Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How We Wore It | Sequins

I've been wanting to incorporate some sort of fashion-y posts here for a while but haven't really known how to go about it.. especially because I don't consider myself to be the most fashion forward person. I mean my clothing Pinterest board is absolutely adorable but it's not the most accurate representation of what I actually wear/have in my closet.

Therefore, to kind of transition into doing some fashion posts every once in a while, I gathered some of my favorite fashion blogger friends to do a 'How we wore it' post! We used the photo below as our inspiration and incorporated elements that we liked from this outfit into our own holiday party outfit, specifically sequins! 
Photo found here

My favorite part of this inspo outfit is the sparkly skirt dressed down with a more casual top so that's what I focused on when recreating this look using what I already had in my closet. I also borrowed my mother's leather jacket because not only was it SO cute but it was FREEZING outside when we shot these photos! The statement necklace I'm wearing is my all time favorite and I wear it with almost everything. I think the added pizazz is the perfect finishing touch to any look!
Holiday Party OutfitHoliday Party OutfitHoliday Party OutfitHoliday Party Outfit
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Holiday Party Outfit
Thank you, Cahoon Hotel, for having white brick and making the perfect setting for taking photos!
Holiday Party Outfit
Holiday Party Outift
Holiday Party Outfit
Leather jacket from my mother's closet. Similar here
Shirt from TJMaxx. Similar here
Shoes from my mother's closet. Similar here. 
Necklace from Charlotte Russe. Similar here
Earrings were a gift. Similar here
Be sure to check out how the other bloggers recreated the inspiration look to fit their own style! 
Hannah from Twinnerpated
Jordan from Jordan Cidelle
Brittany from Brittany Lowry Blog
Holiday Party Outfit
A HUGE thank you to Hannah from Twinnerpated/Hannah Paige Photography for taking these pictures for me :) I had SO much fun doing this post! 

Thanks for reading! Now go buy yourself some sequins because they'll make your closet happy!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide + How NOT To Break The Bank This Christmas

This year I was determined to get everything Christmas gift related done early so I didn't have to worry about things not arriving on time... which seems to be my life every year and it is SO STRESSFUL. I always cut it way too close! So here I am at the beginning of December with all of my Christmas shopping done (besides stocking stuffers like candy that I know I will accidentally eat before Christmas day) and life feels good!

This year I wanted to be careful of two things while Christmas shopping:
1. I wanted to get gifts for people that they actually wanted/needed... not just something that I thought they should want haha because I'm that type of gift giver... Whoops! Also, gifts that inspire the true meaning of Christmas!!!
2. I also wanted to manage our Christmas spending. And lets face it guys, this is so hard! Wouldn't it be nice to have all the $$$ so we could just get people nice things that they actually want without feeling cheap? lol #medschoollife jk. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of how Parker and I have done this year. 

So this post is a holiday gift guide meets how not to break the bank on Christmas gifts!

+To help us brainstorm some ideas of gifts we can give or things we can do to keep Christ the center of Christmas, let's take a look back to some of your favorite Christmas gifts or just Christmases in general. What made that gift or that year so special? I can recall one gift that, at the time that I received it, I didn't think much of it... (I'm a brat, I know). It was a book by Ronald Taylor that my Grandma and Grandpa McMurray gave me entitled, "The Christmas Promise." And embarrassingly enough, that book sat on the shelf in my room for a few years before I gave it any thought. The first time I read it, I bawled my eyes out. I stayed up super late reading it and then because it had moved me so much I felt the need to share it with my mother right then and there so I woke her up and said something like, "Mom.... book so good...... just a star.....that's all.....for Christmas....MUST READ" (the dots are read as sobs if that wasn't clear enough for ya). And then I remember my mom read it while we were on a basketball/cheerleading trip and I was in the pool with my friends and I looked up at her from my place in the water to where she was sitting in the chair beside the water with this book and she had tears streaming down her face and she was choking back soft, soft sobs (name that movie!). And then my Nana read it and I remember her calling my mom after she had finished it and I could hear her sobbing to my mother on the phone. It's one of those books that just really touches your heart and is such a good reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. (And for you people that don't like reading, it's only like 100 pages! Super short! You can do it!) I found a copy on Amazon for like $5. So it's an inexpensive and meaningful gift! Win, win. Everyone should read it. 
I just found out that this book is also published with the title, "Grandma's Promise." Incase you can't find it and you wanted to read it, you can find it on Amazon here!

+Another gift that is meaningful/useful/inexpensive is ornaments! But seriously, how cute and meaningful are these little clothespin nativity ornaments?! They, too, remind us of the true meaning of Christmas! They are super easy to make and would be a fun thing to do with kids... also, talk about teaching moment with your children as you put these together or put them on the tree!
Photo via Pinterest

+My next idea for inexpensive and adorable gifts are printables! Pinterest has SO MANY free Christmas printables that can either be cute Christmas quotes or can also help to remind us of what this time of year is all about. Get a dollar store frame/thrifted frame and print off one of these cute printables to put in it. Wrap it up and there you go! Adorable, inexpensive, useful Christmas present!
Printable via A Well-Feathered Nest

Now for some tips to help you save a little bit of money this year..

+Use an app/website to track your finances. Personal Captial is a really good site that help you stay on top of your spending and its free so I'd definitely recommend checking that out this holiday season!

+Next, spreadsheets are your friends. I created a very detailed spreadsheet where I had the person's name who I was giving the gift to, what the gift was, how much it cost and if I ordered it, what day it is/was supposed to arrive or if we had already received it!

+Also, if you are shopping online like I did I highly recommend using! They've got a ton of coupons and cash back deals that make it possible for you to easily earn cash back on the the purchases you make online! 

What other ideas do you have for Christmas gifts that are meaningful but don't cost a fortune? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below! Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!