Fashion Friday: Etsy State Necklaces

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You know those wire state necklaces that are all the rage? The ones like these or these that are over $50 each? They are also over $30 at a minimum for Mississippi ones in local boutiques. The cheapest one I could even find on Etsy when I searched “Mississippi necklace” was $42. I’m cheap! I don’t pay $50 for anything, not pants, not a dress, and not a dainty necklace.

Well, I found this perfect looking California necklace on Etsy that was only $15! I decided to contact the seller and see if there was any way she’d be willing to make a Mississippi one. A. Expecting someone from California would not see interest in making a Mississippi necklace. B. If she was, it would probably be twice as much because it was custom. WRONG!!!

The lovely Jackie of Kraus Haus Krafts was the most pleasant person to work with ever! She messaged me back and forth on Etsy asking questions, making sure she was getting it exactly the size I wanted it. She sent me pictures along the way in comparison to a quarter, about the size I wanted, to keep me posted. She even went to the store just to get more chain so she could make it the length I requested! And all of this was before I even purchased it!

Once it was finished, she posted it as a special listing just for me! I ordered it July 4th week, and even though it was a holiday, it was here just a few short days later. It was $15! Over half the price of any that I could find anywhere else. She can make silver or gold in any state. She can make the heart the same color or another. Ladies, buy from her! We’re now Twitter and Instagram friends! I can’t recommend her enough to you. I hope she gets so many necklace orders she has to start a waiting list. Thank you so much Jackie!

Five Things Friday: Hair

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I haven’t posted a Five Things Friday in a while, and catching up time seemed like a good time to do so! We’re talking hair this time. For most of my college years I had short hair. It was long in high school but that was before I knew what to do with it. So short it was for a LONG time. I decided to grow it out a few years ago and now I’m attached! Literally and emotionally. I hate washing it and drying it, but I adore my long hair. On the days I feel like I want to chop it off, I head over to Pinterest and YouTube to watch and read tutorials that only work for long hair. It always reinspires me to love my locks again. These are a few I’ve tried, some of which I frequently do!

1. Braided Headband – Inspired by Oh So Pretty the Diaries

2. Triple Braided Bun – Inspired by The Beauty Department

This was before I had a phone with a good camera. Apologies for the bad quality! 

3. Braid Wrapped Bun – Inspired by The Beauty Department 

If you think that doesn’t look like my head, you’d be right! I did this one on a friend for a formal. 

4. Sock Bun – Learned from this YouTube Tutorial

Old faithful. I probably rock the sock bun a little too often. No shame. 

5. Tucked Away Braid – Inspired by The Small Things Blog 

When my bangs get too long I have to resist doing this one every single day! 

Honorable Mention: Hair Accessories   

Hair accessories should get an honorable mention here. I’m kind of obsessed. Like a lot obsessed. I collect them. I adore them. I can’t get enough of them. Decorated bobby pins, flower clips, headbands, anything that has something pretty on it that I can stick in my hair. I want them all!

Weekend Mani: Ombre Blues

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If you know me or follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you know I have a slight (or not so slight) obsession with nail polish and painting my nails. There are so many fancy nail bloggers out there that I never want to be a regular nail blogger or even semi regular. However, I do like to toss things up a little so that you get some variety mixed in with all the food posts! So I bring you the first ever Weekend Mani post.

I’ve seen many different version of ombre nails lately. In case you missed it, ombre is in. It’s in for highlights, it’s in for home decor, it’s in for clothes, it’s even in for baking! I’m not always “in” to in things, but I thought I’d try my own version of ombre nails since I have so many in this blue color family. I didn’t hate it! I tend to like simple and classic manicures. I like to add an accent nail on occasion, but I mostly keep it solid. This obmre was so subtle that it kept me satisfied without feeling too flashy all through last weekend.

Colors I used from pinky to thumb:

  • Avon Nailwear Pro in Vintage Blue
  • Unforgettable Moments (Payless Shoes brand) in Aqua Island
  • Wet-n-Wild Megalast in I Need a Refresh-Mint
  • Finger Paints in Tiffany Imposter
  • Essie in Where’s My Chauffeur?

Do you like the ombre trend? Clothes? Hair? Decor? Baking? I’m not sold, but I’ve seem some classy subtler versions of things I like. 

