Friday, January 31, 2014

Classics with Spice

UPDATE after giving this post more thought than I should...wear what makes YOU happy. PERIOD! If you feel confident and it puts a pep in your step, do it. Who cares what anyone thinks is "in" or "out". Just be you and work it!

My friend Jenn shared a Who What Wear article earlier this week discussing 18 trends the writers of the site are "totally" over. I immediately hopped over to take a peek at what they thought and to see if I was guilty of their fashion faux pas. 

Lauren Conrad at Kohl's Boyfriend Blazer (option here and here) // Lauren Conrad at Kohl's Top (option here and here) // Old Navy Distressed Denim // Zara Heels (option here and here) // Sira & Mara Necklace c/o // Forever 21 Bag (option here and here) // Michael Kors Watch c/o The Jeweler's Wife // Alex and Ani Bracelets c/o The Jeweler's Wife // Lilac Bijoux Crown Ring c/o

Luckily, I had to agree with 90% of what they thought we should all immediately get rid of. I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but they hit it dead on. I've never been a fan of cat printed anything, the bubble necklace bursted about three months into it's debut and don't even get me started wedge sneakers. One I was surprised about was the sock bun. I guess I actually like it when it looks a little messy and undone...not so socky. Is that a word? They also said toss out your infinity scarves. Sorry, I don't toss out any scarf...ever. My leopard one from Express is still one of my all-time favorites.

This article kind of gave me an aha moment and then I patted myself on the back. I was proud to say that I didn't fall into most of these trend traps like I would have in the past. Even before I started blogging, I would buy things because they were cute or the biggest rage in fashion magazines. Then when I did start my blog, I think I got worse about spending, thinking to myself, "Oh, this would be great for the blog." One day I walked into my closet to do a bi-annual purge and was appalled.  There were way too many pieces that I had only worn once, items I didn't even like anymore and the "trend" was long gone. 

Don't get me wrong, I love a good trend and I am happy to jump on the train as long as it fits my style and that I can see myself wearing it more than just in a blog post. Take for instance, the fur vest explosion. I have four (yikes!), but have worn them all at least twice and my white one, well it's been seen in a few posts and several times on Instagram. They were all budget friendly and even if this little fad doesn't continue next year, I got my cost per wear out of them and then some.

I guess what I am saying is, be cautious on spending your dollars on pieces that may not be around in a few months. If there is a trend you are dying to try, hit up your local resale shop, thrift store or more affordable retailers like Forever 21, H&M, Target, Old Navy or Kohl's (they have insane clearance prices)

I have made a conscious effort lately to shy from experimenting with styles that don't suit me, my age or personality. Sure, there are several I would love to try (crop tops), but I am well past those days. Just because it might look great in a post; I am almost 100% sure I would never wear it in "public".

Lately, I have opted to go for more classic styles, like what I am wearing today and adding spices of things that could very possibly be ancient history in a few months. At least I can feel good about not spending over $50 on most of the "I want to try this trend" pieces.

Hope y'all have a happy weekend! We are going to see Gus! In case you are new here, Gus is our dog and has been gone for bird hunting training exactly one month today. One more month to go!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cozy Plaid

Ever since I got my red wellies, they have been on constant rotation in my daily wear. I think my #ootd Instagram pictures prove this statement to be pretty accurate. Even though it doesn't rain here too often and only snows once every five years, I have found that even on cold, sunny days these boots keep my feet warm, cozy and go with more than I ever thought they would.

I wore a very similar outfit last week when I was out running errands and watched Logan's talent show rehearsal at school (which ended up getting rescheduled due to the weather last week). Anyway, I have done these type posts before, where I take an Instagram photo and recreate an outfit that resembles what I had on during a particular day. Even though most of what I posted on IG is now sold out, I found some super similar items, rounding up an almost identical look.

Original item came from the following retailers/ shops
Sosie Utility Top c/o // Old Navy Plaid Top // Dittos Denim c/o // Banana Republic Wellies // Noonday Style Necklace c/o //  Michael Kors Watch c/o The Jeweler's Wife // T+J Designs Leopard Bangle c/o // Sweet Clover Pave Bracelet c/o // Gigglosophy Heart Ring c/o

What clothing item(s) do you have on repeat? Besides my rain boots (both red and yellow) and my arm stacks, I also haven't been able to cool it with my Dittos skinny jeans. I may or not have worn them three days in a detergent needed. Don't tell anyone, okay?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shopping. Coffee. Vogue.

Yesterday started out a little on the crazy side. After having glorious, warm weather on Sunday, Mother Nature decided to flip her switch yet again and send freezing, cold ice our way. Let me break it down. We, meaning my girls, Ross and I, are running late for school, per usual. Just as we are about to walk out the door, we get a phone call from our friend saying school is delayed two hours. Awesome! Let's go back to bed. But wait a minute, why didn't we get a phone call? Usually they have this automated robot machine call and give us updates on any weather delays. Hmmmm. Five minutes later, my phone rang. Mind you this was five minutes after school should have already started. 

