Seersucker Sass: January 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

What's in my Bag

I'm naturally a very curious person.  Sometimes I feel a little sad that I can't possibly read every book I want to and learn about every topic that I'm interested in.  My favorite posts are those that give me an insight into a blogger's life - what's in my bag, a day in the life, what I eat, etc.  If you enjoy posts like that, then today's post is for you!  I'm sharing all of the stuff I manage to cram into my small but mighty everyday bag.

Before we get into the contents of my bag, let's talk about the actual bag.  I carry a Gucci Soho Disco bag.  It is the perfect size for my on-the-go lifestyle - it's small enough so that it isn't heavy and is deep enough to fit my travel camera in.  The strap is adjustable, which I have come to really appreciate now that it's cold outside and I'm wearing a big coat.

I also carry the matching wallet, but in black because that's the only color it was available in.  (When I purchased the bag, the Soho Disco was in the process of being discontinued.)

I use a Louis Vuitton Key Pouch as my business card holder.  I love the key chain clip because I can easily clip it on to the handle of my work bag.

I keep the products necessary for a "five minute face" in my bag at all times.  I've found that I'm much more likely to actually put a little effort into my appearance if it's convenient.  Haha.  I use:
  • Skin Smoothie - I use this to give my skin a little glow.
  • Highlighter - More glow :) I just make a line on my cheekbones then blend it with my fingers.
  • Brown Pencil - I fill in spots that are a little bare.  This one is super easy to use.
  • MascaraI don't really commit to mascara.  This one is the exception, and I'm on my second tube.
  • Eyeliner - Sometimes when I'm wearing all black, I like to add a little cat eye.  This makes drawing one easy.
I'm immunosuppressed, so hand sanitizer is a must have.  I prefer Thieves Waterless Hand PurifierIt doesn't have that gross "sterile" smell that a lot of sanitizing products have, and it doesn't dry my hands out.

Speaking of dried out, I cannot live without lip balm.  I'm honestly surprised that there's only one floating around in there!  I'm currently using Blistex Complete Moisture Lip Balm for Chapped Lips.     

There is never a shortage of office supplies in my bag!  These are my favorite pens, and I love this type of highlighter.  I also keep an endless stash of Post-It Notes at my desk and keep some in my bag because I like to make to-do lists on them during meetings.

I've gone from never having a camera card to always having one on me.  This one was floating in my bag, but I keep one in my wallet, as well!  My brother runs and my mom, aunt, and I all bring our cameras to meets to switch off taking photos of his team's runners, so I keep an extra just in case one of us forgets our card or our runs out of storage mid-meet.

I'm working toward a professional certification, and I spent five days in a row in a conference room from 8 to 5:30 learning.  I was getting tea at breaks to keep me alert, and sometimes they would bring out the most random, disgusting tea, or tea that had so much caffeine that I would shake.  Now I keep a couple of tea bags in my purse for when I need a little pick me up at a conference or training.

Speaking of travel, I keep my suitcase key in my wallet, and I always end up with random room keys floating around.  (I really need to be better about cleaning out my bag after a trip!)

Top-knots have become my go to hairstyle, so I keep a few bobby pins in my wallet in case I notice a stray hair or my bun starts to fall.

I have to be extra careful with germs, so I keep band aids stashed everywhere.

I also keep a little stash of safety pins.  You never know when the neckline of your brand new shirt will unravel during a board meeting or the hem of your favorite J. Crew work pants will completely come undone.

I want to hear from you - what are your must haves in your handbag?  And how has your week been?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Four Things I Don't Have Time for in 2018

It's hard to believe that we're already kicking off the third week of 2018.  I took the first three days of the year off to regroup, and I think I may have spoiled myself.  This year has started off with a bang - work has been busier than ever (so good!), my year as chairman of a volunteer board has kicked off, I've already read two books, and my brother's indoor track season kicked off, as well.

While it's still early in the year, I know one thing is for sure - this is my sassiest year yet.

