Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Insta-Style January

It's been awhile since I've shared an Instagram wrap up showing what I've been wearing lately!  So many combinations that never quite make it over to the blog.  My favorite thing is using a dedicated hashtag each year to look back and see the outfits I pulled together for inspiration on those days when the closet feels daunting.  Here are my January looks!  
Winter Layers
Winter Layers
Last year I grabbed this vest on sale at a local boutique during their 75% off sale.  It's a little bulky but I paired with this lightweight cowlneck sweater and it was perfect for a winter day in Texas.  
Winter Layers
Similar pieces Vest|Sweater|Gingham Top|Boots(Exact)
One of my very favorite looks ever is the cream sweater layered over the gingham with this green vest.  The J. Crew vest is an investment but one that has been totally worth it.  The color alone has added so much fun to my combos.  We have had a few days cold enough to warrant a blanket scarf and I love the fun these colors add.  Plaid + Gingham works! 
Winter Layers
See, I told you this vest was worth the investment!  Speaking of investing, I can't say enough about my Frye boots.  Year two and they are proving to be an item that will last for years.  I have been itching to wear this combination again and it may just be one of the outfits I pack for our upcoming Vegas trip.  Adding a little pop of leopard with my favorite cuff
Winter Layers
Speaking of leopard, I never thought to pair with grey until my beautiful daughter walked in one day wearing it.  If you haven't tried this sweater yet, you are really missing out because it is so soft and such a great weight for Texas. I will tell you if you want more of a sweater fit you need to size down. I stuck with a medium and it is a bit oversized but I don't mind because I have enjoyed wearing with leggings as well as my jeans and dress pants.  It is a tad low cut so finding a cute tank to layer under might also be helpful.  I'm hoping to snag this one before our trip!  
Winter Layers
My sweet friend Kelli gave me this wrap for Christmas and at first I had no idea how I was going to style it.  In came a solid black swing dress layered over a chambray shirt with my OTK boots and I had a winner.  Loving this new bag from Stella and Dot by the way!  
Winter Layers
(Similar Pieces) Fringe Scarf|Jacket||Jeans|Boots(Exact)|Bag(Exact)
Yep, there's that bag again!  Last year I wore this floral sweater all the time but it's January and it just finally made an appearance.  Sometimes my items just need some freshening up.  Last season I was pulling from the reds in the sweater and wore with a lot of black.  I love how the teal really worked to give it a new pop.  Of course this jacket....oh this jacket is such a favorite and I have it in two colors! The color and the weight is perfect fall through spring. 
Winter Layers
That's right, the jacket was worn both Friday and Monday!  I was working on a style challenge for Monday centered around "moody blooms" and wasn't really feeling any of the floral scarves in my closet.  I did remember a scarf Carly Jo wore for our family photos and tada..perfect!  Stripes + Floral is a fun combo!  The Sole Society purse is also a recent favorite and I've been surprised at how much it holds. 
Winter Layers
I am cheating slightly with this picture!  It actually was a 2016 Instagram post but I DID wear it this January exactly like this after seeing this picture.  I found this sweater last year at American Eagle 75% off.  I really pulled out all the stops with Dots+Plaid+Leopard but y'all, it is one of my favorite combinations ever!  

Selfies seem overrated but let me tell you my favorite part. There are times I put an outfit together and think it really works right up until I see a picture.  It really has helped me see how to manage my closet a little better and also helped me purge when I realize an item just isn't really working for me anymore.  You can see all my 2017 looks today at #thequeenscloset2017
Don't forget, today is the last day to order these fun items 25% off!  Plus, if you spend $50 or more the items below magically become 50% off.  Shop the Trunk Show here!
The links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link(s) and purchase an item (at no additional cost to you), I may earn a small commission.  Thank you for helping to support me and The Queen in Between blog

Hope you all have a super Wednesday!  
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips for Keeping the Keepsakes

Today I'm joining The Blended Blog for the Nuggets for the New Year series and sharing a few tips I've found for tossing keeping the keepsakes around our house.  I thought it would help if I broke this down into the categories which seem to have the most opportunity to be overwhelming and take over my space.
Tips for Keeping the Keepsakes

Kids artwork

We all love it right?  The cute little handprints made into some fun animal, the all about me projects and best of all those such as a robot made from recyclable materials are all so special and so important to those tiny hearts who make them.  Here are a few of the ways I have handled these items.
  • Cut the handprints down smaller and add to a scrapbook
  • Take a picture of your child holding the project to have as a memory
  • Put your child in charge of the keepsakes!  The most upsetting seemed to be them finding a piece of their beloved artwork in the trash.  I created one box with a lid for each child and it was up to them to decide what to keep and what to toss but the box could only hold so much.  

