Seersucker Sass: April 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

My train of thought when it comes to giving gifts is probably a little irrational.  I've been thinking about Mother's Day since the beginning of March, but I didn't order a gift because it's "too early" and "I'll probably lose it before then."  This leads me to buy gifts at the very last minute, typically from Amazon because Amazon Prime saves my life at least once every three weeks.

This year, I will be on top of things.  My momma is awesome.  I am fortunate to have been raised by a mom who is both beautiful and brilliant, balances a career and a family, and always encourages me to have my own beliefs and explore my interests.  When I was 17, I gained a bonus parent, my dad's wife, Monica.  (I hate the term stepmother; it sounds so cold.)  Moni is sassy, intelligent, and determined.  She ran a half marathon last weekend, for goodness' sake!  

This year, I'm ordering gifts early so that the women in my life get the pampering that they deserve.  I've kept all of my picks under $100, with multiple choices for different price points.  Happy shopping!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas Under $100

Perfume Sampler •  Perfume is a great gift, but sometimes I get a little nervous buying it for people because you don't know if they'll enjoy it.  What I love about this specific sampler is that the perfumes come in mini bottles instead of just little tiny spray vials.  (In college, I kept mine on display on a mint green cake stand because they were so cute!)  After trying all of the perfume to determine which is her favorite, your mom can cash in the included "scent certificate" to receive a full sized bottle of the featured fragrance of her choice.  You're basically making money on this one!  (PS - other sampler options are available here.)

Monogrammed Phone Case •  I love getting my mom things that she would never think to get for herself.  While a cute phone case is just as important to us as having the latest and greatest phone, it's probably something your mom hasn't thought about, but will absolutely love.  The gold lettering on the black pebble leather case is super sleek.

Cookin' Mama Gift Set •  I'm obsessed with Draper James, and this is no exception.  The gift set includes a cute apron, candle, and a couple of fancy mugs!

Wine Trough •  This is a really great gift to help you cement your status as favorite child.  Think of all of the ways your wine-loving, hostess with the mostess momma could use this wine trough!

Cozy Robe •  Sometimes practical gifts are truly the best gifts.  I can only remember my mom owning two robes over the course of my life, and I'm 25.  If you're not sure what to get this year, consider upgrading your momma's robe.

Hand & Foot Cream Duo •  This gift is the perfect blend of practical and luxurious.  L'Occitane products are heavenly, and I'm a big advocate for self-pampering.

Mug •  I know mugs may think about a "cheat" gift, but think about how much you look forward to your morning coffee or tea.  This one is guaranteed to make your mom smile!

Tassel Keychain •  This is $5 and also comes in black and camel!  If you're combining a few small items or going the gift card route, this is a good addition.

Trinket Tray •  I think my trinket tray obsession tracks back to my mom. This is great for putting her jewelry in each night or could even make a chic little key holder.

Faux Leather Tote •  I have one of these thanks to my friend Nicole, and I don't know how I lived without it.  Board meeting? I carry all of the packets in it.  Traveling? I carry my makeup and toiletries in it.  If your mom is always on the go, this is great.  (It's also under $50!)

Birchbox Subscription •  Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving!  Why should Mother's Day only be one day a year? ;)

Cashmere Wrap •  Is this a mom staple? Not only is this super versatile, but it comes in 18 colors!

Happy Friday!  Have you decided what you're getting your momma this year?!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Updating my Spring Wardrobe on a Budget

Something about the change of seasons makes me want to buy an entirely new wardrobe.  But when that new season is spring, my desire to buy a new wardrobe is amplified.  I'm ready to box up all of my bulky sweaters, pull out the colorful Lilly dresses, and buy any and every sleeveless item that I see.

