Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Self-Care: Part 2 – Self-Love

Writing a blog only once a week makes me feel a lot of pressure to actually say something meaningful. Telling you about why I put a certain shirt with a certain pair of pants is fine when I’m producing content several times a week, but if I’m only saying something once every 7 days, shouldn’t it be something worth hearing? Aren’t all the other bloggers saying significant things on important topics, like faith and (successful) relationships and politics? Or even how to ship lap?

But, I suppose that’s the problem – bowing to pressure and comparison. I can only be me. I’ve always only been able to be me, and any attempt to do otherwise has failed miserably (cue awkward memories of high school and college). And you can only be you. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but I actually just read an article about how our culture’s obsession with self-improvement leads to even more depression and anxiety. We’ll never fully arrive – there will always be room to become an even better best, and it can be exhausting trying.

So, I guess that leads me to my second point on the topic of self-care. Self-love. I think you all know me well-enough to know that I’m not what you might call a hippy…. I have a pretty traditional view of Christianity that includes words like “sin” and “righteousness”. I think there are moral absolutes and definite rights and wrongs.

But, I also think there is a lot more room for grace than we give ourselves. I’m not just talking about faith matters – I mean, grace to eat a cupcake if we’ve had a really bad day and just need something to cheer us up. Or grace NOT to eat the cupcake, if we are in a season where prioritizing our health is important. Grace to say no to things that we genuinely don’t want to do, or to put ourselves (our families, our sleep, our health) first, instead of feeling obligated to do what we think society might expect of us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-care, let’s be real. In fact, I’ve never been sick as often as I was the first year I moved to Nashville. I blamed the allergens, but honestly, part of it was learning how 30-something year old me needed to operate. And part of how I need to operate is just to say no. Sometimes, that means saying no to staying out just a little bit later, when I know I’ll be exhausted the next day and more susceptible to getting sick. Sometimes, it means saying no to eating fast food for the 4th time that week, because I know I’m not feeding my body well, for either the short or long-term. Sometimes, saying no is listening to that Still Small Voice who always knows what’s best for me – even when I can’t see what’s up ahead – and making my decisions accordingly.

Do I do this perfectly? Good lord, no. Do I do it well? Even that’s debatable. But I’m trying.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, there are a few practical things I regularly try to do to take care of myself. These include:

  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And sometimes taking a nap in my car at lunch if I need a little extra boost. No shame in my game.
  • Eating healthy foods. I’ve learned what my body likes and what it doesn’t, and in 2018, I don’t think any of us are really confused about what’s healthy. I try to keep this in mind at least 75% of the time.
  • Friendships. I’m such an extrovert, if I’m not around people at some point during a 24 hour period, I start to go crazy. But, even for those who are less extremely extroverted than me, fellowship, laughter, and companionship is always good for the soul.
  • Down time. Because of my extroverted nature, it’s really easy for me to just go, go, go. I’ve learned, though, that a little time to decompress – read, binge TV, do chores, or otherwise just exist – is good for me and gives me the opportunity to be still with my thoughts.
  • Daily devotional time. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible (as well as other inspirational books) keeps me centered and focused on the things that truly matter, and it’s the most surefire way to find peace in stressful times. Non-Christians can also benefit from a daily reflective practice, but for those who adhere to a faith, I think this step is crucial.

Those are some of the ways I stay healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Yours may be different. You may be someone who needs time in nature on a regular basis. Or maybe you’re an introvert who needs to protect your alone time. Maybe a relaxing bath and a glass of wine is all you need.

But whatever it is, be sure you make time for those things. Self-love isn’t selfishness. Even the Bible compares Christ’s love to how we as humans nourish and cherish our bodies (Ephesians 5:29). By being sure that we stay healthy, we’re then much more equipped to do the things that we need to do, and to be a blessing to other people.

Another way that I take care of myself is by fostering my creative side through clothes, so with no further ado…

It’s already that time, y’all. My first sweater of the season, although I paired it with white jeans to help ease the transition from summer to fall – never an easy task for me.