Memorabilia

If you have children who play sports or participate in any type of competitive activity then you know what I'm talking about.  Before long my kids rooms were overwhelmed with trophies, medals, homerun balls and of course the tournament t-shirt. Not only do these items take up space but most also need to be dusted regularly!  You might have to have some tough mom love on this one because kids love the trophies!
  • Trophies, especially for participation were hard to get rid of.  I often felt so wasteful.  Here is a link I found with some info on recycling old trophies.  Also check with your local award shop to see if recycling is an option.   I removed the plaques from any trophies which were earned and had visions of adding to a frame or something of the such but that has never happened.  
  • All the t-shirts!  Good gracious my kids loved a t-shirt to represent every tournament they ever played in along with school shirts.  Making a  T-shirt quilt is such a great idea and this is on my list for 2017 to finally have this done or make the decision to toss the t-shirts.  I'm looking at Project Repat for my kids shirts.  Even though it is not the actual quilted look I would prefer I think at this point having it completed at a price I feel is reasonable is worth it. 
  • Shadow box frames can be a great way to save a memory.   Riley had quite the baseball career beginning with high school state championship runner up.  We framed his high school jersey along with the other special mementos and did the same for both years TCU played in the College World Series.  They will be really nice for him to have in his own home or an office one day. 
  • Baby Clothes and items such as special blankets are another I have limited to one box. 
  • Greeting cards are another tough one especially if someone has written a special message.  If you hate throwing away cards, you can actually recycle and help St. Jude.  More info here. All Christmas cards are added to a dedicated Christmas book.  I typcially will save the written words from other cards for birthdays, thank yous, etc and use in a scrapbook with a picture of the person or event.  In the past I have just tossed the other side of the card but I will be saving these to recycle from now on. 

Photo storage

Pictures are definitely my very favorite way to keep memories.  I do not take as many as I use to so it has become more manageable but I definitely have tons of old files.  I love looking back at pictures and videos of days past but sometimes keeping track is a bit overwhelming.  
  • Digital Pictures!  I really think this was easier when there was film and we were forced to develop and find a way to store immediately.  Being able to take 30 of the same shot with digital film can become overwhelming.  Currently I'm using a method Shay has discussed on her blog with the year|month(number)|event and it was a game changer to me.  Before I was always so irritated at the sorting but this has worked well.  I use Backblaze for the computer backup but also try to upload my pictures to Shutterfly at the end of each month. 
  • Printed Pictures I try to sort chronologically in anticipation for scrapbooking.  Yes, I am still trying to live that dream.  The hardest part for me was tossing pictures that were printed, even duplicates.  If you don't LOVe the picture, toss it.  Carly received her dance pictures last year and her smile was just totally off.  She was adamant multiple times that she just hated it so I tossed them.  School packages are the worst too with all those extra prints!  I use to save tons "just in case" they needed one for a school project but I've been tossing those too.  
  • Home movies and negatives is definitely another area I'm working to make progress on in 2017.  I found a Groupon for Legacy Box and have ordered my first.  I have so many home movies on VHS tapes that I've been afraid to watch for so long in fear of ruining them.  The box is definitely taking up much more space than a digital copy plus we never pull them out. I'm so hopeful this will be a great solution! They also transfer negatives to digital files and I'm not sure if I will go that route or purchase a converter myself.  Time is definitely always a factor here.  

Gifts from Grandma

Admittedly this was always the hardest for me.  Saying goodbye to one of the 100 pieces of artwork my kids brought home was a no brainer but getting rid of a gift or trinket I received from a special person or for a special occasion was always hard.  

In came the book from Peter Walsh,  It's All Too Much, in which he notes, if it is meaningful to you it should be displayed with honor in your home.  If you have a hard time parting with that gift your great, great aunt left you but yet it's shoved in a "junk" drawer, how meaningful is that?  You do not have to keep the keepsake to still keep your loving memories.

This was such a moment for me!  How meaningful was something if it was sitting in a cabinet or a drawer just taking up space.  Sometimes it is simply a matter of space and preference too.  I had tons of crystal bowls and platters and we are just not the crystal bowl type.  There are so many resources online to help you evaluate the value of figurines and such and it can really help evaluate whether something is worth keeping.  

