Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: green (page 1 of 8)

Major Announcement

If you’re familiar with the Enneagram (i.e., you are immersed in Christian culture and/or you live in Nashville), then my penchant for making big, dramatic announcements should not surprise you since I am a 3 wing 4. If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram but you’ve ever met me, then it probably shouldn’t surprise you, either. I enjoy making a splash.

So, with that as an introduction, allow me to make the biggest announcement I’ve made in about 4 years – since I announced I was moving to Nashville…

I am, once again, moving!

I’ve accepted a position with the Department of Education, Federal Student Aid office, and I’ll be heading to DC in a few weeks.

When I told my current boss about my new job, he said, “well, that sounds boring.” Which made me laugh. But, I agree – if I were packaging individual loans for students, it would be pretty boring (no offense to any student loan officers out there; you’ve got a tough job). But, I’ll be on more of the big picture side, working with the people who are trying to resolve the student loan crisis, provide the public with good information, and affect policy. It’s a really incredible opportunity, and I’m grateful for it.

Most people who I’ve told about my move have had similar reactions and asked the same questions, so I thought I’d go ahead and address them now to save us all some time.

Q: But, I thought you loved Nashville!

A: I do love Nashville. Nashville is the best city I’ve ever lived in, and I will miss it, my friends, my church (especially my church), the music, and so much more. Of all my many moves, this one is the most bittersweet. But, it is time, and this opportunity opens up a whole new avenue for my career. I couldn’t pass it up.

Q: But, I thought you hated DC!

A: Hate is such a strong word… DC has never been my favorite city, that is true. However, I’ve also always thought I’d end up there at some point. I’ve been interested in government work for most of my adult life, and when I first graduated with my master’s, I moved to Virginia Beach with the plan to use it as a launching pad to DC. And I guess I did – just with two states and a lot of years in between.

Q: Why do you move so much, anyway?

A: I’ve wrestled with this one myself. To be fair, the majority of my moves were as a child, and I think growing up that way gave me a bit of a free spirit. I enjoy change and new opportunities and adventures. However, I’m also in my 30s now so I think about change and all its ramifications more seriously. At the end of the day, though, while I sometimes feel old, I’m not actually and life is long. There is plenty of time left to try new things and if I don’t like them, I can try something else. On the other hand, time does go by quickly and I don’t want to waste a moment by being afraid to take risks and seize opportunities.

Q: Are they paying you enough to live there?

A: Yes, and I’m sensitive about this question because I feel like it implies that I’m naive and don’t know that DC is expensive, and/or that I wasn’t smart enough to consider cost of living in my decision. So, if you ask this, and I snap at you, I’m sorry; I know you are just trying to be helpful. But, at least now you know why I’m touchy about it. Also, thank you for paying your taxes so that I can pay my bills.

Q: Can you get my student loans forgiven?

A: No.

Q: Are you excited?

A: Yes, I am excited. Like I said earlier, it’s definitely bittersweet. But, I miss the East Coast. I spent almost all of my 20s along the coast, and many of my close friends are still scattered up and down the shoreline. I have a few friends from different points in my life in DC, too, including my middle school bestie and a friend who I have accidentally followed to college, Nashville, and now DC.

Plus, the beach is closer – a significant factor that can’t be ignored.

But, I realize that my life is about to be dramatically different. Nashville is the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, and DC is literally 4 times its size. I’ll be taking public transportation every day and walking a few blocks from my home to the metro stop and from the metro stop to work – in all kinds of weather. I have to get “walking” shoes. It snows in DC, and I haven’t lived in a place where it snowed regularly in over 12 years. I’m going to have to wear suits. Maybe not every day. But more than the average of two times a year that I currently wear them.

So, yes, I am excited. But, I’m also nervous. I know I’ll adjust, and I think I’ll end up really liking it. I guess it would be a little ridiculous to do it if I didn’t expect to like it. But, I’m realistic enough to realize that the transition might be a little tough.

Q: This seems so sudden!

A: It’s really not. While I’d let my government ambitions subside for a while, a little over a year ago, I began to think about DC seriously. This was a big thing for me, because as we’ve already discussed, I’ve never loved DC and have actually been quite vocal about that in the past… But, the more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed, and it stuck with me, too. I get whims all the time, and most go away within a few days. It’s the ones that stick with me that I start to really pray about and pursue.

I applied for a few things last fall but took a little break when those didn’t pan out. Then, this summer, I started putting out feelers again and setting up alerts on USA Jobs. I went up for an interview with FSA in September, and I didn’t receive a final offer until November. So, really, none of it has been sudden at all. But, it all has been remarkably smooth and easy – something I also couldn’t ignore in my decision making process.

