Successfully Shop Tax Free

blazer

Good old Uncle Sam is throwing us a bone this weekend, and giving us a whopping 10% off all our clothing purchases.

It’s a small bone, but we’ll take it! It’s also a genius ploy they’ve got going – giving us a time limit and all. The savings and the urgency combined can send you into a sale drunk shopping frenzy. So I want to help sober you up with 9 words that will show you how to walk away with your nose clean, your closet stocked, and your wallet giving you a slow clap.

Now is the time to make a big purchase.

Your wallet’s shooting me a confused look. Allow me to explain…

Yes you save on everything you buy this weekend, but unless you have kids to buy for or a closet to build from scratch, the dangers of you buying things you won’t wear, far outweigh the benefits of saving 10%. Between the crowds and the picked over merchandise (I’m looking at you, Forever21 jewelery wall) it’s easy to make a rushed bad decision. So instead, focus your efforts on the one thing you really need.

Last year, for example, I purchased a black blazer. It’s a bee-utiful blazer that I’ll have and wear for many years to come. It’s from Banana Republic, so it’s of impeccable quality. And you know what? I saved a lot of money by buying it tax free.

Think about the one quality piece you’re really needing to buy, and go get that sucker this weekend!

Pinterest Pick: Easy Summer Style

In the event that you were still on the fence about boyfriend jeans and their magical abilities, I’ve got another picture for you…

boyfriend jeans

Look how gorgeous she is, yet this outfit could not be simpler: black shirt, black pumps, black bag, boyfriend jeans. Boom.

This girl didn’t even have time to cuff the other leg, THAT’s how cool she looks. She knows she’s rocking it so she keeps on walking.

Maybe these non-distressed, light washed boyfriend jeans will persuade you of their powers. Go buy a pair already (here’s a cute pair from JCP, or maybe Stein Mart’s more your speed).

My thanks to this blog for the picture I found on Pinterest!

Product Review: Dry Shampoo

I’m sometimes afraid to tell people how often I wash my hair.

I don’t want them immediately assuming I only bathe once a week, because that’s not true. I simply only wash my hair once I week. I bathe the rest of me once a month. Silly head.

If you’re sitting there wishing you could cut down your hair washing regimen from a daily thing to at least every couple of days, know that it’s actually possible. It is! If you’ll stop washing it as much, your hair/scalp will eventually slow down in its oil production and get used to a wash every couple of days.

Right now you’re probably thinking about that in-between time when you’re having to get your hair used to not being washed as much and how horrid that may be. Well, friend, it won’t be too horrid if you’ll just buy yourself this dry shampoo.

dry shampoo

I’m such a big fan of this NYM (Not Your Mother’s) hair product line, that recently I realized it was time to try their dry shampoo. The results? A decent smell (I’ve yet to find one that’s HOLY-MOLY good), no residue, clean and manageable hair. #nailed it.

It comes in a great big can too, so if those first couple days of not washing your hair turns out to feel a lot like rehab, you can go to town with the spray. Just be sure to rub in it every time.

Anyone else notice my sudden campaign to stop washing things? I promise it’s filled with good intentions :)

These Necklaces Are Appropriate for Your Age

I went with that title, because I didn’t want you to sigh, run, scream or cry when you read these necklaces all came from Forever21.

Whether you get overwhelmed, frustrated, feeling too old, too young or just start to salivate when you walk in there, they’ve got good deals on jewelry so it’s worth the trip.

I’ve picked out five statement necklaces that can really jazz up a simple outfit (at any age) and they’re all under $15 (yeah you read that right).

statement necklaces

1. Clustered Marsquis Bib Necklace: This is such a pretty and simple piece that would add such a huge dose of lovely to a simple tank and cardigan.

2. Bold Color Blocked Beaded Necklace: If you have trouble adding color to your wardrobe, try doing so with a bold necklace like this one. Throw it on with gray, black, white, or if you’re feeling adventurous – red!

3. Faux Gem Collar Necklace: This necklace makes me think of a stylist I met at J. Crew. This lady is one spiffy dresser, rocking such creative/stylish looks and gray hair. When I saw this it made me think of her and how she would probably pair this piece over a button up shirt and polka dot sweater. It would be so glam!

4. Cascading Leaves Bib Necklace: All you need with this gold number is a black shirt and some boyfriend jeans. Saturday night out? Done.

5. Must-Have Lariat Necklace: “Must-Have” is in the title for a reason. This necklace can be worn all kinds of ways, all of which would make you look so sophisticated and cool (for less than $10).

PS: If you buy one and it doesn’t fit, add gold or silver safety pins in the back!