Five Things Friday: Feeling Pretty Things

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What girl doesn’t like to feel pretty? I know I’m slightly a diva and probably way more on the girly girl side of the spectrum that some women, but I think deep down inside, in some way we all enjoy feeling pretty! Not for the men in our lives (husbands, boyfriends, fiances, or the single men we’re subtly trying and failing to get to notice us). Not for the women we compare ourselves to and shouldn’t. But for just for us! Feeling pretty feels good, fun, and confident.

Even baby girls know this! I’m visiting my best friend who has a beautiful one year old. Yesterday she was decked out in the cutest pig tails ever, a Cinderella princess shirt, a fluffy hot pink tutu, and sparkly shoes. She’s always social, but was even more social yesterday! She’s often happy, but was even happier yesterday! She walked around with princess-like confidence. Grown up girls can feel like princesses too! The things that make baby Alice feel pretty, the things that make me feel pretty, and the things that make you feel pretty might not be the same. That’s okay! Know what makes you feel pretty and rock it!

Things That Make Me Feel Pretty: 

1. Wearing Lace – I’m currently OBSESSED! Truth is, I’ve always loved lace! It just hasn’t been as accessible, available, and popular until now. I haven’t bought a clothing item in months that didn’t involve lace in some way. Lace makes me feel pretty! It makes me feel feminine. It makes me feel smiley. It makes me feel confident! Lace is EVERYWHERE! Plus size, skinny size, expensive, cheap, it’s everywhere. I prefer my lace cheap. All four of the dresses below were purchased at Ross for $55! FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS! FOUR DRESS!

If you know me, you already know I love dresses. Dresses + lace?! And for $10-$17 each?! Yes please. This is about us feeling pretty, not other making us feel pretty, BUT other people like lace too! Every time I wear lace a stranger tells me I look nice. Feeling pretty is just for me, but I never hate outfit confirmation! Oh and the black lace pencil skirt below? I got it for $4 yesterday at Bealls Outlet. FOUR DOLLARS! 70% off. Major score. 

2. Pampering My Lips – On my drive to Georgia, I was fumbling in my purse with my eyes focused on the road to find the particular lip balm I wanted. I pulled all of these out one pocket of my purse and then lastly pulled out the desired one – Maybelline Baby Lips Tinted Lip Balm in Peach Kiss. I’ve never been a lipstick person. I used to love tinted gloss (and still do – like Bath and Body Works Metha Lip Tints), but it didn’t have the same lip moisturizing effects and staying power as balm. Then I discovered tinted balm! Burt’s Bees Tinted Balm is another everyday favorite, but loving the smooth nude Peach Kiss Baby Lips! I’m also obsessed with Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains! Those are my fancy dress up lip day ones. They have the smoothness of a balm but the color lasts for hours! I also picked up one of the Covergirl Tinted Balm Glosses. Smooth like balm, shiny like gloss, and with color. Having soft, healthy, non-chapped, tinted lips makes me feel pretty!

3. Dressing Like a Ballerina – Ballet flats + high waisted, preferably fluffy, skirt + sock bun (or any kind of bun) + tucked in girly shirt + hair accessories = BALLERINA! I have many versions of ballerina outfits. The one below is just my most recent ensemble that’s gotten me more compliments than any other outfit (again, not about that, but proof that feeling pretty for YOU shows for others!). I can’t imagine very many things girlier than a ballerina. I’m as clumsy as a big headed baby with shoes that are too big at bed time. I’m NOT a ballerina in any way, shape, or form, but I sure do love to dress in ballerina inspired ensembles. Try it!

4. Treating Myself to a Pedicure – I used to do this often, once a month or every other month, after I had a severe ingrown toenail that lead to surgery! I was scared that my self pedicures were causing my ingrowns since I never got them when I had professional pedicures. I’ve learned to be less choppy with my toes and have gotten great at giving myself pedicures. Self pedicures work! They do make me feel pretty and it’s what I do the majority of the time. But every once in a while, it’s just so over-the-top and fabulous to get a professional pedicure. I can’t stop staring at my toes for days. I only get about four a year now. Soak your feet and give yourself one OR splurge and get a professional one. I promise it will make you feel pretty.

