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Rise Up – Heels and Sports

I love everything about football season – tailgating, game day parties, game winning plays that seem to have you on the edge at the end of each game, and I especially love a hard hit! Now, I know that it may seem as if I know nothing about sports or have no idea what goes on in a football game – that isn’t the case! My dad has always been the ultimate football fan. Football season equates to, “Dad isn’t going anywhere because there is a game on.” We don’t ask my dad to do anything, or bother him the entire season #Truestory.

 

Now, my husband and I don’t have the ability to shut everything down to focus in on every game during the season. If we could… I don’t know… maybe. It’s hard for me to sit still too long. We have found ways to enjoy the season with a toddler in tow. It isn’t all that hard. You have to find kid friendly environments, and plan! When we know we want to go out to watch a game with our little one, we have to be aware. Here’s a good list of things to keep in mind to have an enjoyable football watching experience:

  • Afternoon game – early nap prior to the game is a must!
  • Bring a tablet – download favorite games and shows (just in case there is no Wi-Fi)
  • Outside tailgating – be sure there is plenty of room for your kid to run, and that other families will be bringing their children (it’s no fun being the only parents there with your kid, and your kid will be bored)
  • Pick restaurants with some fun things to distract your kid with how long they have actually been sitting (i.e. Buffalo Wild Wings – provides tablets for toddlers, and Red Robin has little chalk boards for children to play with).
  • Take a walk during half-time – this works best when at a restaurant and you plan on staying the entire time. Go outside, and let your kid roam freely for a little while. This will give you and your child a break from sitting so long.
  • Take extra snacks – sounds crazy if you are already in an eating establishment, but it works. You’ve probably eaten by half-time, and it is inevitable that your child will ask for a snack or something else to sip on during the second half. Save yourself some money, and keep your child from eating more french fries by having your own snacks available during the second half.
  • House parties are your friend – not the house parties we went to in college and in our 20s! I’m talking about the gatherings with friends and family that are usually pretty chill. Friends with other kids are usually around, when children get sleepy – there is usually a guest bedroom to lay them down in, and when a meltdown occurs – it’s not so bad (everyone there probably understands).

So, there is my basic checklist to survey Football season with a toddler in tow! These tips work for us, most of the time. You can’t plan for everything. Know when to leave, because an unhappy toddler in the wrong environment is no fun for you and everyone else around. Share your tips, if you have some that have worked!

Outfit details: My outfit is a combination of items from the closet! I’m not a jersey wearing girl, but I had to figure out a way to represent! Knit hat: My husband’s, Red Shirt: Forever 21 (Similar Here), Short Sleeved Jacket: Rainbow (Similar Here), and Skirt: Fashion to Figure.

I hope each of you enjoy Super Bowl LI today! I know the Falcons will #RiseUp and win one for Atlanta today!

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Thanksgiving Fresh!

I’ve been struggling with the budget at home lately. We have a lot of work that needs to be done on the house we are currently in, and none it will be cheap! We are blessed to have all we have, but the things we are facing require us to SAVE! Keeping that in mind, I was getting so discouraged about wearing the same old outfits that I have been wearing since last year to family gatherings this week. I know what you all are thinking: you blog about clothes!?! I do blog about clothing and fashion from time to time, but that doesn’t mean I spend a fortune on it. Also, life changes just as the seasons do. There are seasons in mine and my hubby’s life where we are able to spend more and do more. In this season, we are saving to finally remodel our house and to make some other changes.

So, as I went on with life thinking of various ways to put new spins on what I already had in my closet, I found myself in the right place at the right time. I had a meeting in another city for my job, and afterwards I found myself with about 30 to 45 minutes of time before my next meeting that day. So, I drove in route to my next location, and noticed a Cato’s Fashions. I’ve got a few minutes, so why not stop?! And, I’m glad I did!

I’ve been sleeping on Cato’s for a long time. I think I went in one day about six months ago in search of a specific item, and came out empty handed. I just began to pass them by from that point on. Sorry Cato’s, but we are definitely friends again!

I actually bought 4 items, and links are below. However, I only took pictures for my favorite two items. I will be putting both of these dresses on at some point during the Thanksgiving shuffle.

