Fashion

Loving Life & Leather

Try saying that 5 times fast LOL

Hey friends,

I wanted to use today's blog post slot to give you all a little update on our lives!

Blake has been at his new job for 2 weeks now!  He's loving it so much!  The new doctors are great, his new co-workers are so nice and very welcoming, he is learning new things there A.K.A. the nurses stitch people up in this Cath Lab (something he's never had [I mean, gotten] to do before LOL!  The only negative thing he's said so far is that they keep the temperature at 60 degrees in the lab!!  LOL, he does not like to be cold!!  But he's taken some jackets and long sleeve tees to wear under his scrubs, so he will be just fine :)  He's still liking his truck, though he does miss his mustang, but the truck allows for us to experience a different kind of independence that we haven't before!  Not having to ask to borrow a truck all the time has been so nice!  Especially during this renovation!!

Speaking of renovation, this home reno has been a bit more challenging than the others... We've never done the kitchen before, and living without a kitchen for a month really sucks, and is getting kind of expensive!  So not only is it expensive because "time is money," but without a kitchen, we've had to eat out this whole time, OMG!!  But, on the bright side it should be completed by Tuesday!!  I'm super ready to finally have a house not under construction (well, until we decide it's time to tackle that pink bathroom LOL)!!

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As for me, I've quit my full-time job at the City... And as much as I've enjoyed being full-time blogger, boutiquer, and renovation manager these past 2 weeks, I've decided to go back to "school" and get my Real Estate and Property Management licenses!  I will start classes on Monday October 9th back in Columbia!  Unfortunately, I'm more nervous than excited at this point... I know that's so sad to say, but I really never wanted to be a student again LOL!  In college I obsessed over school...  And I just definitely don't want to be that person again!!!  But nevertheless, in 9 days, I'm going to kick Real Estate school's butt!!  And now that today marks the start of October, I will finally be ordering Fall apparel for Demure - something that I wait all year long to do!!  I can't wait for y'all to see what I've picked out!!!  And also, since today is October 1st, Demure Styled earrings are going out today, but I also need to tell y'all (for those that subscribe), that I have too many subscribers now to ship them all out in one day.... I get so embarrassed walking into the Post Office and putting 21 packages on the counter, while everyone that was in line behind me gets frustrated that I've basically just tied up the one representative for at least 20 minutes... So, until I find an economic way to ship from home, I will be separating y'all's earring-of-the-month shipments into 3 separate days... I'm sorry!

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We are doing the backsplash in the kitchen ourselves this weekend, but after that, we are finally trying out new churches next Sunday!!  I'm very excited about that!!  We are starting at the church that our friends here attend!!  I'm really itching to get into a new church family and to be involved again!!  Pray for us that we find the right one and that we will have something to offer to whatever church we end up at!!  We worked with the Middle Schoolers at our church home in Lexington, and though I'd probably like to try something different this time around, I pray that my heart is willing to be placed wherever there is a need!!

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So, this photoshoot was the first one that Blake and I have had in our new hometown!  And really, I think its the most fun we've ever had doing photography together!!  

I was looking so forward to shooting this particular outfit!!  Its the type of outfit I've wanted to rock for years!!  But up until 3 weeks ago, I never owned a leather jacket!!  I've wanted one for as long as I could remember... And thanks to Tobi.com I now have one!!  This Leather Moto Jacket is the most perfect accessory for anything Fall!  Literally, you could wear it with anything!  You could pair this, or any leather jacket, with a purposefully edgy look with ripped jeans and boots, a pencil skirt and heels for work, or a lace dress and pearls for date night... They are truly so versatile, and give a little extra personality to any look!!  Y'all know how girly I am, and having a leather jacket has been a dream of mine for a while!!  So, that should be testimony enough to tell you that you need one too!!  Thank you Tobi, for making this girl's dreams come true!!!  P.S. it runs a little small... I'm wearing a medium here.

