Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: strappy sandals

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!



80 Days of Summer: Set in Bronze

I always feel a little weird writing about fashion right after a tragedy has occurred. I’m talking specifically about the death of Robin Williams, but really, pick something – the Ebola crisis, Iraq, Israel/Gaza…it seems like everywhere we turn, something horrible is happening, and I’m over here writing about clothes.

I honestly don’t know what to do with all of these sad things.  They’re bigger than me.  But, I’m grateful that God’s mercies are new every morning, and that even after something terrible occurs, there is still reason to get out of bed each day, put on pretty clothes, and rejoice.  Because He is still God, He still loves us, and I am here another day to honor Him for that.

Last week, my job had a grand reopening of our physical store (which, if you’re ever in Gainesville, Georgia, you should totally come by and see.  And if you’re not, you should totally shop online).  It was kind of a big deal – the Chamber of Commerce came and cut the ribbon with ceremonial scissors.  The whole 9 yards.

So, I took advantage of the special day to bring out some special shoes.

DSC_0635These 9 West pretties don’t get nearly as much wear as I would like.  Because, honestly, how often do you have need for bronze strappy heels?   (Actually, I wore them a lot at my old job – I defined the term “professional” very loosely.)
1 - Pink leather dress, teal necklaceAnd of course, nothing says non-profit store opening like a hot pink leather dress, right? I should have taken a picture of the back – only because it has an exposed zipper and I think those are cool.  But, alas, I did not, so you’ll just have to appreciate the hot pink leather without seeing the zipper.  It’s a rough life.

My necklace is from Rahab’s Rope, btw.  You can buy one yourself, if you’d like! (I didn’t think I’d plugged my job enough yet in this post.)  And I also didn’t mean to go all artsy on the bracelet shot.  It just happened somehow.

What Semi-Formal Means To Me

A few weeks ago, a friend told me she’d visited my blog to get an idea of what “semi-formal” might constitute.  Since I never go anywhere even semi-formal fancy, the blog was noticeably lacking – sorry, Beth!

To fill in the gap, I spent last night pretending I was going somewhere dressy and trying on a few different looks.  This kinda made me sad because I do love getting dressed up and wish I could do it more (anyone want to take me to a swanky party?), but it was also really fun to play big girl dress-up for a little while.

Let me say this about semi-formal: it’s a pretty ambiguous term.  Depending on the time of day, the event, and the location, semi-formal could mean any number of things from Easter church clothes to cocktail dresses.  For the purpose of this blog, I went the more cocktail route.  Beth told me semi-formal for her event meant Lilly Pulitzer.  So, really, your best bet is to ask the host to clarify whenever possible.

For the first look, I’m wearing a bridesmaid dress from my best friend’s wedding.  I apologize for the millionth time for my photog skills.  But, trust me, it’s a pretty, royal blue dress.   Mary picked a dress that we really might wear again – she’s great like that.  I love my sequin t-strap shoes and I kept the rest of the accessories fairly simply to not distract from the dress.

In look #2, I went the little black dress route.  This is probably the most formal of the three, simply because it’s the most mature/conservative.  Were I really going somewhere, I would probably style it a bit differently.  My earrings and shoes aren’t quite dressy enough, but you work with what you’ve got.  The dress is tiered, and it’s really pretty.  But, you know me.  Black bores me, so I probably wouldn’t choose this one, unless I had really awesome colored accessories to go with it.

Finally, we have my favorite but most casual look.  I wore this to New Year’s a few years ago.  It’s great for a young, fun event – not for a wedding or corporate function.  I don’t normally advocate mixing navy and black, but it can be done – especially if you pretend the navy is more of a royal midnight blue, which I did (I also just made up that color).  I kept the accessories simple and within the same color palette, but I did add a couple blue and green plastic rings to keep the whole look youthful and funky.

So, there you have it – Tastefully Trendy’s take on semi-formal.  I hope this is helpful somehow, and if you do go to fabulous parties, PLEASE tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Have a great weekend!

We Danced

Happy Friday!! It’s summer time – if not by weather or even by the calendar, at least by mentality. Summer time at the beach means dressing up cute, going dancing, and showing off that incredible tan!

In the absence of a tan (my lot in life), two out of three isn’t so bad.  In celebration of a friend’s birthday last Friday, I headed out to my beloved honky-tonk.  While I wasn’t feeling the boots, I couldn’t go too dressy without looking very out of place.  So, I opted for some strappy heels (a Ross find – Nine West, I think?) made more casual by pairing them with shorts and a wide tan belt.  My top is actually a dress from Forever 21 (sorry for the blurry picture), but it was too short to wear by itself (you never know when you’re going to be dancing with a dipper) so by belting it, I could keep it in place at shirt length.  I completed the look with a bright green clutch, some simple dangly earrings, and bracelets that tied everything together. And judging by the number of men who asked me to dance…I’d say I pulled it all off pretty well. 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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