Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

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J’adore Paris

Happy Friday, y’all! Look at that – I made it through a full week with regular blogs! I consider this a significant accomplishment, and one that I hope I can maintain.

Pretty much all of my wardrobe these days is from Target and Old Navy. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling stifled – as cute as those two stores’ clothes can be, I might need to branch out a little.

Until then, here is an outfit brought to you by both of my favorites. My Target jeans are a familiar staple, but the shirt from Old Navy is new. I almost paid full price for it, too, which is a ridiculous thing to do at Old Navy where they have a new sale every two days. But, graphic tees tend to sell out so quickly, and I’m pretty picky about what my t-shirts say, so I felt I needed to snap it up.

Cute, right? I was a French major, so a pun on the Eiffel tower is right up my alley (if the middle print is too small to read, it says, “Eiffel in love with Paris.”) J’adore.

Fortunately for me, Old Navy was having a 40% off everything if you use your Old Navy card. Fortunately for Old Navy, that was enough incentive for me to open one. I figured I shop there enough it’d be worth it for the sales. And, I’ve already earned $30 in Old Navy points or whatever, just by using it outside of their brand one time…so, hopefully the potential negative to my credit score will pay off. Just don’t tell Dave Ramsey.

Here’s the full, casual outfit. Honestly, probably not the most flattering shirt I own, but sometimes, you have to go with what makes you happy (including a twisted choker that bugs me, but I obviously can’t do anything about it now).

Do you have any graphic tees that you really like? What do they say? And what are the stores that you just can’t stay away from – do they define your style like Target and Old Navy have begun to do for me, or are they your favorites for another reason?

Have a great weekend, friends!

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??

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!

1776

I try to write my posts in advance because that is the only way I can ensure I get them written. If I sit down on a Sunday and church out the week’s writing, I’m much more successful than if I try to squeeze in something meaningful on a weeknight.

All that to say, I’m writing this before we know our new president. Like 99% of the rest of the country, I didn’t like any of our choices, but I voted because I believe it is the most important action for a citizen of our amazing country. Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure glad it’s over, and I just pray that God has mercy on us for the next 4 years until we can try again.

So, in honor of the triumphs once again of democracy and in anticipation of the peaceful transition of power that is a model to the whole world, here is a throwback picture featuring my favorite tank (and showcasing how much my photography skills have improved – hard to believe they used to be worse than they are now). God bless America, and let’s keep on running the world.

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The Tooth Fairy

Happy Halloween, y’all! I’ve become a big fan of Halloween in my old age. There are many reasons for this:

1) Seeing cute kids costumes on social media is the highlight of my year.

2) Halloween really kicks off the holiday season, with Thanksgiving only 3-4 weeks away, and then Christmas!

3) I LOVE COSTUMES!!!

I may have said this before, but honestly, if I could dress up in costume at least once a month, I’d be a happy camper. As it is, I get one day a year, plus a couple themed parties if I’m lucky. So, I take full advantage of it.

This year’s costume was inspired by Pinterest (per usual) and I put my own spin on this fantastic tooth fairy look:

tooth-fairy-inspoby recycling my tulle skirt from Cinderella 2 years ago:

wpid-photogrid_1414253311902.jpgI thought making the tulle skirt was the extent of my craftiness, but I ramped it up a notch this year, buying my first ever glue gun! I’ll be honest, guys, I was pretty afraid to use this new tool. But, it’s remarkably easy. Like, SUPER easy. And I didn’t even burn myself once.

So, with my new crafting skills, a couple pinterest photos for inspiration, and some spare time, I turned a dollar store crown and wand into something fit for the elegant tooth fairy I was becoming. My wings were also from the dollar store, the toothbrushes for my crown from Big Lots (I spent about 6 dollars total on them), and the shirt from a cheap store in the mall (a back-up, because I broke my cardinal rule about buying things online and ordered a shirt from China….maybe I’ll have it by next Halloween).  So, altogether, I spent less than $20 and had a super fun costume that got rave reviews from children and their mothers alike.

Also, of the 4 other tooth fairies I saw, my costume was the best, if I do say so myself.

1-tooth-fairyDid you dress up this year? Or did your kids? What’s your favorite costume that you have ever worn or seen? Do you purchase your costumes, or are you a DIY-er like me (side note: Halloween is oddly the one time of year I try to be crafty. The rest of the year, I figure I can support the economy by paying other people to make things).

Be safe everyone, and send me cute costume pictures!

Endless Summer 2.0

I should have done a two-fer Tuesday with my skirt, since I basically highlighted this same outfit on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I’ve lately had to do my makeup in the car, which means I’m not getting many blog photos before I leave (both because of time, and because, let’s be honest, no one wants to see my #Iwokeuplikethis photos. I’m convinced everyone who looks good on No Makeup Monday is 15 or used an awful lot of filters).

