Seersucker Sass: 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lessons from Momma

Today is my mom's birthday, and it feels so weird that we won't be celebrating together.  I can't remember the last time we didn't celebrate together.  One year on my mom's birthday, we showed up to dinner wearing matching dresses!  Haha.

Since I'll be out of town on business travel, I'll be celebrating with my momma as soon as I get back into town on Friday.  In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some lessons that I've learned from my momma with y'all.

1. Take care of your skin.  My mom put me on a three-step skincare regimen as soon as I hit middle school, and that is something I am so thankful for as an adult.  I didn't always stick with it religiously, but I'm glad that she helped me form the habit of being good to my skin, so by the time I became a lazy adult, it was second nature.  Haha.

2. Be resilient.  My mom is the most resilient person I know.  It is awe-inspiring to watch her handle some of the situations she has been dealt in life.  Her resilience has taught me that come hell or high water, the best response is to just keep pushing through and moving forward.

3. Eyebrow maintenance is very important.  Around the same time she taught me about skincare, my mom taught me the importance of eyebrow maintenance.  I had huge, bushy eyebrows growing up, and since kids can be assholes, my mom started having electrolysis done on my brows when I hit middle school.  I don't wear makeup every day, but you better believe that I at least make sure my eyebrows are brushed up!  Haha.

I appreciate that my mother raised me to take pride in my appearance.

4. You can do anything you set your mind to when you work hard.  I grew up watching my mom run a business, and that experience is one of the best gifts I have been given in life.  I know running a business is not easy, but my mom made it seem effortless.  I grew up with the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to, and that is because I watched my mom do the same.

5. Love people, and love those who are harder to love even extra.  When my mom owned a preschool, she accepted children that were too "challenging" for other childcare centers in the region.  She was so good to all of her students, but she made sure to give extra attention to those children who weren't the most well-behaved, because she felt they needed her love and support the most.

She encouraged me to be nice to everyone, but to be extra nice to people who aren't nice to me, because they probably need my love the most.

6. Do good things, and do them discretely.  My mom is the type of person who would sneak around to do good deeds.  She never wanted to draw attention to the situation or the person she was helping. I could make you a list as long as my arm of all of the children she went out of her way to feed, clothe, and sponsor on holidays, and even then it would probably only be about 5% because she was so discrete.

As I get older, I realize that a lot of people do good things for misguided reasons.  There's so much focus on putting something on a resume or getting a write-up in the paper, and while I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I have a lot more respect for those who do their good deeds in silence.

7. There's no need to hurry your current phase of life.  I used to think my mom was the world's cruelest woman for not letting me shave my legs.  I now appreciate that my mom didn't want me to grow up too fast.  I'm thankful for all of the times my mom told me "no."  (And I don't blame her for not trusting 12 year old me with a razor, because I still cut my legs 75% of the time when I shave.)

What's the biggest life lesson that you've learned from your momma?  Feel free to leave some happy birthday wishes in the comments, because my sweet momma reads my blog :)


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Fall Transition Style Formula

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting Seersucker Sass blog!

Fall can be pretty fickle where I live.  We've finally hit the 60's after last week, which was practically summer temperatures.  How it can be so cold in the morning and hot at 5 PM when I'm leaving the office is beyond me.  Because of this, I'm really into *transitional style.*  

Transitional style has become one of blogging's hottest buzzwords, so if you're overwhelmed with transitional style posts, my apologies.  The outfit below is my new favorite, and I couldn't help but share it.

Top:  LOFT Outlet find (similar)  ||  Cardigan  ||  Jeans
Booties:  Old TJ Maxx find (similar)  ||  Bag

We all have our own sense of personal style.  I'm not someone who will just throw on a cardigan/tights/leggings with a summer piece and call it a day.  I have my own little equation for the perfect (for me) transitional style, and I'm excited to share it with you today in case you wanted a few tips.

1. Play with textures. I get a little bit stressed out when someone says "Oh, I can just throw a sweater over that!" or "Oh, I can just put tights/leggings under that!" in regards to making a fall piece transitional, and that's because of the textures.  This top could be considered pretty summer-y, but the slickness of the fabric and the playfulness of the eyelet pattern contrast nicely with the heavy, chunky sweater.  I've found that slinkier, silkier tops transition really nicely.  (Like how perfect would this cami be for winter, paired with tweed or wool?!)

