck finding them at craft and flea markets.

Coffee Table Book |  Everyone needs one of these.  This one just happens to be extra fabulous.

Rug |  Since you can't be there every morning to tell your best friend how pretty she looks like you could in your sorority house days, why not get a little rug to remind her?  (There are also rugs with reminders to turn off your curling iron... Sign me up for that one!)

Wall Monogram |  This is my absolute favorite gift to give friends who have just gotten engaged!  I do the couple's married monogram, and then offer to paint it for them when they choose a wedding color or theme for their home.

Cheesy Grin Cheeseboard |  Whenever I use a gift from someone, I always think about the gift giver.  I wouldn't mind someone thinking of me when using this fabulous cheese board ;)

I can't fit everything I love into one collage, so here are some other favorites!



Do you have a "go to" housewarming gift?  Anything on the list you'd like to see in your own home?!

Happy Thursday, ya'll!  We've almost made it to the weekend :)

XX,

SS

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

#WCW - My Little (+Her Blog!)

Instead of today's usual "Wednesday Wisdom" blog post, I wanted to connect you with someone who has much more wisdom than I do... my sweet sorority little sister, Ashley!



In our sorority, we have the opportunity to have "temp littles."  You act as a "big sister" figure to a girl for a week and get to know her.  You usually request girls that you want as your little to be your temp little.  I never got Ashley as my temp little, but I knew I had to have her in my family - we make the same facial expressions and ridiculous comments over the same things.



I've known Ashley for five years now, and she's been there through it all.  She was actually in the room the day that I got the phone call that I had cancer, and she was a champ and stayed so calm.  We've survived bad breakups and awkward situations.  (Once, there was an unflattering picture of Ashley in the school newspaper.  And I tracked down about 80% of them and threw them away the day they came out.)  I had the honor of standing beside of Ashley on her wedding day!  Most importantly, Ashley invited me on a church trip that absolutely changed my life and was there when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I really don't know what I would do without her!



If you get a chance, I'd really love for you to visit her new blog, Born of the Vine.  I'm so impressed with her honesty and her passion for Christ.

Did you stop by Born of the Vine?  What did you think?
If you're in a sorority, I'd love to hear about your little!

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

XX,

SS