Fringe-tastic! By Cortney Bailey

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Calling all fellow fringe fanatics!

A must share blog post with amazing ideas for fringe + tassels around the house.

CLICK HERE>>> Fringe-tastic!.

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GO CONFIDENTLY INTO SPRING By Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

 

FringeBag-CloseupMy trademark spring look, boho chic.

Spring is here and everyone is getting excited for the change of the season. Spring not only means that the weather is warmer and the flowers are blooming, but also that there are new fashion trends to peruse. With all of these great new beginnings, it’s impossible not to get excited for spring!

Even though there are so many great things about this season, many women dread the change because warmer weather usually means more revealing clothes. It can be difficult for any woman to shed her winter layers and expose herself to the world.

Here are some tips to help women confidently wear this spring’s fashion trends:

Start with basics that fit perfectly

Every woman needs to have a few essential items in her closet that she can pair with any outfit and feel fabulous in. some of these basics usually include a great pair of jeans, thong underwear, and a few layering t-shirts. Starting with these basics can help any woman rock a new trend with confidence.

Add a new twist to a trademark look

Most women have a trademark look, or a go-to style that they loved last spring and summer. Anyone can use these looks to create a new and fun trend that they will be able to wear easily and comfortably. For example, if last year a woman could not be separated from her maxi dresses, this year, she could try wearing a crop top over the dresses to create a new style.

Use light layers to cover up

Even though the weather is warming up, women can still use some layers to make each outfit a little less revealing and more comfortable. Most women will use sheer fabrics that are lightweight but still solid enough to cover any areas they are less comfortable with. This year’s mesh trends are perfect for this.

Focus on quality over quantity

Many women make the mistake of buying trendy pieces that are made of cheap fabrics and overall poorly made. Though this may seem like the best financial decision at the time, it is almost always better for women to invest in higher quality items. These pieces will not only last longer, but they will also be more flattering to a woman’s figure.

Only wear the trends you really love

Even though the media may tell a different story, not all trends are made for everyone. Women should recognize when a certain trend does not fit their style and avoid wasting money on something they will never wear. Instead, a woman can use her own style to make new trends and fads that she can feel proud of.

Take a chance on color

One of the best trends that always makes its way into spring fashion is bright color. Every woman can find one bright color that they love and that flatters their skin tone. This season, many women are trying out bright pink or coral, which is great on almost every skin tone.


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Finishing touch with accessories 

The best way to put the exclamation point to your new spring outfits is with fun accessories. Adding a great pair of sunnies, gemstone earrings and necklaces and a festive handbag lightens up your look after all the heaviness of winter.

 

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Tina Hamilton HeadshotTina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter

 

 

 

 

KEEPING THE “HAPPY” IN THE HOLIDAYS By Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

HAPPY

There is no doubt that the holiday season is crazy for everyone. From entertaining family to buying holiday gifts, there seems to be so many things to do and never enough time to do it. However, many women tend to feel like this any time of the year. Women are selfless in nature, always wanting to give more and do more for the people they can about. These desires are often the most intense around the holidays when women want to make everything perfect for their friends and family.

Many women forget that the holidays are about so much more than just giving the best gift and having a perfectly decorated home. The holiday season first gained its popularity because it was a time for friends and family to relax and enjoy each other’s company, being thankful for everything they have been blessed with that year. Every woman should take some time to stop worrying about pleasing everyone in her life with tangible things and think more about how she can show appreciation for them.

Here are some ways women can stay grounded during the holiday season:

Make a list

No, not talking about a holiday gift list. Women should make another list, a list of all the things that they were grateful for this year. This can be a great activity for women to do with their families to bond or on their own for some self-reflection. This list can be a great way to remind women of all the special things in their lives and help them appreciate everything they are blessed with.

Use some props

Many women can benefit from using some tools to help them remember why the holiday season is important. Tangible items can be very helpful as reminders for women of their goals and blessings. Women can use pictures around their home, an inspirational app on their phone or even a piece of  jewelry that has special meaning to help remind women of their goals and what it most important in their lives.

