Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: America

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.

The UNITED States of America

I’ve been wanting to share my political opinions since Wednesday morning, when all of social media exploded. But, I’ve refrained until now because I didn’t want to add to the division and anger. And, what could I possibly say that would be any different than anything anyone else said?

But, yesterday, my pastor preached this beautiful message on reconciliation (you can hear it here, if you’d like. And look for my blonde head in the choir). And more than anything else, that’s what I want for our country. Yes, we were basically evenly divided in this election, and we have seen a lot of division in various ways over the past few years: the 1% vs. Occupiers; the police versus black men; black vs. white, in general; conservative vs. liberal – and it goes on.

But, we also have an amazing history of uniting together when circumstances demand it: 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and many others. We also remember we’re all Americans during less tragic events, too: the Olympics, cheering on the Cubs (because, honestly, if you were against the Cubs, you might not have a heart. Or you’re just from Cleveland), celebrating the 4th of July, etc.

I am a conservative voter, which I think is common knowledge to anyone who knows me reasonably well. As such, I was faced with an impossible choice. I couldn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton, because I disagree with her on almost every policy issue. But, I also thought President-elect Trump lacked the depth of character and maturity I wanted in a President, and I disapproved of many things he said before and during the campaign. (He was not my choice in the primaries.) So, what do I do? Vote my conscience and pick a 3rd party candidate, thus ensuring a victory for Clinton? I might as well just vote for her, then. Or, vote for the man whose conservatism runs about as deep as the creek in my neighborhood and hope for the best.

Ultimately, I decided on Trump (3 days before the election) for one reason: he will pick more conservative justices than Hillary, and that has farther-reaching consequences than just the next 4 years. I had to make a decision somehow; that was my method.

I didn’t vote for him because I’m uneducated. I didn’t vote for him because I hate black people, or gay people, or Muslims. I voted for him because faced with very bad choices, he was the best for me and what I believed to be best for the country. I also voted for him because I don’t believe his Twitter rhetoric is reflective of the policies that will actually be enacted during his presidency. Congress and the Supreme Court are there to prevent extremism of one person. And let’s be honest, when was the last time a politician honored all the things they said during the campaign?

I hate that a few people have taken his election as justification for unkindness and even hate – on both sides of the aisle. We don’t solve problems in this country through rioting. We also don’t kick out people because they look or sound or believe differently than we do. We are a country that welcomes the “tired, [the] poor, [the] huddled masses yearning to breathe free”; we are a country where, at one point in their family history, every citizen, unless they are Native American, looked, sounded, and/or believed differently than those already here.

My point is that I won’t apologize for voting for Trump, and that’s okay. So is voting for Hillary, if that’s where your convictions brought you. So, is voting for a 3rd party candidate. Our country is made richer by diversity – of skin colors, of ethnic backgrounds, of outlooks on life. But only if we celebrate and honor those differences instead of letting them divide us. Because if we’re all mad at each other, then no one has won.

So, I’ll start. I didn’t realize until this election how diverse my own friend group had become. Going to a conservative Christian college, and then working at one, the last few elections have been pretty one-sided on my Facebook. This time, though, my newsfeed reflected the American population – split 50/50 between jubilation and despondency. Approximately half of my friends voted differently than I did, and while I might disagree with their decision, I still love my left-leaning friends. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • They are passionate.
  • When they believe in a cause, they fight for it. Their convictions run deep.
  • They are fiercely loyal.
  • They care for the marginalized and want to see a better life for every person.
  • Although the majority of my liberal friends are white and middle-class, many are most upset about the election because they fear the consequences for other people – the urban poor, minority populations, etc.
  • On Veteran’s Day, they pushed pause on election talk to honor the military.
  • They, like me, believe in America and want to see it become the best that it can be.

We may not agree on everything; we may not agree on most things. But, we are all Americans, and in that is the beauty of the United States. We are just that – united. United in our common bond as citizens of the greatest country on earth – where different factions and people of varying beliefs and outlooks can not only live side-by-side without war, but can actually be friends. On social media and in real life.

I’m actually very optimistic about the next 4 years. Maybe that’s because I am an eternal optimist, anyway. Maybe it’s because I believe in our system of checks and balances and know that anything too radical will be stopped before it gets out of hand. And maybe, just maybe, a bit of a shake-up will be a good thing. But, mostly I’m optimistic because I believe in the fabric of American society. Our friends, family, acquaintances, and fellow citizens who disagree with us may frustrate us, but they are not the enemy. We’re all in this together. Let’s remember that over the next two months, 4 years, and in the generations to come.

I’ve heard the word “love” thrown around a lot lately. Let’s actually do it, and let our unity be what spurs us to greater heights as a nation, regardless of who is president. I’m in. Will you join me?

1776

I try to write my posts in advance because that is the only way I can ensure I get them written. If I sit down on a Sunday and church out the week’s writing, I’m much more successful than if I try to squeeze in something meaningful on a weeknight.

