Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: red (page 1 of 7)

thank u, next

Happy New Year, everyone!

In the spirit of not making resolutions I won’t keep, I’m going to stop promising how often I’ll have a new blog post. I get embarrassed when I don’t live up to my own expectations, so the new rule is, I’ll write when I have something to say. Or a really great outfit to feature.

Also in the spirit of the new year, and of Ariana Grande, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane. Reflecting on the past can sometimes be a great way to head into the future.

Unless you’ve been trapped in a fallout shelter for the past month or two, you’ve probably heard Ariana’s new song, “thank u, next.” It has spawned countless memes and an epic music video that took the social media world by storm for a full 24-48 hours.

The basic premise of the song is Ariana looking back on all of her past relationships and reflecting on the good they brought her and the lessons she learned. She ends by talking about focusing on herself and being grateful for all the ways she’s grown, even through difficulties.

Of course, in true 2019 pop star fashion, the song is full of profanity and teenage slang (I honestly don’t see how it’s possible that she’s over the age of 15). However, I really like the sentiment – the idea of looking for the good in all of our life circumstances, including the painful ones.

Can I really say “I’m so [edited] grateful for my ex” about every guy I’ve dated? I’d have to think pretty hard about that. But, I can at least highlight a few:

Thank u, next:  To my grad school guy – thank you for being the reason I made a lifelong friend. There’s nothing like common relationship drama and young T. Swift music to bring two early-20s girls together and make them inseparable for life. Also, thank you for shoveling my snow.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 23 – you prompted me (quite unknowingly on your part, I’m very sure) to refocus my life and reprioritize my relationship with God. My twenties may have looked a lot different had I not known you.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 26 – thanks to you, I went on a 10 month Man Fast, and it was the single best spiritual undertaking in my life thus far.

Thank u, next: To Hot Trainer. We never actually dated at all, but you showed me what respect looked like at a time when I’d experienced very little of it. And you set an impossible standard for text response time with which no man has ever been able compete.

Thank u, next: To the guy from Ohio. I freaked out a little on you. Sorry about that. Thank you for being nice and letting me get it out of my system on you, so no one else need experience it.

Thank u, next: To my chiropractor. Whenever I want someone to think I’m funny, I tell our story, and they always do. Also, you fixed my back, so I appreciate that.

Thank u, next: To the lawyer. We’ll always have Whytheville.

Thank u, next: To the Navy SEAL I went out with that one time. Thank you for helping me realize that it was possible for a man of your caliber to be interested in a girl like me. I’m also glad I can someday tell my grandchildren that I dated a SEAL (you’ll forgive me if I embellish the story a little).

Thank u, next: To Bradley Cooper. You raised my standards permanently and helped me realize what I’m really looking for. And it snowed in Chattanooga in March, which was pretty magical, if you think about it.

Thank u, next: To all the military men I’ve ever dated – thank you for teaching me about your jobs and war zones and the insiders’ scoop on international relations, and for answering my questions about the 2nd Amendment and whether or not we should even be in said war zones. Also, thank you for serving and looking so good in that uniform (heart eyes emoji x 10).

Thank u, next: To everyone else – to the first dates who I genuinely enjoyed talking to, thank you for good conversation. To the first dates that were a little painful, thank you for taking the risk, anyway. To the ones who didn’t ghost me, thank you for being honest, even when it’s awkward. To the ones who did ghost me, thank you for helping me strengthen my own skills at having difficult conversations.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring me, but if I can keep looking for the good, perhaps it’ll all turn out just fine, no matter what.

I do know that 2019 will certainly bring me new clothes, even as I’ve been watching Tidying Up and throwing out tons of old ones (to be fair, I read the book a few months before the series came out and had already begun the process).

But here are a couple of 2018 outfits that will remain in my closet, as they definitely spark joy:
I’m not 100% sure that this dress wasn’t intended to be an “Ugly Christmas Dress” – it’s pretty loud and velvety… But, I love it and proudly wear it, unironically.

