SweeTART Soft & Chewy Ropes Review

Things I don’t typically like: chewy rope candy. As part of my latest Smiley360 mission, I received a free sample of these Sweetart Soft & Chewy Ropes.  Again, not normally a fan.  I almost, (thankfully just almost), let my husband have all of them to snack on at work.  I happened to be home for a while before he got home that day.  I also happened to be hungry with a total of zero snacks in the house.  Having a ‘what the heck?’ moment, I opened a pack and dove in.  They were absolutely delicious!  Just the right amount of sweetness, nothing like rope candy I’ve had in the past.  Needless to say, there were very few remaining when he got home.  Oops! 🙂


Quick and Easy Boho Chic for Spring

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you that I easily hopped onto the boho chic style train. As a wise Meghan Trainor once said, “it’s pretty clear I ain’t no size two,” and to be perfectly honest that makes wearing many boho items hard for me. It took some time for me to figure out how to make the flowy, non-figure-producing items work for me without layering the spanx underneath. Alas, I’ve figured out a few tips that really helped me pull the look (below) off.

1. Pick a print. Now normally when I’m trying to look slimmer, I avoid prints altogether and stick to black. However, I quickly found that having a print on a flowy dress really helps distract from what’s going on underneath it. Not one person stopped me to ask how far along I was (no I’m not – just a fear I have with flowy dresses). What people did comment on was the super cute print and babydoll sleeves of the dress I chose.

2. Grab a cross-body bag! The one I have is similar to this one here. I used to think that cross-body bags just made lines where I didn’t want them, causing an unwanted protrusion of my tummy. I’ve really gotten into them lately though. The only guideline I will give is to not overstuff the bag. That will just literally bring you down. You don’t want to be slouching in this outfit – you want to stand tall and confident. I also have to mention how easy cross-body bags make my life when I’m out all day. I never have to worry about leaving my purse or putting it down to grab something. Nope, it’s just there, across my body – awesome! The strap on this one is removeable, so if you aren’t sure about the cross-body, it’s still a great bucket bag!

 3. Strappy wedges. Another misconception I had about the boho look was that heels of any kind were a no-no. I always see these really tall girls wearing flat sandals that just look so comfy and chic. Well, I’m just not one of those girls. I’m about 5’4″, 5’5″ on a good day when I don’t have an overstuffed bag – I need some umph! I recommend a wedge for comfort, and I recommend keeping the sandal neutral (along with the bag above). I’m a huge supporter of cognac. I think even in its current popularity, it’s highly underrated! Bonus – your cognacs don’t have to be an exact match – just keep them close.

So there you have it – three really easy items that can bring a boho chic outfit to life for any figure in no time, and not for too much money. I’ve included all details below:

Sepia Sweetheart Dress ($39 shipped) – Estella

Cognac Bucket Bag ($29.99 prime eligible) – Amazon

Tan Jaden Wedges ($49 shipped) – Estella


Oh Life, You Silly Thing You

It’s been about a week since I posted.  I honestly can’t give you one reason in particular why I have been MIA, besides just saying “LIFE!”  It happens.  Every day has been rather hectic this past week.  At the end of the day I feel drained, yet also feel like nothing got done.  I haven’t been at my desk for more than five minutes at a time since some point in time last week. I honestly can’t pinpoint it.

For instance, today started with a trip to the vet.  One of my dogs is a lab (not sure if she’s full bred or not, she just kind of showed up one day), and as you probably already know labs have very floppy ears.  My poor girl has suffered with yeast build up in her ears for years now.  Nice, huh?  Lately, I have been cleaning her ears out every day to prevent a huge build up.  It had been working – the scratching and head-shaking had really become a lot less frequent.  Apparently, while my girl wasn’t so worried about the quantity of her head shakes, she was secretly shooting for the Olympics with quality.

Yesterday my husband asked if I noticed one of her ears was swollen.  I literally clean her ears every single day, so a change in her ears would have happened within 24 hours.  I told him that I remember one ear being more red than the other the night before and maybe a smidge worse than the other.  He kind of let it go, thinking I had seen it and figured it was nothing.