In fact, the process was so easy, I can’t help but think of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde getting into Harvard:

via GIPHY

I hesitate to even make that joke because I do know that the typical process of getting a federal job can be very difficult, and I’ve had several friends be incredibly frustrated in their search. So, I don’t want to make light of anyone’s disappointment. However, I can’t help but marvel at the way God has thrown open doors for me, and as Proverbs 3:6 says, “made my paths straight.”

Q: Can we come visit you like we did in Nashville?

A: Of course! The accommodations will likely be a little more snug…and you might have to sleep on an air mattress or the couch. But, I’m always happy to have guests!

And there you have it – the major announcement! I’ve already begun altering my wardrobe to include Ann Taylor, Tommy Hilfiger, and some sensible pumps. But, honestly, I think DC fashion is a little lacking, so even within the confines of my professional wardrobe, I’m excited to bring a little Tastefully Trendy flair to the big city.

And in the meantime, if you have any boxes or newspaper, I will gladly take all of it off of your hands.

To cap off this post, I don’t have any great outfit collages. I do, however, have a picture of me examining a closet at a potential DC apartment (I deemed the closet inadequate, as you might be able to guess from my face). And a couple of my favorite selfies from the magical mirror in my church bathroom. Dear Magic Mirror, I think I’ll miss you most of all.

Thank you for reading, and much love to you all.

<3,
SB

Dirty Laundry

God gives everyone different gifts – some people are creative, some have super high metabolisms, some are good with finances, etc.

One of the gifts He’s given to me is the ability to find good bargains. Honestly, it’s a family gift – my mom is this way, too, and probably my sister (my dad doesn’t shop, and my brother is too bougie to care (love you, Pal!)).

The deal I found below is so great that I found myself starting to get cocky and wanting to brag about my skills. But, since I can’t actually take credit for this in anyway – I did nothing except follow a whim – and because I don’t want my bargains to dry up by stealing the credit, please consider this my testimony, rather than bragging.

Several months ago, my dryer broke. While this was inconvenient, it wasn’t a crisis. I could go to the laundromat and for $2.25 and 27 minutes of my time, dry 3 loads of laundry at once. I actually kind of enjoyed it – watching the pretty colors of my clothes spin around was therapeutic. And, I have so many clothes, I really only needed to go about once every 3 weeks.

But then, my washer, which has twice flooded my townhouse but otherwise worked pretty well, broke down about a month ago. This was more of a crisis. I separate my clothes a lot for washing and not just by color – some get delicate cycle, some hot water, some cold, etc.

So, the time had come to bite the bullet and get a new set. But, I’m renting and still feel very transient at this stage of my life, so I wasn’t interested in investing a lot. I went to a used appliance store I’ve bought from before, and they had sets for $400. Not awful, but still more than I was wanting to spend.

As I was leaving the appliance store, I saw a Goodwill across the street. On a whim/nudge from the Holy Spirit, I decided to go look. I almost didn’t – what are the odds that Goodwill would have a washer and dryer that worked? But, I am trying to get better at listening to those promptings, so reluctantly I went in, fully expecting not to find anything. I even almost turned around when I was in the store because it just seemed so absurd.

But, lo and behold, in the housewares section, there was a washer and dryer set (different brands, but they look like they match). As I was looking at them, the manager walked by and I asked if they worked… She said they did and spoke with such authority that I really did believe her. Plus, she told me that if they didn’t, I could bring them back and get store credit. I don’t really NEED store credit at Goodwill, but it was better than nothing.

So, I made a split decision (something that usually causes me anxiety) and snatched them up. I didn’t know how I’d get them to my house, but I thought for the price it was worth the risk.

And that price…drum roll, please…was $50.

$50 total. For both. Combined. With Tennessee’s ridiculously high sales tax. And a donation to charity to round up to the nearest dollar.

I found a friend (with a week-old truck; I was so nervous we’d scratch it) to help me move them, and somehow, the two of us were able to get the old ones out of my house and the new ones in. I say it like it was a miracle, because it was – I’m really not skilled at moving things; my arms are too short or something. I don’t know. But we got them in, and I will forever be grateful.

The dryer had a different cord than fit my outlet, but thanks to a very helpful Home Depot employee and some virtual coaching, I changed it all by myself. So, I’m an electrician now and available for house calls.

And, both machines work! Like a charm. I haven’t even found any idiosyncrasies yet.

I celebrated by washing literally everything I owned. My towels, sheets, every article of clothing – all were clean, all at once. It was the best 24 hours of my life.