Poinsettas are a Christmas flower, of course, but I may still wear this dress into January, as it doesn’t have any Santas or trees on it – I think I can get away with it. It’s just a shame to only wear something you like so much during one month of the year. The next dress was my New Year’s Eve dress. My expectations for NYE are always way too high, and I’m usually disappointed. But, I love the hope found in a fresh start – and the sparkles, of course.

Lest you think I skipped my sequins this year in favor of a more subtle sparkle, please look more closely at my shoes. Sequins will forever have my heart.
I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are expectant about the new year. Perhaps you might also take a lesson from Ariana (words I would never have expected to come from my mouth) and reflect on some of the past seasons in your life – good and bad – to see how you’ve grown because of them. And, let’s pledge to ourselves to continue to look for that good in every situation we encounter in the new year.

<3,

SB

Boots and Baubles

I’ve been trying to do this style challenge on Instagram, and y’all, it’s hard! I didn’t realize how much of my outfit choices are completely spontaneous. When I have to fit a certain prompt, I end up trying WAY TOO HARD, and it shows.

I’m still going to try to do it, but only when what I was planning to wear anyway matches up. So, this likely means I’ll be much more sporadic in it. Some people do like 5 challenges in one outfit. This blows my mind. I would probably end up on every worst dressed list in America (which, you know, is pretty hard to do if you’re not famous) if I even attempted that.

Today’s prompt, however, was pretty easy: Boots and Baubles. Now, I don’t wear true baubles often, but I do wear a lot of boots. And, I guess giant round earrings can count as baubles, right?

DSC_0058This was my attempt at an interesting pose. Clearly, I need to work on that.

I almost returned this poncho (or cape – there is some debate about the appropriate term) because it was $20. That’s not a lot, but I was expecting it to be $10, and I was annoyed on principle. But…I’m so glad I kept it because I’m obsessed! Who wouldn’t want to wear a wool blanket when it’s cold? And, it’s reversible!

1 - plaid poncho, white bootsI bought these boots in college for $30, which was a lot for me back then (let’s be honest, it still is – I like a good bargain). But, they were worth the investment, as over 10 years later, they’re still going strong! They may not be the most stylish toe, anymore, but they still work, and a good winter white boot is hard to find!

Do you have any items in your wardrobe that have more than given you your money’s worth? What are some of your favorite buys?

Totally Turtleneck?

If you follow me on my new/additional Instagram account (Tastefully Trendy!), then you probably know I’m doing a style challenge again! I’ve done these in the past, and they’re a great way to stretch my creative muscles, as well as to meet other fashion lovers.

Today’s prompt is Totally Turtleneck, which was tricky for me, since I don’t a) wear turtlenecks, or b)have anything with turtles on it…  So, I’m choosing to focus on the “neck” part, and wear an outfit that has a lot happening around my neck.

dsc_0011I’ve talked a lot (probably ad nauseum, at this point) about my love for chokers. Well, one of my favorite things about the current version of the trend is layering. Whether I combine it with a longer necklace(s), or add a scarf as pictured here, my choker usually has a friend. I’ve never been what you might call a minimalist…so this trend works out great for me. 1-blanket-scarf-and-chokerHow do you feel about layering your chokers? Is too much of a good thing, a good thing, or are you of the less-is-more camp? Also, how would you interpret “Totally Turtleneck”? Am I the only short-necked person not wearing these??

No Chapeau

I wore the cutest outfit this weekend, guys. Purple leather jacket, gray pencil skirt, black booties, gray floppy hat. I was very Nashville (with a shot of me, because I can’t ever play it straight), and I got a million (well, like 3) compliments.

Unfortunately, I can’t document this look for you because try as I might, I cannot take a good picture in a hat! I don’t understand what happens. I think I look fine in the mirror; other people say I look cute. But as soon as I get behind a camera, I look like a 5 year old playing dress-up in my grandma’s closet. It’s a real problem.

So, alas, no floppy hat outfits today – or probably any day. I guess y’all are just going to have to come hang out with me IRL (we don’t actually say that anymore, right? I’m too old to know for sure.).