All that to say, I’m writing this before we know our new president. Like 99% of the rest of the country, I didn’t like any of our choices, but I voted because I believe it is the most important action for a citizen of our amazing country. Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure glad it’s over, and I just pray that God has mercy on us for the next 4 years until we can try again.

So, in honor of the triumphs once again of democracy and in anticipation of the peaceful transition of power that is a model to the whole world, here is a throwback picture featuring my favorite tank (and showcasing how much my photography skills have improved – hard to believe they used to be worse than they are now). God bless America, and let’s keep on running the world.

1-merica

Patriots and Politics

Y’all know I’m super patriotic, but this election is really stressing me out. More than perhaps any other (in my lifetime, anyway), I think there are really huge implications of this election, and as a non-fan of any of the candidates (including 3rd party), I am a little overwhelmed. Facebook’s non-stop political barrage does not help.

So, like the good ostrich that I am, I bury my head in the sand a little, and just pray – that I know who I should vote for, and that God has mercy on us all.

And, I wear flag cardigans, because i just can’t help myself. I actually wore this after Hillary’s speech at the DNC, which was accidental on my part, but not lost on some of my colleagues. I promise I was making no statement, except that last week’s belted-sweater over a dress look was so popular, I thought I’d try it again.

1 - patriotic polka dotsThis sweater does hang a little weird on me – it makes my shoulders look quite broad and boxy. But, it was $3, and I always get compliments on it, so I endure. And, I got a little bold with my pattern mixing here, but it works because the navy’s match and the motifs are both Americana-esque.

On Wednesday, I have another unique spin on one of my dresses that I’m excited to show you. I promised creativity, and I’m trying my best to live up to that!

Who Runs the World?

Another year, another patriotic holiday, another wearing of my favorite tank top. I paid about $30 for this shirt, which, for me, is basically an astronomical price for something that doesn’t even have sleeves. But, I’ve worn and loved it so much, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

Whenever Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day roll around, I enjoy celebrating and reflecting. However, I  never quite know what to say that doesn’t sound trite – especially on Memorial Day when those who I would thank are already gone.

So, although my social media accounts did not reflect my gratitude yesterday, to all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, we remember and honor you. And we celebrate in the way that you would want us to – with laughter, loved ones, good food, and freedom.

And tank tops that remind everyone that America is the greatest – because of those brave men and women who made it so.

1 - Merica

P.S. Forgive the poor lighting in this picture. I guess I need to find more than one spot to take pictures if I’m going to take them at inconsistent times.

P.P.S. If you don’t understand the shirt, please don’t tell me. My history teacher heart can’t bear it.

 

80 Days of Summer: These Boots Were Made for Walking

I’m so far behind in blogging, y’all – I’m sorry!  I’ll give my excuses tomorrow.  For now, let’s wrap up the patriotism, since I’m sure you are getting tired of the same color palette.

image
While I was in Knoxville, I went to the “world famous” Cotton Eyed Joe to go line-dancing.  My first thought while there was, “OMG, I bet Peyton Manning has danced here!”  My second thought was, “Why am I getting so old – everyone here is like 12 years old.” But, ultimately, my outfit did help me feel a little better.  Because, red boots.
image
The next day, we ran errands and took things slow, so this was my simple, casual outfit, appropriate for the day’s events. Horseshoes and red, white, and blue.  All together now: Merica.
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And thus concludes my marathon of 4th of July looks.  Hope you had a great one!  Until next year…God Bless the USA!

Outfit one:

  • Boots: gift from my mom – probably originally from a flea market
  • Chambray Shirt: Old Navy
  • Shorts: Charlotte Russe (but, I don’t recommend them – I got what I paid for)
  • Wrap bracelet: Francesca’s Boutique

Outfit two:

  • Blouse: Old Navy
  • My bad – I don’t remember any of the rest

80 Days of Summer: Merica, pt. 1

Y’all.

Guess what I just got this weekend?!?! My fancy new camera! (If you’re my facebook friend, you know that my sweet mom bought it for me because she wanted me to be able to take better quality pictures for my blog, which I just thought was the nicest thing.)

Anyway…get excited!  Once I figure this thing out, you might actually be able to tell the real colors I’m wearing!  Here is the first example:

DSC_0028See, those shoes are gold, and my toes are coral!  But wait, there’s more!

Merica and gold shoesLook, it’s a full-body shot!  (Well, my shoes are a little cut-off – one of the kinks I still have to work out), but the colors of my top are completely accurate, and you can even read the tank.  (Please, though, if you don’t get it, don’t tell me. The lady at Starbucks who asked me if “Merica” was a brand and if I was a runner already disillusioned me about humanity enough for one day.)

So, the future is looking bright over here at Tastefully Trendy.  As I mentioned, I’m still figuring things out (i.e., where to position the camera, how to focus the timer shots, the all-important collage issue…), and I also have some phone outfits still left to showcase, but these accurate color photos are the next big thing, and I’m excited!