Graphic Tee  •  Cardigan  •  Skinny pants  •  Heels

When the first week of 2018 was over, I was exhausted, and I knew something had to give.  So I made a list of things that don't serve me and that I no longer have time for. If you're already feeling exhausted, I encourage you to do the same.

In 2018, I don't have time for:

Self-doubt.  Having a leadership position is hard.  It's one of those things that you know is going to be hard, but every day it's just a different kind of hard.  Haha.  After spending so much time worrying myself silly that my body was physically aching, and I'm letting self-doubt go.

Weird self-imposed rules.  I had a nail appointment a week ago, and my nail place had sooo many beautiful new colors, including some colors that changed with your mood.  I wanted them so bad, but I talked myself out of it because pink sparkly nails that change colors aren't appropriate for a professional.  But as I sat down to get my nails done, I said screw it to Bubble Bath pink and went for it.  And I am so happy!  My nails don't define my professionalism; my behavior does.

This situation really made me think about how many weird rules I've made for myself.  My former co-worker Robin used to remind me that life gets a lot better when you let go of the rules you make for yourself, and I am learning that she is yet again right.

Blog comparison.  Two Sundays ago, I was sitting on my couch crying because I was so frustrated and felt like my blog was hopeless.  I had been making so many excuses about why I couldn't blog, and the biggest one was because I don't have light and airy photos like so many other bloggers do.  But it led to a great discussion, especially about my obsession with light and airy photos, as they don't necessarily represent my personality.  In 2018, I'm going to focus on doing my best, and doing so in a way that is authentic to me and my brand.

Criticism that isn't constructive.  I don't know if it's becoming more frequent or I'm just becoming more aware of it, but I feel like people have become so nit picky over the past year.  I used to let other people's criticism get to me, but in 2018, I'm letting go of all non-constructive criticism.  I am not for everyone, and that is okay.

Before I go, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the "DON'T" shirt I'm wearing in this post.  I am obsessed with Schitt's Creek, and when I saw Dan Levy's character David wearing this shirt I made a comment about how I've never related to a t-shirt so much.  I was so excited and surprised to receive it for Christmas!  Keep an eye out for it in future posts; it's too good to only style one way.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!  I want to hear from you - what is something that you don't have time for in 2018?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My 12 Goals for 2018

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We're a week into 2018, and I've been taking the past week to really reflect on what I hope to get out of this year.  It's so easy to step into a new year expecting to see results from all of the resolutions and lifestyle changes all at once.  This year, I'm reminding myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint.  And I'm not worrying about resolutions.  I've set 12 goals for myself - some experiences and some lifestyle changes, but nothing unrealistic or out of reach.  Maybe this is my year of managing expectations?! 


Visit Memphis.  To make a long story short, ten years ago I was on a high dosage of steroids for my chronic illness following a hospitalization and wasn't sleeping.  It was around the anniversary of Elvis's death... y'all, I watched an excessive amount of TV shows and documentaries about Elvis and most of his movies because that's what was on TV.  This sounds so cheesy, but it was seriously the best distraction.  Ever since then, I've been determined to make it to Graceland to pay my respects to the King.  From where I live in Tennessee, it is a shorter drive to Canada than to Memphis, but I am ready to make the trek this year.

Go to goat yoga.  I love goats.  They make me so happy that I could cry.  I have been wanting to go to goat yoga since I heard about it, and events keep getting closer to me, so I really have no excuse.  

Visit the Gentle Barn.  Goats are my obsession, but I really love all animals.  The Gentle Barn is another place I'm determined to visit this year.  The purpose of  The Gentle Barn is to open people's hearts to connections with nature, and one of the ways they do that is by allowing the public to love on rescued farm animals.

Create a vision board and update it quarterly.  My stepmom has been taking courses to become a life coach and has been sharing nuggets of wisdom with me.  When I visited over Thanksgiving, she encouraged me to create a vision board.  This is something that I have been trying to do for years, but have never completed.  This year, it's happening.  There will be visuals for my 2018 goals and a list of affirmations.  If you have any vision board best practices, send them my way!