2. Invest in a good cardigan in a fall-ish color.  I love black, and I love navy... which is exactly why I forced myself to buy a cardigan in a fall-ish color that isn't black or navy.  This oxblood color ise perfect for fall, but will also be appropriate for the holidays, as well.

3. Booties are your best friend in hot weather.  Booties are the perfect way to say "hey, it's fall and I'm here for it!" without committing to riding boots and sweaty calves in 80* weather.

4. Experiment with accessories.  This gold acrylic necklace from Marley Lilly is a piece that will be perfect year round, but I think the gold is especially beautiful in the fall.  (For reference, I am wearing the medium size.  The necklace is also currently on sale!) 

If everything about your look is muted like the look above, consider adding a fun pop of color!  In the summer, it's all about hot, almost neon colors.  In the fall and in transition periods, I love colors like a vibrant blue or green.

What do y'all think?  Do you have an equation to your seasonally transitional styles, or do you just wear whatever speaks to you that morning?

Also, a huge thank you to my friends at Marley Lilly for partnering with me on this post.  I've been shopping at Marley Lilly long before this blog existed, and it's always exciting to partner with brands that you already love!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Doing the Best I Can with what I've Got

This was a blog post that almost didn't happen, but I'm glad that it did.  It reminded me of my life mantra:  I'm doing the best I can with what I've got.

My infusion was Friday, which meant a weekend of taking it easy.  It seemed like the perfect time to get caught up on some blog work.  My body crashes pretty hard the morning after an infusion, so I let myself sleep until around 9:30.  Except my dog didn't want me to sleep, so at 8 AM I grabbed a blackberry green tea from my favorite coffee shop and got to work.

I never get ready the morning after an infusion, and I was reminded of why when trying to get ready for blog photos on Saturday.  I was just in slow motion, and I didn't have the energy to fool with a blow dryer, much less give myself a blow out.  (But  I did it anyway, just very slowly, because #blog)

After spending what felt like a million years getting ready, I shot one outfit and headed home to change into look number two... Except my dress was nowhere to be found.

I looked everywhere.  I flipped all 725 square feet of my apartment upside down.  Eventually I found it in the middle of a hamper, which was absurd because I don't even use a hamper.  By that point, I was in a rowdy tank and Nike shorts, and over it.

After some convincing, I steamed the dress and went downtown for outfit number two, this gorgeous bohemian dress from Mimi Mae boutique.  I got frustrated again, because the dress is so gorgeous, and I could not figure out a way to capture movement while shooting photos in front of a brick wall.  That's when my little mantra popped into my head I'm doing the best I can with what I've got.

That was a turning point.  I started experimenting with how to show movement in the dress and how to do the gorgeous sleeves and lo-hi hem justice.  I brought some sass and some life into the photos, as you can see below.

It's really easy to get caught up in the comparison game.  Blogging wears me down sometimes because I don't have a "perfect home" and I do not look "picture perfect" every day.  But then I remind myself that a lot of y'all are probably in that same boat, as well.  We're renting spaces that aren't perfect or extravagant, but feel like home, despite the horrible lighting and taupe colored paint.  We might wear the same pants to work two days in a row.  But it's okay:  We're happy, and we're doing the best we can with what we've got.

Growing up, when I didn't get the grade I wanted or if something didn't go my way, my dad would ask me if I did my best, because that's all that mattered.  As you go into this week, don't forget to show yourself a little grace.  Do your best, and let go of things that are out of your control.

Do you have a life mantra?

PS - If you came here for fashion and not unsolicited life advice, here is the scoop on this dress.  You need it.  It's only $50 and comes in black and navy.  The front is a little higher than the back, so you get the sassiness of a short dress without the worries of your bottom showing.  The dress is actually two pieces - a slip and the actual dress, so you could definitely play with that and add your own slip of a different color if you really wanted to.  The bell sleeves are amazing, and all I want to do in this dress is twirl around.  You can order it by contacting my friend Cori at Mimi Mae Boutique and asking for the Bourbon Tini dress :)  I've also linked some similar dresses below.

These boots were my biggest Nordstrom sale purchase, and I have no regrets.  They're comfortable, the heel is manageable, and I can dress them up and down.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Four Products Under $30 That Make Life Easier

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting Seersucker Sass blog!

