Seersucker Sass: December 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ideas for a Low-Key New Years Eve

In college, New Years Eve was one of the highlights of my year.  I would wear an obnoxious amount of sequins, curl and tease my hair up, and rock the smoky eye.  My NYE experience kind of peaked the year that I graduated; two of my friends and I road tripped to Nashville!  This year, my boyfriend and I are hanging out with another couple and watching football.  As much as I miss the exciting NYE parties of my past, I'm looking forward to kicking off the new year in a low-key way - good friends, good food, and (hopefully) good football.  If you're planning on a low-key New Years Eve like I am, here are some ideas!

Ideas for a low-key New Years Eve

Football •  My NYE and New Year's Day plans have been hijacked by bowl games.  (Full schedule here.)  I'm excited to cheer on my Vols, but I also plan on using this as an opportunity to try a new recipe that I can share on my blog around Super Bowl Sunday :) 

Game Night •  Growing up, my NYE tradition with my family was to play board games, drink sparkling grape juice, and watch the ball drop.  If you have a group of friends coming over, break out a game like Cards Against Humanity or a classic like Monopoly!  My boyfriend was just gifted Star Wars Monopoly, and I am so excited to play!  (The board is round... How cool is that?!)  

Movies •  In high school, a group of girlfriends and I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness on New Year's Eve.  Y'all, it rocked my world.  I started out the new year feeling inspired and extremely grateful.  Go with your blogger besties to see Joy, as it's the story of a female entrepreneur and being touted as a "must see" for other female entrepreneurs!  Oddly enough, I saw my first Star Wars movie the day that it came out, and I left feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.  (The only word that can be used to describe Rey is badass.)

Create a feast of New Year's Day food •  It's tradition in my house to have black eyed peas, hog jowl, and collard greens on New Year's Day.  They're said to bring prosperity and wealth, and maybe it's superstition, but it's a tradition that I never break.  If you like to cook, spend the evening making a feast of "good luck food" or maybe even creating a meal that will become your annual tradition, and then enjoy it right after the ball drops.

At-home Wine Tasting •  I have been wanting to have one of these so badly.  If you're having company over, ask everyone to bring a specific type of wine, and provide cheese that complements the wine.  This is a great little hack that not only explains what cheese to pair with each wine, but why to pair them.  Voila, you're officially fancy ;)  

What are your plans for NYE?  Are you going low-key or breaking out the sequins?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

Whatever your plans may be, I hope that you have a safe New Years Eve, and a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Best of the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale (Under $100!)

I'm trying really hard to be a good girl this year with my Christmas money!  My aunt graciously gifted me a gift card for a hair makeover, so my goal for my Christmas money is to cover any extra with that and then put the rest in savings.  But after Christmas sales are such a good time to stock up on things you're going to need for the upcoming year.

If you're planning to treat yourself and shop the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale this year, here are some of my favorite picks!  Everything shown is under $100, and the sale is from now until January 3 :)

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale Picks Under $100

Plaid Scarf  •  Tunic  • Stay Golden Canvas Pouch  •  Leopard Pump  • Wrap Sweater 
Metallic Dress  •  Triple Strand Necklace  •  Booties  •  V-Neck Cardi  •  Sequin Fit & Flare Dress

See anything you need?  Will you be shopping the Nordstrom sale or any after Christmas sales?  :)

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bohemian Vibes

Happy Monday, y'all!  I don't know about y'all, but I had an amazing weekend!  On Saturday, my mom's side of the family joined us for lunch, which is where these pictures were taken.  We ate too much cajun food and laughed until we cried.  It was so nice to have everyone in one place for three hours.

