Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

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Self-Care: Part 2 – Self-Love

Writing a blog only once a week makes me feel a lot of pressure to actually say something meaningful. Telling you about why I put a certain shirt with a certain pair of pants is fine when I’m producing content several times a week, but if I’m only saying something once every 7 days, shouldn’t it be something worth hearing? Aren’t all the other bloggers saying significant things on important topics, like faith and (successful) relationships and politics? Or even how to ship lap?

But, I suppose that’s the problem – bowing to pressure and comparison. I can only be me. I’ve always only been able to be me, and any attempt to do otherwise has failed miserably (cue awkward memories of high school and college). And you can only be you. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but I actually just read an article about how our culture’s obsession with self-improvement leads to even more depression and anxiety. We’ll never fully arrive – there will always be room to become an even better best, and it can be exhausting trying.

So, I guess that leads me to my second point on the topic of self-care. Self-love. I think you all know me well-enough to know that I’m not what you might call a hippy…. I have a pretty traditional view of Christianity that includes words like “sin” and “righteousness”. I think there are moral absolutes and definite rights and wrongs.

But, I also think there is a lot more room for grace than we give ourselves. I’m not just talking about faith matters – I mean, grace to eat a cupcake if we’ve had a really bad day and just need something to cheer us up. Or grace NOT to eat the cupcake, if we are in a season where prioritizing our health is important. Grace to say no to things that we genuinely don’t want to do, or to put ourselves (our families, our sleep, our health) first, instead of feeling obligated to do what we think society might expect of us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-care, let’s be real. In fact, I’ve never been sick as often as I was the first year I moved to Nashville. I blamed the allergens, but honestly, part of it was learning how 30-something year old me needed to operate. And part of how I need to operate is just to say no. Sometimes, that means saying no to staying out just a little bit later, when I know I’ll be exhausted the next day and more susceptible to getting sick. Sometimes, it means saying no to eating fast food for the 4th time that week, because I know I’m not feeding my body well, for either the short or long-term. Sometimes, saying no is listening to that Still Small Voice who always knows what’s best for me – even when I can’t see what’s up ahead – and making my decisions accordingly.

Do I do this perfectly? Good lord, no. Do I do it well? Even that’s debatable. But I’m trying.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, there are a few practical things I regularly try to do to take care of myself. These include:

  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And sometimes taking a nap in my car at lunch if I need a little extra boost. No shame in my game.
  • Eating healthy foods. I’ve learned what my body likes and what it doesn’t, and in 2018, I don’t think any of us are really confused about what’s healthy. I try to keep this in mind at least 75% of the time.
  • Friendships. I’m such an extrovert, if I’m not around people at some point during a 24 hour period, I start to go crazy. But, even for those who are less extremely extroverted than me, fellowship, laughter, and companionship is always good for the soul.
  • Down time. Because of my extroverted nature, it’s really easy for me to just go, go, go. I’ve learned, though, that a little time to decompress – read, binge TV, do chores, or otherwise just exist – is good for me and gives me the opportunity to be still with my thoughts.
  • Daily devotional time. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible (as well as other inspirational books) keeps me centered and focused on the things that truly matter, and it’s the most surefire way to find peace in stressful times. Non-Christians can also benefit from a daily reflective practice, but for those who adhere to a faith, I think this step is crucial.

Those are some of the ways I stay healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Yours may be different. You may be someone who needs time in nature on a regular basis. Or maybe you’re an introvert who needs to protect your alone time. Maybe a relaxing bath and a glass of wine is all you need.

But whatever it is, be sure you make time for those things. Self-love isn’t selfishness. Even the Bible compares Christ’s love to how we as humans nourish and cherish our bodies (Ephesians 5:29). By being sure that we stay healthy, we’re then much more equipped to do the things that we need to do, and to be a blessing to other people.

Another way that I take care of myself is by fostering my creative side through clothes, so with no further ado…

It’s already that time, y’all. My first sweater of the season, although I paired it with white jeans to help ease the transition from summer to fall – never an easy task for me.

The sweater is actually a sweater dress, I think, and at some point in the season, I may wear it with leggings or tights. But, for now, I just did a half tuck in the front to make it seem like it’s a normal length.

I’m also trying to work on my poses, and this not-looking-directly-at-the-camera thing seems to be the way to go. How am I doing?

What are some of the ways you stay healthy by taking care of yourself first? Let me know in the comments – maybe we’ll all get some other good ideas!

