The Results of My 3 Month Shopping Ban

While this self-imposed ban enabled me to save money, I wouldn’t necessarily say this was the primary motivator. More importantly, it was an opportunity for me to explore contented living: being satisfied, complete, and fine with what I already own.

By not buying any clothes (except for the J. Crew skirt with a gift card), I had to examine why it is that new clothes have made me so happy–and dare I say, fulfilled–in the past. Thanks to this ban, my self-worth has become increasingly divorced from my physical appearance, which is an interesting departure for me. In the past, I was quite concerned with new clothes, especially the feeling of buying something new and people’s reaction to new. Over the past few months this has caused those sentiments to wane.  As with most of arenas of life, I find that living frugally, minimally, and consciously has ripple benefits that far exceed the monetary rewards.

Here’s what this exercise in restraint taught me about myself, my clothes and the consumer world as a whole!

I rid my closet of the unnecessary

I have plenty of clothes, shoes and accessories and voluntarily chose to clear some of it out of my closet. Some clothes just sit in your closet and never get picked because of this, that or the other thing, but you still can’t let them go. Throughout my shopping ban, I was so sick of going to look for something to wear and not picking the same things over and over again, that I decided to clear those items out of my closet for good. I am tired of telling myself I’ll wear it sometime and actively knowing that I would never wear it.

 

I buy new things so I can have new things

I had a wedding last month. I wore a cobalt blue dress that I have worn once before, for three hours, with a completely different group of people. And yet I desperately wanted something new. I had a specific vision in my mind of how I would look. It didn’t match this dress and that irked me to no end. It probably irked me more because I almost always give in to the desire to buy the new dress, so like a mosquito bite that couldn’t be scratched, it itched even worse. I don’t love that feeling, and I’d like to be more careful about falling into the shiny ball trap in the future, with or without my shopping ban in place.

 

Bottom line: I love clothes, shoes and accessories.

I use them as a form of self expression. They make me feel comfortable and content. I find shopping for them soothing. Are they a vice? Sure, at a time when I should be saving or spending on things we truly need, they’re a vice. But in a world where Madewell and J. Crew reign supreme, I shouldn’t become enthralled with anything that they offer.

 

Tips and Tricks

Once I came up with idea and decided to go forth with it, I did not look back.  I didn’t get into protracted debates over whether I would or would not buy anything because it wasn’t even an option. I set a concrete and attainable goal and all I did was stick with it. I then began to see the community that has been built on shopping bans. There were so many bloggers and Instagrammers who vowed not to shop and who were doing it for much longer than me. So I began to see how others are doing it! The one piece of advice (that I figured out the hard way) was, don’t check your emails or go on your favorite store’s sites. It’s poking a sleeping beast that really don’t need to be woken. I also had people to keep me accountable, checking in every so often to see if  I was “really doing it”. And well, I really did it!!

Overall, I loved the experience from proving to myself that I could go without to realizing I don’t need to shop every week. I love that I physically couldn’t shop because it sure made Target trips cheaper.  But as they say “old habit die hard”, I’ll probably ending spending $500 at Gap this pay day. Just kidding, but seriously I’m might celebrate by shopping a bit. As I said before there are things I want and there are things I “need”.

This entire journey forced me to give up all the things we are taught to want in life: the newest and greatest of this, that or the other. I exchanged them for basic necessities and, after 3 months of not being able to buy anything new, I’ve realized I have all I could ever need. This new mindset has not only saved me money, it’s expanded my capacity to care for others and to find gratitude in the simplest things.

If you want to do a shopping ban, email me at theoxfordguide@gmail.com or check out my initial post setting the rules and regulations I set for my ban! Comment below I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!

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My Favorite Fall Accessory

True story: I’m always cold. My co-workers and friends can attest to this because I literally always plan for being cold and I have a space heater near by. So it’s safe to say that being a freeze baby has prompted my blanket scarf obsession. At the bar and it gets a bit drafty? That’s fine because you have accessorized with a blanket!