The dress I'm wearing in these photos was a Christmas gift from my Momma.  Growing up, my mom had an uber preppy style, which really influenced the way that I dress.  Over the past few years, her style has become more bohemian.  This dress is definitely more her style than my style, and I was surprised at how much I loved it, especially with the interesting hemline!  I decided to play up the boho style with loose waves, a black floppy hat, black booties, and a tassel necklace that's super special to me because it was handmade by my friend Berlynn of Bella Vida Accessories.  What do y'all think?

gray midi dress bohemian look

gray midi dress bohemian look

gray midi dress bohemian look

gray midi dress bohemian look

gray midi dress bohemian look 

gray midi dress bohemian look

I hope all of y'all are having a happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  What did you get into?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Weekend Reading

How to:

Holiday Outfit Inspiration:

Day after Christmas sales to check out:

Happy weekend, friends!  I hope that all of y'all had an amazing Christmas.  Mine was mostly relaxing, and then today we had Christmas lunch with my mom's extended family.  My cousin was in from Connecticut, and I was so tickled to see her!

The highlight of my Christmas was getting a card from my Papaw.  Since his stroke and struggles with dementia this May, he has gotten really confused when it comes to me and my mom.  My Christmas card from him was a granddaughter card, my name was on the envelope, and he gave it to me :)  It may not seem like much, but any of y'all who have a family member with Alzheimer's or dementia knows how exciting this is!

I want to hear all about your Christmas in the comments!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Reflections

This has been a whirlwind of a year for me, so I wanted to take a little bit of time to reflect on what has happened in my life over the course of the last 12 months.  (I'm also reflecting on the fact that it's 65 degrees right now, and I still have to wrap every single gift I purchased.  #somethingsneverchange)

Christmas Eve Reflections

My brother started high school and got his permit.  I cried when my brother graduated middle school this summer.  He has been through so much and still manages to be a well-adjusted child with a perfect GPA, lots of friends, and an unreal athletic talent.  He called me on Tuesday to let me know he got his driver's permit!  It's hard to believe that next Christmas he will be driving!

I almost got engaged.  And then I accidentally found out and spoiled the surprise, and my left ring finger is still naked.  Maybe next year?  It's crazy to think that I met the man I now intend to marry when I was 22.  This is our third Christmas together, and even though we aren't celebrating in the same state, I'm looking forward to our tradition of celebrating Christmas together on New Year's Eve.

I traveled... a lot... and with a lot of people.  Since June, I've been to Asheville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Savannah, South Carolina, and New York... two weekends in a row!  On my visit to Indianapolis for Father's Day and C's cousin's wedding, our families were able to have lunch together!

I started a new job.  I had no intention of starting a new job this year, but sometimes when opportunities arrive, you have to take them!  I was at a conference with my old job, and I had this really weird moment of clarity in the midst of chaos where I felt like God was telling me I didn't belong in my career any more.  And I was devastated, because I really loved my job.  And then the opportunity to take a new job came along.  I loved my old job.  I was good at it, and it didn't feel like work.  My former co-workers are some of the best people I've ever met.  But God has been moving a lot in my life since starting a new job, and I know I'm where I'm meant to be... at least for today!

I am seeing completely new doctors.  I had a really difficult time getting a proper diagnosis for my chronic illness.  After months of random, vague diagnoses and accusations of having an eating disorder, I was referred to a specialist.  One week and three tests later, I had an accurate diagnosis and was receiving appropriate treatment.  It was decided this February that it was time for me to see an "adult" doctor.  I was bummed, but I was older than some of the parents bringing their kids in to see the specialist, so I guess it was really time.  On top of that, my oncologist moved this summer.  I'm so thankful for a doctor who constantly encouraged me.  (And I'm thankful that my replacement oncologist is almost as awesome!)

I learned so much about blogging.  I started treating my blog like a business this year.  I worked hard to improve the quality of my content and photos.  I worked with some amazing companies, and I became a member of RewardStyle, which motivated me to work even harder as a blogger.  My work with blogging also helped me with my career, and I'm so thankful for that.  And of course, I'm so thankful for YOU - the reader!  My blog would be nothing without you, so thank you.

I got involved in my community.  And I probably overcommitted myself... I'm not so great with moderation.  I sat on my first board, was appointed as branding chair, and ultimately helped make a decision to dissolve the organization.  I also sat on boards for our community's Relay for Life and young professionals organization, and I joined a leadership organization.  I interviewed around 50 kids for a youth leadership program that I graduated from, and it was such a cool feeling!  I feel most fulfilled while helping others, so even though it keeps me busy, I love it, and I'm thankful for the opportunity.