The sweater is actually a sweater dress, I think, and at some point in the season, I may wear it with leggings or tights. But, for now, I just did a half tuck in the front to make it seem like it’s a normal length.

I’m also trying to work on my poses, and this not-looking-directly-at-the-camera thing seems to be the way to go. How am I doing?

What are some of the ways you stay healthy by taking care of yourself first? Let me know in the comments – maybe we’ll all get some other good ideas!

<3,

SB

Self-Care: Part 1 – The Importance of Self-Care

In relaunching my blog, there were bound to be some bumps in the road. First up: I’m not yet back in the habit of taking intentional pictures of my outfits (nor of waking up early enough to do so). However, I did get my camera and tripod out, charged the battery, and found my SD card, so we’re definitely making some progress.

In the meantime, here is another mirror selfie. I wore this outfit to see Bobby Bones’ comedy show on Saturday. Essentially, I just took myself on a date. After reading last week’s post, a very thoughtful and generous friend gave me the ticket, and I drove myself, sat by myself, and bought myself a drink. I really didn’t need to dress up to impress myself, but that’s never stopped me before.On a related note, did I wear neon orange to draw Bobby’s attention? Yes. 100 percent. Did it work? Not at all.

Nevertheless, thank you to my friend for the ticket – it was so very appreciated. And if my writing ever inspires any of the rest of you to give me things, please know that you are more than welcome to do so.

On my last post, my friend Sarah asked if I would talk about some of my self-care routines. First of all, thank you, Sarah, for the suggestion. I love when a friend recommends a new topic! Second of all, yes, I think self-care is a natural extension of my blog, as really, fashion is a part of taking care of yourself. Almost every contestant ever on What Not to Wear was someone who “was so busy taking care of other people, she didn’t have time to worry about herself.” (Side note: my friends and I used to spend significant amounts of time day dreaming about how to make ourselves look shabby enough for an extended period of time to qualify for the $5,000 shopping spree in New York with Stacey and Clinton. We never got very far.)

The point is, when you look good, you feel good, which impacts your confidence and overall demeanor. This affects, in turn, how other people perceive and receive you. So, while fashion may seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things – and, compared to starving children or drug trafficking, perhaps it is – it certainly has its place of significance in our lives.

Of course, fashion is just one part of self-care, and over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some different aspects. For now, though, this post is long enough, and I have reached the stage of life where I use 5 different products on my face every night, so I need to start the long nocturnal process. Please let me know if you have any other topics you’d like me to discuss – on self-care, or otherwise – and have a great week!

<3,

SB

 

 

Long Time, No See!

It’s been a while, y’all. When I went on my blogging break a little over a year ago, I wasn’t sure what the future held for Tastefully Trendy. Would I be back a week later? A month? Would I ever be back? Would anyone care either way?

Well, a few weeks ago, at least 30 of you voted in an Instagram poll that you’d like to see me back, which is way more validation than I needed. So, let’s dive right in. Here’s a look at my life since July 10, 2017 – by the numbers:

414 – approximate number of days I’ve been MIA.

8+ – pairs of shoes I’ve bought in that time period

Innumerable – Target trips

2: low-key celebs I’ve met and tried to slide into their DMs

0: times I’ve been successful


(Bobby Bones and John Crist – it’s not too late to get back to me!)

5: days spent on a beach trip to Pensacola

10: pairs of shoes I packed for said beach trip

Countless: hours it took to pack for same beach trip. Still the worst packer ever, guys.

1: Navy SEALs I’ve gone on a date with

1: Navy SEALs I’ve instantly fallen in love with (spoiler alert: San Diego and Nashville are too far apart.)

2: exes who got engaged this summer

0: chiropractors I’ve hit on

409: days I’ve been grateful to live in Nashville (I subtracted the days I was at the beach, let’s be real.)