Take some weight off those shoulders

Women are often left feeling like that they have to do everything during the holiday season. Women feel they have to take care of everyone, but that is not always practical. Women should try to take some of that pressure off by delegating some other friends or family members to take on some of the holiday responsibilities. For example, instead of cooking an entire meal for a group of people along, women can ask each guest to bring an item to the dinner to take away some of the stress. This adds more personality to the dinner and makes for good table conversation for the holiday meal.

How to Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

 

Focus on new goals instead of failures

Women can sometimes beat themselves up too much for not accomplishing everything they wanted too. They think that they should have been there for their family more over the past year, or they should have lost more weight before those holiday parties arrive. Instead of beating themselves up over and over for ‘failing’, women should focus on the goals they can set for the next year and what they have accomplished this year. This can help women feel more confident as they face old family and friends over the holidays and help them stay positive when entering into the New Year.

Never let guilt rule holiday decisions

Women forget sometimes that they always have control over their decisions, especially during the holidays. Women feel guilty to turn down a party invite or not give someone a gift, but they need to keep the big picture in mind. Women need to remember not to spread themselves too thin over the holidays and instead focus their attention on a few things. When giving gifts, women should not focus so much on the price of each gift, but instead on the meaning behind each gift. Giving an inexpensive gift that preserves a special memory is much more meaningful than an expensive gift that will be forgotten about by next year.

Stay happy this holiday! 

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter

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PURPOSE GONE WILD by Guest Blogger Ashley Brown

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The Gift you are meant to give…

You are a rare specimen. I know that’s a random way of starting this blog, but its true! The fact that you are alive is confirmation that you have purpose. Out of MILLIONS of sperm and hundreds of thousands eggs, YOU WERE SELECTED TO BE HERE. This is simply amazing. In case you didn’t know, it only takes 1 sperm, and 1 egg to create a baby, and in that particular moment, you were created. This is phenomenal. There is a specific reason why you are here, and your purpose is directly linked to your passion.

Let’s talk passion today…

We all have our passions & interest. The problem comes when we fall into a hypnotic rhythm of imitating the lives of others, and fail to realize our own uniqueness. Those who are truly great and legendary are the ones who pursed their curiosities even when it was contrary to what everyone else was doing around them. They did not fear the opinions of others, they simply acted on their hearts desires and in turn, they made a significant contribution to the world. The problem with mass media and social media is that when you are so focused on the lives of others it can be a distraction and distort your thinking, making you believe that you are supposed to be in a position that you are not.

Truth is…

you are right where you need to be and as soon as you take your eyes off everyone else’s purpose you can start pursuing your own.

Don’t be afraid of your own happiness or success.

The world NEEDS that authentic thing you have to offer.

Imitating the masses is a sure way of neglecting your true calling. Dig deep to find your OWN creative voice. Copying is easy. Many people can do it and it makes money, but there is no rewarding feeling at the end of it. When you pursue your passions, that “rewarding” feeling is worth more than any dollar amount.

Take some time to revisit the things that captivate you.

The things that make your heart skip a beat or have you up for hours, researching, studying, dreaming etc. When you are really excited or passionate about something that is a green light that you are headed in the right direction. Some people have a misconception that discovering your purpose is supposed to be a drawn out struggle. It is actually the polar opposite. You are co-creating this life with the ultimate creator (God) and he has instilled a gift in you that will spark your interest.

It is important to act and dive deeper into even the most subtle passions that may seem random and pointless. For instance, if you have a passion for drawing on the ground with chalk, you may be able to start a campaign writing positive quotes on college campuses. As crazy as it may sound, extraordinary things happen when you take time to learn what drives you. God didn’t create anything that is not gifted. Master who you are, instead of being pre-occupied with everyone else.

As we head into the new year, I want you to rediscover your passions. Take some time to reflect back on what interested you as a child, and be confident on your pursuit of purpose. I can’t stress enough how living your purpose truly serves the world.