Anyway, I wore this outfit on my first day of work at my new job, and my boss told me I didn’t have to dress up so much. I laughed because I had intentionally tried to find something toned-down but professional, and I thought a cardigan and flats accomplished that. Maybe I should have skipped the hot pink.

Regardless, I like this take on my floral skirt, too, and while I’m ABOUT ready to retire it for the season, I’ll get excited to wear it again next season. That’s the best thing about the changing seasons, really – finding the clothes you’d forgotten you owned and feeling like you have a whole new wardrobe!

1-pink-cardigan-floral-skirtI know I’m way behind the rest of the world in switching out my clothes. So, what pieces did you find in the seasonal transition that you’d forgotten about? What are you most excited about wearing this fall? Enjoy your scarves and PSL this weekend, y’all. And happy Halloween!

Halloween Colors

This outfit is definitely out of season now, guys, but I just wanted to write a quick-post, and since orange is at least a Halloween color, I hoped you might forgive the anachronism.

But it is super cute, right?

1-orange-pants-and-tankSpeaking of Halloween, what’s everyone going to be this year? If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already figured out my costume. If you don’t, then you’re welcome to add me! tastefullytrendysb. I’m pumped about it – just have to figure out where I’m going to wear it. Ha!

Halloween colors are pretty much the worst, but orange has become one of my favorites, and I guess because my brother went to Clemson, I can’t even hate on the orange and purple combo. But, let’s all promise not to look like witches in orange or purple and black – okay?

Man Fast 2.0?

Y’all, I think I’m going to go an unofficial Man Fast again. For those of you who don’t know me well or haven’t been following my blog long, a few years ago, I took a 10 month break from dating. At first, I thought it was going to be miserable, but as time went on, it really wasn’t that bad and was a great move for me spiritually.

Fast-forward to now, and I’m kinda over dating at the moment. There are aspects of it that are super fun, of course, and I really enjoy meeting new people, getting dressed up, etc. But, for the most part, it’s a little exhausting and full of varying degrees of disappointment.

So, I’m thinking I may take a break for a while until someone REALLY wows me. Having said that, though, I am willing and available to be a plus one for the CMA Awards…just in case anyone needs one.

But don’t worry, I’ve got enough stories in the bank to keep you entertained, even if I am on a break (and, let’s be realistic. A homeless man threw his lunch at me while I was minding my own business, so break or no break, I will probably have new material.)

One such story happened a few months ago. I’ve been saving this one because I thought maybe this guy and I were going somewhere. We didn’t, so now I can talk about it. I’ve left out his name, but the details are accurate.

Earlier this summer, one of my good friends was in town with her husband. She really wanted to get pancakes at a very popular Nashville tourist destination, and having never been there, I was glad to go. The plan was to go to church, then get lunch. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire that morning and couldn’t go to church, so my friends came to pick me up to eat earlier. However, on the way to my house, they witnessed an accident on the highway and had to stop to give a report to the police.

By the time it was all said and done, we ended up at the restaurant about an hour before we would have been there had the morning gone normally. As we waited in line, baking in the sun, my friend and I decided to leave her husband to hold our place while we shopped at a nearby boutique. We turned around, and two people behind me, looking directly at me, was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. He looked like Bradley Cooper – only better, because he was a real person.

Like the mature 30-somethings that we are, this guy and I made eye-contact about 15 more times that morning but never spoke, despite being 2 feet away from each other for 45 minutes. I chatted with my friends about mundane things, started to drip with sweat, got my heel stuck in a crack and had to take my shoe off to get it out – you know, the kinds of things that really impress a man.

Finally, we sat down, ate, and were ready to pay. My friend and I ran to the bathroom, and while I was in there, I got the brilliant idea to write Mr. Cooper a note (this is not unprecedented for me. But that’s a different story). I grabbed a paper towel and wrote:

“You look like Bradley Cooper. If you live in Nashville, here is my number: xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you don’t, you should move. <3, Sarah Beth.”

My plan was to drop it off at his table as we were walking out. Only, when I left the bathroom, he was walking in. He gave me this huge, heart-stopping smile, and went into the men’s room. I walked over to his table, dropped off the note, and literally ran away as his friend sat there staring at me like I was a crazy person.

It was only as I was running away that I realized his friend better have gotten a good look at me because I left no identifying information.

Fortunately, he did, or Mr. C was smart enough to figure it out on his own, because a few hours later, I got a text, “I hope this number belongs to the cute blonde in line in front of me for pancakes.”

Sigh.

Of course, he was exactly my type. Christian, conservative, smart, fun, military special forces (hence, his remarkable resemblance to American Sniper Bradley Cooper)… Of course, he did not live in Nashville. Nevertheless, we ended up talking for about 2 months before the distance just became too big of a factor. But, that was about 7 weeks longer than I expected to talk to him, so really, I count this as a success.

