Seersucker Sass: June 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Balance (+ A Giveaway!)

It seems like everyone is talking about how important it is for bloggers to find their niche.  At first, I found this to be super frustrating.  I love fashion, I love beauty, and I love lifestyle.  But then I realized that my blog does have a niche, and I want to continue to hone in on that.  My goal for this blog is to help y'all prepare for and navigate the post-grad world.

For example, I got invited to a really awesome work event.  It was a baseball game, and it was going to be a scorcher.  From the moment I received the invitation, I was fretting about what to wear.  I didn't find it appropriate to wear shorts given the fact that it was technically a work event, but I didn't want to melt.  So I went with what has become my summer Casual Friday uniform - a fun top that's work appropriate but also appropriate for drinks after work when I ditch the blazer, white jeans, sandals, and gold jewelry.  I straightened my hair for simplicity, because I knew the humidity would make my curls flat in no time.

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

white jeans, printed top, oversized sunglasses, work on weekend outfit

Top:  J.Crew Factory [similar, similar]  •  Jeans:  local boutique that went out of business [identical]  •  Necklace:  Rose Water Designs (c/o)  •  Earrings:  Kendra Scott  •  Sunglasses:  Zac Posen [similar]  •  Sandals:  Jack Rogers

I ended up having the best time at the baseball game!  I made some great professional contacts, enjoyed delicious food, and even ran into my cousins.  Definitely a great Sunday Funday in my book!

And now for a little something to make your Monday better!


To celebrate The Blush Blonde’s 3rd Blogiversary we are bringing you a giveaway made for summer!.  This giveaway includes beauty products specially picked for the warm weather, Quay Australia Sunglasses, and a gift card to Nordstrom!  Here are all of the goodies that you have a chance to win:

Sephora Sun Safety Kit- A limited edition set filled with all of the sun protection essentials necessary to stay sun safe this summer.  It is a set from Sephora with items from several brands and a value of $127.00.  To see exactly what it contains click here.

Quay Australia My Girl Cat Eye Sunglasses- Super on trend sunnies with a 50 MM lens width and full sun protection.

$75.00 Nordstrom Gift Card- This is included to buy any other summer essentials you might need!

This is open internationally, pending shipping laws/restrictions. You must be 18 or older, or have a parents permission to enter. This giveaway is open for exactly one week. Winner must respond within 48-hours or a new winner will be chosen. Your form of entry will be double-checked.

Happy Monday, y'all!  How was your weekend?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Favorites Under $50 (+ Weekend Sales!)

Happy weekend, friends!  I'm so excited to be sharing this week's Favorites Under $50 with y'all.  As someone who loves a good deal, this post has quickly become my favorite each week.  Happy shopping!

Fashion trends under $50

Coffee for President Pouch ($16.80)  Can I get an Amen?!  This is the perfect little pouch to throw in the five minute face necessities so you can run out the door for an impromptu weekend getaway.

You Better Have Pizza Doormat ($45)  I'm a firm believer that the space you live in should be filled with fun touches that reflect your personality, and this rug is so fun!  (PS - They have one for tacos, as well!)

Oversize Hat ($28)  I'm trying to put off crow's feet as long as possible, so I keep my eyes and face shielded from the sun at all costs.  I love hats from Nordstrom because they're affordable without sacrificing quality.

Lace Up Ballet Flats ($21.50)  I feel like these shoes are more versatile than they seem!  I can imagine myself wearing them with a bright Lilly dress, an all black look, or with some white jeans.

Sun Safety Kit ($32)  I can't be the only one who's a sucker for these Sephora kits!  I love being able to sample a ton of products without spending a fortune or committing to a product that isn't quite right for me.  My favorite part is that $20 from the sale of each kit goes to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Bead and Tassel Necklace ($28)  Tassels are so hot right now, and the hot pink color of this one is perfect for summer!  (Extra obsessed because these are the colors used in creating my office aesthetic!)

Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet ($48)  My friend Nicole gave me this bag, and the next day I used it for an overnight trip.  Since then, I've taken it everywhere when I travel as the designated bag for toiletries and makeup.  Because of the texture of the faux leather, if something spills or my moisturizer explodes like it tends to do (#eyeroll), I can easily wipe it clean with a makeup removing wipe.

Come & Get It Platter ($28)  Such a generic statement, but I think this platter would be perfect for entertaining.  I envision stacking it with desserts like cupcakes or cake pops.