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And y'all, this DRESS!!  I purchased it 2 weeks ago once I found out Tobi sent me the leather jacket!  One of my favorite blogger/boutique owners Amelia Styles had it in her shop, and I knew I had to have it to pair with this jacket and booties!!  The shade of pink is perfect, and the flirty peplum provides the right balance to the edgy leather moto!  I'm always impressed by Amelia's style on her blog, and everything she has in her SHOP is fantastic... She's definitely someone I look up to and want to be as successful as!!  Please check her out, you won't regret it!!  P.S. This dress was not part of a collaboration with Amelia Styles, so I don't have a promo code for her shop, but all of her prices are very reasonable anyway!  I just wanted y'all to know about her and her shop!!

I hope y'all rock an edgy/feminine outfit this week ;)  Until next time friends...

XOXO

- Rachel

This leather jacket was provided to me by Tobi.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

How to Wear Camo

Hey Babes,

I've missed writing for y'all so much!!  I can't even believe its been 3 weeks since I've written a blog post!!  I hope getting my email in your inbox made you subscribers smile.... Because I know it will make me smile when MailChimp tells me it has officially SENT!!!  I still get a rush of adrenaline and butterflies every time one goes out :)

I'm sorry that I've been so absent!  Especially because last month brought on such a HUGE amount of growth for A Demure Life!!  I wish I had been able to write more for all of my loyal and new readers and followers during this move, but as pure as my intentions to do so were, no one prepared us for how hard the move, the renovation, and the transition were going to be...  I wanted to write, but when EVERYTHING in your new house ends up requiring a minimum of 3 coats of paint, your plans sort of change...  A side note of explanation: the house was previously owned by smokers, and the nicotine and smoke had imbed themselves into every surface and just bled through each new coat of paint... So every surface had to be KILTZed and then painted several times... In the living room, the ceiling had to have a total of 6 coats of various amounts of KILTZ and paint on it before it actually looked white...  And since usually 2 coats would suffice, it literally took us an entire week longer to paint this house than we anticipated!!!  Which then set everything else back 7 days... Its been a total headache, but its coming along...  And that's the main reason I've been away from my computer for so long...  I get up every morning, and I PAINT!

But now that the painting is almost done, I have more time to spend working on blogging things!! There aren't even enough positive words in the English language to explain how happy it makes me to be able to spend the days until my Real Estate classes begin blogging and boutiquing!!  Needless to say, my heart is content!!!  And this "full-time fashionista" status was bestowed upon me in the nick-of-time too... For the FIRST DAY OF FALL - the #1 season for Fashion!!!  Plus, I've gotten the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a little, and am sharing something with y'all that I've never done before!!

WORN. CAMO.  The camo trend for Fall has been blowing up all of my fashion newsletters that I get, and I've been seeing so many beautiful blogger ladies rocking it so well in their own lives, that I was inspired to talk about it as my FIRST topic of discussion back from my moving hiatus!!  

I must be honest... Not only have I never worn camo before, but I've never really even been a fan of camo at all...  Growing up in a "red-neck" town, Lexington, SC (literally, our sports rivals call us "Red-nexington"), where the majority of people owned at least one item of camo, and we had camo themed days at school, I was never into it.  I was actually completely opposed to it because of the stereotype associated with it... There I was in high school, with this hidden fashionista inside of an awkward, teacher's pet personality, in this small town where people stereotyped us as red-necks, hating camo because I didn't want to be placed into that stereotype, but didn't even know that's why I hated it until just now, typing this out....

And up until this Summer I would have still told you that I HATED CAMO!!  But, by a happy surprise, the fashion powers-at-be decided that camo was going to make a world-wide statement this Fall, and finally gave us fashion-lovers some camo options that we could be proud of!!!  And that my friends, deserves a 1000+ word blog post covering how you too can wear, and actually love, camo this Fall season!!  