If your passions don’t line up with all the degrees you have received or career path you’ve been on, do not fear. It’s better to start now, than to look back 30 years from now, realizing you let all your passions die.

So…join me in re-discovering our passions and unwrapping the beautiful gift God has given us. #GettingMyLife #PurposeGoneWild (Hashtag! I want to see your success & progress.)

 Follow me: @AshleyEmpowers 

http://www.ashleyempowers.com

AshleyEmpowers

 

RADIANT AFTER ALL By Fashion Stylist & Cancer Thriver Dawn Mellon

 

dress4yellowDawn walking in the “Dress4Yellow” fashion show, which celebrates cancer survivors.

Bad hair days.  Ugh!  We’ve all had them, right?  You spend 45 minutes drying and curling your other-wise stick straight hair and single-handedly deplete a portion of the ozone layer with hairspray to keep your ‘do in place.  Then, you walk outside only to be greeted by Mother Nature who whips up the wind and challenges the humidity to reach an all-time high, and you can almost hear her sarcastic laugh crackling in the wind as you feel your curls succumb to the elements.

Yep, it stinks.

But, everything is relative.

What if your bad hair day began when you took wig tape and stretched it across the perimeter of your bald head while you prayed the tape would be strong enough to withstand Mother Nature?  Losing your curls to the humidity is one thing.  Losing your wig to the wind is…well, a nightmare.  

And, the bad hair day continues as you try to recreate the eye brows you once complained about having to wax so often.  The cu-de-gyres, of course, is gluing false lashes to your eye lid without the guidance of a single eye lash.  You get so frustrated, you consider giving up until the thought of continuing to look like an alien surpasses your urge to quit.

I wish I could tell you I’m describing a scene from a bad movie, but the truth is I was the star of this real-life nightmare.  I was 46 years-old, married to my soul mate and husband of nearly 25 years.  Together, we were raising our12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, and I was enjoying a successful career as a fashion stylist.  Then, one day I woke up with a lump on my sternum.  It, literally, grew overnight.  I had been to several doctors prior to that day because I was having difficulty breathing and received a series of inconclusive diagnoses.  But, this time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong.  

andrewfamilyfreshDawn & her family shortly after diagnoses. 

The next day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had about a quart of fluid drained from my lungs – fluid that wasn’t draining through my lymphatic system because it was no longer capable of doing its job.  Instead, the cancer-filled lymph nodes formed a 9-centimeter mass between my lungs, and the lump on my sternum was the outward manifestation of that mass.  Within a week, I underwent a biopsy of the mass, a biopsy of my bone marrow, a PET scan, and had a port placed underneath my skin through which I began my chemotherapy treatment.  I was given a 70% chance of making a full recovery.

Eventually, I had a 100 hours of chemotherapy treatment.  It rid my body of cancer and, simultaneously, it rid me of my femininty and my dignity.  

As a fashion stylist, I’ve often said, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  So, what does a 9-centimeter mass of cancer-filed lymph nodes positioned between your lungs look like?  I don’t think anyone wants to know the answer to that question.

Yet, despite everything I’ve just written, the most ironic thing happened to me during the first few months of my treatment.  Although I was on a sabbatical, I decided to attend a book-signing party given in honor of one of my clients.  A woman, not just any woman, a 6-foot-tall, redheaded fashion icon, said to me, “You look radiant.”  

jonb-dayWith supportive husband, Jon.

I was speechless.  I just stared at her until her very polite and intuitive husband broke the awkward silence between us and commented on..well, truth be told…I don’t know what he said, but his voice was exactly what I needed to hear in order to find my own voice.

Radiant.  Now that was an interesting choice of words, I thought to myself.  You see, she didn’t know about my diagnosis, she didn’t know I was wearing a wig, she didn’t know how it took every ounce of strength I could muster, mentally and physically, to be standing in front of her at that very moment.  