Zara was the front runner of the blanket scarf. Their plaid version took Instagram by storm and made this product completely unobtainable. You know to the point where people are selling them on Amazon for triple of what it’s worth because some crazy girl will buy it! Well, now so many companies are jumping on board and I couldn’t be more excited!

If I ever develop a product line, I always say the first thing I would want to launch is a scarf line simply due to how often I wear scarves and how warm and toasty they keep me. As a result, I’ve searched high and low for the best of the best. So today I bring you my Top Blanket Scarves of the Season!

Ways to Wear

Bandana

ZARA Camel Plaid Blanket Scarf Dupe

Knot

Poncho

Draped

 

Get Shopping

Click on the image and add it to your cart!

Image 3 of ASOS Check Blanket ScarfImage 1 of COLORFUL EXTRA SOFT GEOMETRIC SCARF from Zara Image 1 of ASOS Lightweight Oversized Scarf In White Plaid Checkhttps://i0.wp.com/ecdn1.shoptiques.net/products/urbanista-plaid-scarf-5-1-multicolor-2e231304_s.jpgPlaid Blanket WrapOversized Plaid Blanket Scarf

So comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are they too bulky or perfect for the cooler months ahead? Plus where can you find more scarves like the blanket scarf? Until next time loves!

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Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

There is a moment…the lights have gone down and your heart swells with the first few notes of the music. That moment where your breath stops for just a second as the full sound of the orchestra washes over you, allowing you to appreciate the full glory of the work as the composer intended it. No CD, no iPod, not even the finest home stereo can capture the experience of a live orchestra performing the work of music’s masters.

Our Saturday date night was different, it seemed more special. There was something new added to our weekend plans because we were seeing a concert, we were going to the Philharmonic! A little more dressed up, wearing clothes we typically wouldn’t wear to the corner bars we frequent on the weekends. We went out for a quick bite to eat enjoying each others company. We left the restaurant and began to walk down the street taking in the late summer breeze. Greeted by marquee lights and the hustle of downtown, there was a feeling that came over me that I have rarely had here. I could embrace the city and all it had to offer, taking in all of the people and culture that surrounds us daily that we don’t often get to see.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic invited me to come and join them for their Latitude, Longitude Season Opener of Destination New York City. I couldn’t be more excited to open up the Wyoming Valley portion of The Oxford Guide with it.

I know minimal about playing an instrument and even less about classical music. The extent of my musical career lasted just long enough so my French horn and I could go to Hershey Park. I was third chair and most of the time I just liked to pretend I was playing by sticking my hand into the bell. Well it wasn’t until the 2nd chair quit and the 1st chair got sick, that my solo debut and finale took off to “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”!

I initially played the flute, an instrument that seemed so quiet and meek compared to the big brass instrument I would lug home every night. Once I realized it wasn’t the force an instrument was capable of but each instrument knowing their place in a piece, I learned to really enjoy the beauty of an orchestra. There was something amazing about how all these different instruments that created their own sounds came together to create this wonderful work of art.

Experiencing music live, is art in its purest form.  Music created with passion gives me goosebumps and chills and allows for feelings that are too good for words. The sound, the notes, the atmosphere that the orchestra created as they played flawlessly in tune will bring audiences back time and time again.

The night opened with the orchestra playing the Star Spangled Banner and the audience without a moment of hesitation rose to their feet and began to sing. It seems silly but these are the feelings I’m talking about. Having an entire audience of all ages, come together to sing the music performed by our very own local orchestra is incredible. The Press Release goes on to explain the pieces the musicians would be performing:

“The program, Destination New York City, will include “Javelin” by Michael Torke; “Piano Concerto in F”, by George Gershwin, with acclaimed pianist Orion Weiss; “Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan” by Charles Griffes; and “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein. Mélisse Brunet, the Philharmonic’s new apprentice conductor, will conduct “Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn.”