So a couple of hours later, I go to sit her down to clean her ears and see this GOLF BALL size bump on her ear flap.  After letting out a few phrases worthy of a sailor’s mouth, I gave her benadryl in case it was an allergic reaction to a bite of some sort.  It wasn’t, but I’m still glad I gave it to her because it kept her relatively calm for the rest of the night.  After a very brief google search and a call in to the night vet, we realized it was a hematoma.  Apparently, these are quite common in labs.  It’s what happens when a blood vessel pops in their ears from the head shaking.  Usually it starts off as a smaller bump, but my girl went for the gold with this beast on her ear.  Check out this rear view shot today at the vet.  You can tell that her left ear flap doesn’t work quite like the right one because of the huge bump of..well, blood (yummy) in the way.


Anyway, we decided to give lancing/draining a try, so now my poor girl looks like this.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come back because then she will have to have surgery, which of course isn’t cheap – not that today was cheap by any means.  Like I said about forty-seven times today though, “ya gotta do whatcha gotta do.”


Back to fashion blogging tomorrow!  I pray for a calm day where I can sit at my desk all day and get things done.  I miss my desk, and not to brag or anything but I’m pretty sure she misses me too!

Easy OOTD that Packs a Punch

Remember that blanket scarf we talked about earlier this week?  Dubbed the IT scarf of the season, we had to grab it in some other color options!  I decided to wear it today in our navy and green option.  Let me know what you think of the outfit laid out here.


I was so very comfortable today.  I always feel comfrotable and confident in blue and green since they are my favorite colors, but colors aside the clothes were all quite comfy too.  Our navy tunic is made of a soft and stretchy modal material, so it fits perfectly with a lot of stretch and flow for zero restrictions!  I think it goes without saying that these scarves are super soft and easily garner compliments.  I will say that wearing a blanket scarf does take some getting used to.  I may or may not be practicing in my spare time. 😉

I threw on my favorite skinny jeans (available still by special order only), our jewel-encrusted statement necklace, and a pair of Old Navy booties.  What a simple, EASY outfit that packs a lot of punch when the pieces come together.

P.S. If you’re wondering why I wore a necklace under my blanket scarf, I had a lot of errands to run and it wasn’t super cold today, so I figured I may want to take the scarf off at some point in time (which I did).  I just wanted something to break up all of the blue when I did.

Small Boxing Day Haul – Piperlime

I used to be an avid Boxing Day shopper (day after Christmas sales), but I’ve let my anxiety get the best of me the past few years and haven’t ventured out much among crowds.  While I have been getting out and about a lot more recently, this year I had some sales going on at Estella so I had to be here anyway to take care of orders.  I had my eye on a few items at Piperlime and coupon codes burning holes in my inbox, so I finally pulled the plug on the 29th and got a few items.  I thought I’d share my little mini haul with you today.  *Spoiler alert, I got $371 worth of items for around $96 – 74% OFF!*

Note: I highly recommend signing up for their emails if you haven’t yet.  I’ve received many coupon codes (including the one I used on this purchase) via email and regular mail.  I don’t have one right now that is good on clearance items, but if I find one, I’ll come back and edit.

Now, I’m not a shoe person.  Blasphemy, I know!  It’s not that I don’t like shoes, I do.  I just don’t have a closet overflowing with them.  I’m very picky about the shoes I buy, and I usually only buy ones that I love.  This is why we’ve only had a few select shoe options for sale at Estella.  I’ve just never been one to buy shoes just to buy them.  I think long and hard, and I do a lot of research before I commit to a shoe.  It’s a blessing (for my wallet) and a curse (for my closet).

One type of shoe that I have been a little less conservative about this season is the bootie.  I, like many others, am obsessed!  I have truly never purchased this many shoes in one season in my life.  I’m going a little overboard, but I’m also thoroughly enjoying it.  Check out these Sol Sana Toni booties I got for $44.99 (Regular $179!!!!, Currently $89.97).

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I don’t expect everyone to love this top as much as I do.  I am a sucker for the French language, and this particular phrase has a special place in my heart.  I am beyond excited to wear it.  This Sundry Clothing Crew Neck Blanc Tee is meant to be a little big, so keep that in mind.  I ended up scoring this tee for $23.50 (Regular $63, Currently $46.99).  While I do like the tee for what I paid for it, I can’t endorse spending $63 or even $46.99 on it.  It’s super soft and chic, but at the end of the day it’s a pretty thin tee.

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Last, but not least – I have been looking everywhere for a reasonably priced leather jacket for months.  I said earlier that I’m not a shoe person, but what I am is a JACKET person!  Jackets are my thing!  The only reason I price watch jackets is so that I can buy more jackets.  I ended up deciding on this Tenley Road Vegan Leather Jacket.  I got it for $27.49 (Regular $129, Currently $54.97).  I really like the oversized collar and the dimensional look it gives the jacket.

