Saturday, June 29, 2013

blogger spotlight: itsy bitsy indulgences

Meet Shannon and Allison of the amazing lifestyle blog Itsy Bitsy Indulgences.  These two sisters have a great take on the delicate balance of life and happiness (which you can read here), and not to mention a serious sense of style!   From recipes, workouts, beauty tips, and fashion inspiration- this blog truly has a little bit of everything for everyone.  Oh, and now I really wish I had a stylish sister! Be sure to check out these smart, intelligent gals on their blog and give them some love.

WUYW:  Of all of your posts, which outfit or feature has been your absolute favorite thus far?

Of all our posts I would have to say that we have two favorites and they have been the Chambray Shirt Post and the Floral Shorts Post.

WUYW:  Why would you consider this your best post to date?

I would say that the Chambray Shirt is one of our best posts because we are all about versatility and balance. If you purchase an item, try to have several different ways, and different occasions, you can wear it (that way you can get the most value from your purchase). This post demonstrated just that: One shirt to wear to four different occasions. Additionally, it was a post that took a traditionally casual piece and showed how to dress it up! We also loved the floral shorts post because we were able to demonstrate two very different ways to wear the floral trend. It’s a uniquely feminine trend that is perfect for spring/summer. It was also fun taking the pictures :)

WUYW:  How/why/when did you decide to start a fashion blog?

Starting the blog was an idea that was thought about for about a year before it’s conception. I (Shannon) originally planned to begin it on my own and to focus on healthy living. As I thought more and more about the audience that I wanted to reach, I thought that it would be great to start it with my younger sister. We are able to offer perspectives to different individuals in different parts of their lives. Someone who is 21 and reading the blog, might not want to dress like a 30 year old, and vice versa. 

The original concept of the blog was going to be based on balanced/healthy living: food, fitness, and mental health. As ideas were discussed and the blog was further formulated, we decided to add fashion, as it is definitely part of a balanced life! Fashion has always been something we have both been interested in. Growing up I (Shannon) wanted to be in the fashion world in some way… that clearly did not happen, but it doesn’t mean my love for fashion wavered! The blog is a perfect avenue to express my fashion side! Also, it has always been about finding a balance between those designer pieces and those amazing bargains. We thought it would be a fun way to show others how we are able to balance out different pieces of fashion. 

WUYW:  What was your biggest hesitation regarding starting a blog, and how did you overcome that hesitation?

The biggest hesitation regarding starting a blog was simply rejection. No one wants to put themselves out there, only to be turned down. Yet, the only way to truly overcome a fear is to face it. So, we had to come to terms with the fact that some people will like what we write about and some won’t. You can’t please everyone, and if you try to, you ultimately end up pleasing no one. We decided to be ourselves and believe in what we posted.

WUYW:  What would be your biggest piece of advice for others who are just starting a blog?

To be yourself and blog about what you love!

WUYW:  What do you do for a living? 

I (Shannon) am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. 

Allison is currently in her last semester of her Master’s program to become a Marriage and Family Therapist as well. Allison currently works with children with Autism.

WUYW:  How would you describe your style?

Shannon: Classic and Feminine
Allison: Ecclectic… willing to try anything if it looks good on!

If you could only save one item from your closet (heaven forbid), what item would it be?

Shannon: My pair of Nude Christian Louboutin Shoes
Allison: My Leather Jacket

WUYW:  Who or what is currently influencing your style the most?

We are loving the feminine styles for spring: floral trends, prints, bright colors, flowing fabrics, metallics, and bold accessories.

WUYW:  If you could trade closets with anyone, who would it be with?
What about the Joie store? OH! Olivia Palermo has an amazing fashion sense!

 A BIG thanks to Allison and Shannon of Itsy Bitsy Indulgences!

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PS: Congratulations to Erika Glover Wycoff, 
I will be emailing you ASAP for your shipping information.

Thanks to everyone who participated :) 
 Happy Saturday! 



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

what i wore: neon pink

Shirt: Jcrew (old- similar here) | Shorts: Target | Shoes: GoJane (sold out- similar here) | Necklace: Jcrew (ON SALE) | Purse: Tory Burch (similar) | Sunnies: Amazon | Earrings: Jcrew | Bracelets:  Jcrew 1, Jcrew 2, and Stella and Dot x 2 | Watch: Michael Kors | Ring: David Yurman | Lips: MAC Candy Yum Yum

So, I just couldn't believe that these adorable shorts came from J.crew- ahem- I mean Target!  I found them the same day I ran across their darling neon pink seahorse button up and knew they would be the perfect pair.  As it turns out, these shorts have been a perfect match for several things in my closet!  
What can I say?  I will never, ever outgrow the color pink!