I can’t talk about crescendos or the key each piece was played in but I can tell you how I felt. If you have ever felt passionate about anything in your life you can see how each musician on stage expressed their love and desire through each note. Every being of their bodies synced together to create incredible music. They moved with grace and ease. All in sync as I watched their bows rise and fall together. Each note danced off the sheet music into our hearts, while so many different components meshed and blended together.

The Philharmonic offers many different performances, from the Pops (a change from the classical side) to more intimate Chamber concerts. Check out the 2015-16 Season Brochure and go to a show! Enjoy our local Philharmonic and all they bring to our area. I will without a doubt be attending more performances and I am so grateful for this opportunity! We have an incredible orchestra in our region, bringing us some renowned talent to embrace the culture we have in our backyard. So go out and support the NEPA Philharmonic, just one of the amazing things to do in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Don’t Make My Money Mistakes

I’m not a financial analyst and I really don’t know the first thing about money management. But I do know the mistakes I made. A friend and I were talking this weekend about saving money and how you should have three months of savings readily available but that isn’t always possible. I work paycheck to paycheck but I am able to put into my savings and not worry if I want to go out to eat or buy myself a shirt. I have had a few missteps along the way and I really want to share them with you, so you don’t make the same ones

Living Beyond Your Means

When we first bought our house I contributed a TV from 1998 and a lamp. I wanted to fill it with all of the amazing visions I had that were brought on by Pinterest and Good Housekeeping. Everything from $75 bookends to a $3000 couch, I had my dream rooms but no money to do it. I could have charged everything and put myself into tens of thousands of dollars of debit but we just decided to live without. We first bought a refrigerator and a real television, once we paid that off then we bought our washer and dryer. We worked like that until we had everything we needed. Don’t worry about not having it, you’ll eventually get it, which means don’t put yourself into debit. It’s not worth the stress.

Charging the “Essentials”

Some things are important like groceries, bills, and rent, charging $200 at Victoria’s Secret is not. After you graduate college you need to start realizing the difference between want and need. Sometimes we have the money in the here and now, for me that is typically one day and that day is payday. By the time Sunday hits I’m panicking because I still need groceries  but don’t worry I have a new pair of jeans and some throw pillows for the couch. WHAT!? That’s not ok! I’m sorry but we need to take care of the true essentials and worry about what we want later on.

Emergency Fund

You get a quarterly bonus or that yearly raise and you want to spend it on a leather bag or a new pair of boots. Neither of which do you need but you have the money and it burns a hole through every pocket you own. Take that money and put it into another account or give it to your mom to hold, just DON’T SPEND IT! Because one day you’re going to go in for an oil change and they’re going to tack on another $450 of shit that needs to be fixed. So plan for a rainy day, plan for a bad week, plan for the time where you have to chose where your money is going to go. My bank offers a percentage to add into my account at the end of every month, it might only be one dollar but it’s a dollar I didn’t have before. So look into your options and see what works best for you.

Shopping online

50% off the ENTIRE store! Hurry, deal ends soon! These are all the headlines that adorn my email, which gets me to click, that leads me to the wedsite because I need more Bath and Body candles to add to the 25 I already have. But they’re on sale, so I need to shop now! No honey you don’t. Put away the credit card and think about if you really need it. I’ve taken my credit cards off of all stores because online shopping makes it way too easy to buy things. Amazon for example just needs your fingerprint and they have all your information loaded, you only need to place the item in your cart, confirm your print then confirm your order. It’s way too quick and before you know it you just bought 7 Alex and Ani’s and the Harry Potter collector series.

So save and prepare. Don’t waste your hard earned money on meaningless things. Make of list of things your want and set a budget. Don’t go over that budget. Saving will help in the long run, evening if you’re saving for a shopping trip! Comment below with some of the ways you like to save! I’d love to hear!

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Do the Clothes Make the Man?

How much does our style define us? What should we assume about people based on their clothes? I notice how peoples’ choices in clothing develop their own personal style. I can wear a white tee with a pair of boyfriend jeans and Converse and someone can take that same shirt and wear it with a vintage leather skirt and heels.