5. Painting My Nails – If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or see me semi-regularly in real life, you know I have an obsession with painting my nails. It hasn’t always been so! This obsession started last summer after a best friend’s wedding. My nails were painted by a fellow bridesmaid for the wedding and it made me feel so pretty! I started collecting polish and have gone less than 5 days total without polish on my nails since August. There are lots of expensive polishes out there that can make the task and hobby seem daunting. Don’t let that happen! My favorite polish? Wet-n-Wild Megalast! They have mega staying power and the best, easiest brushes ever! Cost? $2! Walgreen’s and Walmart have them, but I discovered this week that Dollar General has them in three times as many colors as Walgreen’s or Walmart! Go! Stock up! Don’t avoid the glitter! Painted nails will make you feel pretty.

If you do brave the glitter… WARNING! It’s mega hard to get off. Any brand, all glitter, it’s hard to get off. BUT, I saw this handy tip on Pinterest and it works! Put a normal amount of polish remover on a cotton ball. Place the damp cotton ball on each of your fingers then wrap the tips in tin foil. Let sit for 3 minutes, remove, and the glitter is no more! 

What makes you feel pretty?

Real Life: Rules

I would like to propose that for some things in life, we stop listening to and believing the rules other people set for us, and just make our own.
I sometimes avoid bold fashion trends until I know for sure that I, being the complete opposite of the super model type, can pull it off. Example – For at least a year I avoided buying leopard print shoes because I didn’t think they were practical or if wide footed non super model types should draw that much attention to themselves. I finally bought leopard print flats over a year ago, and I’ve recently convinced myself they match with almost everything.


Skinny jeans, grey Yale tshirt with navy writing, navy cardigan, and leopard flats? Sure! Pink dress and leopard flats? Yes! Hot pink stripped shirt with leopard flats? Yep. Anything pink with leopard flats? Yes.

Also, believe it or not, once upon a time I didn’t think I could paint my nails because I had short nails and stubby hands. I finally decided I didn’t care and now I barely go half a day without painted nails.

Don’t get my wrong, some rules are important and should be followed! I’m studying Romans right now and it’s so full of talk about the law, essentially rules. Some rules are good and important. I’m not saying not to follow those. I am saying that no one gets to tell you how you work.

For year and years, over and over again I tried to journal. I tried to journal like everyone said to journal. Filling pages and pages with stuff. I was inconsistent and my inconsistency lead to giving up. I happened upon a new way to journal on Pinterest using a calendar and simply filling in each day. I finished January and haven’t missed a day in February so far. It’s been transforming! I love doing it, but also it’s helped me notice patterns. Patterns I NEEDED to notice to be able to work on.


These are surface, silly examples, but the concept is deeper. People, society, and sometimes even the church tries to generalize us all and fit us into boxes. Not living up to silly “rules” can cause us to feel defeated and discouraged.

No one gets to tell you how to be you! So what if you’re almost 30 and have never bought a car, owned a house, and aren’t married. Life is still beautiful! People are different. Every one of us. We’re all different. I still miss my dad everyday, I’m still grieving, but I’m happy. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss him or I’m doing anything wrong. I’ve had to figure out how to grieve and survive and heal that way that’s best for me, not the way that works for anyone else. I bake when I’m bored or stressed. It would be silly for me to recommend the same thing to you if you hate baking. It would likely CAUSE you stress instead of relieve your stress.

Be you! Like what you want to like! Do what you like to do. Maybe your version of being social isn’t going to the movies or doing big crowd event type things. Maybe you’d rather be in book clubs or dinner clubs. Don’t conform to the “rules” of what you’re “supposed” to do or be as a 20 something or 30 something or a non super model type. Wear leopard flats. Paint your nails. Wear multiple shades of pink together. Heck, even wear sunglasses inside if you want (though I can’t promise not to make fun of you secretly in my own mind).

Cry if you need to cry. Laugh as loud as you want to. Take baby steps if big steps are too scary. Set goals and do them! If big goals are scary, make little goals and check them off every day until you work up the courage to make a big goal and take a big step. Dream big dreams and write them down. People who dream really are happier people! And when one of your dreams starts to unfold into a realistic goal right before your eyes, only listen to the voices that affirm it!