Read 12 books.  Growing up, I was a total bookworm.  I recently started reading for pleasure again this summer, when I realized just how helpful it was to my anxiety to read before bed.  My goal for 2018 is to read 12 books.  I'm off to a good start on this one, as this weekend I read In Over Her Head and Can't Stand the Heat.  (I alternate between chick-lit, autobiographies, and self help, and I'd love to hear your recommendations and connect with you on Goodreads!)

Organize.  I'd really like to be more organized when it comes to clothing, accessories, and beauty/skincare/hair care products.  I've tried this before and have gotten extremely overwhelmed, so I'm tackling it in slow steps this year, giving myself a small project each weekend.

Go on more fancy dates with my girlfriends.  I could not ask for better friends.  They inspire me in so many ways, and I am convinced they are all saints for putting up with me.  Something I always look forward to is going on "fancy dates" with them.  It's nice to have an excuse to get a little more dressed up than usual and go to a place that's typically saved for special occasions!  

Incorporate more natural products into my daily routine.  In July, I made the decision to see if I could control my chronic illness by diet and without any medication besides my infusion.  (If you're considering this, please consult your doctor.  My doctor monitors me very closely because of this, and I'm thankful for that!)  This eventually spilled over into wanting to eliminate more chemicals from my life.  So far, I've switched over my yoga mat cleanser, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss, and I have a natural deodorant on the way.  I don't think I'll ever fully switch over to all natural products (like yesterday when I was thanking the Lord for Clorox wipes because my boss has the flu and I have to be healthy for my infusion on Friday), but I do hope to drastically cut back on chemicals.

Do things that make me feel like "me."  I'll have a whole post about this in the future, but when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, I really felt like I lost my sense of self.  In 2017, almost nine years later, I finally felt like myself again.  So I'm going to cling to those moments where things feel right and keep doing those things.

Meditate daily.  I've never really felt like meditation would be a good fit for me.  I don't like sitting still.  But this post from Carly inspired me to give it a try.  I use the Headspace app for three minutes each evening to meditate before bed.

Write more.  I love writing.  It's my favorite part of having a blog.  If I could outsource everything else and just write and do social media, there's no telling how much content you'd be seeing on the blog.  My goal for this year is just to write what I'm feeling - whether it be a blog post, a short story, a poem, or 100 words about my day.

Have New Year's Eve plans.  I haven't had NYE plans since 2013.  There's nothing wrong with that, I'm just sick of having FOMO every NYE.  I'm looking forward to changing that this year!

What are your goals for 2018?  What steps are you taking to achieve them?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Best Purchases of 2017

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Happy New Year!  As I'm putting the finishing touches on my list of goals for 2018, I wanted to share one last post about 2017 with y'all.    2017 was the year that I cut back on the amount of stuff that I purchased and started investing in myself a little bit more.  In today's post, I'm sharing the best purchases I made in 2017, with prices ranging from $3 to $395.  (Most are under $30!)  You'll find a lot of practical stuff on my list, because I really enjoy products that make life easier.

Young Living Set • ChapstickTea Tree OilMascara
JacketTopSkin SmoothieCandyTurtleneck
HighlighterIce scraperLink braceletDavid Yurman BraceletCuff braceletInvisibobbles
EarringsIT CosmeticsNikes

Young Living Premium Starter Kit ($160)  MLMs can get a really bad rap, but I love Young Living.  After about a year of bumming oils off of my best friend when I had a random ailment, I bought a starter kit.  It was the cheapest way to get a good selection of oils and a high quality diffuser, and it also gives you access to wholesale pricing.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with different oils last year, and I hope to learn even more about them in 2018.  (And it doesn't hurt that I've made a little extra cash from Young Living!)

