Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: pearls (page 1 of 4)

NYE 2017

Well, we have arrived in 2017, y’all! I’m excited for the new year, as I am every January. I don’t have anything in particular that I know will happen this year – but I have hopes for lots of good things!

One of those good things is to grow this little blog of mine. I love it so much, and I’ve heard from many of you who read it, that you love it, too. (Thank you for that!)

To that end, I’ve launched a new Instagram account, dedicated solely to all things fashion. I’ve long thought hashtagging my way to a wider audience was the best method of growth for me, but I didn’t want to annoy other friends who aren’t as interested in that aspect of my life.

Now, I don’t have to worry about irritating those people, while I can also focus on meeting more insta friends who share my interests!

So, if you’re in the not-likely-to-be-annoyed category (as you probably are, if you’re reading this), please feel free to add me: Tastefully Trendy. Should be pretty easy to remember.

Now, to the matter at hand. New Year’s Eve! In my adult life, NYE has become one of my favorite holidays – in part, because it is such an optimistic night. In full reality, because I get to wear sequins.

This year, I couldn’t find ANYTHING shiny in stores. I guess I waited too late and all the sparkles sold out. So, I was forced to wear one of the three sequin skirts I already owned…and I actually was very pleased with the result.

dsc_0029-2Off-the-shoulder: check. Choker: check. Cute furry hot pink clutch (that’s actually an Ipsy makeup bag): check. And of course, sequins and shiny shoes: check and check!!

Here’s a close-up of the off-the-shoulder detail (and my makeup! My secret is great highlighter and NYX’s matte setting spray!).

1-nye-off-the-shoulderAnd the rest of the outfit (sans ring, because I forgot to take a picture of that).

1-nye-sequinsSadly, one of those cute pearl earrings were a casualty of the evening. I somehow still had the back, but the pearl itself was nowhere to be seen (insert sobbing emoji). Oh well. On a happier note, can we talk about how good my new camera is? I mean, look at those silver shoes sparkle!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve? Any fun plans? My party was Y2K themed, so you know it was amazing. I hope yours was, too, and that it sparkled and shined with all the magic and promise of a new year! Send me your outfit pictures – I’d love to see your shimmer!

Zipped Up

Perhaps surprising to no one, I have a few more opportunities to dress up in Nashville than I did in the Poultry Capital of the World (I don’t know if I’ve told you all that before – literally, Gainesville’s claim to fame was chicken. And it smelled like it. Everyday.)

Recently, I went to an awards ceremony (for advertising; don’t get too excited), and broke out this cute little cocktail dress I’d been waiting to wear. It was given to me free (but new) because the zipper was broken, so after a trip to the seamstress, I was ready to go!

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how a dress really fits you without a zipper, so this was not as flattering in real life as I’d expected it to be (don’t let the picture fool you). Also, sequins against your bare arm is a great way to rub off a layer of skin.

Regardless, the overall effect was pretty, and I’m always looking for a reason to wear sequins. So, I’ll keep it around for when I’m in a last minute bind that calls for a cocktail dress. You just never know.

1 - sequin dressAnyone going anywhere fancy this weekend? What are your plans in general? Have a great one, everybody!

TBT: Yesterday

Surprise!  My green pants are back.  I actually really love these pants, so I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. I was trying to save them for a Two-fer Tuesday, but I decided I needed to clear this photo out of my queue.

So, here you go!  Totally different look – same pants.  I love chambray shirts for their ability to match with ANYTHING, and for the way they can automatically make an outfit look more casual, but still put together at the same time. My boots are super hard to walk in, but equally super cute and I’m really into tan these days as an accent color (as opposed to black, for example).  A few simple accessories, and I was done!
1 - chambray, green pantsDo you have a pair of pants that you just love (besides jeans, because duh)?  What do you love about them – fit, color, comfort, the way they look on your butt?  Let’s swap some pants love!

My Grown-up Christmas Dress

The other night, I went to a formal Christmas party – which, really, is the best kind of Christmas party – and it was fancy.  I mean, yes, it was formal, so it was fancy in that sense. But, it was also fancy because with my master’s degree, I was one of the least educated people in the room. I would have been intimidated, had I not been wearing this amazing dress (also, everyone was super nice, so it was fine).

I will tell you a secret about this dress, though…it was free. I was given this dress, brand new, because the zipper was broken. But, you know, zippers are easy to fix, so with a little help from my neighborhood seamstress, I had the perfect dress for a formal Christmas party that cost me nothing* (*okay, she didn’t fix it for free.  So, technically, my gown cost $20).