My friends are the best.  A lot of weird things happened this year, and I'm really thankful for my friends because I don't know what I would have done without their encouragement and perspectives.  I watched someone in my life go through something very difficult this fall, and I seriously don't think I would have made it through without my friends.

And so is my family.  While quite dysfunctional, I couldn't ask for a better family.  They are so thoughtful, encouraging, patient, and forgiving.  Our family dynamic has changed a lot since my Papaw's stroke this summer, but I'm really thankful that we all still have our health.

I'm excited for 2016 and for a new project.  I hope that 2016 will bring more personal growth for me and growth in my relationship with Christ.  And I'm really excited about a new project!  I spent a lot of time praying about what God wanted me to do with my life, and so far, he's just been giving me little clues to get me to the next place.  I'm going to start on a new writing project in 2016 that I feel He placed on my heart.  I can't wait to share more about it, and reach out to a few of you to get involved.

Again, thank y'all so much for your support in 2015.  I can't wait to see where 2016 will take all of us!

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Blogging Secrets... REVEALED!

We all have our secrets, especially when it comes to blogging.  It's not necessarily a bad thing; if you've found a little hack that helps give your blog an extra edge or makes taking flat lays for Instagram less frustrating, go you!

I'm a big fan of Helene Sula.  I think she's awesome, and I love that she makes it clear that there's room for everyone at the top.  While I am definitely not at the top, I do want to share a few of the little "blogging hacks" I've found with you in hopes that it will make your life a little easier!  (And if you want to send any my way, I'm all ears -!)

Blogging Secrets Revealed

SECRET ONE:  How I get free Kendra Scott goodies!
(I have only purchased one pair of Kendra Scott jewelry.  I got the rest of it free, and you can too!)  

Kendra Scott Danielle Earrings via Rocksbox

I love Rocksbox.  My mom doesn't really believe in costume jewelry, and I didn't purchase any until high school (much to her dismay.)  So Rocksbox has been huge with helping me build up my jewelry inventory, especially when it comes to KS.  (I love to wear my hair in a side braid, and I feel like doing so with the Danielle earrings takes it from casual to office.)  Anyone who is subscribed to Rocksbox is part of the referral program!  You can gift three "one month free" subscriptions each month, which can add up to $75 a month in referrals PLUS the monthly $10 spend you automatically get.  Think of all of the Kendra you could be collecting right now!

If you're not subscribed yet and are interested, use "seersuckersassxoxo" for your first month free!  (Full disclosure - this hooks both of us up.  You get your first month free, and I get a $25 credit for goodies.  My first Rocksbox didn't come with Kendra, but I updated my wishlist and requested it for my second box, and I've been getting Kendra each box since!)

SECRET TWO:  How I make my blog collages

How to make blog collages

I was talking with my blogger besties Jenny & Annaliese about blog collages one day, and they encouraged me to write a blog post about it... so I did!  You can read all about it HERE!

SECRET THREE:  How I boost community on my blog

Millennial Blogger Network Logo

I started blogging to connect with people.  I was lonely, in a long distance relationship, and I was just beginning to establish myself professionally.  I love when blogs have a sense of community - new readers turn into friends, and you no longer feel like you're reading a blog, but that you're catching up on your friend's life.  I'm really thankful to have found that in the Millennial Blogger Network!  If you are interested in joining, apply here then apply to join the Facebook group here.  (Be sure to do it in that order - it doesn't help to do one without the other!)  If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email!

SECRET FOUR:  How I use Pinterest to boost traffic

Pinterest to boost blog traffic

It's no secret that Pinterest boosts blog traffic if utilized correctly.  However, I definitely wasn't utilizing Pinterest the way that I should have been.  I thought that because I had analytics installed, I was on top of my game... wrong!  I was accepted into Ahalogy a couple of months ago, and I'm addicted.  Ahalogy differs from other pin schedulers I've used before; it's free, it's a network along with being a scheduling tool, and it has without a doubt shown me the most results.  My Pinterest is now flooded with notifications, and I have been getting around 100 new followers a month! (PS - You can check out my Pinterest here.)