The point of this article honestly doesn’t stem from my curiosity of someone’s choices in clothing; I guess it’s a bit more than that. It’s the clothes we wear, how we chose to style them and what people assume about us.

I catch myself wondering about people’s opinions more often than I should. What do people think of me? What if they don’t like it? I usually just say “who cares?!” because and I am a firm believer in confidence. I will wear what I like and never make excuses for the way I dress. Every now and then, however, this imaginary judgmental panel of bitches stops me in my tracks. They remind me of the self-doubt and insecurities no one should feel.

I, like most, am aware of how I am being perceived. If someone offers their opinion, I remember it. So every time I wear my hair the way my friend said she hated, my confidence boost deflates. We have to stop caring about what others think because at the end of the day you need to be happy with the reflection in the mirror and all that you accomplish.

We are placed in these invisible categories based on the clothes we wear. Certain styles, we are told, don’t look good on us but in fact they just don’t fit into the norm or typical style we wear. I tried to wear a pair of sky high pumps and I was told “they weren’t me.” What does that even mean? They’re shoes, not a piece of my soul. I will say it again, I can wear anything that I want to and it doesn’t change my personality. Some days I want to look like an Olsen twin, others I want to look like I stepped out of a J. Crew catalog and then they are some days a sports bra and Nikes are the only way to go.

Our outward appearance is a signifier for people. I find myself more threatened by girls who seem “prettier” then me. I get very uncomfortable in my own skin for some reason, when I dub someone more attractive. But who is this panel that defines beauty and how do we fire them all? As I get older I have come to realize that looks mean nothing in ANY relationship, friend or significant other. If I can’t have a conversation with you about the weird and messed up shit I think about, you weren’t going to like to me anyway.

I try to be a good daughter, friend, girlfriend, and over all a generally good person. I love animals. I am an athlete, a lover of art, an explorer. Sometimes I am lazy and most times I am stubborn. Other times I am quite the opposite. I hate to read but I love movies. I am a terrible story teller because details are important to me. I prefer to clean my bathroom over washing dirty dishes any day (the smells make me gag). These traits define me not what adorns my body.

If you find yourself looking around a room, staring at your fellow sister from across it thinking “how could she wear that?” please evaluate yourself and your own insecurities. Find a nice thought about that woman. I promise you one exists somewhere. After all, that nasty thought you gave to her, five other girls have already given to you. Choose to think with positivity, and toss your cattiness out the door — because it defines you far more than what you wear ever could.

 

Birchbox: Month 4

We’re soaking up every last bit of sun, sand, and sea with the help of the samples this month. Too much sun? This month is designed to help from your hair to to your toes, giving you the boost (and moisture) to head into the season of closed toed shoes and scarves.

LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit

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This is a two for one product, used on both your cheeks and lips. It comes in three colors Cray-Cray (coral peach), Mixtape (ruby rouge), and Humble Brag (blush pink). I received humble brag and I love it on my cheeks. I have a fair complexion and light eyes and platinum hair, it was the perfect color. It goes on so smooth and easily blended. As a lip color, not a fan. It’s extremely matte and gives fully coverage. Not as smooth as I had hoped and a terrible color for me (personally). I am strictly a natural or red lip gal. The purples and pinks aren’t for me. Thumbs up for cheeks, two thumbs down for lips.

 

RUSK® Volumizing Mousse

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Mousse is a scary product, too much and you might as well rewash your hair, not enough, it doesn’t do anything. This product was amazing. From the smell to the texture it was everything I had hoped for. My hair is color treated and thin so I worry when I put product in my hair but this did exactly what I wanted it to. If gave my hair a little lift and added some texture to my freshly washed hair (which I personally love). I only have to use just a bit because higher end products are more concentrated so a little goes a long way. There was not crunch or stick because girlfriend does not need a sticky pixie, GROSS!

