Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A skirt to wear year round

 



Hi everyone!  I'm a day late with my blog post this week, because well...life happens sometimes, right?!?  One of the things I told myself at the beginning of the year in this post was that I was going to work on giving myself more grace in all areas of my life, including the blog.  And, this is one of those times! But anyhow, on with my post...

Earlier this week, I worked on a fun project with one of my blogger friends, LauRen Merola, with "All of the F-Words" blog. (Such a great blog name, right?!?)  LauRen has a podcast called The Style Squad and she invited me on to talk about fashion from the Screen Actors Guild awards.  We had a great time talking about all the hits and misses on the red carpet!  You can listen to the podcast HERE.



Not sure about where you all live, but here, the weather has been a bit crazy!  We had snow last week, and this week, we are seeing high temps around 60 degrees.  I know we aren't finished with winter yet, but these warmer temps have me ready for spring!  If you are looking for a cute item to add to your closet to wear now as well as when it gets warmer, I've got the perfect option for you!  This pretty floral skirt is an item you can wear year round.

I am wearing it now with this beautiful cream blouse that has some detailing on the bodice, along with over the knee boots.  You could also wear the skirt now with a cream, pink or grey cardigan.  As it gets warmer, I plan to pair it with a pink or white tee shirt and some flat sandals for a more casual look.  I will also dress up the skirt some with a pretty short sleeve top and some wedges.

I am all about finding clothes that can be worn year round, and this pretty floral skirt is definitely one of my new favorites!  I would love to hear...what are some items you have in your closet that you wear year round?  Feel free to comment below or send me an email.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Outerwear Options for any occasion & budget


Similar black coat here \\  Grey pants 

Hi everyone!  Not sure about where you live, but here, Mother Nature has been a little crazy lately!  It was cold, then got up in the 60s, and now it is cold again with a chance of snow tomorrow.  No matter what the temp is where you are, chances are you need some type of outerwear this time of year.  If so, keep reading!  I have a bunch of different outwear options for any occasion and temperature.  And good news...a bunch of the items I have linked are on sale!

I think everyone needs a classic coat in your collection that can be worn for dressier occasions or to business functions.  You can't go wrong with a traditional black coat, and navy and grey are also good color options.  A classic peacoat in one of these basic colors can look dressy, professional and also go with just about any color outfit you choose to wear.

Other colorful coat options:  same coat in pink \\ J Crew coat (comes in tons of colors)

Grey faux fur coat \\ Other options here, here & here

Similar leopard coats - all on sale - here, here & here

I also like having another heavier weight option when you want to wear something other than a traditional neutral wool coat.  There are a few ways to add a little more style to your winter outerwear.  You can pick an unexpected color, like this blue coat, that still has a more traditional style.  You can also go for a different texture like faux fur, as seen with the grey coat I am wearing above.  And, if you are feeling really bold, you can choose a coat with a bold pattern, and of course my favorite is always leopard print.



Similar denim jackets here and here

There are a few lighter weight outerwear options that are must-haves for any stylish gal!  For those of you that live in warmer climates, this might be the heaviest jacket you need.  I think a great moto jacket is a staple that you will wear year after year.  There are so many choices out there - from leather to suede and I have linked several for you above.  In addition to a moto jacket, a good denim jacket is another choice that won't go out of style.  You can go for a traditional style or something with a little more flair like distressing or embroidery.

I hope that some of the items I have linked for you in this post catch your eye!  If you decide to pick up a new coat or jacket, I would love to hear what you choose.  Thanks so much for reading Smart Southern Style!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tanceuticals Self Tanner Review


Similar floral dress here & here \\ Similar denim jacket here & here \\ 

Hi everyone!  Although it is the middle of winter and freezing outside, I am a big fan of having a little tan on my skin.  I think it makes me look healthier and better all around.  Now when I say "tan", I don't mean the real kind you get from the sun.  I spent too much time in the sun and in tanning beds when I was younger and my skin is paying for it now.  So the only kind of tan I get now is from a bottle or a spray tan booth.

