Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: sparkle

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

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

And the winner is…

Can I complain for a moment about Nashville? Yes, I’ve sung its praises ad nauseam for the past year, but I do have one bone to pick with the perfect city, and I really am feeling my grievances strongly today.

Nashville has too much to do! I simply cannot get in all the fun things that I want to do because there are too many and I have to sleep. And work. And wash my clothes. (insert the disgruntled sigh emoji)

Okay, so obviously this is not a REAL complaint. But, honestly, if I were to do everything in this city that I want to do, I wouldn’t ever sleep. Which might be part of the reason I have gotten sick several times…moderation is not one of my greatest strengths.

Last night, for example, was the CMA Awards. The 50th CMAs. It’s a concert I would have loved to see live, and all of the social media posts about it made my already pretty severe FOMO sky-rocket. Plus, Beyonce was there. When am I ever going to be in Beyonce’s presence another time? I’ll tell you. Never.

Unfortunately, while the CMAs typically need seat fillers, an opportunity I frequently take advantage of, because this was the 50th anniversary, they needed very few extras, and only people who had gone to other smaller events throughout the year were eligible.

Why hadn’t I gone to smaller events throughout the year, you may ask? Please see the 2nd paragraph. I just can’t fit it all in, and it makes me sad. Things I have missed this week: a free Chris Janson concert, two free Dierks Bentley concerts, a Halloween party actually on Halloween – and probably many others.

But, the beauty of Nashville is I can miss things because I know there will be many more opportunities. I’ve seen Dierks at a free concert once this year already, Keith Urban performed downtown at lunch one day – there’s plenty happening, I just have to pick and choose. The unfortunate thing is, I can’t predict the future, and if I choose something on Saturday, I might not be able to do something more fun on Monday. And FOMO rears its ugly head again. (Or, I might choose the things that do not qualify me to go to the CMAs, and then I’m just watching from my TV like the non-Nashville masses.)

So, there you have it: probably the most first-world problem of all first-world problems. I feel better having ranted about it, though, so thank you for indulging me. And here is an outfit I wore as a seat-filler to the CMT Artists of the Year show a couple weeks ago, where I was mere feet away from Carrie Underwood, in all of her sequined glory.

wp-1478126164155.jpgForgive the unflattering bathroom selfie, but it was the best I could do and leave on-time from work. The seat-filler dress requirements are pretty strict, and I don’t have a lot that fits the not-sequined, non-bright colors, non-white bill. But, I got a couple complements on my old faithful satin skirt, that I made look like an intentional outfit with my black shirt by adding a semi-blingy belt.

I know y’all don’t feel sorry for me for missing the CMAs, but let’s talk about concerts. What’s the best one you’ve been to? Have you ever been to an awards show? If so, which one – and more importantly, what did you wear??

Billy and Me: Part Deux

The long-awaited part-two of my two-part series on Billy is here, guys – are you ready?  It’s about to get crazy…

When we last left 21-year old me and Billy, he and I were heading off to lunch after a sermon that I will never remember.   I jumped into his huge truck (again, NAIVE.  Aka, just plain stupid.  Honestly, it’s a miracle and a testament to God’s grace that I survived those first 2-3 months of grad school), and we headed over to Chili’s – partly because that was the only restaurant I knew how to get to, and partly because who doesn’t like Chili’s?

As we were talking – about who knows what; I babble when I’m uncomfortable – Billy starts telling me about his glory days of young adulthood.  In the 80s.  When he told me something he’d done in 1986, I couldn’t keep it in any longer, and gently (probably not) blurted out, “I was 1 then…”  Y’all, I knew this guy was older than me, but I’m sure his profile said 27 or something.  Not 47.

As the conversation went on, Billy started telling me about his kids.  I was aware they existed, but I did not know that they were 11 and 12 years old.  Apparently, I was closer to the kids ages than his.  The longer this guy talked, the older he seemed to get, until I was beginning to feel like we were rivaling Hugh’s age gaps:

hugh_hefner_holly_madisonAfter lunch, and because apparently I am a glutton for punishment, Billy suggested we go see a movie and I agreed.    The theater was in a small mall, and since we had a little time to kill before the movie, we started walking around the shops.  We passed a jewelry store, and Billy stops and says in all seriousness, “Let’s go in and see if I can figure out what kind of ring you would like.”

WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?!

I’ve been on some other bad dates, but taking me to a jewelry store on the first one is by far the most bizarre thing that happened.  To add insult to injury, Billy walked over to the counter, and picked out this skinny yellow gold band with a tiny diamond solitaire, convinced he’d found the winner.  It looked a little like this: Tiny ring

Since you’re reading my blog, I’m guessing you know me well enough to know that Billy was a bit off the mark.  I said, “no, not that one”, walked over to the platinum counter, and picked out something more along the lines of one of these:

Big ringsWhat Billy said after that is a bit fuzzy, but the man working the counter was laughing at us.   Fortunately, that got us out of the store pretty quickly.  We went and watched our movie – Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.  Why I remember that, I have no idea. It was not a good movie.  And, finally, it was time to go.

I don’t remember Billy trying a good night kiss, which was good.  At 21, I still hadn’t kissed anyone, and I wouldn’t have wanted to use my first kiss on him, so it could have gotten (even more) awkward really fast.  Billy dropped me off at my car and drove off to Connecticut, and I was free.

To his credit, Billy actually was very sweet and complimentary; he paid for everything and treated me with respect the whole time.  It was just readily apparent that we were not a good match, and who in the world takes someone to a jewelry store on a first date!?  Also, don’t lie about your age on a dating profile, buddy.  Or your ponytail. People are going to figure it out.

Surprisingly, Billy did ask for a second date, and I made up some lame excuse about being allergic to horses and him being super into them (which was true, but probably not an insurmountable obstacle), and that was the end of that.  He went on to buy an engagement ring for another first date, I’m sure, and I went on to dates with many, many more not-quite-as-advertised online profiles.  But, those are stories for another day.

Have a great weekend everyone, and don’t forget to leave me some of your crazy dating stories!

Rock the Vote

I don’t have a lot of time to write today, but I was afraid if I didn’t post something now, I would fall permanently off the blogging wagon…and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Today’s outfit is almost a month old now, since I am such a slacker.  But, it’s still relevant, as people always need to be reminded to do their civic duty and vote.  I did, and accidentally even dressed patriotically for the occasion.  Good thing, too, since Georgia with it’s states-rights mentality just gives out these silly peach stickers to voting.  I want my American flag!

1 - voting outfitIt is rather nice to have bare legs in November – peach sticker notwithstanding, that is a perk of Georgia.  Oh, and it’s supposed to be 65 today.  Yes, that would be December 1.  Haters gonna hate, hate, hate…

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