 

dr. brandt® pores no more® cleanser

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The smell of this product was amazing, it was earthy and fresh. It’s very foaming so you only need a pea sized amount to obtain that clean feel. It’s in my cart just waiting for my shopping ban to be lifted and this will be my new face wash. My skin is acne prone and oily in my T-Zone but this made it feel fresh all day, even adding makeup on top of it. As for the “pores no more” I didn’t notice a difference, many people did but I don’t think it helped. That isn’t a deterrent though because my skin had never felt better after using it.

 

Air Repair Complexion
Boosting Moisturizer

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My skin is a mess, like a 13 year old boy, mess. One of the many problems is that certain parts of my skin get very dry and this month it was under my eyes. The skin is thin there so having it dry is terrible. This product hadn’t come at a better time. It didn’t break me out and my skin looked healthier. I have been using this product for a few days now and I can already notice a positive difference. Plus for added moisturizer you can apply it heavily and leave it on for 15 minutes, use it as a moisturizing mask. Great product but have found others that do the exact same thing at a drug store price.

 

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner
for Beautiful Color

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First off I’m going to say I really hate the Shampoo and Conditioner combos, they remind me of when magazines would have good samples in them. You can’t get enough usage to tell if spending THAT much money on hair products is worth it. Granted I’m will to spend, I own a bottle of hair spray that cost me $30. It does exactly what I need it to those of you who are judgy. So anyway, I loved the smell, texture and feel from the shampoo and conditioner, but did it do what I needed? I don’t know! I only used it twice! That is not enough. So yes I liked it but it won’t be in my shower anytime soon.

 

Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color

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Now this product I liked, probably because I got to use it more than twice. The smell was great and made my hair feel smooth. Never left it feeling greasy a few hours later like other masques have. A little goes a very long way so you just need a pea sized amount. It really penetrates all of my hair and doesn’t just lay on the top. It made my typically dry hair very silky and definitely tamed my flyaways.

 

Two more months of Birchbox and my time is over. Still deciding though if i would like to renew. I love the concept of getting a package with stuff stuff inside. If it’s in the budget I will be renewing because being introduced to new products is really awesome.

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||Fall Vests||

Puffer vests have taken Pinterest by storm. All you see are girls with perfectly curled hair draping over their flawlessly layered outfit. A lot of people still have yet to delve into this fad. Most don’t like the look that a puffy vest gives because it seams to fit a certain style. That is not the only vest you can wear this season.There are military, boho even moto styled vests. I challenge you this season to try a vest, any type. I posted some of my favorite styles below. Get styling!

 

Ideas

want a very casual, "outdoorsy", neutral (I like olive or black) not to puffy vest for winter - like this one.plaid + fur...maybe with leather leggings too...: She tells you where she gets all of her clothes and its actually at places you can afford!: Really loving the old navy vest and beanie hat...now I'm suddenly ok with cold weather: I love comfy casual, the top would be great to play up for work and play down for the weekends: Cheetah and stripes are a fun combo and an easy way to mix prints. Layer over a quilted vest for an added layer of texture.: fall/winter. boots and vest are adorable: If one outfit could define my fall style... this would be it! #flannel #vest #boots: we love vest's!!!:

Buy Your Own

Factory printed quilted puffer vestFactory sherpa-lined utility vestBB Dakota Duncan Brown Striped Vest at Lulus.com!Old NavyOld NavyOld Navyhttps://i1.wp.com/oldnavy.gap.com/webcontent/0010/116/003/cn10116003.jpgHouse Show Headliner Vest - Short, Woven, Grey, Black, Solid, Buttons, Pockets, Casual, FallWomen's Faux Suede Vest - Xhilaration™

Enjoy the cooler days ahead because the fall brings us some amazing adventures. Remember we have to look good doing it though!

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Fall Brings Us More Than Pumpkin Spice and Riding Boots

So I have finally began to accept that Fall is actually coming and we must bid farewell to these long summer nights. Autumn brings us the changing of leaves, new fashion and my personal favorite, Halloween! There are so many events going on that puts my summer schedule to shame! I am here to bring you all that NEPA has to offer this fall so let’s start with the here and now!