Quay Shades ($50)  Anyone else getting major Breakfast at Tiffany's vibes from these sunglasses?  I love that they offer UV protection.

Cold Shoulder Cami Top ($26)  I can't get over how cute this would be with a pair of white skinnies and black heels!

And if you're looking for some weekend sales, I've got you covered there, as well!!

J. Crew Factory - 40% off with code "EXTRA40"
Club Monaco - Up to 60% off all sale with code "KEEPCOOL"
Nike - 25% off select with code "ZOOM25"
Kate Spade - Extra 30% off with code "SUNSHINE"
Ann Taylor - 50% off everything with code "SUNNY50"
Banana Republic - Extra 50% off sale
Tory Burch - Extra 30% off all sale with code "EXTRA30"
Anthropologie - Up to 50% off sale items

Happy shopping, friends!  I want to know from you - What's at the top of your shopping wish list?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Goals

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  Summer is officially here, even though it has felt like summer since April where I live.  Haha.  Something about summer makes me so lazy - maybe it's the heat or maybe it's the laid back pace of life.  In order to hold myself accountable, I've decided to share my goals for this summer with you!

1.  Prioritize time for writing.  I'm working on a personal writing project, but it is forever taking the back burner.  Reading The Best Yes instilled in me that when something is a priority, you need to schedule it the way that you would a meeting.  So I'm hoping to set aside time to write every day, even if it's just fifteen minutes before bed or half an hour on my lunch break.

2.  Keep a consistent blogging schedule.  I have really struggled with finding time to blog this year, and that makes me sad because I absolutely love blogging.  It seems like when I have time, I don't have motivation, and vice versa.  My goal is to get content up three times a week plus a weekend post.  I also hope to collaborate more with other bloggers.  (PS - You can totally help me out with this one by leaving blog post ideas!)

3.  Read.  I think that reading is imperative if you want to grow as a writer.  Here is my summer reading list!

4.  Create.  I really, really want to paint more.  I'm really interested in abstract expressionist art, and I'd love to create at least one piece for my apartment and another piece as a housewarming gift for a friend.  There's nothing like getting your hands dirty and creating something.

5. Evaluate my wardrobe.  The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is coming up, and I want to have a "wish list" ready to shop smarter.  This means checking to see what I have an abundance of in my closet (aka pixie pants) and figuring out what I actually need (navy heels, work blouses, a pair of everyday earrings, and a dress for a co-worker's wedding, for example.)  If you're not a Nordstrom Rewards member yet, be sure to sign up so that you can get a $10 promotional certificate to spend during the sale.

What are your goals for this summer?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pool Day Essentials

After my melanoma diagnosis, I spent a lot of time avoiding the sun at all costs.  I wore cardigans in the summer, and I kept as much of my body covered at all times, even if it meant wearing t-shirts over my one piece in the pool.  (If I even got in the pool... Sometimes I would sit on a covered porch and watch everyone having fun in the pool without me.)

Two summers ago, I finally realized I don't have to be afraid of the sun, nor do I have to hide from it.  If I take the proper precautions, I can still enjoy pool days or beach days with my friends.  Today I'm excited to share how to pack the perfect pool day bag with y'all!

Pool Day Essentials

Big FloatIf you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am obsessed with my pineapple pool float.  I bring it to my aunt's house every weekend, and there is always a fight about who is going to use it!  (Pro tip - buy a cheap pump so that you don't lose an hour of your pool day trying to inflate a float.)

Facial Sunscreen •  I practically break out at the thought of putting a regular formula sunscreen on my face.  I wear SPF 30 every day since it's in my moisturizer, but on pool days I pack it with me so that I can reapply.  The last thing I want is a lot of sun exposure on my face; I want to delay the aging process as long as possible!  This is my facial sunscreen of choice, and it's perfect for oily skin!

Hat •  Whether it's a floppy hat, a boater hat, or even just a ball cap, I always try to wear a hat to the pool.  The brim will shade your face, and the hat itself will protect your scalp from getting a sunburn.

Water •  It's tempting to bring booze to the pool, but I make an effort to drink lots of water so that I don't dehydrate.  My aunt keeps the pool fridge full of La Croix, and I keep a Kong with lemon water on hand.

Pineapple pool float, la croix

Reading material •  I usually pack a book (currently reading Eligible) and a huge stack of magazines to share.  This prevents me from staying attached to my phone the whole time.