Style Lately Sweatshirt c/o // Target Chambray (option here and here) // Tractr Jeans c/o // Jacket from High School (no lie) (option here and here) // Joules Wellies c/o (option here and here)// Target Crossbody (option here and here) // Banana Republic Beanie (option here) // Forever 21 Sunglasses (option here)

This is where it gets ugly, for a ton on families. Luckily we missed the brunt of it because, as I said, we were running late. All the kids that got on the bus for school at 7:15 AM where already there when the district decided to call in a weather delay. Meaning they got stuck at school for two hours with NO breakfast. I am still clueless as to why the administration made the late decision and shut down the school AFTER students were already there. The rain, ice and freezing temps were no surprise. It was predicted and known that we were going to have this type of weather first thing in the morning. Most schools in our area announced a late start the night before and were well prepared for the weather. There was not one, but two accidents involving school buses, one being in our district. Yes, kids were on those buses in the freezing rain. From the info I got, nobody was hurt, but still. Those poor kids, worried parents, teachers and staff that had to experience this mess could have been avoided. Moving one...9:00 AM rolled around. I was getting ready to take my girls to school and we get that robot call saying school was cancelled for the entire day. Yes, my girls were jumping up and down like it was Christmas morning, but all those kids who sat up at school for two hours, in the gym, probably bored out of their minds now had to find a way back home. From what I understand, buses were not running, so parents had to make their way back to school to pick up their kids...back on the roads in icy conditions. My Facebook was blowing up with irate parents, as it should. Our district is huge and should know better. I am sure there are folks in administration that already have ulcers from the stress and worry that they brought on themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't some people that lose there jobs from this debacle...even possible lawsuits from the people that had kids involved in the bus accident.

Anyway, just thought I would share the juicy gossip from the home front. My girls and I made a snuggling day of it and took advantage of staying in most of the morning and afternoon. We played, colored, wrestled, had a gummy worm/sour watermelon feast and ate some comfort food. And my sweatshirt from Style Lately, well it pretty much summed up my afternoon...a little online shopping, magazines galore and plenty of caffeine (maybe not coffee), but lots and lots of Diet Dr.Pepper. 

All should be back to normal today and we will return to 70 degree weather on Friday. This is the life we lead here in Texas. We've learned to roll with the weather punches.

 **If you are linking up today, the only request is that you follow my blog with GFC or Bloglovin' and link back to it in your post. It's how weekly link ups work. Oh, and go meet some new friends! 

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trend Watch - Wide Leg Trousers

A spring trend I am pumped about are wide leg trousers. I can't tell you how many of these pants I kept hanging in my closet, hoping that they would make a comeback. Coming from the corporate world, I wore this style pant day in and day out. I have them in almost every basic color; red being no exception, as seen below.

Work Day: 

Nigh Play: 

Don't get me wrong, I am still a fan of tapered pants, leggings and skinny denim, but there is something about wide leg trousers that is so classic and versatile.

To prove my point, I created two style options, one for the office and the other for an evening dinner date or girls night out. Worn either way is a classy, put together and sophisticated combination.

I do suggest adding a pair of heels when wearing trousers. Doing so will accentuate your legs regardless of your height and lengthen the torso. My favorite places to shop for quality pants that have lasted me for years are The Limited, Express, J.Crew Factory and Banana Republic. Sometimes spending a little extra money on a piece that will last for years to come is worth it. I have owned some of my trouser pants for five years or more. I believe this is what some people call an investment piece. I call it smart shopping.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Online Layers

So, I wore this yesterday in the sun shining Texas warmth and today it's back to almost freezing. I get it. Yes, so many of you ladies have been braving the snow, ice and frigid temps, but a girl from Texas doesn't know how to deal. One day we can tan on a trampoline and the next we are buried in scarves, coats and beanies. What gives?

Forever 21 Dress (option here and here) // Joe Fresh Polka Dot Top (option here and here) // Forever 21 Ankle Boots (option here and here) // Sam Moon Bag (option here and here) // LookBook  Store Necklace c/o // Target Belt // Sweet Clover Bracelet c/o // Michael Kors Watch c/o The Jeweler's Wife // Forever 21 Spade Earrings (option) // Forever 21 Aviators (option)

I will take my sun basking winter days as they come. I am by no means complaining about not having to wear tights.

I have had this chambray dress and polka dot oxford for awhile now, why I haven't paired them together is beyond me. Thank you, J.Crew Factory for the inspiration; window shopping online, not buying a single thing and gaining so much blog/style inspiration. That is where it's at...taking things I already own and making them new.