So, as you can see – not a lot has changed. I still love clothes and going on dates and my church choir. I still waffle between being hopeful and feeling discouraged about my life trajectory – sometimes even simultaneously. And, I still hope that my little blog is both fun and encouraging to those of you who read it. Thank you so much to all of you – your existence is good for my soul.

I’m still not sure what the future holds for Tastefully Trendy. For now, I’m thinking a weekly post might be both attainable and enjoyable for me. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are my vacation outfits – even more poorly edited than usual because I took them with my phone, in a mirror. But, I left on my Snapchat captions for your reading pleasure.

Honestly, y’all, my stomach is not my greatest feature, so this is as much crop as I dare. On a related note, I’m 33 years old.

This last outfit I did not wear on vacation, but I bought it and took it with me on vacation, and I love it, so it’s a bonus.

Thank you all for reading and encouraging me to come back. Please feel free to leave comments, and let me know if you have anything you’d like me to talk about – fashion or otherwise. Or, just say hey. Have a good week!

<3,
SB

You’ve Lost that Writing Feeling

Well, it’s been a long time, y’all. Honestly, I’ve just lost my zest for blogging. For so long, writing my blog was one of my favorite parts of the week, but lately every time I’d sit down to write, I had no inspiration, couldn’t put two words together, and spent most of my time failing at editing my photos. My previous joy had turned into a chore, and that’s not what it should be.

So, I’m taking an official break. I am going to keep my blog active in case I get bit by the bug again, because I really did love sharing my life – and my wardrobe – with you all. And because I assume there will be major life changes, or dating disasters, that I just can’t keep in.

But, for the time being, Tastefully Trendy is on hiatus. Sarah Beth the person isn’t, though, so always send me your fashion (or dating??) thoughts, questions, and suggestions. I love hearing from my friends.

For some parting thoughts, I leave you with a summary of my recent dating history:

  • Bradley Cooper and I did start talking again for a long time and even got to hang out in person! It was pretty wonderful, but it didn’t work out, and I’m still sad about it, which I’m mostly just bringing up on the off-chance that he ever reads this.
  • A few weeks ago, I was in Florida for work and the Disney lifeguard asked me out. 14 year old me would have been ECSTATIC about this. 32 year old me was less so. But, I went because like a dummy, I’d already said I didn’t have anything to do when I wasn’t working. He was super sweet, but when he cheersed (is that a word?) to a “magical evening”, I knew Mr. Disney and I were not meant to be.
  • Last week, my bestie was in town, so naturally, we went dancing, and I met this very nice physical therapist. Or, at least I thought he was nice until he put his hand on my spine and told me my back was stiff and I should really see someone about that (insert eye roll emoji). I told him that I did have a chiropractor but I had asked him out and things got real awkward, so…
  • Speaking of my chiropractor, I recently re-downloaded Bumble (almost always a mistake). Well, not more than 4 or 5 swipes in, who do I see but the Hot Doctor himself. Obviously, I swiped right and we matched! Redemption!! (I thought.) Unfortunately, Hot Doctor apparently didn’t realize I was me, because when I messaged him and he finally did realize it, he responded about like he had the first time – an awkward laugh followed by radio silence. Oh well.

So, there you have it – not much has changed since we last spoke. My coworker always worries that I’ll run out of good stories, but the material just keeps on coming. Hope springs eternal, though, that some day soon, I’ll have a good, non-awkward, even permanent story. And when that happens, you better believe you’ll be among the first to know!

With that, here is one last poorly-edited outfit picture for you, and I hope to see you all again sometime soon, both in real life and through my blog.

Much <3, SB

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

In honor of last Friday’s showing of Mean Girls at a local brewery (seriously, if you want to sit outside, eat a delicious pizza, and watch a recent classic movie, come visit me! This happens every Friday. Because, Nashville is the best), here is my best pink outfit.

Pink striped pants, pink sweater, and some silver accents to keep me from looking too much like the girl’s toys aisle. The thing about my office is that there is no predicting whether it will be hot, or cold, or completely seasonally appropriate. So, I just wear whatever I feel like (a sweater when it’s 85 degrees outside. Sure, why not!), and hope for the best.

