WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS MAKE LEMONADE (PANTS EDITION)







Top: Naked Wardrobe | Pants: Zara not sold online, similar color scheme here | Shoes: Asos | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff Earrings: Indie & Chic | Watch: Michael Kors Monogram Bracelet: Kendra Scott Necklace: Kendra Scott | Sunglasses: Prada

When life gives you lemons...make lemonade.  OR find some super cute pants with lemons on them! Ha! After watching Lemonade over the past weekend I thought it was only fitting to finally wear these awesome pants that have been sitting in my closet! Don't be afraid to step outside the box a bit with a fun pattern. Especially, in the warmer months. 

Back to Beyonce and this Lemonade.  While I am not a member of the Beyhive I did appreciate the new level of transparency Beyonce provided.  I think many women get so caught up in #relationshipgoals based on pictures or what people choose to put on social media. No relationship is perfect, and all have their share of challenges.  I love being married, even with any curve ball that is thrown our way.  We attack it as a team, work together and it only makes us stronger.  Marriage requires effort and is not always glamorous, so I respected the fact that Beyonce wanted to show another element of what being committed is truly about. My personal favorite track from the album is "All Night". 
  
I digress...back to my outfit...I normally don't post items that I can't find a close match to online, but I just love these pants.  I did include pants with a close match in color scheme. However, Zara does not have these pants online.  I actually never saw them online only at the store.  So head there and see if you can snag one before they sell out!

WHITE BLOUSE-THE CLOSET MUST HAVE







TopLush | JeansExpress | Shoes: Boo Hoo | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Watch: Michael Kors Monogram Bracelet: CRZ Designs | Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties and Bauble Bar Necklace: Kendra Scott |

The basic white blouse is a major closet staple in my wardrobe. It is so versatile! On those days when I cannot find anything to wear, my husband is rushing me to finish getting ready. I will almost always grab a white blouse throw on some heels and head out the door. I can dress it up and down.  Keep it as a simple outfit or pair the blouse with a statement shoe.

Shop around for a quality one and don't skimp on the dry cleaning with your white blouses.  The last thing you need is for your white tee to now look yellow! I found mind from Nordstrom for a steal! Hurry and get my top, it is only $20!!!


YELLOW FLORAL OUTFIT







TopZara | Jeans: Fashion Nova | Shoes: BCBG sold out, similar here or here | Purse: Kate Spade sold out, similar here | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Ring: Tory Burch sold out similar here | Watch: Michael Kors |Bracelet: Bourbon and Boweties | Necklace: Indie and Chic Shop |

The color yellow can be is so versatile in my wardrobe. My go to outfit choice in the warmer months tends to be a bright color and a floral print.  I love it! I used to keep my outfit choices really safe, and not do anything to bold. I thought it was a bit over the top.  Now I embrace it, and found how to make my outfit balance without it being to busy.  

If I choose to wear a bold color or print, I will typically keep my accessories simple and neutral.  After all, I don't want to look like a complete lemon drop.  I chose to keep my jewelry subtle, and picked a nude bag and shoes.  I highly recommend this if you are wanting to try a bold top or bottom.  A fashion policy I keep for myself is pick 1-2 things you want to stand out and make that primary.  Too many things it looks like your outfit pieces are all fighting for attention. 

Dare yourself to be bold!

FAMILY PICTURES STYLING TIPS


Spring is here, with summer around the corner which means family photos will be taken! This season is a perfect time to update those old outdated family pictures with some new portraits.  I absolutely love taking family portraits.  If I could do family pictures seasonally I definitely would, however, my husband thinks that is a bit overkill.  I love documenting our growth and getting dressed up together as a family.

Taking family pictures with a toddler can be quite a battle, so we have agreed that we will do one holiday photo shoot, with a strong possible for Spring photo shoot.  The reason why I don’t want to just do a holiday photo shoot is, because holiday colors really don’t match any décor in my house.  Yes, I am that person that thinks about my home color scheme when choosing picture ideas.


Styling a full family can be difficult. Especially when you have boys, I swear it is so hard sometimes to find coordinating cute outfits for boys.  Because of this I first pick out the boys outfits and then style myself, and then my husband.  And yes, I am that crazy mom that likes to coordinate our outfits. (sorry, not sorry).