SECRET FIVE:  I don't do this alone.

I'm not a one woman show.  There are lots of bloggers who are, and kudos to them!  I'm really blessed, because my boyfriend is super creative and has an art background.  He knows how to use a camera, he styles flat lays 900 times better than I will ever be able to, and he gives me solid post and strategy ideas.  I won't post his photo on here because of personal preference, but I do want to publicly thank him for being such a big part of the less than glamorous, behind the scenes part of this blog that sometimes involves tears and cuss words.

If you find these posts helpful and would like to suggest future topics, or just have any questions for me to be answered on the blog, submit them at this form.  You can leave your information to be linked to or you can do it totally anonymously.  (PS - This was also my boyfriend's idea.  #lovehim)

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and that you all get to enjoy Christmas Eve Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What to Wear: New Year's Eve

I know, I know - It's not even Christmas Eve yet, and my content has shifted to New Year's Eve!  I love NYE because I feel so motivated.  I really do feel like I can take on the world when January 1 rolls around, and even though that enthusiasm eventually ends, I enjoy it while it lasts.

New Year's Eve is also "our holiday" when it comes to my boyfriend and I.  We usually spend Christmas in different states (even in different countries last year!), but our NYE tradition is to exchange gifts and have dinner together.  Our first year together, we got all dressed up, enjoyed a dinner party at his family's house, and then went to Cheesecake Factory.  (Cheesecake Factory on NYE was one of his favorite memories growing up!)  Our second year, we got dressed up, then decided at the last minute to go to a local sports bar... I'm pretty sure we were asleep by 10.  Haha.  This year we are celebrating with another couple, and although it's casual and we'll be watching football, I think I might dress up anyway ;)

If you're looking for a great NYE dress or outfit, I've compiled a little list for y'all!  Some are for purchase and other are rentals, but they're all under $100 :)

What to Wear for new year's eve

Belle of the Ball - onetwothree • four
Sparkles & Such - onetwothree • four
Fun & Funky - onetwothreefour
Feathers & Fringe - onetwothreefour

More NYE looks can be shopped below :) What are your plans for NYE?  Any NYE traditions? 

PS -  So excited to be joining Kristin & Jordyn for Tutu Tuesday!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Super Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Y'all, it is Christmas week!  And I'm really proud of myself, because I finished my Christmas shopping before noon yesterday.  I am the world's worst about doing my shopping at the absolute last minute, so this was a big step for me.  If you're still doing a little last minute shopping, I've come up with some gift ideas for you, as well as a list of stores that you can order from today & still get your goodies by Christmas Eve!

Super Last Minute Gift Ideas

All under $50!

Kitten Notebook • Clip-on Tassel • Stud Earrings • Plaid Infinity Scarf • Like you a Latte Mug • Tassel Earrings  • Buffalo Check Socks • Scottie Dog Sweater • Flannel Button Down • Merci Beaucoup Tote • Leopard Print Crossbody • Initial & Stud Earrings •   Trapper Hat • Phone Case • Neon Beanie •  Flannel Flask

- Other Gift Ideas - 

Readly -  I introduced y'all to Readly in Tuesday's blog post!  It's a service that allows you to read pretty much any magazine you could imagine regardless of where you are, as it can be accessed on your desktop or through apps on your phone or tablet.  It's $10 a month, and you can choose to give for one, three, six, nine, or 12 months!  (PS - Bloggers, there's an affiliate program!)

Rocksbox - My love for Rocksbox is undying.  I get so excited when a new box shows up; I seriously stop what I'm doing and play dress up with it!  Rocksbox is offering three, six, and 12 month subscriptions.  The subscriptions come at a discounted rate and even include a gift card!  (PS - You can also use code "seersuckersassxoxo" to receive a month free if you feel like giving yourself a little gift this holiday season!)