How to Dress Down a Lacey Skirt

curtsey jpg

statemen necklace

lacey skirt

One day I may consider putting myself on a clothes buying freeze, just to see how far I can go with what’s in my closet.

There’s a special thrill that comes from creating new outfits out of pieces that have been hanging in your possession for a long time. In fact, I rarely wear anything I own the same way twice. I love to challenge myself and see how far I can stretch a piece.

This skirt is a great example of that. I’ve worn it now three different ways (admittedly I repeated one of those ways once). I absolutely love the edges and how it looks like it’s pretending to be a tulle skirt. This works just fine for me, because while in it I’m pretending the same thing.

I want to wear this girly/lacey/edgy number as many times as I can, so I thought about how to dress it down a bit. What better way to dress anything down than with a white t-shirt and jean jacket? Seriously, these two could have their own reality show. They’d show up to houses of unsuspecting cocktail dresses and sparkly skirts and hang out together, showing them all how to be a little more chill.

The key to pulling off the white shirt is to tuck it in only in the front. By having it hang out all over looked too sloppy, and tucked in all the way didn’t give the outfit quite the right shape. So I experimented with the front tuck and it was juuust right. Accessory wise I could have gone two ways…

I could have paired this with a bunch of necklaces and kept the laid back/rock and roll edge going, but I wanted to go with something that equaled the skirt in elegance. This statement necklace brings both elegance and edge to the table so it works just fine.

As it is with everything in style (and really life) balance is key. This black lace skirt is balanced by the laid back vibe of a t-shirt and jean jacket. Try the combination for yourself this summer!

How to Show up on Time (Looking Good)

Toes are tapping and people are shaking their heads, giving each other the look like, “She’s late again.” That’s the scene in my head anytime I’m running late.

I desperately try to avoid it, although sometimes there are unforeseen husband and dog factors that pop up slowing things down (like the dog puke I stepped in this past Sunday morning).

Combine that with the fact that I’m very anal detail oriented when it comes to my look, and if I’m not happy with something it’s going to put me in a foul mood a kink in how I present myself. So after many years of showing up extremely late yet feeling beautiful, or on time and frustrated, I developed a system to change that…

how to show up on time looking good

1. Plan as much as possible.

If I haven’t preselected what I’m wearing out the door (down to my accessories), it slows down the whole process. So I have learned to devote some thought to what I’m wearing everyday (I take it a step further and try it on the night before just to make sure everything will work in real life the way it does in my head). Because the days I wake up for work deciding to “wing it” are, without fail, the most frustrating. You may not function the same way I do, but if you find that outfit selection is what slows you down, do your best to plan ahead.

2. Be very aware of the time.

People who are often late, usually don’t have a realistic concept of how long things take. Change that by timing yourself. I know that it generally takes me 10 minutes to put on my make up, and that if I hurry I can wash my in an hour from start to finish. Once I realized how long it took to do those things, I was able to better plan when to start getting ready (to which I often add an extra 15 minutes for eyeliner/hair/clothing emergencies).

3. Keep a clock nearby while you’re getting ready.

It’s truly amazing how fast five minutes can go when you’re tweaking things about your hair (why can’t they go that fast when waiting on the oven timer?) Because of this I always keep my phone within reach so that I don’t let the minutes slip away (it’s often coated in hair spray because of it).

The goal is to be punctual AND beautiful!

Easy Breezy Fitness Routine

easy fitness routine

Don’t get fooled by the words “easy breezy” in the title of this post.

They’re meant to describe the convenience of this work out, not its level of intensity. The convenience factor is great. All I do is set up my ipad, roll out my yoga mat and boom, I’m ready to burn it up. The intensity of how much I burn it up is where “easy breezy” gets off.

The app I use is called, “PopSugar Active.” It’s a lot like having a personal trainer. Except they’re not there to tell you to open the app, that’s something you have to do. But once you do open it there are all kinds of workout options, and some very friendly and knowledgeable faces to help cheer you on.

You can choose your workout by body part, time allotment or even style as they have a myriad of styles (i.e.: Pilates, Yoga, dancing, P90X) to choose from. And they’re always updating with new videos, so sometimes I’m motivated to open it up just to see the new work out it! Let me go back to the time allotment thing for a second…

I know from personal experience that when your day fills up unexpectedly, it’s the workout that gets pushed off the to-do list. But with this app, that’s a thing of the past. They have several awesome 10 minute full body work outs (and even some that are 5 or 6 minutes) that work you so hard you’re sore the next day. There’s a certain Pilates workout on there now that had me yelling at the instructor for mercy. If you’re a treadmill junkie there’s stuff on there for you too! They have a lineup of several treadmill time/speed schedules that will help you burn a lot of fat and get the most out of your workout.