Tips for styling and coordinating boys

  • Pick a common theme you want for the shoot. Example, for Easter I wanted our colors to be Pink and Blue.
  •  My personal favorite places to shop for my boys that will have coordinating clothes for both sizes is Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Children’s Place,  HM, and Ralph Lauren.  My boys grow so fast I typically do not spend a ton of money on their clothes. Not to mention, Cameron comes home with a hole in his pants pretty much weekly.  However, sometimes Ralph Lauren will have some great deals!
  • Plan and shop early.  You are not the only family taking pictures or coordinating for a holiday.  In the past I’ve needed a bow-tie for my toddler that tied in all outfits together, but by the time I went to purchase it they were sold out everywhere.  Couldn’t even get it online (tragic news of course LOL).  Due to that I’ve learned to always buy the boys outfits early.
  • Primary and Secondary policy: When I style my boys it typically involves a certain print.  Personally, for me I think it is a bit over powering to have both wearing a shirt with a certain print.  Example: I will have one of my sons wear a shirt with plaid as primary, and the other with accent colors of print (I.e. Suspenders or Bow-tie) as secondary.  I rarely have them completely matching.  Not to mention my boys have a 5 year age gap, so I am almost positive my 8 year-old would not like being in the same outfit as his toddler brother. However, if your children are closer in age I love the twinning look.
  • Oh and if you are like me and buy children’s clothes one size bigger because they grow quickly, for this occasion buy true to size.  For pictures you want them to look tailored and finished.  No long shirts or pants rolled at the waist.

Tips for styling the parents


  •    The boys in most cases carry the pattern, myself and my husband will bring simplicity to the coordination and wear solids typically.  We will each be in opposite colors of our chosen scheme.  That way it doesn’t look too matchy.
  • After I figure out what the boys are wearing I then get to focus on myself next.  Family pictures and/or holidays are an opportunity for you to glam it up a bit. I search for big skirts or flowy dresses.  Skater or A-Line silhouettes are a favorite. For me personally, that shape allows me not to worry about if a stomach roll is showing or anything in between.  Maxi dresses are great too!
  •  Makeup- I usually keep my makeup more natural, personally I don’t want to look too overdone for family portraits.  I made the mistake one time and got a black smoky eye that was too over the top I felt for pictures.  I ended up washing it off to get something more natural.   
  • Accessories:  Keep your accessories classically simple.  I normally stay away from overpowering jewelry for pictures. I don’t want any one item to take control of the picture.  Not to mention, in many of our pictures I am holding my toddler, and I am almost positive he will grab a hold of any over sized jewelry. 
  • For my husband I try to keep him pretty simple.  He doesn’t like anything too over the top.  However, he does enjoy a nice bow ties I use that as an opportunity to have all the boys in bow ties.  As he would call it the bow tie gang.  I get almost all of his bow ties from The Tie bar.  It hasn’t failed me yet, they have so much variety.  I choose his bow tie that is similar to the children pattern to help tie it all together.
  •  Blazers and cardigans are a go to when styling my husband for pictures. I feel suits look a little stiff for our pictures, so I try to find a middle of casual and dressy.  Thankfully, I have a husband that loves how I style him.  He does put his foot down on a few of my suggestions, but overall open to my picks.
  •     While my husband first seeks comfort for his pants.  My husband is normally a relaxed pant fit type of guy.  I force him to be in a slim fit pants for our family pictures. Who wants to see sloppy or baggy pants in a photo. NOT ME!
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Find an awesome photographer that does great with kids.  That makes all the difference in your photos.  It is a tough task trying to get to younger kids to smile for a camera.  Choose wisely and find a photographer that also knows how to pose a family.  Nothing I can’t stand more than seeing an awkward family photo.

Make sure to try on all the outfits prior to the day of the pictures/event! I made the mistake of not putting the kids clothes on until we were preparing for the pictures.  I found out one of their pants were way to large. I then frantically had to run around for a replacement, which in turn made us late for our shoot.  Try on everything, you want no surprises!