Then, of course, I told her.  Our conversation from that point forward is one I will always treasure for many, many reasons.  But, perhaps, the most important reason is that I came to realize the deeper meaning behind the advice I had been dishing out all these years.

ericarecital11With beautiful daughter, Erica – rockin’ her wig.

Despite the fact that I was a cancer-filled mess, standing a death’s door, and fighting for my life, I was spiritually stronger than ever before.  I felt the presence of God in a way that I’ve never really been able to capture in words.  I felt like I had been chosen – like so many of the biblical figures I’d grown to admire – I’d  been chosen to glorify God.  He knew that I would credit Him for healing me; I would lead others to Him through my unshakable faith; and I would be a living example of His power and grace.

291880_2030631369859_1860769476_nA toast to good life at the “Eternally Grateful” party Dawn & her family threw for everyone who helped them on this journey. 

Dawn Speech Photo2Dawn speaking at the 2013 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon – sharing her journey and encouraging others to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

So, I was radiant after all.  Radiant from the glow of the Holy Spirit shining so brightly that even my wig, my penciled-in eyebrows and my false eye lashes couldn’t overshadow its glow, and shedding a new perspective on the adage, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  

 

llsfamilyDawn with her family, including her mom, at the 2014 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon when she received the “Heart of Gold” award.

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To further inspire, here’s a ‘must see’ video of Dawn and her remarkable family: 

MIX & MINGLE LIKE A PRO: Common Mistakes Women Make At Holiday Parties by Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

The Most Common Mistakes Women Make at Holiday Parties1

Photo Courtesy of DailyWorth

The holiday season is nearing fast, which can send many women into a sense of panic. There are a lot of things to do before the holiday season is over, from buying presents to securing travel plans, the holidays can be a hectic time for any woman. One of the things that women often stress about the most is attending their holiday parties.

Holiday parties are meant to bring people together to celebrate, but often women create a lot of anxiety around these events. From finding the right thing to wear to deciding what to bring to even deciding how long to be at a party, there are a lot of little details that women feel the need to work out before the day of the holiday party. Most importantly, women should let themselves have fun at their holiday party. However, there are a few simple rules that women should follow to ensure that their holiday parties are a success.

Here are some of the most common mistakes women make at holiday parties:

Wearing something too sexy to an office party

Office parties can be a little confusing for women to dress for. Women can get confused between dressing work appropriate and dressing for a party. This is a balance that is not always easy to find. So many women just let loose and wear what they would wear to a club. Women have to remember that even though it is a party, it is in a workplace setting, so the attire should be festive, but still work appropriate.

Relying too much on the LBD

A good LBD, or little black dress, is always a great option for any special occasion. A LBD that makes a women feel beautiful and confident is always a good choice, but women should not let it be their only fashion statement. Holiday parties are about sparkle and fun, so a woman’s outfit should reflect that. Women can add some statement jewelry or a bright handbag to their LBD for a more festive look.

LBC_holiday

Spending too much time at the bar

Drinking is a part of almost any holiday party, and there is nothing wrong with a woman having a few cocktails to celebrate, but they should be enjoyed in moderation. There is nothing worse than being the annoying woman at a party who has had one too many drinks. Women should limit themselves and have a glass of water after each drink.

Doubling up on gifts

Many women make the mistake of combining birthday, anniversary or even wedding gifts with holiday gifts. Women should instead give appropriate groomsmen gifts and birthday gifts at the appropriate time, and give a new gift for the holiday party. Each gift may need to be smaller or less expensive because of this, but the gesture will mean a lot more to the recipient.

Spending too much time with one group of people

Women are often time invited to holiday parties where they might not know everyone, or even very many people. This can be uncomfortable and nerve-racking for any woman (avoid the excessive drinking here!) and she might want to just stick around the people that she knows. Holidays are meant for gathering and mingling, and holiday parties can be the perfect opportunity to meet new people and network. Women should step outside their comfort zone and talk to some new people at their holiday parties, they might just get a great opportunity or new friendship out of it!