PS:  If you are not aware of Go Jane, please do yourself a favor and get acquainted with their website.  If you are ever in a pinch, or need CHEAP shoes QUICK- head to their site.  SO many of their shoes mimic Zara- which in my opinion has some of the best shoes ever.  I scored these heels in nude and black for $19.99- total no brainer.

PSS:  With all of the changes in Google Reader, please make sure you follow me via Bloglovin or some other source :) 
Also, be sure to leave me your link so I can follow along, too!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

happy 2nd wedding anniversary + my top five marriage tips

Today marks Ryan and I's two year anniversary!  It truly feels like we got married a couple of weeks ago- so cliche, I know.  But honestly.  I am one of those girls who literally dreamed of the day she would get married since I first watched Cinderella at age 3.  Most of you all do not know very much about Ryan, other than he is the patient and creative man behind the lens of this blog.  And that he is a total stud ;)  I figured today would be the perfect day to share with you all a little bit of our personal love story. 

Truthfully, I do not know the first time I met Ryan.  We both grew up in Memphis, but went to different high schools.  As soon as I went to college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, I pledged a sorority- Delta Zeta.  I met some of my very best friends through this sorority, who went to an all girl sister school of Ryan's all boy brother school.   He attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, a mere three hours away.  We would randomly see each other in passing while in Memphis over Thanksgiving Breaks and Christmas Breaks.  I actually went to a party at his brother's house, which is the first time I distinctly remember Ryan...because he Facebooked me the very next day ;)

He and his friends would come and visit UT for football and basketball games.  After one football game in November of Junior year, we danced the night away and shared our very first kiss!  I, of course, was humiliated because I didn't want him to think I was the kind of girl who would kiss the first night I hung out with someone!  I sent him a Facebook message the very next morning letting him know how much fun I had and an apology for the smooch.  (Lame!)  He was so sweet and said we should hang out as soon as we got back to Memphis in November for Thanksgiving, which we did.  We shared another kiss.  Then my family and I went to Whistler, Canada for our annual Christmas ski trip and I finally told my mother I think I had met someone I would like to date seriously.  Obviously, I didn't reveal his name.

Before we both went back to school for second semester, Ryan invited me to a rush event for his fraternity at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  I went, without  hesitation, and we spent all night talking to each other.  Ryan said that he wanted us to be serious, to which I rolled my eyes.  How in the world were we going to survive a long distance relationship?  They never, ever worked out. I was very doubtful.  He swore to me that we would see each other every weekend.  So we made a deal that we would play it by ear and see if we could fulfill his promise. And we did.  Ryan told me he loved me and that he knew I was the girl he was going to marry after 12 weeks (weekends, really) of dating.
And I knew he meant it.

You receive so much advice from couples, married or not, that you consider when thinking about your personal relationships.  I had many people in my ear about if we should or should not date.  One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for others is to truly follow your heart.  You hear this often, and I use to get worried- what if my heart doesn't know?!?!?! But, I PROMISE, when you know- you know.  You make a decision and your heart is content and at total peace with it.  You CANNOT listen to anyone else in regards to matters of the heart. 

After being married two years (and dating for almost four years before that), Ryan and I's relationship truly could not get any better.  It almost scares me to think of how strong we will be at 10 years, 25 years, or even 50 years.  Is it even possible?  You always dream of finding the person who was perfectly made for you.  And I did.  It's funny how two people can be total, polar opposites in many ways, but also a perfect fit in others.  Ryan is blonde haired, blue eyed, totally athletic and extroverted.  I am brown haired, brown eyed, CANNOT catch a ball and do not enjoy being sweaty, and also extremely shy and introverted.  Yet, we have the same sense of humor, patience, and a willingness to do anything for others.  Ryan did the impossible- he proved me wrong about guys.  And he continues to do so each and every single day. Without further ado, or any more sappiness, here are some things that I have learned along the way in our marriage. 