ALSO, if you have a toddler or baby I’ve found that morning photo shoots have the best cooperation from my toddler.  He is most pleasant right after breakfast, and not yet too busy.  If you are coordinating your outfits just for a holiday or celebration, make sure to take pictures before the event.  Guarantee if you wait too long your kids will manage some way to get stains on their clothes!

Good luck on your family styling! 


INSTAGRAM ROUND UP

Often I take pictures of my outfit of the day on Instagram.  I wanted to start sharing some of my most recent outfits, so you can also shop the look.  I love getting outfit ideas from other women, and nothing is worse when you can't get the outfit details to purchase the items.  I have always been an open book when it comes to where I purchased an item, I will probably even tell you what coupon code I used too, ha!  

Lime and Navy- Top: Gap | JeansExpress | Shoes: Tory Burch sold out, similar color scheme here | Purse: Kate Spade sold out similar here and here | Necklace: Target | Earrings: Kate Spade | Watch: Michael Kors Bracelets: Target and more Target 

Rainy Day- Top: Old Navy sold out, similar here | JeansExpress | Shoes: Hunter Boots | Purse: Tory Burch sold out similar here and here Earrings: Kate Spade | Watch: Michael Kors Bracelet: Bauble Bar and Bauble Bar 

Burgundy and Ivory-Top: Zara | Jeans: Seven Jeans | Shoes: Tory Burch| Necklace: Kendra Scott Earrings: Kendra Scott | Mug: Printable Wisdom  I love all there items, definitely check them out! |

Olive and Brown- Top: Express, similar here | Jeans: American Eagle | Shoes: Tory Burch sold out, similar here | Purse: Tory Burch sold out, similar here | Necklace: Bauble Bar Earrings: Kate Spade Watch: Michael Kors Bracelet: Bauble Bar and Bauble Bar | Sunglasses: Kate Spade
Neutrals- Top: Zara | JeansExpress | Shoes:Tory Burch sold out, similar here | Purse: Kate Spade sold out, similar here | Necklace: Bauble Bar Earrings: Kendra Scott | Watch: Michael Kors | 

Happy Shopping!

FLORAL STATEMENT SKIRT







I had to brighten things up, because here in Dallas we are on a stretch of 7 days of rain.  I am already over it and we are only on day 2.  Lately, my dressy go to has been a basic bodysuit with a statement skirt.  I love this look! Of course, I had to accessorize with a hint of yellow! I strongly encourage you to grab bodysuits in EVERY color. I always despised having my shirt look bunched up underneath a skirt or pants. Bodysuits eliminate any appearance of extra rolls (that I don't need!). They are a great closet staple for me! 

Bodysuit: Naked Wardrobe | Skirt: Agaci (SOLD OUT), similar here and here | Shoes: Steve Madden | Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff Earrings: Kendra Scott | 

MARATHON REVIEW






I AM A MARATHONER! I still cannot believe that I got through the 16 week training and completed the race.  The race was just as I thought it would be, HARD! It was the hardest thing I ever had to do behind childbirth. There were times when I just thought I can't make it any further, but I pushed myself through it and got to the finish line.  I know there were a few people that probably thought I was out of my mind for saying I wanted to do a full marathon.  After all I am a busy working mom with not a ton a of spare time.  How would I ever have time to train and accomplish this? It was tough. It required sacrifice, and a lot of help from my awesome husband. 

I wanted to share a few recaps from my marathon experience that helped me get across the finish line. Hopefully this will help prepare you for your next race. 

Preparing for the race day: I created an awesome blog for tips on training and preparing.  I do believe that my training did truly help me with having a great race day.  There are many marathon training plans out there for marathons.  Some has your longest mileage at 18, 20, 22, and even a few further than that.  My training stopped me at 20 miles.  Now that I have completed the full marathon, I wish that I would have picked a training plan that had me go to 22 miles.  Running the last 6 miles were the hardest part of the race.  My body mentally and physically died at those 6 miles.  I wish that I would have completed mileage closer to the full 26.2.  I think it could have helped me to get past the mental barrier if I only had a few more miles that I hadn't ever run before. 