Online Gift Cards - Gift cards can get a bad rap as a gift, but I personally love giving/receiving them!  My advice is to really think about the recipient.  Instead of grabbing something generic like Starbucks or Itunes, consider what the recipient likes or needs!  My dad lives in Indiana, so for his birthday, I sent him an e-gift card to St. Elmo's.  When I took my new job, my former co-workers gifted me an Erin Condren gift card.  Also, Moon and Lola is currently offering 25% off of gift cards with code EGIFT25!

And if you still need to do a little online shopping try:
  • Amazon - Free 2-day shipping through Prime (order through 12/22)
  • J. Crew Factory - Free Shipping (order through 11:59 PM EST tonight)
  • Nordstrom - Dependent on the product, but most will arrive by 12/24 if ordered by noon 12/23
  • Vineyard Vines - Order by 12/23 at noon for orders $200+

Have you finished shopping yet?  Who's left on your list?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How to Preserve Your Sanity this Holiday Season

Last week was so chaotic that my theme song was "Living on a Prayer" because I was living off of holiday hors d'oeuvres and very little sleep.  Despite the craziness, I stayed (mostly) sane by sneaking some time for myself.  Here's how I did it!

how to preserve your sanity this holiday season

Light a candle.  I don't know about y'all, but just the presence of a lit candle helps me to relax.  I stocked up at the last Bath & Body Works sale, and I have them stashed everywhere. 

Soak in a bath.  Light your relaxing candle in your bathroom, and soak in the tub for a bit.  Whether you enjoy a few moments of silence, play some relaxing music, or use it as an opportunity to deep condition your hair, you'll emerge feeling more relaxed and less tense.

Watch a cheesy Christmas movie while wrapping Christmas gifts.  If you have to do things to prepare for the holidays, why not enjoy a Hallmark Christmas movie while doing so or get caught up on a couple of episodes of your favorite show on Netflix?  Before I moved out on my own, my mom and I would stay up late on Christmas Eve wrapping gifts, and I would always watch the Batman marathon.  I didn't love wrapping gifts, but I do love Batman movies, so it made it a million times more enjoyable!

how to preserve your sanity this holiday season
Read.  Reading is the perfect distraction from chaos.  I have a subscription to Readly, which allows me to read just about any magazine that's out there, even back issues and international versions of fashion magazines.  (Seriously my favorite part of my subscription, because those babies are expensive if you buy a hard copy!)  You can read it from your desktop or download the app, so you can relax no matter where you are.

Enjoy a hot beverage.  This is my trick for relaxing at work or after a long day of holiday shenanigans.  Whenever I need a second to myself, I make a cup of tea and allow drinking it to be my focus.  I know that sounds crazy and crunchy, but think about it.  Most mornings, we slurp as much coffee as possible while on our commute or sorting through emails at our desk.  We don't take time to enjoy it.  I drink my green tea, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy the warmth of the mug before diving back into writing copy.

Say no.  You can't do it all... and you don't have to!  If I went to everything I was invited/expected to attend, I would be triple booked most nights.  For me, saying no means I'm going to one thing every day after work and not bothering with event hopping.  For others, it may be going to two events each week leading up to Christmas, or just saying no to it all!  Do what's best for you and makes you the happiest... your sanity will thank you ;)

What is your number one tip for preserving your sanity over the holidays?  I'd love to hear it!

A big thank you to Readly for providing me with a subscription in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting brands that support Seersucker Sass!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hot Pink + Cheetah Print + Monograms... Oh My!

I love fashion.  It's one of the reasons I started this blog!  Since buying a new wardrobe every season isn't practical, I love picking up a few new pieces (like the necklace and sweater in this post) to pair with oldies-but-goodies, like my worn out riding boots and the cheetah button-up that I've owned for over five years.

Winter is usually when I get stuck in a style rut.  The weather is gloomy, it's dark when I get home every day, and it's just so easy to throw on something boring and warm on chilly days.  I told myself I would not get into that rut this year, so I'm incorporating bright pieces and fun layers into my winter style!

This look makes me smile, because it's the epitome of me - a fun print, a pop of hot pink, and a monogrammed necklace.  Do you ever feel like an outfit just totally encompasses your personality?

