South Carolina Blogger

1 Dress, 4 Ways

Hey Ladies,

I got this fabulous Navy & White Striped Shift Dress a couple of weeks ago... And it deserves some major blog attention!  I've spent the last 2 weeks styling it in several different ways to show that it is definitely worth every 26 of the dollars it costs!  

Not only is it an INCREDIBLE price point to begin with, but it is also so versatile style-wise!  You really can't go wrong with a navy & white striped, classicly-cut dress!  A shift dress looks great on every body type, and the company this particular dress comes from has a very accurate "find your true size" survey so you can get the size that's perfect for you!  It suggested I size up one to a 6 and I'm definitely happy with the fit!!!  

Now, let me show you how I've worn it:

First, I wore it with a trench coat and leopard print booties.  The stripe and leopard patterns are a really fun combination!  Mixing patterns has been a tough trend for me, but I enjoyed wearing this combo!!  Second, I wore it with my favorite maroon sweater over top so that it looked like a top with a skirt!  With over-the-knee boots, this was a super fun outfit because the dress/sweater combo is something I've never done before!!  I really loved this look!!!  Next, I wore it by itself with my new favorite pop-of-color shoe.  It was such a SIMPLE outfit, but I got quite a few compliments while I was out shopping :)  Then, lastly, I wore it with a great utility vest!  The utility vest made it a bit more casual, but I loved the olive with the navy & white stripes!!!

So that's 1 dress, worn 4 ways!  I love a great staple piece that is so versatile!!  And worth every penny I paid for it!!!  Especially this one, because it can be worn throughout every season!!  The 3/4 length sleeves make it perfect for all year long!! You can find this fabulous navy & white striped shift dress HERE and the rest of the items seen above can be found in the menu below!

XOXO

- Rachel

Shoes, Shoes, SHOES!!

It's no secret that I buy A LOT of clothes!  But really, shoes and other accessories just slip my mind most of the time...  Before this most recent shoe haul, I hadn't purchased new shoes in almost a year!!!  So... I decided that I would up my shoe game in 2018!!  Is it a New Year's resolution?  Not really... Just a great new style goal!! Because I seriously feel like a great shoe could truly MAKE an outfit!!  And likewise, if you don't have the right shoe for a certain look, then you might not be able to pull it off at all...  And I certainly don't want you to be in that situation, because, if you're anything like me, your outfit totally sets your mood for the day!  And I definitely want to feel FABULOUS!!! Don't you!?

Now that I've had a couples weeks to wear all my new shoe finds, I really wanted to review them for you!!!  I've listed them from least to most expensive... But nothing over $90!!  

Black Mules

These super classy black mules are the least expensive of the new shoes I've gotten.  The black makes them highly versatile and super classy.  They were a great first pair of mules for me because they stay on a lot easier than, I came to find out, most other slides do...  They also come up a lot higher on the foot, so I love that they hide my super pale feet LOL!!!!  They are only $22.99 and are a must have in my opinion!!  In fact, they are the most shopped item that I have on my blog!!  They fit true to size AND also come in a light pink/blush color!

Nude Mules

These mules are also perfect for the new slip-on trend!  If you've never owned mules before, you definitely need to have a pair this year because they are wildly popular right now!!  The nude color allows them to go with ANYTHING, so they are highly versatile and very much worth their $39.99 price tag!!  I think these are the best buy of the 3 mules I have reviewed here!!  The leather is a little rigid at first, so I got a blister on my pinky toes the first time I wore them, but I waited a week before wearing them again and then they were fine!!  They fit true to size.  

FuchsiaFlats

These beauties are only $49.99 and are my favorite of my new shoe purchases because a *super bright* pop-of-color is so much fun!!  Its also absolutely on trend!!  I love to wear them with almost any neutral outfit to add a little wow-factor to the look!  They don't come in half sizes for the 6, 7, and 8 range (but do for smaller and larger sizes), so I went up to the 8 and they are perfectly fine for me.  The suede is so soft that I didn't have any "break-in" period!!