Realistically, I can't do that.  My shopping motto is to invest in classic pieces that have a great cost-per-wear - things like pixie pants, wrap dresses, and silk tops - and then pick up a few "on trend" pieces each season to spice things up a bit.  This is why I love thredUP - not only can I pick up like-new, trendy pieces for a fraction of the price I would pay retail, but I can also pick up wardrobe staples while I'm there!  (I buy a large chunk of my wardrobe from J.Crew and J.Crew Factory because of their sizing, and their selections on thredUP are unreal, y'all.  thredUP also carries Lilly Pulitzer, Diane von Furstenburg, and even some Gucci bags!)

To update my spring wardrobe, I picked up four new pieces with a combined value of $217.  The cost of these items on thredUP came up to $57.46!  (To put that in perspective with the rest of my wardrobe, that would be a killer deal on a pair of my pixie pants.)  If you're curious, here's how I'm updating my wardrobe this spring.

Look One - Bright Silk Blouse

work wear, pixie pants, pink silk blouse, thredUP

Sleeveless Silk Top:  Zara Basics via thredUp (c/o)  •  Pixie Pants  •  Wedges: old [similar]  •  Necklace: old [similar]  •  Watch:  Gucci

I live in pixie pants.  It's to the point that I have multiple pairs of each color because I wear them so much.  They're just so easy and versatile.  In the spring, I love to pair them with bright tops, like this hot pink top from thredUP (retail - $36; thredUP price - $11.99!).  I've had this necklace for probably five years, and I love to pull it out each spring because of the mint beads.  I chose wedges for a more professional look, but you could easily pair this with black or nude flats.  I'm going to a conference in Nashville at the beginning of May, and I will definitely be replicating this look.

work wear, pixie pants, pink silk blouse, thredUP

Look Two - Bright Paperbag Skirt

polka dot top, J. Crew mini skirt, thredUP

Can y'all tell I'm all about some bright clothes this spring?!  I already own a few of these J. Crew paperbag skirts, but I knew the bright green was perfect for spring.  (It's also the perfect replacement for the neon pink paperbag skirt that I destroyed three Valentine's Days ago when I busted it on black ice in my driveway.  RIP.)  According to thredUP's website, this skirt retails at $110, but their price is $22.49.  

I'm really into ruffled sleeveless blouses, and I thought the polka dots were a fun touch with the bright skirt.  These skirts also go great with basic tees and tanks, and even slouchy short sleeved sweaters.

polka dot top, J. Crew mini skirt, thredUP

Look Three - Boxy Tee

J. Crew boxy tee, white jeans, thredUP

Tee:  J.Crew via thredUP (c/o)  •  White Jeans:  old [similar]  •  Sandals  •  Necklace:  old [similar]

I really wanted to get on board with the crop top trend, but I'm not sure it's for me.  I love this tee because it's boxy and cropped, but my pale stomach isn't showing.  It's the closest this 25 year old grandma plans to get to a crop top this spring!  (I also love it because it was $12.49, and I would have paid $35 for it at J. Crew.)

This casual top would be perfect with dark denim skinnies or cut offs, as well, but I chose to pair it with white denim because it's almost time to break out the white denim and I can't wait!  I think adding a dangling necklace really gives this look that extra oomph.

J. Crew boxy tee, white jeans, thredUP

Look Four - Denim Shorts

pineapple tee shirt, denim shorts, J. Crew, thredUP

I have been looking for a pair of denim shorts forever.  I have a long torso, wide-ish hips (in comparison to the rest of my body), and short legs, which makes shopping for a pair of denim cutoffs an adventure.  I decided to order a super affordable pair from thredUP (these were $10.49!) that I could cut up, distress, and add some bleach spots.  Until I get to doing that little DIY project, I will wear them like they are because they're super adorable!

Denim shorts go with everything, but I chose to style them with this tee because I liked the contrast of dark denim, stark white, and gold.  My 15-year old brother and blog photographer told me that the cool thing to do now is tuck in a tiny bit of your shirt, so I'm giving that trend a try to see if it sticks.  

pineapple tee shirt, denim shorts, J. Crew, thredUP

What do y'all think?  I know that this is a sponsored post, but I have truly fallen in love with thredUP.  (I'm not kidding - I check every day when I get home from work.  It's part of my evening routine now.)  