Fluffy Towel •  I love wrapping up in a big fluffy towel post-pool.  I'm a big fan of towels like this one that were made specifically for pool chairs! 

Oversized Sunglasses •  The bigger the better!  Not only are large sunglasses fashionable, but they protect your eyes (and the delicate skin around your eyes) from sun damage.

Sunscreen • I saved the most important for last!  I do not go out into the sun without sunscreen!  I was recently gifted Vita Liberata's Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50 with Marula.  Trying new sunscreen is always a little nerve wrecking, but I really liked that this was a sunscreen with a built in self tanner, so I gave it a try.  Please know that I am very picky about sunscreen given my health, and I was so pleased with this product that I actually look forward to putting on my sunscreen before getting into the pool.  It needs about an hour to set, so keep that in mind when applying.  I personally find the self tanner to have two benefits.  Not only does it give me a nice little bronze glow, but because it's a self tanner, I am super cautious about making sure it is applied everywhere and I can see exactly where it is applied.  I don't have that luxury when using a spray on sunscreen on myself.

Vita Liberata Self Tan Dry Oil, Zac Posen Sunglasses, Bazaar Magazine

I want to hear from you - what are your pool (or beach) day essentials?!  Happy Wednesday, friends!

A big thank you to Vita Liberata for the gifted products.  As always, all opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting brands that support Seersucker Sass!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Favorites under $50

Every week I tell myself that it will be the week that I blog six days in a row.  And every week, I just feel really proud of myself for getting out two posts + Weekend Reading!  Except this week I spent so little time reading blogs that I didn't even get to Weekend Reading.  However, I've done plenty of online "window shopping," so I want to introduce a new series - Favorites Under $50!

My thought process behind this is that when I shop, I like to invest in classic pieces that can be worn multiple ways.  With trendy pieces, I'm not so worried about the quality of the item, because it's probably only going to be in my closet for a season or two.  This series will be mostly trendy pieces, with a few major steals mixed in from time to time.

With all of that being said, here's my first round of Favorites Under $50!

summer's hottest trends under $50

Steve Madden Monrowe Tassel Sandal ($47.96) ||  Tassel and pom-pom sandals are so on trend right now, but the price tags aren't so hot.  I think the muted tones of the tassels will make these more versatile than the sandals with hot pink and neon oranges tassels and poms.  These were marked down from $80 and available in sizes 5.5 - 9.

Lush Surplice Maxi Dress ($48) ||  Surprise! Another black dress making an appearance on SS!  I feel uncomfortable in short dresses, but I really like that this has a short lining covered by sheer fabric.  This would be perfect for a bachelorette party or a night out!  This dress comes in eight colors and patterns.

Chill Out Cooler Tote ($32) ||  Confession - I totally did not understand the phrase on the bag until I realized that it was a cooler bag.  And now I'm convinced that I need it for pool days and road trips or maybe even an over sized lunch bag in the rare occasion that I start packing my lunch for work.

Going Out Shirt ($34) ||  It's very rare that I go out, but I think this top would be super cute for running errands on weekends.  I also think this could be adorable if worn on a bachelorette party!  (Is it obvious that everyone around me is getting married?)

Cut-off Denim Shorts ($34.95) ||  I bought a pair of these shorts a few weeks ago (see them on my Instagram here) and I'm obsessed with them.  I don't know how these can be Daisy Duke length without my bum hanging out in the back, but they are and it doesn't.  They come in four shades - white, light denim, dark denim, and black.

J. Crew Factory Gingham Shell Top ($35.50) ||  I love gingham because it's so sweet and Southern, but this shell is sassy at the same time.  I would pair it with white jeans and maybe even a casual navy blazer for Casual Friday.

Lilly Pulitzer Crab Earrings ($28) ||  I have a few pairs of Lilly Pulitzer earrings, and I wear them on repeat because they're shockingly versatile.  (I wear the same pair to work and to galas.)  These are on my wishlist because they're the perfect blend of polished and fun.

Now you tell me - what's your favorite under $50 this week?!  I hope that y'all are having an amazing weekend!  Mine definitely did not go as planned, but that's life!  Haha.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Four Necessities for New Bloggers

Necessities for new bloggers

Planner •  I have a planner that is dedicated to my blog, and it's what keeps me on track.  It's where I plan my editorial calendar and how I keep up with deadlines.  I prefer to use erasable pens in mine, so if I get a little bit off track, it's easy to fix.  (PS - New Lilly agendas are out!)