Blush Bow Mules

These are a little more expensive, with a price tag of $69.95, but Nordstrom does free shipping so there's no added cost!!  The quality is amazing, the leather is so soft, and they are just so cute and feminine!  They aren't really a "must have," but if you like to have super cutesy shoes in your closet to add a little something to your everyday looks, these will fill that roll perfectly!!  They fit true to size.

Blush Sneaker

I've been calling these my "gangster pink shoes" to Blake since I ordered them on Friday!  LOL, I think its the high tongue that brings that name to mind... I don't have them yet, but they are due to arrive today!!!  I'm so excited to have them here for my new workout schedule (A.K.A. I just joined a gym again after a year and a half long hiatus).  Cute workout gear is SO MOTIVATING!!!  I will update this review once I've worn them a couple time... So just come back here in a few days if you're really interested in them!!  They are $69.95 and I ordered my regular size :) **Update 2/24/18** I've worn these babies twice now!  The first time was out to a casual dinner and the second was to the gym!  And I have no complaints!!  They are so comfy - they feel like they are hugging my feet without being too tight, LOL!  I wore them with socks & they fit great!  There was no break-in period!!  I love them because they worked exceptionally well for athleticism, but also for looking cute at the same time!  Two thumbs up for these tennis shoes!

Navy/ Rose Gold

Ivory/ Gold

And last, but not least... The best tennis shoes I've ever owned: These are the exact same shoe, just in different color options!  I've purchased them both and they also come in a gray combo.  These are a little older than my most recent shoe finding frenzy, but they are still available, so I wanted you to know about them!!  They fit true to size and I am still able to always wear socks with them!  They are my favorite workout companions & I have really enjoyed owning them!!  They are a little more pricey, but quality tennis shoes always are... In fact, they may be my most expensive shoes LOL!  They are $85 each, but I'll have them forever... I mean, seriously, my feet haven't changed size in a decade LOL!  Just watch for a good sale, and snatch them up!!!

That concludes my "New Shoe Review"... I will add to this post each time I find some more great foot accessories!!  And if you'd like the updated list sent straight to your inbox, make sure you subscribe to my email list HERE.  Happy Shoe Shopping!!  P.S. Each image is clickable to purchase its shoe, or you can scroll down to find all of these (and a few other pair that I own) at the bottom of this post!

XOXO 

- Rachel

A Demure Kitchen

For those of you that follow along with my Blog and/or Instagram Stories, you know that Blake and I have been renovating our new house for about 4 months now...  And as each project ends, a new one begins...  Then, so on and so forth until they're all done!  We're on the bathrooms now, but the kitchen is done, and I'm ready to REVEAL IT!!

The kitchen has had a drastic transformation:  Vinyl floors to ceramic tile...  Tan EVERYTHING to white...  Green vinyl counter tops to butcher block...  Black hardware to gold hardware... Brand new sink, backsplash, island, and dishwasher (my favorite parts!)...  And lastly, modernized light fixtures and appliances!!  It took about a month to complete because Blake and I wanted to do as much as we could ourselves, and then we ended up having to go with a second contractor after the first one let us down.  But its been done for awhile, and its my favorite of the 3 kitchens we've had thus far!!  Its so much fun cooking in a kitchen that I got to redesign completely!!! 

So, finally, I have the before-and-afters ready to reveal!!  Take a look:

These 3 areas are the key areas of the kitchen.  All are pretty self explanatory, except for the 3rd area, its harder to tell what happened there...  So I'll explain: the cabinets were removed from the wall because modern refrigerators wouldn't fit in the fridge space anyway (plus they all made the kitchen seem so small), the lowers were moved forward and tweaked a bit to become the island, and we added the pantry cabinet!  There is a small gap where Cinna's dog bowls sit, and then the refrigerator is just left of that!

The smaller details of the kitchen were so fun to put together too!

I'll link as much as I can just in case you see something you like!!  And I can't wait to show you more of the house!!!

LipSense Experience

Happy Saturday Friends!!

I don't know if you're following me on Instagram or not, but if you are, you've fallen witness to my new OBSESSION with LipSense!!  A very sweet LipSense distributor, Marcie, reached out to me a month or so ago and asked if I'd like to try out there products...  I was a little skeptical at first.   I'm not accustomed to buying beauty products outside of department stores (Belk, Dillards, Sephora, Ulta, etc.)  And although I had heard of LipSense before, I really knew nothing about it...  But I am so please to say that I am now a true LipSense believer!!  