ChapStick Sweet Papaya ($3) [c/o]  I was sent a set of ChapStick for a blog campaign and when I finally went through the other tubes and got to this flavor, I was hooked.  I ended up getting my entire family hooked on it.  I have no clue if they even make it any more since I can't find it in stores, but I'm consistently ordering tubes of this at a time.

Tea Tree Oil ($26)  As I've learned more about oils, I've started incorporating them into my skincare routine.  My brother and I both use tea tree oil for our blemishes, and it works better than anything else we've tried.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($26)  This mascara takes me back to my lash extension days, as it makes my lashes crazy long.  Since I don't wear much makeup, I love having dramatic lashes.

Ralph Lauren quilted jacket ($140)  There was a gap in my wardrobe for a really good jacket.  I own two beautiful jackets, but neither one has a hood.  I adore this jacket because it's warm, it has a hood, and it also has snap tabs on the side to cinch it in a little bit at the waist to prevent you from looking like a blob.

Lilly Pulitzer Sunny Shoulders Top ($148)  When I graduated from college, I basically stopped purchasing clothing that couldn't be worn to work.  I wasn't making much, and my clothes budget was strictly for business casual pieces.  When spring rolled around, I realized I had a serious deficit in my closet.  I love this top because it's not only amazing for weekends or casual Fridays, but I can throw a blazer over it and wear it to work.

Skin Smoothie Primer/Moisturizer ($28)  This has been a game changing product.  Most days, I don't wear face makeup and just wears this.  It makes my skin look so glowy.  Out of all of the products on this list, this one is my favorite.

Williams Sonoma S'mores ($20)  These are my favorite candy of all time.  I wait until they go on sale after Christmas, buy a couple of tins, and try to ration them through at least March.  They're individually wrapped, making it easier to actually only eat one at a time.

Tissue Turtleneck ($30)  I really love easy pieces, and this turtleneck is amazing.  It's incredibly soft and comfortable, and it's great alone or layered.  It is 100% worth $30, but keep an eye out for sales - it's on sale pretty frequently.  I paid $18 for it.

Trestique Highlight and Multipurpose Stick ($28)  This is another one of the five beauty products that I use every day.  I'm pale and can look pretty sickly at times, so I love to add a little life to my cheekbones using this product.

Ice Scraper Mitt ($15)  These are a game changer.  No more freezing your hand off while scraping off your car.  I loved this so much that I ordered two more as gifts!

Statement Bracelets - 2017 was the year of bracelets.  Haha.  I don't wear much jewelry, but I love having a stack on my wrist.  This year I started with the David Yurman Starburst bracelet ($395) as a birthday gift to myself, then received the J.Crew Factory gold link bracelet ($16) as a Christmas gift from my best friend and the J.Crew Factory golf cuff bracelet ($10) as a Christmas gift from my mom.

Invisibobbles ($9)  I was never able to rock a topknot until I purchased these.  These are great for any updo, but especially buns because you can wrap the stray hairs around the coils.

SugarFix drop earrings ($13)  I picked these up at Target on a whim, and I wear them constantly.  They're a lot lighter than the Cripsin drops I own, and the gray color goes with just about anything.

It Cosmetics products  I had a makeover this February, and the make up artist used all IT Cosmetics products.  I needed foundation at the time, so I picked some up and made it a goal to slowly transition all of my makeup products over to the brand.  Slowly but surely, I've made it a reality!  My favorites are Brow Power ($24), this contour palette, and this lip color that I also use as blush.

If you're interested in trying IT Cosmetics, this $73 superstar set is a great place to start.  You receive five full sized products (CC Cream, pressed powder, brow power, mascara, and lip color) valued at $197!!

Nike Flex Supreme TR5 ($60)  I finally broke down and bought a new pair of tennis shoes after my beloved neon pink Nikes bit the dust.  These are so comfortable, and the light gray color goes with everything.

I want to hear from you - What were your top three purchases in 2017?! Also, how did you spend your new year?! One of my goals for 2018 is to actually have NYE plans, so leave me some inspiration for my planning :)

HAPPY 2018, Y'ALL!