Scheduling Tool •  I love social media, but I don't love feeling like it controls my world.  To avoid feeling overwhelmed or constantly in fear that I'll forget to do something, I take advantage of free scheduling programs.  I use Hootsuite to schedule Twitter, but I've heard great things about Buffer, as well.  Buffer and Hootsuite will also let you schedule your Facebook page posts, but I prefer to schedule them directly through Facebook.  Tailwind and Boardbooster are great tools for scheduling pins.

Blog Specific E-mail •  We all know how overwhelming email can get and just how easy it is to look over a very important email.  I recommend having a blog specific email that's just for blogging.  (Resist the temptation to sign up for any kind of non-blogging related mailing list with this email.  It will make checking your email less of a monster!)  I started out with a gmail account and upgraded to an email with my URL through Zoho.  (It's free!)

In my opinion, having a blog specific email adds a level of credibility and professionalism.  It also helps create a little bit of distance when you receive a creepy email.  (If you're a blogger, it will happen.)  I would freak out if I received some of the blog emails I receive in a personal or professional email account.

Cheerleader • Blogging can get discouraging.  It's really easy to measure our success against the success of someone else, when in reality, we should just be striving to be better than we were the day before.  On days where you're frustrated and just want to throw your laptop across the room, you will be thankful that you have a cheerleader.

Last week I got so frustrated with blogging, and then my mom told me that my hair artist, Mari, reads my blog every day.  (Hi Mari!  Love ya!!)  Knowing that a female from my community was cheering me on pulled me back from the ledge, and ended up being the inspiration for this post.  I really appreciate Millennial Blogger Network, as well, because it's an environment of encouragement for bloggers.

This is just a short list, so I'm asking my "seasoned bloggers" to comment with their best piece of advice for new bloggers!  And if you're a new blogger, I truly hope you found this post to be helpful!

Happy Thursday, y'all!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

MEGA Father's Day Gift Guide

I'm a lot like my dad.  He's always evolving and always into something new.  This can make shopping for him very easy or very difficult depending on the year!  While struggling to figure out what in the world I was going to buy him this year, I decided to make a mega Father's Day gift guide!  I've created short guides based on possible interests - the techie dad, the trendy dad, the traveling dad, the fit dad, the foodie dad, and the fix it dad!  With the exception of a few splurges (that are still under the $150 mark!), the majority of the items on this gift guide are under $100!

Father's Day Gift Guide techie dad

Drone - because who doesn't want a drone!
Bluetooth tracking tag - never lose your iPhone again... or at least find it when you do!
Beach sounds player - a fun twist on a classic!
Smart phone sanitizer - because smartphones are gross
Ditto Notification Wearable - Ditto vibrates to let you know you've receive a text, call, etc.

Father's Day Gift Guide Trendy Dad

Dollar Shave Club gift set - so on trend right now
Leather iPad sleeve  - your dad's "in meeting" cool factor just sky rocketed
Sneakers  - for the dad that's into shoes
Cotton jacket - the perfect replacement for the classic dad jacket
On the Rocks set - for the dad who likes to entertain

Father's Day Gift Guide Traveling Dad

Noise cancelling headphones  - for babies on planes & hotels with paper thin walls
Messenger bag - a nice upgrade to the computer bag he's carried for years
Travel kit - another nice upgrade
Carry-on cocktail kit - Cheers, dad!
Mophie charging case - definitely beats attempting to find a charging port in the airport
Tile - great for tracking luggage just in case it goes missing
Collar Perfect - a mini iron, in case he's going from the plane to a meeting

Father's Day Gift Guide Fit Dad

Pro-Tec roller massager - these are amazing for sore muscles
Swimbuds 100% waterproof headphones - made for swimming, but great for any physical activity
iPhone armband - this ones has a little pocket for a key!
Blender with travel bottle - eliminates the mess in your kitchen
3D Golf swing analyzer - if your dad golfs, he needs this
Fitbit Charge HR - what I gave my dad last year!  (It was a hit.)