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Back in July, I had a long, back-and-forth discussion with a J Crew sales associate about how I could never rock camo...  I was SO on the fence about it, and tried it on 3 different times before committing, but I ending up purchasing this camo sweater from J Crew... Its a very thin sweater for our slow, Southern transition into Fall temperatures, but could also be layered with a fantastic leather jacket further on into the year!!  I really wanted to try camo and give it the chance to work for myself, and for all of you ladies that don't currently love it!  And even for those of you that do already have a piece or two in your closet, I wanted the opportunity to help you find the right ways to incorporate them into your day-to-day wardrobe!!  In the end, I was so pleased that I decided I wasn't going to let the whole world get in on this new trend without me...  I'm learning that camo is no longer something that places you into a certain stereotype!!  It's actually a very popular style right now, and luckily for us, there are going to be more and more feminine, fashionable options to come!!  I'm surprised to say it, but everyone is going to need at least one item this year!  So here are some options:

1. A Top

Like my J Crew Camo Sweater, wearing your camo piece as the top portion of your outfit provides these style benefits: 1. You can add a white buttondown under it to make it more preppy (maybe my favorite option, and probably something I would have done if I hadn't shot this outfit in July)!  2. You can add a layering piece on top of it to subdue the boldness of the print if you're still not completely comfortable with it (a cardigan, or a leather jacket as I mentioned before)!  And 3. You can change up the bottom half of the outfit to give you the look you're going for... Leggings for a less put together look, ripped jeans (as I did) for a little more personality, or even white denim for a look that's not so dark, or heck, for those of you that like a bold feminine look, tuck it into a skirt (to mimic the aesthetic of a leather and lace combo... pair the more "masculine" camo pattern with a very feminine tulle skirt... LOVE LOVE LOVE)!!

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2. A Dress

I've been working with a company called Tobi for a little while now, putting together a little collaboration for you all, and they have the cutest Camo Dress that I've been dreaming about for a while!!  It isn't an item that they ended up sending me, but I still can't stop thinking about it:

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The more I see it, the more I'm dying to have it... Your style options with a camo print dress may be more limited because its your entire outfit, but I love the idea of this casual camo t-shirt dress with a leather moto jacket and converse for later in Fall!!  Oh my goodness, YES!!  Or with a white denim jacket and everyone's favorite wedges from Summer, now!  Or what about with a peacoat and over-the-knee boots farther into Winter!?  (Heart Eyes for sure)  Thinking about these outfits is giving me all the FEELS!!  Because you can't beat all these dreamy Fall look options for only $32!!

3. A Jacket

Another blogger, who's outfits I love, has recently styled a Camo Utility Jacket so well that I had to ask her permission to use her photo for this post!!  Bailey, with Sequins & Seams, mixed the camo pattern with a subtle black and white stripe!  I'm never good at mixing patterns because its a little outside of my type-A comfortzone, but this is a look that I'd like to remake for myself in the future!  

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The benefits of wearing your camo piece as an outer layer are ENDLESS!!  Not to mention, the popularity of the "utility jacket" greatly surpasses that of camo print anyway!  So to put both trends in one piece is the most brilliant idea ever!!!  I LOVE IT!!  Wearing camo this way allows you to: 1. Remove it if you need to... You aren't committed to the piece all day!  2. Mix and match it with items already in your closet with ease!  3. It's just flat out more wearable as a layering piece!  4. Camo is more of a colder- month pattern anyway, so I think its just so fitting to have the pattern be on a cold month clothing article!

I'd like to add to the end of these 3 DOs for Camo styling, a DON'T...  I'm trying to channel my inner Stacey London when I say: please be careful wearing camo on your bottom half... Having such a bold pattern on your leggings, joggers, or jeans will not work for all body types...  If you are toothpick thin, then go for it, but its something that will draw people's attention, and isn't necessarily something you would want to wear on your bottom... At least I know I wouldn't!!  My thighs and tush are the widest part of my body and I know that wearing a bold pattern on them would accentuate that... So, if you're like me, I would advise that stepping into the camo trend should be kept to tops, dresses, and jackets :)

So, now that you know that camo is a MUST-HAVE for this Fall, I hope that my 3 DOs of styling the camo trend are helpful to you!!  Please, if you have camo pieces that you love, please style them and send me pics...  At this early stage in my new found acceptance of camo, I really could use just as much inspiration as you could!!  And as I acquire more pieces or find inspiration, I promise to share them with you as well!!!  I've even created a Pinterest Board specifically for this purpose: How to Wear the New CAMO Trend so follow along there :)

For those of you that are A Demure Life subscribers, I have "before" pictures of our new house up on the "Subscribers Only" section of the blog!!  And I hope to have some good "after" pictures once all the painting, kitchen construction, and unpacking is complete!!!  But go check them out in the mean-time, or subscribe now to get the password with Wednesday night's email :)

Let me know your camo thoughts in the comments!