1.  Set Clear (and realistic) Expectations

Many people take a marriage class through their church before they get married.  At that time, Ryan and I had not yet found a church that we felt met our needs, yet we didn't want to miss out on having those crucial conversations.  Our solution was to complete a devotional together.  We used the "Before I Say I Do" preparational manual for couples. Although I truly grew from this, I am not saying that this is the best devotional for each and every couple.  What I am saying is that you really do need to sit down and have those conversations of expectations from each of you- careers, children, finance, living arrangements, religion, etc.  One of the lessons that most stands out to me is an exercise in which each of us described the characteristics of what we thought made an ideal spouse.  Seems so obvious- but to see it written down of what he thought made a wife, and what I thought made a husband, lead to a very deep and beneficial conversation.

2.  Do not be selfish

I hate to admit it, but this has probably been one of the hardest ones for me.  You go your whole single life looking out for yourself, making sure you are happy and comfortable.  I had never shared a bank account with someone, or had to have a discussion every time I wanted to buy something expensive.  The truth is, it is no longer just you.  Both of your happiness is equally important.  The good news is, like with any life adjustment, it just takes time!  The more you do something, the more of a natural habit it becomes.  In this case, I truly think the old saying is true- it is better to give than to receive.  Nothing makes me happier than to do little things for Ryan and to surprise him.  Keeping the lines of communication open, finances and all, is one of the most important things. 

3.  Do not talk negative about your spouse to others

I had read this piece of advice some time ago, and the more that time passes, the more it has resonated with me.  As with any  relationship,  there will be ups and downs.  In the heat of the moment, people (specifically gals) like to vent to their moms, best friends, etc.  I do not think there is anything wrong with getting advice from others, but I do think you should wait until you have cooled off before you share the details.  Each and every time you share information like this with someone else, you are, in a way, changing their opinion of your spouse.  You get over the issue with time, but that person remembers the things that you shared and how it made you feel at the time.  I do not want my friends or family thinking negative things about my wonderful spouse just because I was frustrated one day for a few hours. Marriage is a very special thing that should be protected and defended!

4.  Focus on the Positive

This piece of advice spans many topics, not just marriage. Too many times we focus on the negative, somehow it seems to just come naturally to many people.  NOBODY wants to be around a negative Nancy, especially your husband.  I have really learned to pick my battles.  So he doesn't load the dish washer in the most effective way- is it really worth having a conversation over? Would you want the person you love continuously pointing out your flaws and what you are not good enough at?
I don't think so.   
TELL him when you appreciate him and why.
TELL him what he is great at.
If you are not going to be each others biggest cheerleaders, who is?

I am not great at math, but the formula I keep in the back of my mind is for every negative comment that comes out of my mouth, there needs to be three positives.  If something is big enough to sit down and have a conversation over, try to keep the accusations out of it and really think about the delivery and tone of your message.
That is one of the biggest reasons I love Ryan, I know he has my back no matter what. 

5.  Have fun together

Once you get married, it is so easy to find yourself in a slump.  It is kind of a bittersweet thing, it is so refreshing knowing you don't always have to try so hard, like many of us do in the beginning of a relationship. Yet, you are both exhausted and stressed from work.  You need to save money for a house, vacation, etc. But, it is so important to continue to date.  Get dressed up.  Go out to dinner and a movie.  Surprise them with little things. Ryan and I have a promise that we have a minimum of one date night a week. Sometimes I plant love post-its randomly in his lunch, on the mirror, etc.  I see something small that reminds me of him- like a Memphis Grizzlies Tervis Tumbler and grab it for him.
Truly, it is the small gestures that mean the most to us.

Happy, happy, happy two years, Ry!  

Somehow my love for your manages to grow more and more each day.
You have made me the happiest girl in the whole world, and I cannot wait to see how our love story grows throughout the years.

Thanks for following along!  What are some relationship tips your have learned along the way?

To see more of our wedding, you can go here!

PS:  With all of the changes in Google Reader, please make sure you follow me via Bloglovin or some other source :) 
Also, be sure to leave me your link so I can follow along, too!


Monday, June 24, 2013

what i wore: oliva palermo inspired leopard shorts

So, I saw this outfit on Miss Olivia Palermo via Pinterest and knew I had to recreate it!  
Perfect summer outfit with a touch of sass.