All this being said, sometimes it is just hard to let go.  I have box upon box of pictures my dad took while he was off working all around the country that basically are a story I was not a part of but every time I open that box I can still smell my dad and I just can't throw it out.

So how do you keep the keepsakes for your family?

To read more Nuggets for the New Year posts visit Decluttering and Tips to Budget Like a Queen.   

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  This is going to be short and sweet today.  Sadly this new blast of cold air we received brought with it something that has my allergies all kinds of crazy and honestly my favorite right now is getting some sleep!  I thought I'd share a little Stella & Dot love but that is all I had the energy for. 
Stella & Dot Sale
Shhhh...it's a secret sale!  For those of you who do not know already, I am a Stella and Dot consultant.  Now through Tuesday, January 31st, you can receive 25% off these select items by shopping my trunk sale. The Renegade bracelet is one of my all time favorites!  Not only is it stretchy but it layers so well with other bracelets and doesn't clank around when I'm working on the computer and it comes in 3 color options.  I have also been so pleased with the clutch I purchased last spring so I know the City Slim Clutch in black or in pewter will make a super addition.  Other items include the Maylee ring in gold or silver, the Chantilly cuff, the pave earring jacket and the Sutton Necklace in silver or gold.
Stella & Dot Faves

I have done really great not spending so far this year, but as a consultant I was able to snag a few items in the new spring line 50% off.  My friend Holly purchased the black & white tote last month with her Dot Rewards and after I saw it I knew I had to have it.  Packing jewelry for a trip is always a hot mess for me, I'm super excited about using this cute little jewelry tote for our upcoming trip to Vegas!  The tassel necklace was a little something different and looks so cute with the right outfit. Recently I received several silver bracelets and really loved the look of this wrap to add to my stack. It's much more taupe in person.
Spend $50 and these items can be purchased at 50% off!  So fun to add a few new items on sale!  

I would love to help you earn a few items so if you have interest in hosting a virtual party please keep me on the radar.  The only thing better than cute accessories is helping your friends earn free accessories!

Wishing you all the best weekend!  Last weekend to lay low for awhile and I'm going to soak it up.

Click the image for all my faves!  

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chambray Dress

I have really been working to identify those items in my closet that have staying power.  Pieces I really love that can be worn multiple ways, are in great condition and make me feel good when I wear them.  A chambray dress is definitely one of those pieces for me. 
Chambray Dress
My dress is by Bella Dahl and was purchased at a local boutique.  It was definitely an investment when I purchased but it is at least four seasons old and still in perfect condition. 
Chambray Dress
This time of year it is easy to add a fun colored cardigan with a colorful scarf to warm it up a bit.  
Chambray Dress
Because my legs are pretty long, dresses like this sometimes appear too short but by layering and adding these OTK boots it becomes more acceptable.
Chambray Dress
I love how this outfit came together!  I'm thinking the chambray dress will be staying in my closet to see a new season.

What items have the best staying power in your closet?

The links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link(s) and purchase an item (at no additional cost to you), I may earn a small commission.  Thank you for helping to support The Queen in Between blog
Click the image for all my faves!  

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday {January}

Today I'm linking up with ShayMel & Sheaffer for this months What's Up Wednesday!  The questions are in green so check it out and join the fun.  Also joining Jessi and Jenn for What's Hap- "Pinning" Wednesday.  

What we're eating this week....

So I'm pretty much at the point where the pants no longer button comfortably so it was time to get real around here!  A little meal planning and clean eating is where we are this week...oh...and saying no to the adult beverages for at least 10 days while I participate in the Advocare Herbal Cleanse.   Too much holiday fun finally caught up with me!  
Meat and veggies has definitely been on the menu this week.  My hubby can grill up a mean steak and roasted broccoli was the perfect side.
Comfort food was also on the menu and my mom's meatloaf was perfect!  Steamed green beans and potatoes from the Fed and Fit cookbook were amazing.
Salads
Carly Jo has been watching the Pioneer Woman 16 minute meals and she was dying to make this grilled chicken strawberry salad.  She made hers into a wrap but I enjoyed it plain and simple as a salad.  Bonus, the boys weren't interested so there are leftovers for our lunches!  
Full disclosure, this was not my actual dish but it wasn't as pretty.  This Fed and Fit Sweet Potato Hash has been my breakfast every day and oh my goodness...so good!  

What I'm Reminiscing About....