While I was disappointed it didn’t work out, I think my two-month texting relationship with Mr. C did accomplish something very valuable, which was to revive my hope in serendipity (aka, God’s sovereignty). If I hadn’t had a flat tire and my friends hadn’t witnessed an accident, we wouldn’t have been in line at the same time as this perfect human specimen, and I never would have even seen him, much less had an almost-relationship with him. Everyone always says you can meet “the One” anywhere, and if I can meet someone in line for pancakes, never even speak to him, and then talk regularly for 2 months, I suppose they might be right.

So, to bring this long post full-circle, I’m keeping my options open, but I want something special, like what could-have-been with Mr. C. If that means I’m on a break for a while, so be it. If that means I meet someone at the gas pump next to me tonight and we hit it off, great! But if that means I start hanging out at pancake restaurants regularly, please stage an intervention.

1-neon-shoes-navy-shirtThis is the outfit I was wearing on that blessed day. Mostly, I just love these shoes, even if they do get stuck in cracks.

Have you ever left a note on a napkin for someone? How did it go? For those of you in relationships, what are your “meet-cute” stories? I always enjoy learning what circumstances brought people together, and I’d love to hear yours!

Baby’s First Review!

One of my good friends from Virginia Beach has recently started selling Arbonne, the skin, beauty, and healthy-living products with which many of you are probably familiar. Normally when I hear someone is selling something, I RUN the other way. I’ve had too many experiences where potential-friends have turned into actually-just-salespeople, and where real-life friends became consumed with hocking their wares. Or people I’ve not talked to in years are suddenly sending me facebook messages inviting me to parties in states I left over a decade ago.

But, Joyce is a good friend that I trust – and knew long before she started selling anything – so, when she asked me to review some Arbonne products on my blog, I was happy to help.

Joyce sent me some tea from Arbonne, a couple fizzy drink add-ins, and most exciting, a sample of the full RE9 Advanced Skincare line. One of the things I really like about this line is the convenience. Order everything at one time, and you’ve got a full line of morning and evening products to take out the thinking (I’m definitely a routine person; I don’t like to have to think about something as mundane as washing my face).

The set includes cleanser, toner, a serum, eye cream, and day/night moisturizers – 5 steps to better skin! Most of them have a delightful creamsicle scent. I can’t use the full-line; it wasn’t quite the right fit for my skin. However, the cleanser is HANDS DOWN the most thorough cleanser I’ve ever used. I wear two kinds of mascara, and taking it off at the end of the night is an impossible task that, even with eye makeup remover, leaves my washrags permanently stained. This stuff made eye makeup remover superfluous and left my skin so clean and refreshed.

Arbonne boasts natural ingredients, which I didn’t research enough to comment on. But, if you like a full no-thinking routine, it might be a great fit for you. Or, if you like a very thorough clean, the RE9 cleanser might be just what you’re looking for. Or, if you just like creamsicles. Regardless, Joyce would be glad to help you find the best products for you at www.joycereddinger.arbonne.com.

If you sell something you’d like me to review, please feel free to send me a sample or something, and I’d be glad to try it. But, keep in mind, that I might not buy your product myself because I’m cheap. And please don’t try to befriend me solely to get me to buy/sell something. That’s just rude.

Now, here is my own version of a (now out-of-season) creamsicle. Have a good Monday, y’all!

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New Cities

Hey guys! This may be the only post I have time to write this week (and by may, I really mean 100% certainly will), but I wanted to say hi! The past two weeks have been so crazy with Labor Day travels, leaving a job, starting a new one, etc., but everything is going well. I feel very much back in my element in my new position, and I’m continually so grateful that God placed me in Nashville, the perfect city.

A friend of mine recently moved to another city, after giving Nashville a go for about 2 years. Why in the WORLD she didn’t absolutely love it here is beyond me, but she spent the past two years being miserable, much like I did in Georgia. Now that she’s been in her new home for all of about 3 days, she’s already making friends, taking in beautiful sunsets, exploring, and generally loving life. The dramatic shift in her circumstances and outlook is so similar to what I experienced when I moved to Nashville last October, that I can’t help but be excited for her to have finally found “home”. Sometimes, you’ve just got to find where you belong, even if that means taking a scary step in faith into the great unknown.

The point of my story is two-fold: one, it’s so important to not let fear hold you back from stepping out into something new. You just don’t know what will be on the other side, and it might be the very thing you’ve been hoping and praying for.

And two, joy really does come in the morning. I’m so grateful that God moves us in and out of seasons. Yes, the hard ones are important – for character building, if nothing else. But, there are also good ones on the horizon. So, if you’re in your own version of Georgia, don’t give up. Keeping moving forward, keep stepping out in faith, and one day soon, you’ll suddenly wake up and realize you’re in a new, beautiful, wonderful place that even 10 months later, still feels like a surreal vacation sometimes.

This outfit has nothing to do with any of that – or with much of anything else, for that matter. But, I like it, and my makeup game was on point that morning.

So, have a great rest of your week, everyone, and keep pressing on to the good!
1-black-and-white-and-turquoise

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