Blouse: Jcrew (similar here- on MAJOR sale) | Shorts: Forever 21 (similar here) | Purse: Tory Burch (similar here) | Shoes: Shoedazzle (similar here) | Sunnies:  Amazon | Bracelets: Jcrew 1, Jcrew 2, Stella and Dot x 2, and Hermes | Watch: Michael Kors | Necklace: Very Jane (similar here) | Ring: David Yurman | Earrings:  Jcrew

Happy Monday!

PS:  With all of the changes in Google Reader, please make sure you follow me via Bloglovin or some other source :) 
Also, be sure to leave me your link so I can follow along, too!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

blogger spotlight: walking in memphis in high heels

I have a very special place in my heart for our blogger of this week's blogger spotlight, as she is located in my hometown of Memphis, TN!  Meet Laura of Walking in Memphis in High Heels.  Probably one of the most astounding things is that Laura's blog is fairly new- created in December of 2012.  With an incredible following thus far, she has accomplished so many things in these past few months, and I love reading her posts.   She has impeccable taste, and is mindful of any reader's budget by offering a Splurge/Steal version of her outfits. She has been such a doll to correspond with, and I cannot wait until we have our future Day to Night collaboration together.  How lucky am I?

  Oh, did I mention her hair is AH-MAZING?!?!?!?!  

WUYW:  Of all of your posts, which outfit or feature has been your absolute favorite thus far?

My favorite outfit so far was the outfit post from May 7.  I normally wear shorter shorts, but had been wanting to try the boyfriend style with heels.  I went back and forth in the dressing room debating on whether to even buy them or not.  It was one of those purchases I was sure I would probably return because they would just hang in my closet, but it turns out they’re one of my favorite pairs of shorts now.

WUYW:  Why would you consider this your best post to date?
I don’t know if it was the lighting or the bright colors I wore, but I think the beautiful colors in my outfit just pop, and they really represent me well.  I love bright, fun colors, so I am naturally drawn to outfits that are colorful.  

WUYW:  How/why/when did you decide to start a fashion blog?

I started blogging 5 months ago after my husband urged me to.  I had been reading fashion blogs for just a few months, but had really begun to get into them.  He said why not just start one yourself.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before, but I’m so glad he gave me the extra push and motivation that I needed.

WUYW:  What was your biggest hesitation regarding starting a blog, and how did you overcome that hesitation?
I started my blog during my first semester of grad school.  I’m in school full-time, and I work full-time, so I would definitely say my biggest hesitation was whether I could juggle it all.  It was a little tough at first and it has taken a while to get into more of a routine, but starting a fashion blog has been one of the best choices I’ve made so far.  I’ve met so many great people and I absolutely love doing it.  I love sharing my passion with others and also getting more outfit inspiration from other fellow bloggers.  It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me.

WUYW:  What would be your biggest piece of advice for others who are just starting a blog?

Be yourself.  Find what you like and you do best, and display that through your blog.  Also try to find a good routine with when to post.  That way your readers can look forward to reading at a certain time or day.  Also, the better the quality photos, the better the post.  Everyone loves looking at nice photos.  = )

WUYW:  What do you do for a living? 
I’m a credit analyst in the corporate world and am working my way towards becoming a credit manager.

WUYW:  How would you describe your style?

Downtown chic?  That’s what I’ve been told, but I call it a little bit of everything.  = )  I think I have a bit of an eclectic style.  If I had to pick 3 stores to represent my style, I would say J. Crew, Urban Outfitters and BCBG.

WUYW:  If you could only save one item from your closet (heaven forbid), what item would it be?

From my closet, I would have to say my Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans.  I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of them.  In the winter, I am definitely a jeans girl.  Any item including accessories?  I would have to say my new Karen Walker sunglasses.  In love.  = )

WUYW:  Who or what is currently influencing your style the most?
Pink Peonies has always definitely been my favorite fashion blogger as far as style goes.  I feel like her style is pretty versatile, and I’ve never seen her wear an outfit that I wouldn’t wear.  Every time I see her wear something, I usually own the same piece, so I think her style represents mine pretty well too.  It isn’t anything too out there, and they are pieces that I can usually always wear to work and out also.

WUYW:  If you could trade closets with anyone, who would it be with?
Definitely Oliva Palermo.  She looks amazing in everything she wears.  She can do trendy, girly, casual, pretty much everything.  Enough said.  = )

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