This Faux Suede Midi Dress was on sale in store for $14.99! It was perfect in every way! The material stretches, and it gives… just in case you were planning your outfit around your meals. I was so surprised, because the dress ran small. I am normally an 18/20. I had to get this dress in a 16. I paired it with some basic accessories. The earrings were on sale at Cato’s, as well – $1.99!



The next dress, I could not find on the website to save my life! Ladies, you may only be able to get this dress in store. And, I wish you luck, because this yellow/orange hued midi dress was only $9.99! I was in heaven when I put this dress on! It runs small. I am wearing a 16 in this dress, as well. If I find a similar dress in my searches, I will definitely share. The earrings are another sale item at Cato’s – $1.99!


Let me just tell you, I am one happy woman! I got two dresses, two pairs of earrings, an Asymmetrical Zip Pencil Skirt ($6.99), A Knit Sweater Duster (Similar Here – Vest), and Lace Up Flats – $7.99 for $50.00! To God be the Glory! Have an awesome Thanksgiving with friends and family! Keep checking out the blog! I plan to post over the Thanksgiving break!

*All photos taken by @VisualbyT

 

Blessings and Blues

The blog has not had much TLC over the last month or so. I can tell you guys about all the wonderful things I’ve been up to. But, the reality is that all those wonderful tales of time not being on my side; taking care of my home; my job consuming my life; etc. are just some nice explanations to justify my lack of organization and time management. I mean really, could I not have gotten one blog completed in the last month or so?

Well, here I am now! I’ve been all over the place with things – hence the lack of organization. It’s hard to organize your life when you don’t quite know the direction you are going in. It is easy to wake up every morning, go to work, and do routine things. However, if you have a spark inside of you, there is always something tugging at you day and night that creates an uneasiness in the routine. I’ve been experiencing that spark, pull, uneasiness, or whatever you want to call it lately. So, it’s been hard for me to just go through the routine day to day. I haven’t quite figured out the plan or purpose God has for me. I do know that it is more than the routine. I know that whenever I feel that uneasiness in my spirit, I plan to make a move. I may not know where or why, but I plan to move!

Now, let’s be real. A move doesn’t mean I’m changing the world in one post, making a large investment in whatever, or creating a business in a matter of minutes. A move means simply that. I’m going to move. For example, this blog post is a move. Entering the Ashley Steward Model Search was making a move. Trust me, I went back and forth on entering for a week! Everything inside me said go for it, but for some reason the routine was getting the best of me. I made excuse after excuse to not take an updated picture. I used the daily routine as an excuse to justify not having time to take a picture or to do a post. Finally, my husband (@VisualbyT) reminded me on Sunday (the last day to submit entries) afternoon that I had asked him to take pictures for this opportunity. I fixed my mouth to say OK, to get dressed, and to make an effort to get at least one good shot. And, I was truly amazed! The end result are these beautiful shots!

I wore a pair of Eloquii shorts that are simply perfect for me. I really am not a shorts person, but these are not your average shorts. Hopefully, they will be available next spring/summer. However, I do plan to wear them into the Fall with tights. The eyelet detail ads a classiness that works for me. The only con to these shorts is the side zipper. I am sure there is a reason so many plus size brands do this with pants, skirts, and shorts; but, I absolutely hate the side zipper! Someone tell me why? The shorts were true to size, and I had no complaints whatsoever. I wore a peplum top, which has been a part of my closet for sometime now. Instead of a cute sweatheart or pointy heel, I went for a cute ankle bootie. It’s Fall isn’t it?!

I am thankful that my hubby was there to keep the spark alive with a little motivation. Sometimes that’s all we need. I don’t know what the outcome of the Ashley Stewart model search will be. However, I do know that if you don’t move, you aren’t giving God anything to bless. Get moving people! Have a blessed day!

Studio Eyelet Detail Short – Sold Out – Peplum Top (Similar)

Resolution Re-Start

The end of February is here, and by now, you are realizing that your resolution to (insert anything about working out and being healthy) is pretty much nonexistent. Trust me, I’m not the resolution type, but I had every intention on being more proactive when it came to working out and eating healthier. Thanks to Panera for providing me with a free bagel a day for the month of February, I’ve been on carb overload. And, let’s not forget the hazelnut cream cheese with that bagel! It is a must! I’ve been living on carbs and sugars all month… naturally, I haven’t been my usual self.