I have been getting spray tans some lately, but let's face it, those can get expensive and aren't as convenient since you have to drive somewhere to get it done.  I was looking for an option to use at home that would look realistic and would be easy to apply, and that is where Tanceuticals comes into the picture.  It is ranked as the number one self tanner on www.selftanning.com so I thought I would give it a try.



I started by using the Tanceuticals Pre-Tan Exfoliator because it is always a good idea to exfoliate your skin to prep it for the perfect sunless tan.  Tanceuticals has several types of self tanner and I chose to use the CC Self Tanning Body Mousse in Dark.  There is a lotion option as well, but I prefer the consistency of a mousse better...it's a personal preference I think.  I think one of the keys to a natural looking sunless tan is to use a tanning mit to apply the tanner on your skin.  It basically looks like an oven mit and you put the mousse or lotion on the mit instead of directly on your hands.  This way, you get a more even tan and don't run the risk of having tan palms...a sure sign of self tanner gone wrong!!  One thing I really like about Tanceutical's mousse is that it has some instant color in it so you can see where you are applying the mousse and ensure that it is applied evenly on your skin.

I was so pleased with how my sunless tan looked once it appeared in a few hours.  It was even and a nice non-orange realistic color.  I have the Tanceuticals tanner on in these photos, but it was 28 degrees during this photo shoot, so I wasn't about to show much skin!  Ha!  In the days after I applied the self tanner, I used the Everyday Tan Extender to moisturize my skin and help my tan last a little longer.  My tan lasted almost a week and never looked streaky or unnatural.  Overall, I was very happy with the products and will continue to use them to keep a healthy glow all year round.

If you have any questions about my experience with Tanceuticals, feel free to comment below or send me an email.  For more information about Tanceuticals or to purchase any of their products, you can visit their website at www.tanceuticals.com.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read Smart Southern Style!

Thank you to Tanceuticals for sponsoring this post.  All ideas, opinions and photographs are my own.  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Most popular items of 2017


Hi everyone!  Today on the blog, I wanted to share 5 of the most popular items that I posted on Instagram in 2017.  I only selected items that are still available, because no one likes to see something they really want only to find out it is out of stock, right?!?

1.  Pink suede mules:  These pretty slip ons were a hit with you all, and I love them too!  They are super comfy and cute.  The mules come in 7 different colors including this pretty pink.  They do run a  bit small, so size up 1/2 size.


2.  Favorite distressed jeans:  These are hands down the most comfy jeans I own.  They are soft and have just the right amount of stretch and distressing.  And the best part...they are super affordable too!  I find that they run true to size.


Similar sweater here & here \\ Camo jeans \\ Similar black booties \\ 

3.  Camo jeans:  Many of you purchased these camo jeans and for good reason!  They fit well and have zippers and distressing at the ankles for a little something extra.  You can wear them now with a long tunic or sweater and pair them with a short sleeve tee in the warmer months.  The camo jeans run true to size.


4.  Layered necklace:  I wear this necklace more than any other one I own, and get more compliments on it!  You all liked it for it's versatility and reasonable price...especially when you calculate the cost per use!  You won't be disappointed if you add this beauty to your collection.  Free shipping on it too!


5.  Black purse with gold bracelet handle:  You have seen this in a bunch of my photos because it is my favorite bag!  It is so unique and adds a little something to any outfit.  It is a dupe of a designer bag but costs around $100 & comes in tons of colors.  I've lost count of how many compliments I've received on this bag.  This is a great addition to any handbag collection!

I hope this post recapping some of the most popular items on Smart Southern Style has been helpful to you!  These 5 items are some of my favorites and I hope you like them too.  If there is anything you would like to see on the blog in future posts, please comment below or send me an email.  Thanks so much for reading along!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Reflecting on 2017 & Goals for 2018

My top 9 most liked Instagram photos of 2017

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a fresh new start in 2018.  I know I am!