A lot of people like to post amazing pictures of these great events. The problem with posting pictures of events means that, well… the event is over. So instead I want to give everyone some weekend fun options, here are some of my favorites in September!

 

Luzerne County Fair

September 9th to 13th
Dallas

Why Should You Go?

“We are 100% volunteer and work tirelessly to bring an affordable, exciting and educational event to fairgoers and the community. General Fair admission is only $8..and includes the rides.” From all of the amazing food to seeing local talent showcased it’s the perfection equation for a fun night out.

 

Culture Shock! Free Music and Art Fest

September 19th 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Nay Aug Park

Why Should You Go?

“Culture Shock has two main purposes – showcase the immense talent in our area, and culturally enhance our community.We decided to call it Culture Shock because it’s a vast mix of different styles of music, culture and art.  Our hope is that you’ll hear music from a genre that you might not have known you even liked, or see a cool piece of artwork in a style you’ve never heard of before – all while showcasing the creativity that lives in the place we call home.”

 

 Third Friday Art Walk

September 18th 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Public Square

Why Should You Go?

Third Friday features a variety of cultural events found in the city’s galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and other small businesses. A trolley bus is available to provide shuttle service at designated stops. Third Friday serves as a conduit to artists, connecting them to prospective venues, art lovers seeking entertainment, and venues looking to attract new customers. All of these are unified under the vision of using the arts to revitalize downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Opening Day at Roba Family Farms

September 18th 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
North Abington

Why Should You Go?

“A premier destination for family fun. Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, Hillbilly Pig Races,Bunnyville, Dancing Chicken Show, Farm Animal Band, Petting Zoo, Christmas Trees,Wholesale Tree Nursery,and so much more. Many additional activities and events for the public and for School Tours, Field Trips,and Corporate outings.Cider Donuts, Candy Apples, and Kettle Corn are our signature Treats to Eat.”

Luzerne Merchants Association 2015
Fall Pumpkin Festival

September 19th at 9:00 am
Main Street Luzerne

Why Should You Go?

“Food, fun, entertainment, shopping….it’s all at the 20th Annual Luzerne Merchants Association Fall Pumpkin Festival on Main St. in Luzerne, PA! Horse wagon rides, live bands/DJs, and dozens of vendors will make sure this local event has something for eveyone. Stop down & spend some time checking out what Luzerne Borough has to offer at this year’s Fall Festival!”

 

Hillside Farms 10th Anniversary Celebration!

September 19th 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Hillside Farms, Dallas

Why Should You Go?

“Join us for an All-You-Can-Eat Farm to Table feast as we celebrate our 10th year as a non profit educational farm.  We will be seated throughout Hillside’s rolling pastures behind the Education Center. Expect a fabulous Field to Fork buffet, bonfires, tractor wagon rides, silent auction, and more.  Performances by Suzuki Strings and KISS Theatre.  We’ll have visits from our four-legged “co-educators” plus a special classical performance for the dairy herd. All proceeds benefit Green Guides farm- and animal-based activities and therapies for vulnerable children.”

 

Riverfront Food Truck Rally

September 24th from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
River Commons, Wilkes-Barre

Why Should You Go?

“Enjoy food and drink from a variety of your favorite local food trucks including The Wandering Chef, Southwest Savory Grill, Sweet Lush Cupcake Camper, Taste Time to Love Us, Triple S Gourmet, and What the Fork, and Boyer Brothers BBQ and Deli. Proceeds benefit Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO). This is an all ages free admission event, bring the whole family and enjoy local culinary delights!”

 

Apple & Cheese Festival

September 26th and 27th
Creekside Gardens, Tunkhannock

Why Should You Go?

ENJOY local cheese from Leraysville Cheese Factory, apples from Grassy Ridge Orchards, homemade apple sauce and apple sausage, and MORE!
Fall crafts for kids and adults!

 

Bloomsburg Fair

September 26th to October 3rd
Bloomsburg (Duh!)

Why Should You Go?