I chose to keep the look simple with classic gold and silver jewelry, and soft gold shoes. The black panel in the middle is actually of my own invention because I need to do a few more crunches before I could wear this dress sans panel…

Btw, slits are pretty hard to get a picture of without pulling an Angelina Jolie, but when I was a kid, I was a little obsessed with slits (they seemed so adult and sultry in a socially-acceptable way), so that picture in the bottom corner is for 8-year old me’s benefit.
1 - formal Christmas partyWas there an element of fashion that captured your attention when you were a kid?  Slits, shoulder pads, stirrups, elbow pads on men’s jackets (with those leather buttons that I always thought looked like crushed junior mints)?  Do you have any of those things in your adult life, or did they fall casualty to adulthood practicalities and changing style?

Wednesday’s Woman: Esther II

I’ve been thinking a little more about our queen, Esther, and I think she deserves another post.  Not because I didn’t like my first one – it was inspired by Tim Tebow, so of course it was moving.  And not just because she’s a queen, although you know I love royalty.  But, Esther has a lot more to teach us and speaks to a place I’m currently in.  I suspect maybe some of you are, too.

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Esther was, essentially, trafficked and probably a very scared and lonely teenage girl.  We’re not told much about her emotions in this story, but I think it’s safe to assume what I said above was true (especially, since she was an orphan, anyway, and now had been taken from her cousin, too).  However, in her captivity, God gave Esther a friend in the eunuch, and he helped her prepare to be the best candidate for queen that she could be.  Esther followed his advice to the letter, and in the end, she was chosen to be the queen, and as a result, positioned to save her entire people from destruction.

While she was in this holding period, Esther could have – and would have had every justification –  pouted, felt sorry for herself, and completely wasted her preparation time.  She could have disregarded the eunuch’s instructions, as he was the king’s employee, and therefore, part of her captivity.  She could have been proud and assumed she knew what was best for her life.

Instead, Esther was humble and obedient and made the most of her time (12 months) of isolation and beauty prep (honestly, though – I would have a hard time saying no to 12 months of beauty prep).  She did not lie around in self-pity or try to take short-cuts to speed up the process – she followed through on what was required of her, and in the end, her hard work and diligence paid off in a major way for her, her family, and her people.

When I first moved to Georgia, I decided that I was going to treat my transition period (which has turned out to take longer than I expected) as a season of preparation, focusing on myself and personal growth – spiritually, physically, and just as a general well-rounded person.  Of course, in my mind, I was preparing for marriage – becoming “Mrs. Right”, and all that.  I suppose I needed more prep than most.

However, I haven’t always been faithful to focus on this growth.  I think in some ways I’ve matured, but in many other ways, I’ve spent a whole lot of time feeling sorry for myself and resenting being alone.  So, I’m challenged by Esther to change my attitude and make the most of this season as I’m waiting for the next.  One of my mentors always said, “preparation time is never wasted time.”   Really, we’re all in preparation for something – whether that be marriage, kids, empty nest, education, a new job – so, if we wasted our time when we should be preparing, we’d never be ready for the next step.  And, perhaps most significantly, as we prepare ourselves for the future, we’re bettering ourselves in the present.

What are you in preparation for?  Have you been a good steward of your time, or have you, like me, squandered it in self-pity or mindless/unintentional “waiting”?   I’m making a pledge to take some active steps towards preparing myself for the next season of my life, and here are a few of my ideas:

  • Physical goals: taking care of my skin and body.  I want my husband to be happy with his choice, even if we don’t get married until we’re 85 (an increasingly likely scenario) – I’ll be the most toned 85 year old that nursing home has ever seen.
  • Financial goals: thanks to Dave Ramsey, I’m super inspired to get my finances in order.  I’ve never been in bad shape financially, but I don’t really have much to offer a future partner (or even future me, for that matter).  With Dave’s plan, I’ll probably be a millionaire by next month.  (Or at least, have paid off my student loans).
  • Spiritual goals: to find my validation solely in the Lord so that when my husband doesn’t validate me as I’d like (I’m realistic enough to acknowledge this will happen eventually), my world doesn’t fall apart, even if only temporarily.

Those are some of mine that I’m working on right now, to become a better me today, so I can be a better wife (and mom) tomorrow (figuratively, of course, but I’d be okay if that tomorrow was literal).