I don't know about y'all, but Wednesdays are usually my long days.  I typically have meetings after work, so I've started taking 6 AM workout classes.  (I'm convinced the endorphins are what get me through the day!)  I'm thankful for such a productive day, but Wednesdays take a toll on me.  When I wake up on Thursday mornings, the midweek slump is hitting me hard.  I get a little cranky, and if you aren't sleep, coffee, or Chick-Fil-A, I probably don't want anything to do with you before 10 AM.  The absolute last thing I want to deal with is a fussy, high maintenance morning routine.

With that being said, here are four products that make my life a lot easier.

Living Proof Blowout (c/o)  I wash my hair every three to five days.  I owe all the credit for that to this product.  On day one, I shampoo, condition, and blow out my hair.  I section off my hair, give the section a few sprays of Blowout, then blow dry it straight with my Wet Brush.

At first, my hot yoga schedule threw a couple of wrenches in my hair washing routine.  So on the days that I need to get a ponytail crease out of my hair, I spray this on either dry hair or hair that has been rinsed but not washed, section it off, and blow it out again.

I know that this product is a little pricey ($15/2 oz or $26/5 oz), but I don't spend much on my other hair products, so I'm telling myself it balances out.  Haha.  I did receive the 2 ounce bottle courtesy of Influenster (you can sign up here!), but I recently started running low so I ordered the full size bottle this weekend.

Dove Refresh + Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo  I've tried so many dry shampoos at all price points, and I keep coming back to Dove.  This little bottle of magic is $4, and you can pick it up just about anywhere!  I use this when my roots need a refresh, sometimes in combination with Blowout.

First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie  I received a sample of this a few months ago in a subscription box, and I liked it so much that I purchased the full sized product.  I don't really like foundation/concealer/powder, so I wear this instead.  It makes my skin glow like an angel.

It also makes an excellent primer, and on days when I want lighter coverage, I mix this with my foundation.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser  My pores are a nightmare.  I've found a lot of products that help, but none are as fuss-free as this foaming cleanser.  I use it two to three days a week, and I especially love using it after a workout.  There is an immediate, noticeable difference after using this product.  Best part?  It lasts forever.  I've been using a gift with purchase size for months.

I want to hear from you - what are the products that make your life easier?  I can't wait to check them out!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

That Time I was Interviewed for a Magazine...

This post contains affiliate links.

Before I tell you about the time I was interviewed for a magazine, there's something you must know about me.  I'm a relatively sane, normal person until you tell me I'm going to have my picture taken.  Then, I immediately become a psycho.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that I was going to be recognized as an up and comer in the local business community.  I was genuinely surprised.  This was a big bucket list item for me.  As soon as I found out, I began frantically preparing for my photo and interview.

First, I had to determine my "look."  And then it came to me - I wanted a tweed jacket.  It would be youthful yet professional, and wearing a tweed jacket instead of a blazer would prevent me from looking like a little girl playing dress up in her momma's closet.  (This happens to me more than I'd like to admit.)

Then there was the skincare regimen.  I charted out which days I would need to exfoliate, and which days I would need to use a glycolic cleanser.  I didn't slack on my eye cream a single bit.  The Saturday before, I went through the hell that is eyebrow threading.  I practiced how to pose for a photo without a double chin.

I went to bed early the night before my interview and woke up early the morning of to give myself a fresh blowout and do my makeup.  (Confession - I had honestly considered paying someone to give me a blowout and do my makeup.  I told you - I am crazy.)  On my way to the interview, I was wearing Crest White Strips.  (I felt like wearing my whitening trays would be just a tad bit overkill.)

Along with making sure I looked like the best possible version of myself, I fixated on the interview questions.  Every single day on my thirty minute commute, I talked to myself.  I had answers ready for every single thing that I could possible think of.  I went back to my days of acting lessons, and even practiced where I would pause.

And then I got to my interview, and I blew it.

I blanked out.  I had practiced every single answer in my head.  But I spoke really fast, and I left out the most important stuff.  I didn't thoroughly answer a single question.  My name only has four letters in it, but if you had asked me to spell it for you, I'm not sure I would have been able to.

When I got back to my office, I was in tears.  And when anyone told me they doubt I did as poorly as I thought I did, I just sighed because I knew in my heart that I had sucked.  And I spent the next 24 hours thinking about just how bad I sucked until I went to hip hop hot yoga that evening.  I sweat out all of my frustrations, and when they asked us to leave something on the mat, I gladly dropped this situation.  Good riddance.