On Monday I celebrated 25 years of service working for Texas A&M and I've been thinking alot about how things have changed over that time.  Not only has the campus grown by over 20,000 students in that time, when I think about that naive 22 year old who was really afraid to participate and share ideas and the person I've grown into today it makes me feel kind of proud of myself.  I so wish I could have found a picture from that first staff ID but no such luck!  

What I'm loving....

Rodan + Fields Lash Bash
Having longer fuller lashes!  I haven't mastered getting a great picture and I totally failed at a before picture but trust me, my lashes are greatly improved since using the Rodan + Fields Lash Booth.  I would love to help you increase your lash length too!  

What we've been up to....

Ski Apache
We started the year with a bang on a winter ski vacation in New Mexico followed up with a mom and son trip to Dallas to celebrate Dillon's 15th birthday.  
Brothers Who Hunt Together
The boys have been doing a lot of duck hunting and Carly Jo spent two weekends in a row sitting in a deer stand with her daddy.  
And we've been dog sitting alot while Jordan enjoys being a young adult!  I'm thinking she owes me a guest post about her trip to Nashville!  

What I'm dreading....

Swimsuit season....and evidently in Texas it's like just around the corner because swimwear has already shown up in the stores!  Every year I'm less an less excited about it and I need to really get over myself and just show that I can stay committed to being healthy consistently! 

What I'm working on....

Y'all...I've got to get my layout specs finished and to my blog designer.  It's time for a change around here and she is ready as soon as I am. 

What I'm excited about....

Fountains at the Bellagio
Vegas!  That's right, Keith and I are heading to Vegas for a little getaway to celebrate his sisters birthday.  We took our first trip together to Vegas when we were dating and have been back once together.  Let's just say, it is not my very favorite getaway but I have been 4 times so I think I've at least figured out what I love to do (see the sites and shows) and what I can skip (drinking too much and throwing the dice off the craps table). 

What I'm watching/reading....

2016 Book Review
I shared my 2016 Book Review last week and I've already finished 4 books since January 1st! Loving all the recommendations I've received from everyone else.  My list just continues to get longer and longer.  
And seriously, if you are not already on board watching this show GET..CAUGHT..UP...NOW!!  This is the first time I've been so attached to a show in years and years.  I did feel rather dumb when Lindsay noted that Jack is Jess from Gilmore Girls because I totally had not noticed at all!!  

What I'm listening to....

My self conscious reminding me I vowed to waste not in 2017 every single time I head to a retailer online and start to browse!!  Y'all, so hard to not shop!! 

What I'm wearing....

Winter Layers
Loving wearing beanies on those cold weather days!  I finally found a couple I love plus I will always take an extra day of not fixing my hair!  I found this very similar cream beanie for under $7!  
Leopard Love
Leopard always adds a little extra fun to an otherwise mediocre day!  I'm loving the leopard sweater against the white jeans but thinking I will swap out the boots for a different pair.  I picked up a pair of Wit and Wisdom jeans in white and love the way they fit.  I typically have to size down but this time they were just right.  
Winter Color - The Queen in Between
Quilted Vest (similar)|Crossbody(splurge or save)|Frye Boots 
I'm itching for it to be really cold again so I can wear this outfit.  I just love how the colors all came together!  
Winter Stripes
Lucky Brand Booties (similar)|Military Jacket (similar)|Striped Shirt (similar)
Ignore the hair, but this is one of those outfits I haven't worn in awhile and when I put it on I wondered why the heck not!  Have you ever received a Giving Key?  They are a really fun gift! 

What I'm doing this weekend....

Woohoo, another weekend of no plans!  I'm hoping to make some more progress cleaning out a few of our cluttered spaces and maybe a little scrapbooking.  

What I'm looking forward to next month....

Baseball season!! That's right, while most of you are all hyped up about the Super Bowl I'm just over here waiting for my favorite season to begin.  This will be Dillon's first year of high school baseball and Riley will head back to Spring Training at the end of the month.  It will be a big year for both of them and I am excited to get rolling! #baseballismyseason

What else is new....

Suede Bag
This Sole Society bag!  I gifted one to Jordan for Christmas and fell in love with it myself.  It actually holds alot for a tiny purse but I'm super happy with it.  These cute booties are not new but have been a huge favorite since September.  They are on sale again and I'm trying to refrain from buying in another color!  



The links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link(s) and purchase an item (at no additional cost to you), I may earn a small commission.  Thank you for helping to support me and The Queen in Between blog

Hope you all have a super Wednesday!  
Click the image for all my faves!  

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