So, thank you, Rich People, for getting rid of perfectly good washers and dryers, and thank you, God, for sending me to them. My life is better as a result.

This outfit is brought to you by my clean laundry. Actually, that’s not really true – I took this picture before I got my machines. The clothes were already clean. But, since they ARE clean, it’s still relevant, right?

These shorts were another vacation purchase – i.e, ones I might not have bought in “real life”, but hey, you’re on vacation! It’s not that I don’t like them – I do. But, they aren’t quite the right size. So, I decided to make them work, something I might not have done in my practical, non-vacation mindset.

I no longer know how to focus my camera, apparently.

Tie-front pants/shorts are very in right now, and I really like the look. The paperbag waist is also back – straight out of the Stranger Things’ kids wardrobes. Paperbag refers to the extended, pleated waist you see on these shorts. It’s often elasticized, although these aren’t.

Also, I couldn’t remember what they were called, and I googled “garbage bag shorts”. Hahaha. I’m giggling at myself in Starbucks right now. But, hey, it got me to what I was looking for, so mission accomplished. lol.

Anyway, so that’s my exciting find of the year – maybe the decade. Are any of y’all bargain shoppers? Have you found any particularly good deals lately? If so, let me know – I love those kinds of stories! Or, if God gave you a similar, unique gift – like you get a close parking spot every time, or you’ve never had a cavity, or something – we can talk about that, too. Thanks for reading!

<3,

SB

Dressing to Impress: the Casual Edition

First of all, thank you, everyone, for all of your positive feedback on my post last week. I was honestly very nervous about publishing it, but you all were so kind and encouraging, it made me glad that I did. So, thank you.

The original purpose of my blog was to talk about fashion. There’s only so much I can say about my clothes, so I like veering off into other topics. But, today seemed like a good day to go back to my roots.

If you’re a newer reader, you may not know why I call my blog Tastefully Trendy. The long version is here (full disclosure, I changed the picture on that original post, because I have no idea why I thought the outfit I had posted there was a good look). But, the short version is that I believe true style comes from taking a trend and making it your own, rather than being  a cookie cutter copy of everyone else. It’s my fashion soap box.

I also believe you can look stylish no matter your lifestyle or time availability. Fashion doesn’t have to be this super complicated thing.

To that end, let’s talk about casual clothes. I’ve always been an advocate for looking put together, even when running errands or taking the kids to the park or a casual lunch with friends, etc.

Here’s what I mean.

I spent about 15 seconds picking out this outfit – I’m literally wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and flats – and LOTS of dry shampoo. However, while my sweatshirt is no less comfortable than one without giant pearls on it, it looks like I put effort into choosing my clothes, more so than if i were wearing my oversized college hoodie. Likewise, my trendy hole-y jeans required no more time commitment than putting on a pair of leggings would have, but they give the impression that I invested time in getting ready. My shoes are just slide-on flats; they require even less effort than a pair of tennis shoes. Yet, the overall look says that I care.

Here’s another example.

Now, this outfit did take a little more effort than my sweatshirt and jeans. But, not much. At the end of the day, I’m still wearing a sweater, pants, and flats. As casual as it gets. But, by choosing trendy, well-fitting pants, and flats that tie the shirt into the whole outfit, I have a complete look, rather than one that says I just threw on whatever was clean.

To be fair, when I wore this outfit, I actually wore heels with it, so here’s that look, too.

*quick disclaimer – in this picture, my sweater is hanging weird where it’s tucked. I tried desperately to edit it to make it look less bunchy/more like it did in real life, but I was unsuccessful. Imagine that it’s perfectly bloused.

A couple additional thoughts about this look. First, to my earlier point about making trends your own: these pants are my version of the camo trend. I like camo – much better now than I did the last time it was in style. But, everyone is wearing military camo. Why not try this jungle take on it? Still the same basic look – greens on greens on greens. However, by putting a slightly different spin on the trend, I’ve made it my own and stand out a little more from the crowd. My personal aversion to looking like everyone else may also be why I find things on sale all the time – the demand is lower for unique things. I only paid $9 for these pants. Added bonus: I’m ready to go off the grid in the Amazon Rainforest, should the need arise.

Second, my leopard print shoes and camo pants. I’ve thought a lot about how to explain why this works. My mom would probably argue that it doesn’t. But, it does, I promise. Animal and camo prints both act as neutrals, much like a thin stripe would, because both patterns are made up of shades of the same colors – leopard with browns and blacks, camo with greens. Additionally, greens and browns pair well with each other, anyway, and the gold in my shirt matches the gold in the leopard and ties everything together.