J.Crew cheetah print button up & pink sweater, Gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

J.Crew cheetah print button up & pink sweater, Gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

J.Crew cheetah print button up & pink sweater, Gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

J.Crew cheetah print button up & pink sweater, Gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

gold monogrammed necklace Marley Lilly

The MarleyLilly monogrammed necklace I'm wearing in these photos has quickly become my "go to."  It's simple and understated and goes perfectly with the crewneck sweaters and turtlenecks I've been wearing so frequently this season!  If you need a Christmas gift under $20, this one is on a flash sale through tonight for $20 and comes in gold and rose gold, and there's a split chain version, as well!

Do you have a go to piece of jewelry? An outfit that makes you feel like yourself?

Happy Monday!

A big thank you to MarleyLilly for providing me with this necklace in exchange for my honest opinon on the product.  All opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting brands that support Seersucker Sass!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weekend Reading

weekend reading link love
How to:

Sales you don't want to miss:

Hey friends!  Sorry for my absence this week.  It has been a chaotic week; I'd list everything, but it would be the longest part of this post. Fingers crossed that next week won't be as insane!  I have lots of great content that I'm excited to share with y'all next week, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the blog posts and sales linked in this post :)

How is your Christmas shopping coming along?

Monday, December 7, 2015

My First Freelance Piece + Tips for Writing Your First Piece!

A few weeks ago, I had a really important meeting, and I left my yellow pad at work.  I was frantic, and I ended up finding my comp notebook from my sophomore year of college in my car with a box of books I was planning to donate.  I was required to write in the notebook for comp class, and it ended up chronicling my battle with cancer.  After reading through it, I felt so passionate to write.  Not just on my blog, but to do exercises, journal my thoughts, etc.  I recently had this really overwhelming experience where I felt God speak to me and give me inspiration for a writing project.  It was so beautiful, and I can't wait to share more about that with y'all.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to hone my writing skills here on the blog and through freelance writing pieces.  I learned a lot through my first piece, and I hope that y'all will take a second, check it out, and comment on it if you feel inclined!

Helpful Hints for Beginner Freelance Writers

My first freelance writing experience was definitely a learning experience, so I've compiled a list of five tips that you may find helpful when working on your first piece.

 Really read the guidelines.  Is there a word count?  Are there specifications on photo sizes?  Read through the guidelines, chart them out, and then review them again when your piece is finished.  And if you have questions, ask them!  

Create a calendar.  It's amazing how things will creep up on you!  Looking back, I wish I would have created a more defined schedule of what I was going to do on each day.  Be realistic with your scheduling, and also realize that things happen, so cutting it close or leaving a huge chunk or work to be done the day of the deadline is dangerous.  When I was working on my piece, it was that weird week where I came down with a cold, stomach bug, and allergic reaction.  Get started early.  You'll thank yourself later!

Do your research.  My piece was on vlogs, and while I watch vlogs, I knew that I really needed to watch a lot more of them before I was "qualified" to write my piece.  What made the vlogs I was watching appealing?  So I did my research and watched a ton of them.  (And it was the most fun research I've ever done!)

Don't be afraid to "warm up."  One thing I loved about my comp class was that we did warm ups.  I could go into class with major writers block, but then we would be given a topic to write thoughts on or an exercise to do, and I would leave class feeling so inspired and thankful that I didn't have any other classes that day so that I could just go pour into my notebook about things I actually wanted to write about!

Source appropriately.  As bloggers, we should always do this.  If you want to use a photo from someone else's blog, check out what their guidelines are.  Or utilize sites like these that provide gorgeous photos that you can use without breaking copyright or licensing laws.  Avoid using Pinterest as the source.

Do you have any tips for beginning freelance writers?

Happy Monday, y'all!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Weekend Reading



Inspiration & Education:

Shameless plug - My first freelance piece!  Hope y'all will check it out & comment if ya feel like it!

Happy weekend, y'all!  Hope yours is off to a great start :)  I braved the crowds to Christmas shop this morning, and I'm spending tomorrow celebrating my little brother's birthday.  What are y'all getting into?  Anything festive?