I started noticing changes when I started having a hard time waking up in the morning. I was always tired, and the usual coffee boost was just not enough anymore. I started to get frustrated with myself for being so lazy. But, I never changed any of the poor decisions I was making daily when it came to eating or physical activity.

Today, while I ran errands this morning with our daughter, I did notice a change. The past week had been one of my busiest weeks. But, I wasn’t as sluggish as I had been. I was waking up in the morning without so much effort. My daughter and I were both dressed and out the door both days this weekend before 8:30 am. That’s correct! We were in target on a Saturday morning before 9:00 am, and I had not had one drop of coffee.

The difference between this past couple of weeks and the others was that I had started to implement some small habits that I had not been doing before. I didn’t think much of these changes, but I  started them anyway thinking, “doing something is better than nothing.”

First, I started back drinking Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother in the morning and evening. I do not put a lot of effort into the measurements. I take a shot glass from our cabinet, pour the ACV in it, and then pour this wonderfulness into a glass of cold water. I drink this as I would anything else. I go about my morning routine while sipping on this drink. I do the same in the evening while making dinner. My hubby knocks it back in one shot, and drinks water after. It’s pretty bitter and strong stuff, so start small and go from there. I would advise diluting it with water and a little honey.

Next, I stopped drinking so much coffee. Seriously, I could easily average about one full coffee pot a day. I did not stop on purpose. I was just so busy that I could never get to the kitchen to refill my cup as much as I normally did.

I started back taking some key supplements that were helpful in the past. I know that people say taking a multivitamin is great, but sometimes your body needs a little more. My metabolism definitely changed after I entered into my 30’s. Knowing this, I started back taking 7-Keto with DHEA to help with my metabolism. I also added White Kidney Bean back to my supplement rotation to help metabolize all the carbs, fats, and sugars I was taking in. 

 

Finally, I implemented one of my favorite detox drinks. I drink a lot of wine from time to time. Sometimes I put some spirits in rotation too. But, I always feel the effects much worse than I did before when I have a little too much. This liver detox drink has been a go to for me, and it almost always has an effect within an hour or sooner. I drink this mid-day, and just sip on it while going about my day.

  
   
 Even though I haven’t been as good to my body as I should, I am taking these small steps toward being a little happier and healthier. This week, I hope to get back to it in the gym. I hope that these little tidbits help you guys get back on track for the New Year. It is only February! You’ve still got 10 months until the next New Year. Everyday is a new day to start all over. FYI: your skin will be amazing after a week or so of just drinking the ACV and taking a hair, skin, and nail supplement alone!

 

 

6 Moms That Sizzled on the MTV VMAS Red Carpet

I’m slowly getting in that sweet spot of knowing who I am as a mother and who I am as a woman. I know most people think, “how long does it take?” Seriously, our daughter is almost one. The reality is that there is no right or wrong answer. Each woman takes a different journey toward finding that sweet spot between being a mom and still being who you truly are as a woman.

I hope you all find these celebrity moms as awesome as I do, because they appear to have found that sweet spot. They are definitely showing the world that they are no where near trading in their heels for Birkenstocks anytime soon. My favs: Bey, J. Lo, and Kim K.

A Little Lace and Mimosas

A couple weekends ago, I had a couple of brunches with both family and friends. Lately, it has been really rare for this new mommy to get out; and, I was definitely ready for some time out of the house! So, as usual, I over dressed… according to some; but for me, I was dressed to fit me and my mood #flawless !

I found this Forever 21 textured lace dress while out shopping in June. The dress is a bodycon dress. Give me a bodycon skirt or dress any day! There are only two problems with this dress

1. If you have a little junk in your trunk, be ready to have a dress that should fall right above the knee, to fall right below the cheeks in the back. You have to be in a super confident mood to pull it off!

*Honestly, I want to wear this again on a date night with the hubby. 

2. It’s sold out! So sorry ladies, but the link is above should it ever come back.

Lace 1


Lace 3Lace 2