I love the fact that there are friendly faces on there that push me to do my best without crossing over into muscle strain territory. And the convenience of it all has translated into results I’m happy with *wink.

It’s still swimsuit season ladies, don’t let your workout go by the wayside. Oh, and one more thing about this app…it’s FREE!

Caring for Your Jeans

You may choose to laugh at what I’m about to say and think that I’m making it up, but I assure you I’m not.

Most of the time when I get finished with a segment on TV, that day or the next I’ll find an article in a magazine or online sharing the very same information I had talked about on the show. I’m not saying the editors of Lucky or that Bobbie Thomas herself is hanging on my every word waiting to see what they should write about next (although it wouldn’t surprise me *she says with an obnoxious amount of swagger). I just think it’s pretty cool, and a testament to how awesome God is.

What does God have to do with a bi-weekly beauty segment, you wonder? Well when I got the email asking if I’d be on the show (two years ago this month!), after I finished dancing, jumping, screaming, smiling, I told God that I never wanted it to be a burden. I never wanted to stress about what I was going to talk about on the show, I wanted it to always be something I enjoyed doing and not a new avenue of frustration. And I can confidently say, two years into it He has been faithful to show me what to talk about next, I’ve never ever once stressed about a topic.

That’s because He never fails, and He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. He’s not some far off God sitting on a thrown with a baseball bat in hand playing wack-a-mole with us here on earth. He’s intently loving us, hoping that we’ll turn to Him for every little thing so He can show up strong. If you ever want more stories about His faithfulness, I’ve got 1,000 :)

Here’s the sentence in Lucky magazine that triggered that whole thought process. I read this eating breakfast after the show yesterday and couldn’t help but smile…”Boyfriend jeans…are the latest denim must-haves.” !!

Now watch for some great ways to preserve your new favorite pair of jeans!

 

Boyfriend Jeans for Everyone

boyfriend jeans

Looking for one piece to fast track you towards “trendy goddess” and go with items you already own?  Look no further than boyfriend jeans.

Boyfriend jeans are typically a lighter wash, they’re cuffed on the bottom, have a looser fit (hence the name) and sometimes a rip or some worn in places that makes them look a little distressed.

You, my gorgeous friend, will look anything but distressed when you’ve got a pair of these. Because they go with such a wide range of things from flip flops, to high heels. Wear them with a t-shirt, a dress shirt, a tank top, a blazer. They must be the magical, traveling pants that Sisterhood was bragging about. And because they’ve got a looser fit, they’re flattering on all kinds of body types.

I really can’t stress enough how these jeans work for every age, weight, style.

I’ve compiled a few places with cute options for you to look at: GAP is where I got mine;  here’s a plus size option on Zappos made by DKNY, and for my petite friends, here’s a great pair from 6pm.com

I’m telling you, you’re going to love boyfriend jeans, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without a pair!

Spite Humidity, Have a Good Hair Day

fighting humidity

As I type this, I’m sitting outside enjoying a 75 degree day, completely humidity free.

That’s something I never could have done in the middle of a Floridian July (I am wearing my Jacksonville t-shirt, just so you know I haven’t completely lost allegiance ;) But I did want to point out that my humidity fighting resume includes battling it in Florida where the air sweats for you.

I’m certain our fight with humidity here in Tennessee isn’t over yet (in fact, two days later it’s in full swing again), so I wanted to pass on a few tips on how to help you fight the humidity battle…and win.

The very first step to fighting frizz and humidity, is to suck all of the moisture from your strands.

This means you’ve got to spend extra time under the blow dryer, but it’s worth it. Because when you don’t dry your hair completely, the moisture that’s left in it reacts to the moisture that’s in the air, and that’s what helps to bring about the frizzies.

Next, find a hair spray that has the words, “all day humidity resistance,” on it. This one from TRESemme has worked really well for me all summer. Spray over hair that you’ve styled or even just spritz it on a day when you’re wearing your hair straight for an extra layer of defense.

You could always lean into the humidity and allow it to work for you by going with some sea salt spray. I talk about this stuff a lot this time of year because it works so well. Unlike mousse it’s not going to harden your hair and make it crunchy. No, instead it’s going to give it a soft, matte texture. Even if you don’t have any wave to your hair, spray this stuff in and let it air dry for that tousled/bedhead/I’m a model off duty look.

And of course, you can always revert to throwing it up in a pretty bun, then taming your flyway’s with a cutie little hair tie like this one. It’s fabric that surrounds wire, so it stays put and doesn’t hurt your head, stopping humidity right in its tracks because it’s too busy saying, “Dang girl! You’re looking good!”