If you're interested in doing a little thredUP shopping, I have a few tips for you:

Tip One:  Take advantage of the sorting options.  It will streamline your shopping process so much when you're only looking at clothing in your size or when you're in desperate need of a blue top and you're not having to sort through every other color of the rainbow. 

Tip Two:  Use code "IVH21" at checkout to get 21% off of your order!!  (What's better than getting a major discount on already majorly discounted clothing?!)

Tip Three:  Check out  "Give $10, Get $10" in the top right hand corner.  I'm a big advocate for taking advantage of affiliate programs, especially when you're already super passionate about a brand and you're already talking about it for three.

Tip Four:  Consider selling with thredUP.  Clear out all of your unwanted, like new clothing, to make room for more thredUP purchases ;)  It puts money in your pocket, and it also stops items from ending up in a landfill.  

Happy shopping, my friends!  What pieces and trends are you incorporating into your wardrobe for spring?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Finding my Best Yes

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately.  To be completely honest, my life has been more chaotic than usual lately, and I've found myself being completely overwhelmed and exhausted by things that I typically love, like blogging.  To combat this, I've tried to really strip things down a bit.

For starters, I've been throwing myself into God's word.  I want that to be the foundation of my life.  God is better to me than I deserve, and my last set of biopsies was the perfect reminder of that. Easter is a big day of renewal and reflection for me each year, and as soon as I came home from mass on Easter morning, I was thirsting for knowledge.  I immediately pulled The Best Yes off of my book shelf and dived into it.  I read three chapters right then and there, and as soon as I wake up each morning, I look forward to doing my study that evening.  It's so relevant to my life right now, as it talks about how an overwhelmed schedule can lead to an underwhelmed soul.

The concept of the book is discovering how to give your "Best Yes."  Not that impulse yes that you immediately regret or the yes that you give when you aren't interested, but aren't sure how to say no.  It's about saying yes to your passion projects, and as a blogger, I think we can all relate to wanting to have a little bit more time to dedicate to blogging.

Along with reading The Best Yes, I've been working through the workbook.  I take my time, and try to finish a segment each night.  I have started reading a Proverb a day along with the study, and it feels good to be doing a "challenge" and sticking it out.  I'm learning a lot about God's word, and I'm also learning a lot about myself.

Since I haven't felt very inspired to write, I've been doing a lot of reading.  I picked up After Alice at the library this week (along with a really exciting book on street and city planning that I'm sure y'all would love a review of ;) ), and I randomly found a copy of When God Winks in my car, so I'm excited to start on that one, as well.  As a writer, I think reading is one of the most important things you can do.

One last thing - I have started to look into graduate programs!  (Cue all of the confetti emojis!)  I've pretty much got my heart set on one program, but I'm attempting to keep my options open.  If any of y'all are graduate students or have your graduate degree, I'd love to hear more about your experience - what you studied, where you attended, what you thought of the program, etc.

Happy Monday, y'all!  Hope your day is going well and your week is off to a great start!

(PS - Have any book recommendations for me?  Leave them in the comments!)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekend Reading

Happy weekend, friends!  I'll be spending mine watching my brother run in an invitational track meet, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  My biggest goal for the weekend is to get packed for my work trip to Nashville this week.  I'm going to have a little bit of downtime, so I'd love any suggestions for places to go!

Here are a few of my favorite links from the internet this week, plus some cute goodies that I'm either already loving or want to add to my collection asap:

Cantaloupe bellinis
20 undeniably cute bite-sized desserts & eats

Call out a company
Color correcting 101
Be a tourist in your own city
Make a media kit for your blog
Make a wreath without spending a fortune
Infuse creativity into the rhythm of your life

Spring jacket
Kate Spade new arrivals
Black & white poncho

Healthy living essentials

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!  What are your weekend plans?  Be sure to leave your favorite link of the week in the comments :)  (And leave those Nashville recommendations, as well!)