What are some of your goals – do you have some practical steps to take to achieve them? Please share some of yours and let’s inspire each other toward greater versions of ourselves!

Esther pt. 2

 

Twofer Tuesday: Palazzo Pants

Palazzo pants are definitely my favorite trend right now.  They’re so comfortable, but somehow, still look dressy and dignified (that may also be due to the fact that my height disadvantage requires me to wear heels with them so they don’t drag on the ground…but whatever).

Here are two different pairs, and two totally different stylings.  In the first, I tried to make the look a little more casual with chambray and neon.  In the second, I obviously went for a dressier look with black and white and pearls.

Which look do you like better?

1 - chambray and palazzo(Btw, I think this whole tying shirts at the waist thing is back.  If not, I’m going to try to make it happen.  Hopefully I’m more successful than Gretchen was with “fetch.”)
1 - black palazzo, pearls
It’s a little hard to tell in this picture, but my shoes are pink. I wanted to introduce a subtle color into my black and white palette, but not distract from the elegant look. Pink is always an easy addition.

Red, White, and Blue Times 2

Sometimes I feel like my fashion identity is all over the place – I’ll be bohemian one day, preppy the next, super trendy another.  I attribute this primarily to having moved so much and picking up different style characteristics from all over the country (seriously, travel the four hours from Georgia to Nashville and you’re in another world.  Go up to New England, and it changes again.  And California has always done it’s own thing, of course.)

I also just genuinely like elements of a lot of different styles and can’t bring myself to be limited to only one.  However, one of the biggest current factors in my sartorial (doesn’t that make me sound like a fancy fashion editor?) identity crisis is my job situation.  While I love being able to wear almost whatever I want to work, I did work at a law school for 6 years, and I can’t quite break the professional dress code.  So, I waffle back and forth between jeans and heels on a daily basis.

I really love dressing professionally, though.  I also really love wearing patriotic colors all summer long (why restrict celebrating the greatest country on earth to only one or two holidays?)

The irony of this first outfit is that I bought the dress in India, yet it is often part of my most patriotic outfits.  I love this red bow belt my mom gave me, too (well, it’s a bow if I wasn’t wearing it on the loosest hole…so just take my word for it), and the neutral heels allow the outfit to pull the weight, while not looking too matchy-matchy as red, white, or blue might have.
1 - polka dots, red bow beltThis second dress is so pretty – it’s a navy and white, almost tapestry fabric, and it’s a very flattering cut…if it fit properly.  Alas, I didn’t try it on and it’s too big.  I’m planning to have it taken in because it’s just too cute to give away, but in the mean time, some safety pins hidden by a cardigan kept everything in place.

1 - tapestry dress, white cardigan(Disclaimer: a lot of my skirts are probably a little too short for a truly professional environment.  I would have felt self-conscious at the law school.  So, that is one freedom I do not take for granted!)

If I had to dress only one way for the rest of my life, it would probably be this – the professional/business/business-casual look.  Thankfully, I don’t have to do that, but if the world suddenly took a cruel turn, what would be your one style of choice?

Wednesday’s Woman: Esther

I’ve been waiting to talk about Esther.  Along with Ruth, Esther is the super star woman of the Bible, and I didn’t want to talk about her just because it was expected.  I wanted to have something worth saying.  Thanks to Tim Tebow, I finally do.

This past Sunday, I heard Tebow speak at a church in Knoxville, and he touched on a lot of things.  But, one that especially stood out to me was how he has used the platform given him. If you know about Tebow at all, you know there are a million examples of him being a Good Samaritan.  But, you probably also know that he wore Bible verses written in his eye black during college.  When Florida won the national championship in 2008, Tebow put John 3:16 in his eye black.  As a result, 94 million people googled the verse that is the crux of Christianity.

Exactly 3 years later, Tebow beat the Steelers in overtime during the NFL playoffs.  In an unbelievable turn of events, he threw for 316 yards, the time of possession was 31 minutes, 6 seconds, the viewing percentage was 31.6 percent – just a few of the 3:16 references in that game.  Totally unbeknownst to Tim, his actions again influenced a surge in Bible searches, this time with 90 million people looking up the beloved verse.

The number thing is cool, but obviously, the point was that a simple act of obedience to God can influence so many more people than we even realize.  You never know what impact you can have, so make the most of every opportunity.

Enter Esther.