Inviting guests who were not invited by the host

Women want to have their ‘entourage’ with them as they head to their holiday parties. This may seem harmless, but it can be a big issue for the host if a woman brings other people who were not invited to the party. Women should put themselves in the position of the host and see if they would do the same thing. The host might not have enough food, drinks or even space for extra people, so women should leave the entourage at home and enjoy the people already at the party, taking advice from the previous point.

All of these tips can help any woman have a fantastic time at all of her holiday parties this year and make her a total pro at mixing & mingling! 

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on TwitterTina Hamilton Headshot

 

 

 

4 Ways To Keep Up Your Look As A New Mom by Guest Blogger Allison Taylor-Moseley

Style is a frame of mind. It’s expressing who you are at a particular time in your life. Ask yourself, “Where am I in my life and does my personal style fit my current lifestyle?” I’m an Austin based jewelry designer, wardrobe stylist, and new mom to a 4 month old baby girl. I basically live in jeans, tees, and my favorite wedges these days. My “getting ready” routine has really changed! So, I’ve rounded up the 4 ways I keep up my look as a new mom…  

  1. Have at least 1 fabulous pair of jeans that fit you like a rock star (and make you feel like one). Even if you wear them everyday, you know you’ll look good! They’re durable, easily cleaned, and you don’t have to shave your legs as often! Plus, you can dress them up or down. Wear them casually with tees, tanks, and flats, or dress them up with blouses, blazers, and heels. I have 3 pairs in high rotation: a pair of cropped colored denim, straight leg dark denim, and a flared light blue. Don’t buy duplicates; you gotta mix it up!
  2. Build a wardrobe with a foundation of essentials and stick to a color scheme. This allows you to easily mix & match your pieces to make a variety of outfits. Getting dressed will be easier and you’ll avoid the dreaded, “I have nothing to wear” syndrome when you have the basics. Don’t be tempted by too many trendy items, which are hard to style. A great color scheme is blues, greens, and reds (pick shades that work for your skin tone).
  3. Buy stylish statement shoes, even if they are flats, sneakers, or low heels. Shoes are a quick & easy way to add a stylish touch to the most basic outfit. It could be a fire engine red patent leather flats, animal print wedges, a bold pair of oxfords, brightly colored sneakers, or a gorgeous pair of low-heeled pumps. Let your shoes make a statement!
  4. #1 MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t give up on yourself; do your hair & make-up! I find that when hair and make-up are done, everything just looks more “put together”. Even when I haven’t showered or I’m feeling down on my looks, if my hair and make-up are done, I’ll feel great!   So, here are my tips:
    1. For hair, learn to create a quick up-do that works for you. For example, learn to braid it, curl it, pin it back, or tie it in a bun in 10 minutes or less. Find a creative way to use a scarf or hat on bad hair days. For me, I curl my hair 2 or 3 times a week. Instead of washing, drying, and curling it every day, I’ll use a shower cap and just refresh the curls with a little spray wax the next day.
    2. For make up, get yourself a 5-minute make-up routine. Mine is: Foundation, concealer under eyes, blush, 1 eye shadow, powder, mascara, gloss.
    3. Bathe at night. I save a lot of time by bathing at night. In the morning, all I have to do is hair & make up! I also find it very relaxing and nurturing to my soul to bathe at night. It’s like I’m washing away everything that happened that day and getting into bed with a fresh start.

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Above, is an example of one of my favorite “mom” outfits: Fabulous Denim (Black Orchid), Colorful shoes (Nike), a graphic tee (Zara). For more outfit inspiration, visit my instagram. And, let me know if you have any questions!

XOXO Allison

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Allison Taylor-Moseley is a personal stylist, jewelry designer and new mom living in sunny Austin, Texas. Her jewelry collection is made with precious metals & colorful gemstones with the goal to make style as effortless as possible. The pieces make great wardrobe staples and are designed to be layered with each other, worn alone, or paired with other styles of jewelry to suit your personal style.

SOS is excited to be giving away a unique Taylor-Moseley design in the popular Stocking Stuffer Giveaway this Dec!  

Browse the collection NOW! 

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