Instead, though, here is my new favorite dress. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a good floral, and this one is bright and cheery, but still bold enough to not look like I’m wearing faded curtains. Some people thought it was vintage; it’s not, but I think the length, cut, and pattern certainly give it that vibe. I paired it with my favorite red bow belt that I think is vintage (it’s almost a bow, right?), some navy pumps and neutral earrings to let the dress and belt steal the show, and I was good to go. Oh, and a coral bracelet. I’ve been into mixing shades of oranges and reds lately. We’ll see where this goes.

1-navy-floral-dressHow do you guys feel about hats – floppy or otherwise? Have you noticed the camera predicament, or is that just a me thing? Would you wear this floral? I’d love to hear from you!

Two-fer Tuesday: Blue Stripes

First of all, I joined Bloglovin’, guys. I’m trying so hard to think of ways to grow my network beyond just my facebook friends (although I do love and appreciate all of you so much), and I’m hoping this might help…who knows. But, if you’d like, you can follow me here: Bloglovin.

Second of all, how about a little Two-fer Tuesday! One of these looks is very summer (RIP), but the other is from last fall/winter, so it’s seasonally appropriate again. Hooray!

This dress is a super cute Old Navy Christmas gift last year. I actually worked with a girl at my last job who had the same dress, and I just knew we were going to wear it on the same day. We finally did – 5 days before I left. Almost made it! Ha.

Being much more hipster/artsy than me, my coworker styled it very differently than me, but here are two approaches I took. How would you style it?

1-blue-striped-dress-yellow-belt(Let’s not talk about my hair in this second picture; this was just post-unemployment and I didn’t have money to fix it. Instead, let’s focus on the perfect blanket scarf.)
1-red-cowboy-boots-blanket-scarf

Twofer Tuesday: The Kimono

One of my favorite pieces in my closet right now is my multi-colored kimono. There are certain types of clothing I’m very particular about: maxi dresses, yoga pants, floral rompers… I’m picky about patterns and color combinations – and about looking too generic. Kimonos are another one of those items. Despite how trendy they are, I only own one because I’ve only ever seen one I thought was worthy of purchase. But, what a good purchase it was!

Below I’ve styled it two different ways. The first is a business casual look, appropriate for most offices, I’d say. The second is an outfit I wore to church which was decidedly inappropriate…but, I wear a long, shapeless green choir robe on Sunday mornings, so I push the envelope with what goes underneath.
1 - kimono, orange pants
1 - kimono and black skirtAlso, in that 2nd picture, I was operating on VERY little sleep…I will forever be grateful for the creating of make-up [praise hands emoji].

How do you feel about kimonos? Would you wear one this bold? What’s your favorite way to style them? I’d love to hear your ideas!

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Every time I get discouraged about my blog and wonder if it’s worth me writing – I’m too busy, it’s only about fashion/my unimportant life, not that many people read it, etc. – something random happens to encourage me that I should keep writing. Two such random things happened this week, so here I am.

I do love my little blog, and I so appreciate all of you who read and comment and let me know when something I’ve written has encouraged or inspired you. It means a lot to know that I could positively make a difference in even the smallest way, just by pouring out my thoughts and style and bad dating stories. So, thank you. And if any of you have some really good ideas on how I could make money (or at least get free things to review) through my blog, please send them my way. I don’t mind writing for free; it’s fun. However, a monetary incentive might help bump it up on the priority list a little…

In that spirit, here is a bright and cheerful outfit, just to celebrate style and writing and friendships. I feel a little like Ronald McDonald when I wear red and yellow, but it’s an unexpected color combo that works if you own it. And, the shoes conveniently have both colors (well, close enough) to tie everything together:

1 - red and yellowSo, to you my friends, I can’t promise consistency; that ebbs and flows, depending on how many weddings I’ve been asked to be in and what assignments my students have submitted. But, I can promise that I will keep sharing my delight for fashion and my stories about life and faith and maybe one day love. And, I hope you will do the same – I love hearing from you.