The biggest reason these work, though, is confidence. If you’re going to rock an unexpected style or combination, you’ve got to own it. People will believe you know what you’re doing if you believe you do. And it’s totally okay to fake it til you make it, because the more you try, the more confident you’ll become. And, the more confident you are, the more people will affirm your decisions, helping to boost your confidence even further.

But, even if they don’t, though, at least you’ve stepped out, worn something brave, and flexed your creative muscles.

So, there’s my take on casual. Of course, when I’m sick I run to Walgreens in sweat pants and a hoodie like every other human being. But, otherwise, if for the same amount of effort I can look put together and classy, even when I’m running errands, I’m going to choose that option. I’ll feel better and be more confident, which will cause other people to respond to me better, and the whole experience will be better for everyone.

What’s your go-to casual look? Do you feel confident and good about yourself when you wear it? If so, great! If not, what are some ways that you can boost your confidence in your style, regardless of whether or not you incorporate my suggestions? I’d love to hear from you, and as always, thank you for reading.

<3,

SB

Take Me out to the Ballgame

I was out of town last week which always puts me way behind in my blog writing. But, y’all, I was in Utah for work and it was GORGEOUS! I wouldn’t last living there: cold and outdoorsy. But, it was so pretty!

Also, ALL THE TULIPS!!!!

I wanted to cry every time I stepped outside, it was all so beautiful. Seriously.

Anyway, prior to that trip, I went on a date. It was the Saturday before Easter – you know, the Sunday where I needed to leave my house by 7:15 to be at church for 5 hours – so, I probably shouldn’t have gone out. But, how do you resist an invitation to a baseball game? It’s my favorite kind of date!

Except for the clothes…casual clothes are REALLY hard for me. Well, I should say, casual clothes when you want to impress someone are really hard for me. I don’t like wearing flats on dates; I’m short enough as it is. I also prefer to wear rompers or dresses for warm-weather dates. But, obviously, at a baseball game, I can’t look like I’m trying too hard (although, as I was soon to learn, at Nashville baseball games, no one watches the games. I could have worn a romper with wedges and been quite at home with many of the other girls who just walked around the stadium and hung out at the trendy bar past left field.)

So, I settled on this: casual shorts, a t-shirt (but at least a cute one with a ballet back), and floral flats because it’s too early for straight up sandals. Maybe not my best date outfit, but it worked and got me out the door (I was, naturally, running late. I blame it on the casual clothes).

What would you wear to a baseball game – either, normally, or on a date? I feel like my answers to that question would be different depending on the circumstances; maybe yours are, too. Give me some ideas for next time, please!!

Two-fer Tuesday: Jailhouse Stripes

It’s been a while since I’ve done a twofer Tuesday, but no time like the present!

I really like these jailhouse stripes (or maybe more accurately, train conductor – they’re probably too narrow for jailhouse). Regardless, I think these highwaisted, cropped striped jeans are the best.

However, I wasn’t sure about them when I bought them, because in the artificial light of the dressing room, they really played with your eyes. I mean, in general, I try to wear clothes that don’t make people want to look the other way.

In the natural light, though, they seem to be okay, so I think I’m good. Except the camera doesn’t love them, either…you might have to zoom in pretty close to get an accurate look. Oh well.

In this first look, I’m combining another one of my favorite spring trends – off-the-shoulder – with my cute pants and some flats that actually hurt my feet more than most of the heels I own, but they’re so cute and universally functional, that I keep them. I ran some errands on Saturday in this outfit, then popped on some black heels for dinner with a friend that night.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention my pink lipstick; as much as I enjoyed the dark berrys and browns this winter, I’m seriously so happy bright is back in season!

Next up is another casual outfit (I did wear it to work, but in hindsight, it might have been TOO casual). Anyway, a simple soft turquoise tee (you’ll have to take my word for it being that color, I guess), with a black scarf (I don’t have a cat; that’s all just my hair…) and some silver accents to complete the look. Easy, but still put together. Scarves are helpful in that way.
So there you have it – the return of Twofer Tuesday, thanks to my new favorite cropped jeans.

Which of these looks would you rather wear? And what’s the verdict on these stripes – delightful or dizzying? Let’s talk!

Spring Forward!

Spring is finally here in Nashville, and there was no rain this weekend – you wouldn’t believe the impact this good weather had on my mood! I’ve never thought I had seasonal depression, but I’m starting to think I might have a little bit of it, because honestly, I felt SO MUCH BETTER in the sun this weekend.

Also, I have a lot of cute new clothes to wear in said sunshine, which definitely doesn’t hurt.

That smile is because of the glare on my face – sunshine!!!

Really, my favorite thing about this outfit is the back of my shirt. Apparently, “ballet backs” are in now, and I like it! I bought this top in 2 colors, because why not?