IMG_5894-1.jpg

From right to left, these products are: 1) LipSense remover, 2) Red-Blu, 3) Pink Champagne, 4) Gold Champagne, and 5) Glossy-Gloss (the finishing touch)!

The first one I tried was Blu-Red - the most perfect "Red-Lip" lip color for those of us with super fair skin ;)  I wore it out to lunch one Sunday afternoon, and that's when my love affair with LipSense began!!  I documented my experience through the day:

The first pic was taken on the way to lunch, just minutes after I had applied LipSense for the first time!  That vibrant red color is so freaking pretty (these are all iPhone pictures with no filters)!!!  The second picture was taken just after my first bite of lunch!!  You can see from this pic of my Groucho's sandwich that the lip color is permanent!!  Not a single bit transferred from my lips to my sandwich!!  This non-transfering feature is one that Blake loves VERY MUCH ;)  And then the third picture was taken about 4 hours later and my lipstick was still PERFECT!!  It lasted much later into the night, but the rest of my makeup did't look so hot anymore so the pictures stopped there LOL!

I learned so much about LipSense that day:

1) There's a special way it needs to be applied (swipe it on in one direction, no back-and-forth).

2) Cosmetic grade alcohol is the color carrying agent, making it anti-bacterial!!

3) Once the alcohol evaporates, the color hardens onto your lips, making it permanent!

4) Meaning no fading, or smearing!!  When I put it on now, I'm confident that the next time I look in a mirror (whether 1 or 6 hours later), my lipstick will look just as perfect as it did when I left home that morning!

5) There is a gloss that goes on top to add a glossiness to the color!

6) But not only does it provide the glossy look, it is actually a legit moisturizer... My new LipSense consultant told me to start using it a couple days before trying the colors to hydrate my lips... Its AMAZING!!  My lips finally stopped feeling so chapped (because apparently waxy chapsticks don't really work)!  I use it everyday now, whether I'm applying the colors or not!!

7) Because its permanent, there is a special formula LipSense remover to take it off.

8) And last, but not least, I learned how fantastic LipSense is and that I don't think I'll ever buy any other lipstick again!  You can't beat the quality of this product!!  It is TRULY UNIQUE!!

The second color I tried was the Pink Champagne!  This is the most natural looking of the 3 I chose!  Its so perfect for everyday wear because its almost a lip neutral, with a hint of champagne ;)  It goes with almost any outfit for any occasion!!  You can see the variety of outfits I wore it with for my photoshoot last weekend (P.S. 2 of these pictures are spoilers for upcoming blog posts.... So, shhhh).

The last color I tried was the Gold Champagne!  It is such a great color for Fall!  It is a perfectly neutral color for those that don't like to wear much color on their lips because they feel like they can never find the right color to go with their skin tone (but I'm not speaking from experience or anything...)  I'm totally guilty of that!!  I have at least 6 lipsticks in my makeup bag that have only been wore once, because once I got home from the store and wore it out for the first time, I realized that it just wasn't for me...  So, I've actually stopped buying lipstick (haven't bought one in a year and a half) and why I asked Marcie to send me 3 LipSense colors to try out because I was afraid none of them would work for me...  

Imagine my surprise when I actually LOVED ALL THREE!!!  

The Gold Champagne also has some coral undertones that would be great to carry you back around into Spring!!  However, its not currently being made right now, so Marcie suggested that Dawn Rising would be a great substitute :)

IMG_5869-1.jpg

Overall, I think that the Pink Champagne is my favorite of the 3 colors!  Honestly, its the most perfect for EVERYDAY wear...  Buying that one would give you the most bang for your buck!!  To purchase, you would have to speak with Marcie directly because she doesn't have a website, but has given me a link to her Facebook Group where she does most of her consulting and distributing!  You can get there by clicking HERE

Marcie started selling LipSense because she loved how it made her feel like she was a little more put together!  She says that just adding LipSense and mascara to her daily routine just makes she FEEL so much better!!  And even though I wear a face full of makeup EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, even I can attest to the fact that LipSense makes you feel more put together because my makeup routine hasn't included lipstick on a regular basis before now!