And for one hot second can we talk about the Grammy's last night? I haven't tweeted so much in my entire life. Go, T-Swift for looking gorg and having the best performance of the night (in my opinion), boo for Daft Punk winning so many awards, holy moly Miranda, LL Cool J's still got it & smokin', slow down on the Botox, Madonna, P!ink is a bad ass, Katy Perry nailed it, Kasey Mugraves lighted boots, Beyonce needs put that weave back in, Steven Tyler still looks like a long-lost gypsy auntie, Jordan Catalano will always have my heart and old school country is where it's at (Willie and Merle) least in my neck of the woods. I thought this was the best show in years.

Happy Monday. It's a busy one...3rd grade half-year awards and kindergarten field trip...can I clone  myself? Please?!

P.S. I am sharing a few personal tips, advice and experiences when it come to blogging. Thank you, Zack for featuring me today On More From Your Blog. Hope you guys find it helpful.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Red Carpet Ready Essentials

We all know it's award season and the Grammy's are coming to us live tomorrow night. Even though my feet will never hit the famous red carpet, I do have a formal gala coming up next month that I need to begin preparing for. I am on a hunt for the perfect floor length dress that won't break the bank (let me know if come across a beauty), but I also have to think outside just the outfit. It's important to look my best and get camera ready when it comes to my hair, skin, smile and cosmetic choices. I like to refer to it as beauty prep.

I have selected five essential products that will get us all red carpet ready for our special event. When using the products together, we can achieve a look we are happy to flaunt and one that will last all night.

I have been using a few in my regimen for years. Some I just came across and 100% completely sold on.

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Repair - The ironic thing about this one is that I was just reading my friend Niki's post on the 10 beauty mistakes she has made in the past. One of them was not using a heat protectant on her hair. I scratched my head and said, "Why don't I use one?" Most days I either use a flat iron, curling wand or blow dryer to style my hair and never use anything on it beforehand except a root boost on occasion. I fully plan on styling my hair the night of our gala and I am sure two types of heat will be involved. This product tames fly aways, adds a glossy shine and aids in protecting my hair from all the crazy heat that it comes into contact with.

Secret Clinical Strength - I have been using this product for years and haven't found a better over the counter antiperspirant. As gross as this may sound, I have always been a sweater, especially when I am nervous. But, since I began using Secret, the issue is almost non-existent. There are some occasions in the summer when I am running around, but for the most part it keeps me dry and fresh all day. I highly recommend it. Who wants to have rings around their dress, especially at a big event? Not this girl!

Gillette Venus & Olay - Shaving is not something I look forward to doing, but it's a must for us women who haven't taken the laser route. When I saw that this razor had five blades I was sold. It gives the smoothest and closet shave I have ever received from a razor. It helps lock in moisture and smells heavenly thanks to the Olay part. 

CoverGirl Bombshell Volume by LashBlast - I have tried at least ten different mascaras over the years. Some being drugstore brands and others being more expensive. Hands down CoverGirl LashBlast products have been my favorites. I have been using the one in the orange tube for the last two years until now. The Bombshell is just that...the bomb. It gives a sexy starlet look with 10x more noticeable lashes. It has two brushes and two formulas delivering crazy, mega volume and dramatic intensity.

Crest 3D White Strips - Your smile is your best accessory, especially when smiling for the camera during an event. I first used these strips several years back to prepare for my high school reunion. Honestly, I wasn't expecting a huge change in the color of my teeth, but the outcome was quite surprising. My teeth changed at least 4 shades whiter and looked brighter. I recently used them for a second time and once again, beyond pleased with the results. They are formulated with the same safe ingredients that dentists use giving you a whiter and brighter smile in a flash. These are 100% worth the money.

What products do you use to get ready for a special event?

Can I just say how much I wish I could just wear this same dress again to the gala this year? It sure would make my life easier. I wonder if anyone would notice?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Transformation & Friends

On December 20, 2011, I hit publish on my very first Because Shanna Said So blog post. I had only read a single blog entry in my entire life. It was a friend's "journal", so to speak, documenting her kids, how cute they were, what food they ate that day, what games they played, yada-yada. I thought, this is fun. I want to make a blog...yes, I just used the word make. So I did. It was named after my two girls and it consisted of one whopping post. That was in 2009...I think. Then 2011 rolled around and I was lost in my career, my marriage and life in general. So what does one do while in the beginning stages of a mild depression and mental break down? They start a style blog. Go figure. I spent about one hour researching. I found Blogger and WordPress. I chose Blogger. I mean, I already had an account set up from that one post I did two years ago. Let's go with that. At that moment, after I created my new blog account, picked out a pre-made template that looked GOD a scrapbook page on crack, my life changed then and there.