Oh, and of course, I would be remiss to not mention the occasion for this outfit – Memorial Day.  There is nothing that chokes me up faster than honoring our military and our country.  Thank you to all who have paid the ultimate price and who have otherwise served.  I hope all of you reading enjoyed your holiday, and God Bless America!

Merica - gold sandals and tank

Blue top
kissmysouthernsass.com

Nine west shoes
piperlime.gap.com

Gold jewelry
etsy.com

Guess who’s back, back again

Remember back when I used to blog? I was so good at it – about four times a week, I faithfully chronicled my outfits, the good and the bad (okay, I edited  most of the bad), regaling you with witty or at least cheerful anecdotes of my money-saving shopping adventures.

And then I got sick for two weeks, during most of which I was out of town (which, by the way, largely means I was wearing unimaginative/easy-to-pack outfits, anyway).  I also broke up with my boyfriend (cue the violins) and have just largely been overwhelmed with life. 

But don’t worry – I’m home for the next week, and I’m finally starting to feel better (speaking only a little bit in faith), so at least for this week, Tastefully Trendy will be back in business! 

The good news, though, is that while I normally gain weight during my travel season – all those free warm cookies at the Doubletree! – I’ve actually lost weight this go-round.  Turns out I’m only an emotional eater if that emotion is boredom, and ain’t nobody got time for that!  (This is relevant because that means my clothes still fit.)

A couple disclaimers about this look.  1) I know my room is a disaster behind me.  I haven’t unpacked yet from either trip I’ve recently been on (re-read the first three paragraphs if you feel the need to judge me).  However, if I waited to clean my room before taking this picture, this cute outfit would have been lost forever.  2) The lighting isn’t perfect, I know.  But then again, when is the lighting in my pictures ever very good (someone help me!!!!)

Having said that, let’s talk about this outfit.  It’s October for goodness sake, but the weather is still beachy.  I know white after labor day is passe, but nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to wear neons in October.  So, I have to fall-up my summer clothes. 

I did that by wearing a 3/4 length chambray shirt – perfect for any season, really – that made my crochet shorts more casual and day time friendly.  The wide tan belt also helped accomplish that goal.  Although the colors in my necklace are a bit off in this picture, it’s very fall-y, combining yellow, blue, brown, and gold.  I added some gold accessories to keep the look feeling warm, (although, really, I wasn’t totally happy with my shoe choice.  I was just out of time to look further).  And voila –  I had a look that was both appropriate for the actual season and the temperature.

Do you have any tricks for bridging those awkward in-between-seasons days?

Inspired Look: American Heroes

While today’s outfit is mine, the inspiration is those men and women who lost their lives that terrible day 12 years ago. Like everyone, I remember exactly where I was that day. Being a typical 16 year old with no New York or DC connections, through, I wouldn’t really understand the impact and significance of what happened that day until much later.

However, the thing that did most stand out to me from that period, even as a 16 year old, was the way Americans rallied together. Suddenly, it was not only not politically incorrect to say God Bless America, but highway signs in the Chicago suburbs said it. United We Stand became our mantra. I still have a sweatshirt with a glittery USA printed on it. American patriotism was at an all time high.

So, it is in that spirit that I’m wearing red, white, and blue today.  I may look a little costume-y, as I tend to do when I dress for a theme (no shame), but I love America.  With all due respect to other nations, we really are the greatest on earth.   

To the men, women, and children who died that day, we honor your memory.  To those who lost loved ones, know we have not forgotten.  And to any who would ever dare try to attack America again, never forget those poetic words of Toby Keith, “We’ll stick a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”

Even If It Breaks Your Heart

My heart is heavy today.  It seems like every day now, something tragic happens, each incident just as bad, if not worse, than the day’s before.  Both of this week’s major crises have touched close to my heart.  Boston is my favorite city in the world – my adopted home.  I had friends both running and watching the marathon on Monday, as I do most every year.

West, Texas was the original home of my first boyfriend.  I stopped at a gas station there once long after we’d broken up, and the girl working the counter was his cousin – that’s how small of a community it is.

I don’t understand why these things keep happening.  Maybe it’s not really new; maybe I’m just now old enough to realize that life is hard.  But, it seems to me that life is getting harder; tragedies are becoming wider-reaching, and society is turning on itself.

Yet, in all of this, there remains hope.  America is still the greatest country on earth (at least in the hearts of those of us who live here).  Last night’s National Anthem at the Bruins game confirms that (if you missed it, it’s a must-watch, here). 

And, even in the midst of tragedy, life must go on.  We go to work, we carry on, we begin to heal and have fun again.   We get dressed. 

So, as flippant and shallow as fashion may seem in the light of such great sadness, it is a part of returning to normalcy, as much as possible.  I pray that our new normal would be one in which these tragedies no longer happen. 

* Shoes: Payless; Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft; Shell and skirt: hand-me-ups from my younger sister.

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