XOXO

- Rachel

 

Shop Revie

Happy Saturday babes!!

This week I have something super fun in store for you!!  I have contacted several boutiques local to my new (in 2 weeks) home!  And I've had the privilege of working with one over the last 2 months to bring some of the boutique to you!!  Revie is an online-only boutique that was founded in North Augusta, South Carolina (where Blake and I just closed on our new house yesterday!!!!)  Morgan is the owner, and her style is fantastic!!  I would totally own anything she buys to put in her shop!!!  She has a real passion for yoga, and the cutest workout-wear to rock while doing it!!  Every piece of athletic wear she carries in her store is yoga tested and approved by her :)  Her can see all her amazing yoga videos on her Instagram HERE!  She relocated to Austin, Texas just 1 month before we relocated to North Augusta... I'm so sad to have missed working with her in person, but I'm so happy we did find each other either way!!!

Its one of my greatest passions to tell the world about small businesses!!  And this is one that SO deserves your attention!!  Morgan sent me this adorable top that's part of her new Fall collection! Its composed of a thin sweater material up top, and then has a faux white poplin shirt-tail sticking out of the bottom!  Its the perfect neutral Fall top to be dressed up, or down!  And it's long enough to cover your tush in your favorite leggings!  You can find it HERE for just $28!

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I have it paired here with my favorite ripped denim and some booties for a more casual look!  My specific jeans have sold out, but Morgan happens to have a fabulous pair of ripped denim in her Fall collection for $62 HERE!  I made the necklace I've accessorized with, and it's sold out too, but if you'd like one, email me, and I'll see what I can do ;) 

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And the best part about this collaboration is that Morgan has given me a coupon code for all of you!!!  Use code: DEMURE15 at checkout to receive 15% off of your entire order!!!  P.S. If you're a subscriber and have access to the Subscribers Only Content, head over there to check out something even more special that Morgan has done for Y'ALL!!

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Some photoshoot outtakes for your enjoyment:  

I *tried* to do some yoga for Morgan, since that's her THING!  But since my jeans have NO stretch to them, this is what I got... I present to you:

Warrior 2 - Fashion Blogger Style:

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Head over to Revie and explore what Morgan has to offer!!  Even if you don't love the top that I chose, I'm sure she has something over there that would be perfect for you as well!!  Her prices are great and her quality is stellar!!  Happy shopping!!!

Love,

Rachel

This top was gifted to me by Revie, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!!

Send Hope

This week I've partnered with HopeBox to bring you an amazingly unique & uplifting subscription service.  This company does nothing but strive to send HOPE to all those that need it!!  

Seriously, this company's entire goal in the world is to make sure that no one feels hopeless!!  What an incredible ministry!!  The moment I started interacting with HopeBox, I knew this was a company I wanted to tell the world about!!  They're sheer generosity BLEW ME AWAY!!!

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I happen to have a friend whose life has recently been turned upside down when she found out that her 19-month-old son has cancer!  And within 20 minutes of talking with HopeBox, they had offered me a free box, offered you all a chance to win a free box, and offered this friend of mine a free box (sent to her in my name)!!  Without hesitation they wanted to make sure that if my friend needed some hope right now, then she would get some!!!!

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HopeBox creates new boxes each month so that each one is a little different!  So if you did want to send a HopeBox to someone more than one month in secession, then they wouldn't receive all of the same things over and over again.  Each box is filled with 10+ made-made, hope-inspiring items!  All of which are designed to help encourage someone through their next stage of healing!  This faith-based organization sends hope from the Hope-Giver Himself, but does also include hope-filled items that aren't necessarily based in the Christian faith.  If you need to send hope to someone that isn't a believer, it would be perfectly suited to them too!  Though, honestly, it does seem like a great, easy way to get THAT conversation started if they, in fact, don't know the Lord... Honestly, rock-bottom is a really good place to meet Him!!  