I could literally write a hundred posts on why this little space of mine has truly transformed my life and was one of the things that literally saved me from the loony house. Maybe one day I will share a few of those reasons and stories. I am just not ready to go there anytime soon. Just take my word.

What I will chat about is the selfless, endearing, most thoughtful people that have crossed my path because of this blog and not necessarily in the flesh. They have impacted me more than they will ever know. Have stolen my heart. Will never be forgotten. Blown my mind with their kindness and sincerity. Okay, I am sounding super sappy right now, but it's the truth.

Let me digress.  I have a stellar group of friends in real life. My best friend from third grade and I still talk on a regular basis. My college sorority sisters are genuinely "my sisters" and six them stood beside me on my wedding day. My neighborhood friends, well they are my daily life lines and I wouldn't be able to function without their support. It takes a village you know? Total team effort raising all these crazy kids.

But, the friendships that have come my way, it is indescribable. If you are a blogger, you know what I mean. Girls I "know" have legitimately found their best friends through blogging. Like they book flights, visit each other, Skype, text, the whole gamut. I was lucky enough for this same thing to happen to me with Stesha and Sarah (and a handful of others). I got to actually to squeeze these girls that I met through my about online friendship dating. They have become great friends. We text, share secrets, vent, laugh and most importantly support one another in all aspects of our lives.

But what about the people that I haven't ever actually got to hug? Ones that I feel like I've known for years and probably know more about me than people I know IRL because they come here on a daily basis and read what I have to say. It's totally bizarre and crazy abnormal, but I don't think any of us would have it any other way.

Again, digression. So many bloggers, NOT companies, that I have become friends with have literally gone out of their way for no other reason than to make my day brighter. I felt it was long overdue to say thank you here on my blog, that's the whole reason we became friends in the first place. You ladies know who you are and your acts of kindness will never be forgotten.

To blow my mind even more, a special shout out to Elena Fay. She surprised me this past summer with an illustration...100% out of the blue. I was floored, flattered and almost in tears from her talent. I did not ask her or even hint around for her to sketch a picture of me. She sent it over from the heart because I inspire her, just like she inspires me. Last week, she put her magical hands to work again and created another painting. I am still in awe.

This whole blog world can be quite ugly. We put ourselves out there as unintentional prey, just trying to do what we love and share pieces of our lives. It sucks, but it's part of the package. I try to sweep that not so pretty part under the rug and remind myself of all the good that comes from it. So, ladies, in my most wise words, go make friends, engage with them, enjoy the ride and deliver those random acts of kindness. Most importantly don't stop believing in yourself, take things for granted or give up on your dreams just because someone else reached theirs before you did. And don't ever let the negatives outweigh the positives.

Thank you for everything that each an every one of you have contributed to both my blog life and real life. I have said it before and I will keep saying it until my last published guys keep me trucking.

Elena didn't pay me and I didn't pay her, it's just a gift she wanted to give. It's just another random act of kindness happening here and now. Enter to win a personalized illustration ($75 value) from this amazing artist. The winner can send her a picture of themselves or loved one. This would make a brilliant Valentine's Day Gift. Good luck and have a happy weekend.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Color Palette Play

I thought it would be fun to start a new series, one that doesn't necessarily come to you on a weekly basis, but when I am inspired with certain color palettes. I can combine all sorts of color combinations when it comes to clothes and putting outfits together, but when it comes to home decor, I am a lost soul. You would think the two would go hand and hand, but they don't, at least not for me. I think we have a certain eye for one or the other, and some have the gift of being dynamic at both. I am not one of them. One of my best friends is an interior designer and every wall that has been painted in my house was chosen by her. She has a gift. And she texts me selfies of her in outfits asking if this or that looks okay. Too bad we can't morph our abilities.

Kiki La'Rue Maddie Top c/o // Gap Denim (option here and here) // Kiki La'Rue Scarf c/o // Sam & Libby Boots from Target // Forever 21 Bag (option here and here) // Mint Sugar Boutique Tassel Necklace (option here) // T+J Designs Leopard Bracelet c/o // Lilac Bijoux Bow Bangle (option here) // Michael Kors Watch c/o The Jeweler's Wife // H&M Sunglasses (option here)

So, I dreamed up this idea to help those of you in need of color combining ideas when it comes to your closet and wardrobe. The two shades of green, gold, a dash of black and hint of leopard makes a statement, but isn't too loud or overly boisterous. This mixture of hues can work for all seasons depending on the fabric and textures. It's a combination that I probably wouldn't have meshed together on my own, but luckily this Maddie top and scarf from Kiki La'Rue arrived in the mail together. So, fortunately, it didn't require much effort or brain power. They were meant to be a team.

Are you better with coordinating colors with clothes or home decor? Or were you gifted with both? And what do you think about this new feature? Helpful? Yea or Nay?