If you can, zoom in on the pants – they’re pink and white striped, and I love them.

HAPPY Memorial Day

When I picked out my photos for today’s post, I forgot that it would be my pre-Memorial Day post. So, it’s not as patriotic an outfit as I would have otherwise picked, but at least I am sporting some navy, with hints of red and white.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do this Memorial Day weekend, but I do know that I will celebrate it with gratitude and JOY. I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Yes, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives for all of us. But, why did they die? Did they die so that we would be sad once a year when we think about them? Or, did they die so that we could continue to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe it’s the latter, and I’m quite confident that if the men and women who sacrificed everything could be here, they would tell us to enjoy our pools and barbecues and baseball games. Having known my fair share of military members, I can’t imagine any of them wanting their friends and family to be somber. Rather, I think they want them to live the full life that they fight every day to preserve.  Even more so, those who’ve sacrificed everything for our freedom and for the “American dream” are those who, I think, would most want us to celebrate all the wonderful things that being an American means.

So, please don’t forget why we’re celebrating this weekend. The brave men and women who have passed on deserve our deepest respect and thanks. But, they also deserve recognition in the most American way possible – by enjoying the life they died to protect.

Peaches and wine?

Unique color combinations are my favorite.

InStyle magazine (which I used to read regularly, because I also used to live at the beach and had an excuse to read magazines…sigh), always has a feature color which they show paired with some different hues. Three of the paired colors are normal; everyone would think to do those combos. But, then they throw in a “wild card pairing”, and it is always my favorite combination. There are some colors that just DO. NOT. GO. TOGETHER. But, really, I think that list is much smaller than we have been led to believe.
Do you have some unusual color combos you like to wear? Another I think of frequently is orange and blue – thank you, Florida Gators, for making these colors socially acceptable to wear together, because really, in the right shades, they can be quite lovely.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Preds Pride!

I need to learn hockey lingo, because y’all, Nashville is a hockey town, and our Predators are on fire!

I freely admit that I am a bandwagon fan. In my defense, though, I’ve never followed a hockey team before, except the US in the Olympics, and I think it’s perfectly acceptable to jump on the bandwagon of your home-town team.

So, disclaimer out of the way, since my boys are in the final games of the Western Conference Finals – just one or two steps away from the Stanley Cup games! – I figured I should go buy a t-shirt. Since I waited until the Western Conference Finals, though, the choices were a little limited…

After striking out at Target and one Walmart, I headed to a 2nd Walmart and ended up in the kids section. While I don’t normally like how kids’ shirts fit, since I am not, you know, a 14 year old boy…I did like the $12.88 price tag. And, I liked it even better when I got to the checkout counter and it rang up as $1!

I asked twice if that was the correct price, because honestly, even on clearance, how could it be one dollar? But, it was, and so for that, I could make anything work.

And, make it work I did by cutting a v-neck into the shirt to give it a more modern, feminine, less little boy look, and pairing it with striped pants and a jacket because I wanted to show my (newfound) pride at work. I swapped out the jacket and pants for shorts later, when I went to watch the game in the park, surrounded by 1000s of my closest friends. And food trucks, because this is Nashville!

Unfortunately, we lost that game in overtime, but it was a great evening nevertheless, and I’m sure this $1 purchase will be used many times over in the coming days/weeks and future seasons.

And now with the jacket…
Go Preds! Pluck the Ducks! Smashville! (That’s all I’ve got…)

That Time I Forgot to Give My Post a Title

It’s always a weird transition for me after a serious topic to go back to talking about my clothes. But, since that is the primary purpose of this little blog, I suppose we’ll make the awkward transition. At least I have a great outfit to help smooth things over.

I love yellow. I don’t wear it a lot, really, because it’s hard to find cute clothes in a good yellow (read, not highlighter yellow or too green-tinted).