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Included in my box (from left to right):

1) 3 tubes of differently scented bath salts! 2) Peach colored druzzy stud earrings. 3) Lenus Cocoa Lip Balm. 4) An elephant ornament. 5) A wooden magnet that reads, "GOD'S GOT THIS" (the most amazing reminder to see every time I pass my refrigerator). 6) Artwork that reads, "There's Always a way." And also has Luke 11:9 beautifully scribed! 7) A very artsy book entitled, "Read This Till You Believe It." 8) A hand-poured Peach scented candle. 9) A cross-stitch reading, "Hope." 10) And 2 tokens that I assume I'm supposed to hide places, and when I come across them again, they will remind me that there is always HOPE!!

The book is probably my favorite item!  If you're going through a hard time, it really is something that would be good to read at the start of everyday!!  Its filled with the most beautifully painted pages and short sentences on every page reminding you that you'll make it through whatever it is you are dealing with!!  And in my opinion, the encouragement could fit almost any hope-draining situation!!

And of course I really loved the girly things too!!  This handmade lip balm and earrings were really fun to receive!!  I love them both so much!!  The earrings in particular are so gorgeous and well made :)

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And a close-up of this hand-drawn artwork!!  Its so beautiful!!  I know I'm not the only one that loves some great hand-lettering ;)

This is such a great service for those of us that live farther away from our loved ones!  These boxes are such an inspiring thing to come home to, even if you aren't in a place where you feel hopeless... So, I can only imagine how uplifting it would be to come home to if you are going through something really hard!!  Death in the family, loss of a job, depression... This box could do someone some good!!  Heck, I know school is about to start back... How many of you would have loved to receive something as great as this care package during finals week!? *raises hand*  And you can include a sweet, encouraging, personal letter with every box you send as well!!  Send it once, or send it over the course of a length of time that you choose... But,

"When you don't know what to send... Send Hope." 

Y'all, this collaboration includes a Giveaway!!  Details of that will be posted under the Subscribers Only Content tab & Instagram on Monday the 21st!  Have a wonderful rest of your week & weekend!!  Start thinking about someone who you'd like to send some HOPE to...

XOXO

- Rachel

This post is sponsored by HopeBox, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

So Ready for Fall

Hey Babes,

I don't know about y'all, but I'm about over all this hot weather, and the afternoon showers that come with it!  I've really been daydreaming about what this next season will bring for us... Both literally and figuratively.  Fall is my absolute most favorite season, and Blake and I are getting to enjoy it somewhere a little different this year!  If you're a subscriber, you've already gotten all the dirty details on this, and the rest of you will find out more and more with every blog post I'm sure!!  

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In this post in particular, I'm sharing some of the woes of property management and why this past week and weekend have been so difficult for us... Our first renter moved out of our rental property on Monday of last week... And we learned that she absolutely trashed the place!!  It took Blake and I over 22 hours total to repair all the damage and repaint every single surface in that house, and it took a cleaning lady another 10 hours to clean up all of her mess!!  After 3 days of working on that every evening/night after work, it was finally Thursday... The day we were leaving for Atlanta to check out a car Blake wanted to buy and to spend some time at the apparel market!  Then, once we returned home on Saturday, we immediately began helping my parents with their new flip house, worked all weekend, and then began the workweek again on Monday...  I'M. SO. TIRED!!  

But... Such is life!  Its the life of a property manager... Its a life we've asked for, and a life we still think we want...  It's just a bit of added stress right now, but thankfully it is temporary!!  But it did required a little retail therapy LOL!