<3,

SB

Self-Care: Part 1 – The Importance of Self-Care

In relaunching my blog, there were bound to be some bumps in the road. First up: I’m not yet back in the habit of taking intentional pictures of my outfits (nor of waking up early enough to do so). However, I did get my camera and tripod out, charged the battery, and found my SD card, so we’re definitely making some progress.

In the meantime, here is another mirror selfie. I wore this outfit to see Bobby Bones’ comedy show on Saturday. Essentially, I just took myself on a date. After reading last week’s post, a very thoughtful and generous friend gave me the ticket, and I drove myself, sat by myself, and bought myself a drink. I really didn’t need to dress up to impress myself, but that’s never stopped me before.On a related note, did I wear neon orange to draw Bobby’s attention? Yes. 100 percent. Did it work? Not at all.

Nevertheless, thank you to my friend for the ticket – it was so very appreciated. And if my writing ever inspires any of the rest of you to give me things, please know that you are more than welcome to do so.

On my last post, my friend Sarah asked if I would talk about some of my self-care routines. First of all, thank you, Sarah, for the suggestion. I love when a friend recommends a new topic! Second of all, yes, I think self-care is a natural extension of my blog, as really, fashion is a part of taking care of yourself. Almost every contestant ever on What Not to Wear was someone who “was so busy taking care of other people, she didn’t have time to worry about herself.” (Side note: my friends and I used to spend significant amounts of time day dreaming about how to make ourselves look shabby enough for an extended period of time to qualify for the $5,000 shopping spree in New York with Stacey and Clinton. We never got very far.)

The point is, when you look good, you feel good, which impacts your confidence and overall demeanor. This affects, in turn, how other people perceive and receive you. So, while fashion may seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things – and, compared to starving children or drug trafficking, perhaps it is – it certainly has its place of significance in our lives.

Of course, fashion is just one part of self-care, and over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some different aspects. For now, though, this post is long enough, and I have reached the stage of life where I use 5 different products on my face every night, so I need to start the long nocturnal process. Please let me know if you have any other topics you’d like me to discuss – on self-care, or otherwise – and have a great week!

<3,

SB

 

 

Long Time, No See!

It’s been a while, y’all. When I went on my blogging break a little over a year ago, I wasn’t sure what the future held for Tastefully Trendy. Would I be back a week later? A month? Would I ever be back? Would anyone care either way?

Well, a few weeks ago, at least 30 of you voted in an Instagram poll that you’d like to see me back, which is way more validation than I needed. So, let’s dive right in. Here’s a look at my life since July 10, 2017 – by the numbers:

414 – approximate number of days I’ve been MIA.

8+ – pairs of shoes I’ve bought in that time period

Innumerable – Target trips

2: low-key celebs I’ve met and tried to slide into their DMs

0: times I’ve been successful


(Bobby Bones and John Crist – it’s not too late to get back to me!)

5: days spent on a beach trip to Pensacola

10: pairs of shoes I packed for said beach trip

Countless: hours it took to pack for same beach trip. Still the worst packer ever, guys.

1: Navy SEALs I’ve gone on a date with

1: Navy SEALs I’ve instantly fallen in love with (spoiler alert: San Diego and Nashville are too far apart.)

2: exes who got engaged this summer

0: chiropractors I’ve hit on

409: days I’ve been grateful to live in Nashville (I subtracted the days I was at the beach, let’s be real.)

So, as you can see – not a lot has changed. I still love clothes and going on dates and my church choir. I still waffle between being hopeful and feeling discouraged about my life trajectory – sometimes even simultaneously. And, I still hope that my little blog is both fun and encouraging to those of you who read it. Thank you so much to all of you – your existence is good for my soul.

I’m still not sure what the future holds for Tastefully Trendy. For now, I’m thinking a weekly post might be both attainable and enjoyable for me. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are my vacation outfits – even more poorly edited than usual because I took them with my phone, in a mirror. But, I left on my Snapchat captions for your reading pleasure.

Honestly, y’all, my stomach is not my greatest feature, so this is as much crop as I dare. On a related note, I’m 33 years old.

This last outfit I did not wear on vacation, but I bought it and took it with me on vacation, and I love it, so it’s a bonus.

Thank you all for reading and encouraging me to come back. Please feel free to leave comments, and let me know if you have anything you’d like me to talk about – fashion or otherwise. Or, just say hey. Have a good week!

<3,
SB

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.

1-merica

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?

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