Now I kind of giggle about it.  (And I thank God for an awesome boss, because if it wasn't for him, I might still be crying.)  I am owning the fact that I really sucked, and I hope that in the future, I can use it for fuel instead of anxiety.

During my 24 hours of sulking/overanalyzing the situation, I thought about what I could have done better during that interview, and what I could do in the future to prevent that from happening.  (I'm finally at a point where I can kind of giggle about it, but I sure as hell do not want to relive that moment.)

1. Enjoy the moment.  I spent this entire process putting a lot of pressure on myself.  I needed to have the perfect photo and answers that made me sound intelligent.  What would have happened if I would have just enjoyed the moment?  What would have happened if I had answered a question with the first thing that popped into my head, instead of trying to think of those answers that I had rehearsed, and just rolled with it?  I think things would have gone quite a bit smoother.

2. Professional development is my friend.  I'm going to do some research on how to be a better conversationalist and how to keep my composure in stressful situations.  I'm actually signed up for a "Perfect Your Elevator Pitch" training tomorrow!  (Wish me luck!)

3. Everyone is not out to get you.  Sometimes I feel like people are out to make me look stupid.  (As I proved at this interview, I can totally do it on my own with no help.  Haha.)  The interviewer was not.  He wasn't looking for an angle or a story.  He was looking for enough information to write a paragraph about me and my accomplishments, and I should have had that at the very front of my mind the entire time.

4. Bring backup.  If you get really nervous in situations like I do, why not bring your talking points.  Have a list printed out of some things you want to be sure you mention.  I got so stressed out that I couldn't remember the name of a board that I was sitting on that had just rebranded. Had I written out beforehand, I could have avoided that.

5. Don't caffeinate.  On stressful days, I treat myself to breakfast from Chick-Fil-A, including a large vanilla iced coffee.  Caffeine and nerves don't mix well, so on days when I'm speaking in front of people, I should probably cut back to half a cup of coffee.

Blazer:  Tommy Hilfiger  //  Top:  Target
Slacks:  J. Crew Factory  //  Heels:  DSW

Since I put an insane amount of thought into this outfit, I want to take a quick second to talk about it.  I fell in love with this tweed jacket because it reminded me of my mamaw.  My mamaw had a gorgeous blue tweed suit that she used to wear for special occasions, so wearing this just felt right.  I also wore a ring that had been a gift from my grandma Katherine before she passed, and I wore earrings that had been a gift from my dad to my mom.  I am who I am because of so many people, and I wanted that represented in my photo, even if I'm the only person who knows about it.

The rest of my outfit is pretty basic in order to let the jacket shine.  The top is from Target, and I own five pairs of these pants - two black, two navy, and one khaki.  I bought the heels on my trip to Indiana, and they are gorgeous, but a little painful to break in.  (Of course I forgot to put on my Blister Block that day.  I'm not even surprised.  Haha)

Thanks for the opportunity to be vulnerable with y'all.  I'd love to hear from you!  How do you handle failure or rejection?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Best of Ulta's Fall Haul Event

This post contains affiliate links.

Confession - I'm not the best about checking my email.  I get everything through, and instead of just going through one email, I usually delete it.  But for some reason, I checked Sunday's and discovered that Ulta was having a Fall Haul Event.

The Fall Haul Event is an opportunity to stock up on every day faves for $15 or less!  There are lots of good deals on drug store brands, but also on brands like The Body Shop and Bliss.  I've been needing to order some extras of my favorite things to keep at the lake house, so I plan to stock up.  Since sales can be overwhelming, I wanted to share some of my tried and true favorite products with y'all that are available during the sale, as well as some products I really want to try out.

ULTA Fall Haul Event

Products I love

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick ($4.89)  This is the first liquid lipstick I ever tried.  In all honesty, it's just as good as the $21 liquid lipstick I purchased earlier this year.

OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner (2 for $10)  This is my favorite shampoo and conditioner.  I have honestly been blogging about these products since I started blogging.  My hair is healthy and grows really fast, and I owe it to these products.

ULTA Contour Kit ($7.99)  This was my first contour kit!  It comes with products for two skin tones, and it lasts forever.  I loved it because there's a little instruction guide in a pouch in the back.  And if you ever forget or lose that guide, the directions are basically on the cover of the kit!