Shopping for Fall makes ANYTHING better, I promise ;)  You can believe me because I've done plenty of it!!  This monochromatic look is the first of many Fall outfits that I want to share with you!! I especially wanted to introduce this fabulous top to you before you started your Fall shopping!! I think this short-sleeved, white eyelet-front, blush sweater-backed sweater would be a perfect Summer to Fall transition piece for your closet!!  I especially love it styled in this dressier, all neutrals outfit!!  But I also like it dressed down with denim shorts and ballerina flats. :)

The extra small fit me, but I bought the small instead.  I liked the way the sweater material on the arms fit a little looser with the small... So, just note that when picking out the size you want, the sweater fits a little boxy everywhere but the arms... Buy the size based on how you want it to fit your arms!  I'll provide the links to where you can find the items in my entire look below the next picture:

Outfit Details:

Pants - HERE ($98)

Top - HERE ($69.50)

Heels - HERE ($99)

Bag (similar, but one I've also owned) - HERE ($175)

And if you'd like to get yourself a Starbucks drink (or 2) on me, just head HERE and answer a few questions for me!! The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 13th via email*

XOXO

- Rachel

*By providing your email, you will be subscribing to this blog's post updates!

Schriver's Boutique

Hey Babes,

I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday week!!  There's not much better than celebrating our stars & stripes, eating good food, spending time with loved ones, and remembering to never take our freedom for granted!!!  Except maybe getting a new post from me (LOL, JK.... or am I?)!!!

Ok, ok, I may not be that funny... But I am fashionable!! And boy do I have somewhere fashionably amazing to tell you about!!  A wonderful Tennessee based boutique called:

Those of you that know me well know that #shopsmall #shoplocal is so very important to me!!  And even though this particular boutique may not be local to SC where I am, its still a small business that absolutely deserves your attention!!  Schriver's Boutique is based out of Maryville, TN, but carries everything online so it can be shopped from anywhere!  The owner, Kate, followed in her great grandfather's footsteps and opened a clothing store centered around quality and customer service!!  A small, family business that strives for those things above all else is my kind of business!!!  And Kate is just as kind as she could be!!

Her new Summer Collection just launched this past Friday, and among the truly unique, fabulous pieces are this super cute, very wearable top, these very versatile gold drop earrings, and that crazy-fun clutch!!  

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Close-up you can see that this top has a very seersucker-ish pattern, which is so perfect for us Southern girls' wardrobes!!  But the top is, in fact, made of a very lightweight cotton fabric!!  Its also a little oversized and really flowy!!  Plus it has all of the best Summer trends for tops - bell sleeves, a peplum, and a faux lace-up on the back!!  All of this put together means that this top is truly the most perfect Summer top for all you fashionistas!!!!  You can grab it for yourself HERE for the amazing price of $35, and I would suggest sizing down :)

The gold earrings have an almost hammered, antique look to them!!  They are the perfect length without being too heavy!!  And if you're anything like me, you could never have too many gold, go-with-everything type earrings!!  Although I think these particular earrings have sold out, Schriver's Boutique is still a great place to go for any jewelry!!  Kate loves to support local artisans and therefore, carries a bunch of handmade TN jewelry that you literally can't get anywhere else :)

But seriously, for those of you that don't know me well, I make jewelry myself as well, so you can trust me when I tell you that Schriver's handmade pieces are so gorgeous:

 

AND. THIS. CLUTCH!!  Honestly, I think it speaks for itself... But you know I'm never short on words ;)  The fun colors make it so versatile because there are so many to choose from for styling!!  If you're like me and prefer match-matchy, then this fun print is perfect for you to be able to pair it with a variety of colors and styles!!  And if you're more bold than me, this clutch could be great for a pattern-mixing outfit!!  But, I just so happened to have the most perfect neon pink dress to compliment the cute tassel zipper, and wore them together for date night this week!!  The woven texture and yarn accents give this clutch a very handmade feel!  And for only $25, you just can't beat it!!  My exact one seems to have sold out, but there are 2 more this patterns just as fun HERE & HERE!!  

Schriver's is one of those places that will never let you down if you ever need a fun, unique, statement piece to add to your current wardrobe!!  I'm in love with Kate's taste for great patterns and even greater textures!!  Nothing in her store could be labeled as "boring"!!  Absolutely everything has wonderful personality and character :)  I'll link a few more of my favorites from her new Summer Collection below!  And don't forget to use code: demure15 to get 15% off of your entire purchase!!!

Y'all have a great night!!

XOXO

- Rachel

These 3 items were given to me free of charge from Schriver's Boutique, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!!