Thanks for being friends.

<3,

SB

Even So, It is Well

I’ve been reflecting lately on entitlement in our spiritual lives. In recent sermons and readings, I’ve been impressed with the idea that we’re not guaranteed a perfect life – even as Americans, something pretty hard for my western, Millennial mind to grasp. Suffering is a part of life, and those verses that say, “in this world, you will have trouble”, actually  mean it.

I don’t mean this to be a depressing post, but maybe because I’m in my 30s now, I’ve just realized that life isn’t perfect. A lot of people go through a lot of hard things. And that doesn’t mean God isn’t good. It also doesn’t mean that I’m immune.

I’ve always imagined that I would fall in love; have a good marriage with well-behaved, smart children; and live the proverbial happily ever after. And maybe I will. But, God doesn’t owe me that. He doesn’t owe me anything. He gave me life and salvation, and if that’s all He ever did, it would still be an astounding grace.

Of course, that’s not all He’s done for me (see Wednesday’s somewhat silly post about jewelry and clothing). But, He doesn’t owe me anything. Just because I was born in America instead of an Indian slum, I have special privileges. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born middle-class white, I have a lot of opportunities. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born a woman who would like to be married and have children, I have a hope that one day, I’ll get what I’ve always wanted. But, it isn’t owed to me.

So, while I work on my attitude and expectations that a Holy God cater to my whims, I continue to pray that He will give me “the desires of my heart.” But, in case that’s not what that verse actually means…or, in case that desire remains unfulfilled until I’m 82, I’m also working on making the words of the old hymn true for me, as well:

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, EVEN SO, it is well with my soul.

Maybe you can relate to a hope deferred. Maybe you can relate to feeling entitled. Maybe you can’t, but you understand what it’s like to go through challenges and still see that God is good. Regardless, I hope that everyone will be able to come to a place where they too can say, “even so, it is well.”

And, I hope that you will wear sequins. Because as my shirt (which, ironically, has no sequins on it) says – life is short. And no matter what our circumstances, we all can look for a reason to celebrate. 1 - sequins and leopard

Summertime Blues

Guys, I’ve gained weight since I moved to Nashville, and it’s starting to stress me out.

In most of my winter clothes, I’m fine. Of course. But, now that I’ve started bringing out all of my summer shorts and t-shirts, I can no longer deny the reality. Things do not fit the way they used to.

I’ve observed about myself that when I’m busy with fun things and friends, I tend to gain weight. Perhaps that’s counter-intuitive but I a) have less time to work out, and b) most hanging out revolves around eating. Being depressed and lonely for two years did have its (one) perk…

So, as I work to get back in my summer clothes, here’s a picture from last summer when I still did fit in them. I’m using it as motivation for myself. Honestly, few things are as motivating as your clothes not fitting (she says as she finished her s’mores frappuccino).

1 - red tee, patterned shortsHave any of y’all gained the Nashville Five (or, you know, the winter/friends equivalent wherever you live)? How are you coping??? Is getting back to my normal size before a wedding in two weeks realistic? Let’s just agree that it is, k? Thanks. xoxo

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

The closer we get to Christmas, the more often I wear red and green (and usually gold) to any event that I possibly can. In this case: church.

I know I say this fairly often, but this is another one of those outfits that looked better in real life.  I blame it all on my photography skills.  Regardless, this is also one of those outfits my mom would say she didn’t understand because I’m wearing a tailored/conservative blouse with a “fancy” golden-sheen maxi and statement earrings.  But I love the high-low trend, and I’m going to ride it out as long as it’s acceptable (btw…I think high-low technically means mixing expensive and budget pieces. But, since everything I own is budget, and since I don’t really know what else to call this trend, I’m taking liberties with the “high-low” definition).
1 - Christmas church clothesThis will likely be my last post before Christmas, so I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a very merry Christmas! I’ll be back before the new year (theoretically…), so I’ll save my New Year’s wishes (and sequins) for a later date.  Love to all of you, and can’t wait to share our new sweater pictures!

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