You won't find quality lip color like LipSense anywhere else, and you won't find a consultant as eager to help you love LipSense as much as Marcie will anywhere else either!  Check her out - you won't be disappointed!!

XOXO

- Rachel

These products were given to me by Marcie with Love Your Lips With Marcie, but all experiences, thoughts, and opinions are my own!

Perfect for Fall

Hey Ladies,

I know I've said it before, and I know I'll say it a 13598613 more times before November, but I'm so ready for Fall!!  Plain. And. Simple!!  I'm sick of the hot.  Fall fashion is just FLAT. OUT. BETTER.  Its T-minus 9 days until all things pumpkin spice fill drink menus and the grocery store shelves.  I'm sick of the hot.  Boots are the most comfortable shoes ever!  The colors of the changing leaves are so beautiful.  And I'm so sick of the hot!!  

IMG_5582-1.jpg

This week I've started packing for our move...  The first thing I said to Blake was, "I'll start with our winter clothes, there's no way we'll need them in the next month..."  My train of thought after that was: "That makes me so sad," then, "I wish we were the type of people that packed away our Winter clothes in the Summer and our Summer clothes in the Winter," and then, I rationalized with myself about how that wouldn't work for us, specifically because of how many of our Summer clothes are utilized as layering pieces to our Fall and Winter wardrobes!!

That led me to visualize like every Winter outfit I could possibly wear with my new Summer pieces and THIS ONE was my favorite!!  I immediately knew I had to capture some photos and tell you why this look just WORKS!!

IMG_5686-1.jpg

The reasons I chose this tank as the featured item:

1) The pattern of the shirt isn't floral, so that's an automatic plus for season transitions!

2) Its lined on the inside, adding a little bit of thickness to the already double layered peplum!

3) It has a very structured silhouette, something that's characteristic of Winter styles, as opposed to the very loose and flowy Summer styles.

4) The color is neutral, allowing it to be easily paired with the darker colors associated with the colder months!

IMG_5601-1.jpg

Note: Even if this particular top isn't exactly your style, or is out of your price range, these are still applicable guidelines you can use when out shopping for yourself!

For Summer, you could wear this tank however you would like: casually with some nude flats, or jazzed up with a pop-of-color heel!  But for Fall/Winter, it will serve a very specific role: the bottom layer!! :)

IMG_5687-2.jpg

Here, I've paired it with one of my favorite sweaters!!  Honestly, any sweater that's fluffy, oversized, cozy, slouchy, comfy, etc. is my kind of sweater!!!  The "coziness" of this sweater adds a fairly casual feel to this outfit.  You might like the look of a slightly thinner sweater better, but you won't find any of those in my closet LOL!!  Then, I added the ripped jeans and booties to continue the casual theme.  

IMG_5682-1.jpg
IMG_5735-1.jpg

Just pair the ensemble with your favorite Fall/Winter bag and you're golden!!  This look would even be great with a preppy cardigan or blazer for a more polished look!!  And the best part about this outfit is that this amazingly versatile top is on sale right now for $59.99 HERE!  

Notes to take shopping:

1) Look for Summer tops that are neutral or have patterns that aren't too season-specific!

2) Maybe try to find a something with a little more shape/structure to serve as a good under-layer!

3) Think about what sweaters/cardigans/blazers are in your Winter wardrobe while you plan to purchase Summer basics!

4) These tips will work for dresses and pants too, though I might would go with other colors for those - both navy and gray are good colors for both Summer and Fall/Winter.

I hope transitioning comes a little easier for you this year with the help of this one, simple outfit idea!  I also hope to have plenty more for you as the cooler months get closer and closer!!

IMG_5610-1.jpg

Have a wonderful rest of your week, and I'll see you back here on Saturday evening for my first makeup collaboration blog post!!!  Get excited to hear all about my experience with, and thoughts on LipSense!!

Love you all!!

- Rachel

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!!!

IMG_7432.JPG

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!!!!

IMG_5432-1.jpg

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!!  

IMG_5439-1.jpg

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 :)

IMG_5443-1.jpg

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!