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I do apologize for not posting this while the initial sale was going on.  I hadn’t started my daily blogging at that time.  I fully expect Piperlime to do another sale on sale in the near future, and I’ll be sure to let you all know when it happens.

The Jump to Neon

Navy.  It’s my color.  You know the one.  You gravitate towards it and when it’s time to actually go somewhere you realize that your entire closet is pretty much all one color.  That color for me has always been navy.

Starting Estella has really opened up my comfort zone and my closet.  Keeping other tastes in mind for the shop has allowed me to branch out and try new things for myself.  My closet is no longer a place where navy clothes go to hang – it’s a well rounded, multi-colored space.  It took a while to make it this way, and it’s still a struggle to buy another color when there is a navy option in the same style.  However, I can say now with confidence that my closet is no longer a monochromatic bore, and I am so happy about that.  I feel happier when I wear bright colors, and the compliments are an added bonus.

Somewhere along the way, I even made the jump to wear NEON colors.  I honestly never thought I would see this day.  While I do enjoy a little positive attention, I don’t ever want it to look like I’m looking for it.  Ya feel me?  My goal is for a look to be effortless and natural while still being chic and creative enough to stand out a bit.

So what is my favorite neon piece?  Check out this dress I ordered for the shop.  To think I almost didn’t try it on when it came in and now it’s easily a favorite in my closet.  (Yes, I know it does have some navy in it – but this is far from just being a “navy piece in my closet.”) If you have a little curve to you like I do, this dress is for you.  Most curvy bodies look great in dresses like this one that tie at the waist.  Accentuating the natural waistline on my figure helps break things up and brings the eye to the smallest point of my body creating a very flattering look.

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I’ve worn this dress on warm days and am also wearing it now as it gets cooler.  Today, I paired it with a pair of fleece leggings and booties.  You can grab this dress at Estella now.  We’re offering an extra 30% off clearance this weekend with code EOYSALE making this dress only $23.09 SHIPPED!  Take the plunge and try out some neon in your wardrobe.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The Blanket Scarf of the Season

Often, when I see something that everyone has, my nature is to want the complete opposite.  For instance, back in 2005 every one of my friends had an iPod.  They had been out for a few years at this time, and to say that they were popular would be an understatement.  They were everywhere!  Apple had reinvented the portable music scene, and everyone was hopping on board.  Everyone except me.  I loathed trends at the time.  It was the 2000s – I didn’t have to conform.  If everyone had a blue purse, I would get a green one (even though blue is my favorite color).  If everyone had a flip phone, I would buy a slider phone.  (Yes, phones used to flip open!)  You get the picture.  So intead of getting the iPod, I got a Dell Jukebox.  *crickets*  Never heard of it? I’ll give you a minute to google.

It was bulky, awkward, not easy to use, not compatible with iTunes (or if it was I didn’t know how to make it work), and very few accessories were made for it.  None of that mattered to me at the time of purchase though – I was getting a Dell Jukebox, and no one else had one.  I was going against the grain.  ‘Merica!

The story did not end well for my Dell Jukebox.  One day my computer fell onto the screen, which was completely destroyed. I was left with a shattered screen, shattered dreams, and one awkward size armband that would ultimately never fit any other electronic product I would own.  I did however learn a valuable lesson – going against the grain just for the sake of doing so isn’t always worth it.

Now, it’s no secret that the blanket scarf in today’s OOTD is EVERYWHERE.  I only have to go to my Pinterest homepage to see at least one post (almost always more) that includes this scarf.  At the shop, we can barely keep them in stock more than a day.  My question for you is how do you feel about items that are extremely popular?  Do they become a must-have for your closet, or do you steer clear of them?  I can see both sides, but I decided to go with the grain on this one.  I’m so glad I did.

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Today I decided to pair my blanket scarf with these great neutrals.  Check out the links below to find the items featured.  Also, feel free to let me know how you’re wearing scarves this winter in the comments below.

Blanket Scarf – Estella

Olive Utility Jacket – Estella

Cable and Lace Sweater – Estella

Dark Denim Jeans – Estella

Purse – Old Navy (still available in black)

Cognac Booties – Estella (sold out), Similar at Old Navy