2017 was a wonderful year in many ways, and I am so thankful for all my blessings, especially my health & that of my loved ones, my sweet family & most importantly, the grace and love of Jesus.  2017 was the year I finally took the plunge and started Smart Southern Style.  I'd been considering starting a blog for about a year, but kept coming up with excuses for why I shouldn't (not enough time, unsure of where to start, doubting why anyone would care what I had to say, you name it..).  But the nudging inside me persisted, and in July I decided to start researching how to start a blog.  I started my Instagram in late July and Smart Southern Style made it's debut in October of this year.  I have included a few of the most popular looks I posted in 2017 throughout this post.



Although I am still new at all this blogging stuff, I had some accomplishments this year that I am proud of, and I'm a firm believer that we all need to acknowledge what we've done well, not just what we can do better.
  • I found a company to develop the blog & found a wonderful photographer to take my photos.  I also came up with my blog name & designed a logo.  
  • I was accepted to Reward Style / LIKEtoKNOW.it the first time I applied.  If you don't already follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.it, you can follow me & quickly shop all my looks by clicking here.  
  • I connected with some sweet local bloggers through networking. 
  • I participated in my first boutique photo shoot & met more fabulous blogger babes.
  • I was invited to be a guest on a local TV show for a fashion segment.  
  • And most importantly...I have been able to connect with all of you wonderful readers!



I am still in the very early stages of blogging but have already thought of ways to improve and grow in the coming year.  Although these are my goals specifically about the blog, they are applicable to just about any goal we set for ourselves.

1.  Be more consistent:  I have done well with posting regularly on Instagram & Facebook, but not so much here on the blog.  My goal is to have a new post every Tuesday and Thursdays as well if I have something else worth sharing in one week.  However, if I don't have anything valuable to share some days, I am not going to create a new blog post "just because".  I want to bring you all content that is helpful, so please comment below or send me an email with any blog post ideas you would like to see.  Being consistent sets us up for success with anything:  eating better, exercising, spending quiet time with God, good work habits, etc... That brings me to my next goal...

2.  Plan ahead:  I have been terrible at planning this year, and have found myself scrambling sometimes to come up with something new to post, either here or on social media.  This needs to change because I am not providing the best possible content when I am posting last minute, and it causes unnecessary stress.  (And Lord knows none of us need any more of that in our life!)  I want to plan out the content I will share with you all each month & keep running lists of new blog post ideas.   This is the case for any of our goals - if we plan ahead and set time aside on our calendar for what we want to do, we are more likely to accomplish our goals.

3.  Don't compare myself to others:  This is so hard for us ladies, isn't it?!?  But let's face it, when we do this, we are comparing our insides with someone else's outsides.  What we see and perceive about another person isn't reality and we all need to remind ourselves of that.  I can't compare what another blogger does/posts/looks like, because I am not her.  And let's be honest, what we see on social media is someone's highlight reel, right?  We all put our best stuff out on the inter-webs, not the not-so-pretty (but sometimes real life) stuff.  If we all focus on what we are good at and stay in our own lane (verses wishing we were more like someone else), we are all more successful.

4. Give myself grace:  This is another one that is hard for us ladies.  We are so hard on ourselves!  Whether it is about our role as a mom, wife, daughter, employer, friend or anything else, it is so easy to beat ourselves up when we do something wrong.  I have to keep reminding myself that although this blog is a passion of mine, I also have a demanding full time job that I love and want to be the best wife and mom to my family.  So, that will sometimes mean not having as much time as I would like to devote to the blog.  But..we need to give ourselves grace and just do the best we can, because no one does everything well all of the time.

5. And most importantly...Have fun!:  I started this blog because I have a love for fashion and a true desire to help ladies live a more fashionable life.  I am a firm believer that having great clothes that we feel good in will give us more confidence which can impact every area of our lives. I want to continue to grow and provide you all the best possible content, but having fun with this blog is my top priority.  If we aren't enjoying what we are doing, I think that means we either need to do something else or ask God to change our heart & attitude.  I absolutely love this new blogging adventure, but if it ever becomes more of a chore than fun, it will be time to reevaluate.

Well...I think that covers my reflections on the last year and my goals for Smart Southern Style (& many other areas of my life) in the coming year. I hope that some of what I have shared here is also applicable to your own personal goals for the new year.  I am so grateful that you have joined me on this journey and appreciate you more than you know. Cheers to a new year!
 

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