ULTA 3-in-1 Palette ($7.99)  I won this in a giveaway from Coming Up Roses a few years ago, and it is such a good product.  This isn't super pigmented, which is good if you like buildable color like I do.

The Body Shop Body Butter ($10)  This stuff is so good.  Like so, so good.  Grab a tub now - you're going to want this as soon as the temperatures drop and cause your skin to dry out.  My legs get so dry, and my sensitive skin makes a lot of products impossible, and this stuff saves me every time.

Revlon Ultimate Slant Tip Tweezer ($5.99)  I'm always losing tweezers, so I have a few of these and keep them in my medicine cabinet, my makeup bag, my purse, and my car.  These are no frills and work really well.

NYX Slim Lip Pencil ($2.79)  This is my favorite lip liner.  (And it goes well with the liquid suede products!)  I use the Nude Pink shade almost every day, and whenever I purchase a new lipstick, this is the first line I check for a matching lip pencil.  (You seriously cannot beat that price!)

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen ($5.99)  I don't wear eyeliner very frequently, but when I do, I'm super picky about what I use.  This is my favorite - it doesn't dry out within a week like a lot of other products, and the thin tip makes going for a natural look or drawing on a cat eye equally as simple!

Products I'd love to try
Physicians Formula BB All-In-1 Balm Stick ($8.99)  This product seems perfect for my lazy girl makeup routine on days when I want medium coverage!  I've never used a BB Balm stick before, and I'm curious about it.

Physicians Formula SPF 50 Cushion Foundation ($8.99)  Again, another product that makes my too lazy to deal with face makeup heart happy.  I've never used a cushion foundation before, so this is more of a curiosity purchase. 

Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor ($5.99)  I can't stop buying lip products, y'all.  It's an issue!  But this is totally justified since I don't own any gel lipcolors, right?!  This seems like a product that would give the perfect flush of color.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme-Plump ($7)  In high school, I was obsessed with lip plumping products.  They seem to be making a comeback, but I've held off because my lips are just fine.  But this is only $7 and seems like such a fun product.  I'll report back to y'all on it ;)

Nexxus Hydra-Light Root Lifting Mist ($11)  My hair gets pretty flat at the top, and I have no idea how to tease it.  This seems like a solution to both of my problems!

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  What's on your fall beauty wish list?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lazy Lake Days in Marley Lilly

Happy Monday, y'all!  Have you ever had one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weeks?  That was me last week.  So I hightailed it to my refuge - the lakehouse.

The lakehouse is a place with no cell service, lots of natural lighting, and fluffy pillows.  I don't worry about how many days its been since I washed my hair.  I read during the day, eat a healthy dinner with not-so-healthy dessert, and play board games.  I visit with lizards, hummingbirds, and ducks.  I am the most relaxed version of myself when I'm there, and I check whatever nonsense I'm stressed about at the door.

I'm excited to share a little bit of my refuge with you today, and to share with you my happiest of happy places - the boat.  If you've ever heard the song "Saltwater Gospel" it is exactly how I feel about being on the lake.  With the wind in your hair, it's hard to hold on to stress.  So, let's take a boat ride together!  I've got enough coffee for us ;)

Let's talk about this jacket for a second.  My friends at Marley Lilly sent this over to help me get ready for fall. It's perfect for chilly mornings and evenings, and the fabric is not fussy.  I've created a little fall bucket list, and I can already imagine myself checking off items wearing this jacket!  Haha.

Something I really love about this jacket is that there is a hidden waist cinch built into the jacket.  My look is super relaxed at the lake house, but when I wear it into work, I cinch the waist for a business casual look.  This jacket has been designed to give a little more coverage in the back than most field jackets, and I am especially appreciative of that when wearing this jacket with leggings.  I could go on & on, but I'll leave you with the best part - this jacket is only $40, which includes the monogramming.  It also comes in tan, coral ($25), and chambray ($30).

So, there's my weekend!  I'd love to hear more about your weekend and where you find refuge when things get tough.

And just a reminder - you can handle whatever this week throws at you.  You've got this!

This post is in collaboration with Marley Lilly.  I received product in exchange for an honest review.  I only share products that I love or that I'm genuinely interested in.  Thank you to my friends at Marley Lilly for this collaboration, and thank you for supporting brands that support Seersucker Sass blog.