The Bloomsburg Fair is a great tradition that is felt by those who attend regularly and without fail. From the food, to the animals, to the rides there is so much to see and do at the Fair. Bingo is obviously the first thing I do, while I’m eating my Mr. Sticky bun. There are many concerts, band shows, rides, games, horse races, and demolition derbies at the Fair to be enjoyed by all. “The bottom line is that the Fair means home and a sense of pride felt by those who put our hearts and souls into making it wonderful year after year.”

 

Confessions of a Fashion Blogger and Why I Might Fail

Hi I’m Ellen and my life is not as put together as Instagram makes it seem, a filter goes a long way. I want to take you behind the scenes and give you a closer look into my life as a lifestyle/fashion blogger.  Sure, I love taking beautiful photos and sometimes those beautiful photos may give the illusion that my life is organized and put together, but the truth is – it’s all a lie. There are days where I snooze one too many times and washing my hair is just out of the question that day. Then there are other days that my skin can’t handle makeup and my entire office tells me to go home if I’m sick.

 

I take a lot of selfies and mirror shots

I do this because I really don’t have the time to photograph myself in a pretty park or at the farmers market. My “blog worthy outfits” are taken on my iPhone and I hope I have awesome natural light. I work a full time job and my weekends are usually chalk full of other things. I really hate being a model and I’d rather just give people an affordable option for clothes. So you will never see high quality images on my Instagram because my significant other isn’t a photographer. The typical conversation goes “Hey babe can you take my picture?” “Make sure you get my whole outfit!” “Just hold the button down and I’ll figure it out!!”. “Is it on square?!”

 

I am in cute and put together outfits 50% of the time

Very rarely do my outfits and makeup both look flawless. There are some days, like most of you know, that your main priority isn’t your eyeliner. After work every day I either go to the gym or to coach, so all of my Instagram pictures are taken in the AM. My dad calls my eyes “sleepy eyes” because I still haven’t been awake all that long. Some days I feel fierce and fashionable and then others I walk out of the house wondering if I’ll be sent home for the t-shirt I’m trying to pull off with a pencil skirt. Since I don’t have hair anymore a top knot isn’t an option, the hard part is that uncomfortable feeling you have when your hair really shouldn’t have made it that 4th day of not being washed.

 

I’m on a budget I re-wear a lot of the same clothes

I’m not hating on people that are able to buy new clothes and wear lots of different outfits, I am fiercely jealous. I’ve chosen to try to use what I have and see how I can create different looks out of what’s hanging out in my closet. So if you stop by one day and think “that outfit looks familiar”, it’s probably because I have worn it 3 weeks ago or last Friday. Hopefully I’m not disappointing you too much but I really want to blog and give options for the common gal. Red bottoms don’t adorn my feet and Chanel doesn’t hold my lipstick, I shop on a budget but love high fashion, so I want to show others how they can do it too!

 

I can’t meticulously arrange shit on a table

Successful bloggers have an art for arranging a whole bunch of crap from their homes and purses around their latte. A girl gets a new purse she needs to showcase it in a particular way. It’s a talent, one I don’t possess. I will try this more because I love how they come out and right now they seem to be the photo rage. This is what I waste my time worrying about.

 

Picture taking in public

Take pictures in the middle of the city, like a crosswalk.  No one will think it’s weird when you stop for photos all by yourself and pose with your dainty little hand stroking your hair oh so gently. Most importantly never look directly at the camera. It doesn’t matter where you look, if you want to look up at the sky like a possessed demon- go for it, girl! Find a colorful wall or an interesting tile floor, 30 likes right there! It’s awkward as I stand next to a hydrangea bush cupping them in my hand. Who does that?! Want a good laugh? Look in my archives and some of my finest modeling work.

 

It’s hard to keep up with everything but I love every minute of it. I want my blog to show people that life and clothes aren’t perfect and mistakes happen. Fashion and style don’t need to be associated withmoney. We just need to know we like and have the confidence to wear it. Try new things and branch out, that’s how we get our best outfit ideas!

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

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