Happy (almost) New Year to you! On my Instagram, I promised you a post on my top five favorite looks of 2016. I posted my top nine most “liked” pictures yesterday.
You know what’s interesting, though? Not very many of these made the cut in my own personal top eight list. (I really wanted to whittle it down to five, but I just couldn’t!) I thought it would be fun for those of you who have followed my blog/Instagram to see my personal favorite looks and read the “why” behind my choices. These are in no particular order, actually. I should probably say that first. Also, I want to end with a little reflection on my year and what I’m hoping for most in 2017.
This was a date night look I put together, and I’m wearing my very first LuLaRoe Perfect Tee. I was a little afraid of the volume of the Perfect Tee since I had never owned anything like it before, so I added a structured leather jacket to it for balance. That is a tip I will take with me into the coming years…balance volume and flow with structure. Isn’t that true in life, too?! Deep…
This one is so sentimental. It is my very first LuLaRoe outfit. I searched high and low for our matching Valentine’s leggings (my daughter Johanna is two and a half but wasn’t even two quite yet here…now her hair is halfway down her back…pardon me while I tear up), and I fell in love with the LuLaRoe Irma. In the span of six months, LuLaRoe went from a fun little exhilarating hobby (shopping for clothes via Facebook) to a business that helps to support my family AND my passion for style. Rule I’m taking from this outfit? When in doubt, buy the striped Irmas…they go with everything and offer you a safe way to print mix.
Again with my girl, this time in BRIGHTS. The thing I am pretty proud of in my own style journey is that I wear what I love, not necessarily what the masses of Moms like me (early 30s, two kids, etc.) would typically wear. I got SO excited when I spotted this dress. That excitement helps me know when something belongs in my closet. It got mixed reviews (too bright, etc.), but I feel absolutely awesome when I wear this LuLaRoe Amelia. This one is a size XS. Bottom line: Wear what you love with confidence.
I felt so awesome in this spring-to-summer look. And here’s why. Real talk: one of my top insecurities is my legs. On this day I discovered how heels make this insecurity so much more manageable. HA. And I am not typically a girlie girl, but I fell hard for this pink LuLaRoe Lindsay kimono this spring and wore it all summer long, too!
Ah, my birthday outfit. I turned the exciting age of 33 this year, and I wanted to dress up a bit for the occasion: a dinner out with my little family. I had owned this Irma since February (my birthday is July 18…go ahead and mark your calendars…), but I never thought to tie it in the front and pair it with my first LuLaRoe Cassie skirt! This outfit is one of my outfits pinned the most on Pinterest, so it seems like others like this print mix just as much as I did! Again, say it with me…buy all the stripes!
I wore this outfit for my very first Facebook Live sale as a LuLaRoe consultant. I actually borrowed this gray Perfect Tee from my friend Bobbie, and she was sweet enough to let me have it. HA. Thanks, Bobbie. You’re the best. I think I like this one for its visual interest. A lot is going on (tiger print, lace, fringe, bracelet stack…), but it’s fun and interesting (to me, anyway!).
2016 was the year I got acquainted with the LuLaRoe Julia and Sarah as well. I learned that when you’re not quite sure about totally rocking a Julia, wear a Sarah over it and feel better! I love the balance of a curve-hugging dress and duster cardigan, not to mention how much I have worn these Target booties with the cutout at the ankle! I saw these on Instagram and knew I had to have them. Like right now. And I have insecurities just like every other woman on the planet, but surprisingly, the Julia makes me feel very feminine and confident at the same time.
Target boots strike again! I’m a sucker for boots under $40, and these hiker boots were no exception. But the reason why this outfit was a favorite is because I tried stripes on stripes for the first time. Now when you say “stripes on stripes” out loud, visions of circus tents may be generated. But I took a risk here and was quite pleased with the result, an outfit that was visually interesting, reflected my personal style, and was work-appropriate!
On to 2017…
I have done quite a bit of thinking about life in 2016, evaluating what’s important, wondering what’s not important…and I came up with one conclusion: I miss the days of the report card.
As a student, I was disciplined. More than disciplined. Regimented. Focused. I knew if I did X, Y, and Z, I would get the desired outcome on my report card. My grades told me about my performance and taught me balance: if one grade started to slip below the others, then I spent more time in that particular subject.
But life as a wife and mother is nothing like that.
Right now I feel like the opposite of regimented or focused. There’s no report card to tell me how I’m performing in life, and I often have to go by how I feel, which is overwhelmed a lot of the time, feeling like I’m underperforming. Feeling like I want that A but am at a C or even lower. Upset with myself for not tending to this or that the way I would like to.
But a new year has arrived. And I have to make my own report card.
Usually, a new year starts with me making huge lofty resolutions that (just like everyone else) I struggle to stick to. So I am trying a new method and thought you may find it helpful: 1. Write down all of the goals you have for the new year. 2. Determine which are most pressing. 3. Stick to three goals maximum a month and add a few each month.
What we can resolve to do, though, no matter what philosophies we have on new year’s resolutions, is to step into the truth that we control our joy and our thoughts. We can choose how we perceive ourselves and our lives. Positive self-talk and choosing joy? What do they do? Lead us to a better quality of life.
I may look pulled together on the outside (ahem. Most of the time. Sometimes I roll up to daycare in sweats and Ugg slippers), providing styling tips and what not, but please know this: I am figuring this all out. I am imperfect. I fight battles just like you do. This working mom gig is not easy. This mom gig is not easy. But I have realized I have spent too much of 2016 complaining about my circumstances and NEED to step into 2017 with joy in my heart and gratitude on my tongue.
Here’s to hoping the same goes for you, dear reader. (Psst…who caught that Jane Eyre REFERENCE?!)