But, when I do find a really great yellow piece, I tend to wear the heck out of it. So, expect to see a lot of this skirt this summer.
I got this top at Target for like $8 or something, and I was so excited about it. I still really love the bokeh pattern and all the bring colors that can be mixed and matched in a million ways – theoretically. The problem is, the cut of the blouse is oddly assymetrical, and the side is sheer from about my waist down. So, unless I wear it tucked in, it is a) not appropriate for work (which is unfortunate, because it’s definitely a work-type blouse), and b) it just hangs weird. Even tucking it in, I have to be careful to pick an appropriate waist style, or it is still quite unflattering.

So, despite the myriad of colors, I think this top may get limited exposure. Too bad, but at least I know I have one strong showing out of it.
Have you ever bought something you were really excited about, only to discover it didn’t work as you’d envisioned, after all? Hopefully, you didn’t spend too much more than the $8 that I did!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Anchor for the Soul

When I first started studying hope, I thought God was encouraging me to be hopeful about a certain situation, and I was pumped. I couldn’t wait for how I thought things would work out, and I was excited to prove the naysayers wrong. But, as my friend had predicted, that situation did not work out how I’d “hoped” at all. Like, not only did the door close, but it was slammed in my face, locked, and the key thrown away – that’s how much it did not work out.

So, then I had to decide if I was going to practice what I preached. It wasn’t hard to be hopeful when it looked like things were going my way; it’s much harder when it actually went opposite of what I wanted, and there was no evidence in sight that things might improve in the future.

But, as we discussed yesterday, we do have evidence of better things in the future because God is good and His promises are that He gives good gifts to His children. His plans are to give us a future and a hope, and He has never let His people be forsaken.

Hope is a choice.

That is the conclusion I’ve come to. Like almost everything else in our lives, we can choose to be hopeful. We can choose to believe that God’s Word is true, that He loves us, that He’s working things out for our benefit, and that “this too shall pass.”

OR

We can choose to stay stuck in self-pity and fear and worry and doubt and all the other things that tend to creep in when we’ve lost our hope.

Since beginning this study, I’ve learned that Romans is a book chock full of hope. The book I’ve always viewed as very theology-heavy and cumbersome to read is actually full of inspirational verses about this confident expectation. Two of those verses are in chapter 5 (verses 3 and 4): “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Hope is a result of strong character.

We’ve all heard cliches about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or, as my best friend in college used to say, “it builds character.” But, cliche or not, that’s what struggles do – they make us stronger, and out of that strength, we can have hope. Hope is not a passive, Pollyanna outlook on the world that ignores real life pain. It’s a choice that looks at pain and decides to take God at His word and remain hopeful, knowing that He is working all things together for good (also in Romans – 8:28).

Continuing in chapter 5, the very next verse says that this hope – the one that rises out of strong character, the one founded on a decision to persevere while maintaining hopefulness – does not disappoint. Why? Because of God’s love. Even if the circumstances are disappointing, our hope was not for nothing.

Hope is an anchor for the soul.

This same hope that buoys us also grounds us. When the peaks and valleys of life threaten to throw off our equilibrium and toss around the proverbial ship of our lives, hope keeps us steady. It keeps our emotions from going all over the map. The highs and lows of unmet expectations do not shake us as much because our hope is grounded in the One who is unshakeable.

And when we choose to have hope, when we choose to be grounded, we can also find true joy. Because knowing that this hope does not disappoint, we can, as Romans 12 says, be patient in troubles and joyful in hope!

I want to have hope.

I want to walk in joy. And, I want to live an exciting life that’s buoyed by the happy expectation of what God’s going to do in me and through me, and grounded in the knowledge that no matter what comes my way, God is working it for my good.

And yes, I want a happy ending “in the land of the living.” But, as Gigi from my favorite movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, says, maybe the happy ending is learning to live in hope, no matter what. Then, can we recognize and enjoy the happy ending that God had in mind all along.

I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait and HOPE for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. – Psalm 27: 13-14 (AMPC, AMP)

(Part 3 of a 3-part series)
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