Father's Day Gift Guide Foodie Dad

Molecular mixology mojito kit - the perfect combination of food, liquor, chemistry, and art
Beer jelly  - jelly that tastes like beer needs no explanation.
Himalayan salt plank  - cooking on salt enhances the flavor & holds the temperature
Make your own hot sauce kit - a fun project to do with your dad!
Bluetooth food thermometer - cooking data will sync to his phone through an app #mindblown

Father's Day Gift Guide Fix It Dad

Fix It:
Vampliers - for removing the most difficult screws
Multitool - includes 17 tools and is only four inches tall!
Magnogrip - keeps screws all in one place... and out of your tires.
Extension cord reel - dad's workshop just got a little less cluttered!
Contractor pen - a fancy pen with a level and a ruler
Digital tape measure - no more almost snapping your finger off using a metal tape measure

What do y'all think?  See anything that your dad might like?!  Any big plans for Father's Day?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekend Reading

It's been forever since I posted a Weekend Reading post, but I'm glad to be sharing some of my favorite posts from the internet with y'all!  I spent yesterday floating around the pool in my pineapple float recharging after my infusion.  Today is gross and gloomy, and I'm looking forward to spending the day writing for some really fun posts for the upcoming week.  How have you spent your weekend so far?

Crazy chic bun
Could shoulder sweater
Eye makeup for glasses
Easy summertime headband braid

Wear overalls
Travel extravagantly on a budget
Maximize a shopping trip to Home Goods
Shop for wedding dresses, minus the drama

Pimiento cheese ham biscuits

25 free date night ideas
A whole lot of living left to do
Six websites to help with planning a trip
Six things to try when you feel like giving up

Yoga:  go with the flow

As always, I invite you to leave your favorite link from the internet in the comments below!  Don't be ashamed to humble brag and share one of your own posts :)  And if there's anything you'd like to see on the blog in the coming weeks, please let me know!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Donut Worry - It's Friday!

Happy National Donut Day, my friends!  It seems like every day is National this or that day, but this is definitely one of those "made up holidays" I can get behind, because who doesn't love a donut?!

To celebrate, I've rounded up the cutest donut pieces out there.  It's Friday, and it's been a long week (don't four day weeks pass so much slower than five days weeks?!), so treat yourself!

National Donut Day

Donut pajama set ($10!!) •  Pool floatie  •  Pink donut watercolor print  •  Coasters  •  Keychain  •  Phone case  •  Drink floats (set of 3)  •   Charm Necklace  •  Accent pillow

If you're looking to celebrate by baking, I've rounded up some of the best donut recipes around for ya!

Baked Funfetti Donuts - I Heart Eating
Spiced Apple Cider Baked Donuts - Happy Healthy Mama
Pumpkin Cake Donuts - Dear Crissy 
Sour Cream Banana Donuts - BruCrew Life

Happy Friday, y'all!  Hope your weekend is sweet ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Reason to Celebrate

Today is a really exciting day... even more exciting than my birthday!  After a little scare in March, I am really excited to announce that I am officially five years cancer free!

What does that mean?  One year cancer free is scary.  You're excited, but you're nervous, and in my case, I was just beginning to cope.  At two years, you get a little calmer.  The Chicken Little spirit starts to fade.  At three years, you're at that halfway point - it could happen or it couldn't, but you're pretty calm about it either way.  Four years cancer free is equal parts exciting and terrifying.  You're sooo close to five years you could taste it, but oh my goodness, wouldn't it suck for the cancer to come back closer to that milestone.

And then you make it to five years, and it's a sigh of relief. The risk of recurrence drops significantly.  And in my case, it's equal parts wanting to scream it from the mountaintops and silently celebrate alone.  (I didn't expect that year five would also bring survivor's guilt.  Add that to the list of things no one ever tells you.)

While this isn't a battle that I would have chosen for myself, I know that I wouldn't be "me" without it.  I've learned resilience.  I've gained confidence.  I've started to fear less and laugh more.  I go into each day knowing that I've fought this battle, so whatever the day brings me, I am competent to figure out.  I've learned that looks aren't everything, and that scars do actually fade, even if they take a few years.  I've found the silver lining in this situation, and it's helped me to find a silver lining in every situation since.  I've learned the importance of slowing down, and truly savoring each day, because tomorrow could hold the best or the worst news of my life.

I'm living proof that cancer can happen to anyone; it doesn't care about your age or ambitions.  If you want to celebrate with me today, the best present you could give me is scheduling an appointment to get your skin checked. Cheers to five years, my friends!

A big thank you to Lauren of  Rose Water Designs for my gorgeous necklace, engraved with the date that I was declared cancer free.