Another major task I cannot stress enough for preparation is HYDRATION! A lot of what helped me get through the race was being hydrated.  Days before the race I started really increasing my water intake, it helped me power through and not collapse during the last quarter of the race.

Race Day: Wake up early enough so you can ease into your morning and don't skip breakfast.  The last thing you want is to already have nerves from race anticipation and then to add running late nerves. Arrive to the site early! When I got there parking was packed, I had to park 2 miles from the starting line.  That cut into my warm-up and stretching time.  In my previous half marathon, traffic was so bad entering the race location that I had to get out the car and run almost a mile to get the starting line on time! Horrible! So just be sure to give yourself enough time.  Another benefit to getting there early is you have enough time to stop to use the restroom.  The last thing you want is finally getting in the groove with a great stride, and feeling like you have to use the restroom.

First half of the race:  I started off strong, truly enjoying the experience.  If you have never run a race make sure to not get caught with nearby runners pace.  It could cause you to push your pace too early, and put yourself at risk of running out of gas towards the end. I used this first half to hydrate myself, and just enjoy that I was actually doing the marathon. It's easy to feel great in the beginning, but I cannot stress enough to SAVE that energy. You will need it.  Reflecting on my pace I believe I went just a little to fast the first half.  Energy packs are your best friend, after the first 30 minutes I started using my fuel packs.  You have to start early, so you never get to a point of complete depletion.

Second half: This is where it got real. The aches started, the mental sike outs began, and fatigue set in. This is where you have to motivate yourself the most.  Be your own cheerleader.  I constantly was saying "Taryn come on, let's go!" Another major thing I did was give myself personal milestones.  I mentally started to set a goal to get to the next water station, or make it to this sign.  It helped me look forward to something and keep running.

By the time I got to my last grueling 7 miles I was mentally and physically done. They say your body can hit a wall when you run higher mileage, and I truly believe I hit it.  I had nothing left to give.  All of a sudden my pace per mile dropped significantly, and I physically couldn't  go any faster.  As a newbie to doing a marathon, I didn't truly know what to expect. I think this could have been avoided with longer training mileage and slower pace in the beginning. During your last few miles just hydrate yourself, fuel your body with bananas and/or fuel packs.  Don't give into the thoughts that you have to stop.

Once I got to my last mile I knew that I had to just grind to the end. At the final .3 miles I started seeing spectators and I knew I made it!   I then spotted my 8-year old son Cameron, niece, and brother in-law. Cameron started shouting "GO MOMMY" repeatedly and started running to the finish line. I then see my sister screaming, and then she start running.  Mind you my sister had just gotten off her 3 day 12 hour work stretch. I just emotionally lost it at that point. I finally spotted the rest of my family as I was finishing, and just was filled with so much joy and relief.  To have all your family support you in what seemed like a crazy task was unforgettable.  I was greeted with tons of hugs, and even miles sister states away was waiting on FaceTime to congratulate me.

My take away from the marathon journey in one word, challenging.  However, it was an awesome feeling to know I have accomplished something I never thought I could do.  I used to say, I will never do a marathon, or I just don't have the time. Here I am today, and officially saying that I am a marathoner. I know I don't get prize for running a marathon.  What I do get is personal growth for myself.  And most importantly setting the example to my children that you can take on what seems like an impossible task, and succeed.  I don't want my children to run away from something just because it is difficult.  When you finally make it through the other side you will be a better person for it.  I hope Cameron looks back at this and sees his mom as his role model. 

If you are considering doing a marathon or even a half.  Don't cut your training short or skip days.  It is truly needed to prepare you for a tough race! That truly made the difference for me.  Also continue to keep motivating yourself through the race. You will need it!

Recovery: Once you have completed the race, use that week to recover. Continue to hydrate and keep that carb intake higher. Do not do any major physical activity. Allow your body time to recover completely.  I know you are feeling like an Olympian after the race but you are more prone to injury if you push it.  I have got my fair share a battle wounds from the race. I am dealing with a severely bruised toe, so I may be taking more than a week.  Do what works for your body. 

Most importantly never doubt your abilities on the running the race.  You have trained for this and are out there doing it! That is half the battle! Just take it one mile at a time until you have reached the finish line!