Cute, right? It’s just enough to take an otherwise standard t-shirt and turn into something unique and fresh.

Springtime also brings bright lipstick again. Hot pink, I’ve missed you so!

What fashion/makeup trends are you most excited about this spring?

A Rose is a Rose

I maybe should have given this disclaimer long ago, but if you all aren’t into florals, you should probably stop following my blog right now. Because I’m obsessed.

Roses seem to be really in right now. I’m not sure if this is the Beauty and the Beast influence, or just a natural evolution of patterns, but I’m into it.

This LOFT top is perfect. The fit and pattern are professionally acceptable, but it’s a sweatshirt. Like, literally. Comfort is not usually high on my list of priorities for clothing, but when I can wear something cute, trendy, and COMFY, I’m all in.
Also, I love these green Old Navy pants. But, it’s no secret that I love Old Navy, and I’ve declared green my color of the year (or Pantone did…not important).

 

The Polka Dot Detective

Since we’ve already done the no eye makeup look this week, we might as well continue.

I might have told you this story already; forgive me, if so. But, when I was an extra on Nashville, I was supposed to wear business attire, like a detective might. I signed up for it, promising I had the requisite clothing. But, when I started to look through my closet, I realized that while I do have gray and black suits, they have ruffles on them. Likewise, I do have button-downs in dark colors; they’re also polka-dotted. I’ve never seen Mariska Hargitay wear polka dots on the job. If I were actually a detective, I would for sure bring fun to the office with my wardrobe, but I assumed the costumers on Nashville would not agree with that decision. So, I bought some boring grey pants, wore a plain black blazer, and mostly satisfied their requirements.

But, I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to wear the shirt I’m wearing in this outfit today. Can’t you picture how cute that would have been with a black pantsuit? Oh well. If ever I’m a detective in real life, you’ll know what I’ll be wearing.

Unrelated, I pretty much live in my black jeans. I should probably have more than one pair, because I’m obsessed.  Thanks, Old Navy!

Do you have multiples of the same item because you wear them so much? I mean, of course everyone has more than one pair of jeans…but, two of the very same thing? I am definitely guilty of buying the same shirt in several colors; if it’s a good price and looks good, why not stock up?

Greenery

I tend to wear colors in phases. Earlier this year, I couldn’t get enough peach/soft coral. A summer or two ago, I was all about the hot pink. Burgundy/wine is still riding high in my esteem. But, lately, I’ve really been feeling green – particularly, rich greens, like forest or emerald.

Imagine my smugness, then, when I learned that Pantone has declared “Greenery” as the 2017 color of the year. While that spring green shade isn’t my favorite, I felt very ahead of the trend by already deciding I needed more green in my wardrobe. (Please note: this decision might have been influenced by the greens already beginning to creep into stores. I think this is a chicken/egg argument, and I’m maintaining that I was ahead of the curve.)

Here is one of my favorite recent green purchases – an off-the-shoulder top. Of course.

off-the-shoulder-green

I like to call the full outfit, “how many trends can I wear at once?” How many do you see (it’s like one of those games from Highlights magazine when we were kids)?

1-off-the-shoulder-greenAlso, my dad calls these the shoes that every woman owns. I don’t know why he says that. Do you own shoes like these? My dad is not usually on the cutting edge of fashion, but maybe he’s discovered something I haven’t. Please weigh in on the great shoe debate, and have a happy weekend!

Orange you glad I’m buying a new camera?

Y’all are gonna have to put up with my blog pictures for a few weeks. I might have mentioned that my camera bit the dust, but I’ve decided it’s not worth trying to fix. So, I gave using my phone camera a go, and while it does accomplish the basic purpose of recording what I’m wearing…it leaves much to be desired, particularly where colors are concerned. Also, I don’t know why it is more unforgiving then a regular camera – or why cameras capture things differently than what my eye sees, in general (no one need bother explaining it to me. I’m okay in my unscientific ignorance).

Regardless, I’m going to by myself a new camera, probably on Black Friday, so this temporary horrid-picture phase should be over soon, I hope – for all of our sakes. However, I do think I’m going to buy a baby-DSLR camera, so we’re just assuming I can figure out how to use it. Fingers crossed!

Here is a super cute outfit, made much less so by my camera situation. But, imagine these pants are my favorite orange ones you’ve seen a million times, and the shirt is a pretty peach that perfectly matches the peach and orange shades in one of my favorite winter scarves – and then you’ll have an idea of how this outfit actually looked.

1-orange-pants-peach-shirtThanks for sticking with me, friends, and have a good Monday!

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