Esther is more of a traditional Cinderella story than Leah’s.  Enslaved like Cinderella, Esther was soon promoted to queen through both her kindness (to the eunuch in charge of preparing her to meet the king) and beauty.  But, unlike Cinderella, Esther’s story did not end there.  Rather, she was in a unique position of being able to save her entire people – the Jews – from annihilation.  But, since no one knew she was Jewish, and since the king issued the order in the first place, and since even the queen did not have free access to the throne, Esther took a huge risk in approaching the king.

Fortunately, Esther’s risk paid off and her entire race was saved.  But, had she not stepped out in faith – had she not been obedient – everyone she cared about would have been killed.

Obviously, Tebow’s Scripture eye black is a bit less dramatic than Esther’s risking death, but he’s not in a position to save an entire race of people.  He is, however, in a position to influence millions, and he uses his platform to do just that.

Probably if you’re reading my blog, you don’t have the platform of either Tim Tebow or Esther.  I certainly don’t.  But another thing Tim said is that you never know who is watching you.  No matter what your station in life – student, employee, stay-at-home mom, pastor, choir member, friend – you have people in your sphere of influence.  There is an opportunity to impact those around you, and something as simple as a smile and warm greeting might be all that’s necessary.  Sometimes, you see immediate impact of your actions – death edicts reversed, 94 million people searching the Gospel; sometimes, you see residual results – 90 million people searching the Gospel, 3 years later.  Sometimes you never see the final outcome.  But, what we do does matter and can profoundly change a life for the better.

I don’t want this to be just a nice motivational speech for myself.  I am actively thinking about ways I can be more influential in the Kingdom of God by impacting those around me.  And, I hope you will be challenged by Esther’s and Tim’s examples as I was.  How can you make a difference in the lives of those around you and in the lives of those who are watching?  What small thing(s) is God asking you to do that may alter the course of history – for an entire people, for one person, or even for yourself.  Or, if you’ve already seen God move in this way, please share an encouraging example – I’ve noticed that the more we see God work, the more we want to be part of it!  Let’s grow together.

Esther

I’m positive Esther would have worn this look – it’s almost Kate Middleton-esque.  It’s certainly what I would wear, were I a queen.

Lady in Yellow

I don’t know how many of you follow me on Instagram, but I’ve been doing this super fun style challenge over there.  I guess you’d call it microblogging, if that’s still a term.  Anyway, head on over and follow tastefullytrendysb for advance looks at some of my outfits, as well as some things that will never make it to my actual blog.  I’d love to connect with you!

And now, for the matter at hand.

Yesterday, I got to hear Tim Tebow speak at a church in Knoxville.  It was super inspirational, and I’ll be talking about it more in the coming days, I’m sure.  But today, let’s talk about how difficult it is to pick out an outfit to meet one of the most well-dressed men in the US.  Of course, we didn’t actually meet, but I had to prepare for any situation, and since my seat ended up being on the 4th row, I’m so glad I picked something that stood out – like BRIGHT yellow.

Naturally, when I posted a picture on social media and tagged Tim in it, I was doing so from my phone and accidentally picked the one where my mouth is distorted and the dress looks too big.  But, whatever.  The better picture now lives here, and that’s more important, right?
wpid-wp-1428876216160.jpeg
What do you think of my choice?  Appropriate and noticeable enough without being too much?  Or none of the above?  How do you feel about my Easter egg color combo?  Can’t wait to hear from you!

  • Dress: JCPenney, several years ago (it was legitimately my Easter dress)
  • Shoes: Payless – I really do love their comfort line.  They are actually comfortable, cute, and these were only $15, so if they only last a season or two, I’ve still got my money’s worth.

80 Days of Shoes: Purple Pumps

One of the things I was (very shallowly) most excited about when taking my new position in Georgia was that I could dress casually for work.  I was tired of pencil skirts and heels.  Or so I thought.

But, many days, I find myself wearing my old law school clothes and shoes.  I don’t know if this is a deep rut I can’t get out of, a subconscious belief that business or at least business casual should prevail in the office, or if I just really like dressing up.  Regardless, more often than not, I wear shoes like these pretty purple pumps my friend Vivian gave me:
DSC_1334and conservative straight-leg trousers like these:
1 - winter white, turquoise, purpleOf course, we all know that I can’t do anything strictly conservatively, so, I spiced up my professional look with bright colors.  Unacceptable in the court room, but okay just about anywhere else.

Purple and turquoise are one of my favorite color combos.  What are yours?

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