Affordable + Cute Eyeglasses…An Actual Thing Now

So about a month ago, I had to get an eye exam. My eye doctor told me my vision had actually improved since last year and that improvement happens quite a bit when people reach their mid-30s. My first thought was wait. What the heck?! I’m not in my mid-thirties! But alas, I think I am, as I just turned 34. I was thinking I had until age 35, but…

So the hunt for a new pair of glasses officially commenced.

Now I would like to preface this post by saying I only wear glasses at night, when I’m having an allergic reaction (I’m highly allergic to horses and cats…totally not nerdy at all), or my eye is irritated in some way. In other words, I wear my daily contacts 95 percent of the time.

I was actually both relieved and annoyed to have to get new glasses. I say relieved because I bought a $300 pair of glasses at Lens Crafters last year that looked super cute on in the store, but when I got them home and actually wore them, I felt like they aged me approximately 15 years! When I wore them to school one day last year, one of my sweet junior high students said, Wow. You look…different. HA. I say annoyed because I just spent $300 on flippin’ ugly glasses last year, and for someone who doesn’t wear glasses often, it’s just that: an annoyance. I use my vision insurance to help offset the cost of my contacts each year, so I am usually paying out of pocket for glasses. But I knew I needed to find a MUCH more budget-friendly alternative.

I remembered Kelly Robinson (@hellorobinsonstyle on Instagram – sweetest tall mama ever – you need to follow her) mentioning Zenni Optical awhile back. I visited their website and found TONS of options I loved. I ordered two pairs because I always get sick of wearing just one…I was tempted to order three or four but wanted to try them out first.

I spent all of last night and today wearing them. And I am pleasantly surprised with the quality and “on-trend” factor with the glasses I picked. Now granted, they are not the quality I would get from Lens Crafters (my frames are not incredibly thick and durable), but each pair cost me less than $12, so I’m not going to complain too much!

HERE are the black square frames I chose. I have wanted a pair of hipster-looking glasses for awhile, and I’m about three years late to the party, but these are my favorite.

Photo Jul 29, 9 40 05 AM

Now please appreciate that I took a close-up selfie just for you. My selfie skills are MAJORLY lacking, and close-ups are scary.

Photo Jul 29, 10 18 48 AM

HERE are my fun pink cat-eye ones. I thought a pop of color in my glasses would totally work with my neutrals-heavy wardrobe, but this morning, my husband and kids called them my silly glasses, sooooooo there’s that. I like them, though. I think they’re fun and unexpected!

Here are some of my suggestions for you before ordering from Zenni Optical:

  1. Know what glasses shape looks best on your face (rectangle, cat eye, etc.). My face looks best with a cat eye shape, so that helped me narrow down my options. There is a “try on” option on the website where you can upload a selfie to see what the glasses would look like on you, but I was never able to get it to work to scale. That’s why I suggest knowing ahead of time what style/shape works best for your face.
  2. Have a paper copy of your prescription handy AND contact the last place you purchased glasses to get your pupil distanceIt was very easy to enter the numbers from my eye exam, but the one thing I didn’t have on the piece of paper my eye doctor gave me was my pupil distance. Since I just purchased a pair of glasses one year ago, it was very easy to call Lens Crafters to get my pupil distance. If you don’t have the number, Zenni Optical actually has a little ruler you can print off the website and use to help you figure it out!
  3. Really consider the frame colors and how they will jive with your existing wardrobe. I got black frames because DUH…you knew that was bound to happen because I wear black on the daily. But for a little fun, I went with a pink frame. So be sure to think about your wardrobe and how your new glasses would fit in as a cute accessory.
  4. Think about how often you really wear glasses. Zenni Optical has frames that are more expensive (and probably better quality) than the ones I purchased, and you have several different options with lenses, too. But like I said before, I went the cheapest route because I just don’t wear glasses all that often. Why spend the money if you don’t need to?

The verdict? I will DEFINITELY order from Zenni Optical again. I am very happy with the overall price I paid (with shipping, $31.25 for two pairs of glasses) and what I received in return!

Fingerprints and the Authentic Self

I had to get fingerprinted yesterday.

It was for my job, of course. I will be teaching at a new school this fall (my sixth in 11 years).

My two tag-alongs (new readers: I am Mommy to five-year-old Jackson and three-year-old Johanna) were also along for the ride, and they watched in awe as my fingers were scanned by a machine and magically appeared on a computer screen.

Photo Jul 25, 11 13 25 AM

I had to carefully and discreetly document a time they weren’t arguing.

FingerprintsOne unique quality that makes me “me” and you “you.”

I have spent a lot of my summer “break” (break is in quotes because being a mom who is home full-time in the summer is harder than working a full-time job in a lot of ways…let’s be honest) thinking. And a lot of the unhealthy kind.

See, we who put ourselves out there on social media to attract a following (readers, potential customers, etc.) are always told don’t do this or try not to do that. I have spent a lot of time just sitting with floods of negative thoughts about what I’m not. But it is now time to pinpoint and focus on what and who I am. It’s time to put those blinders on and have tunnel vision.

Social media breeds unpleasantness if we let it, but the benefits of it are immeasurable, when used in a healthy way. And personally? My brain is so used to multi-tasking at a high-octane level for nine months out of the year, so unfortunately, when I’m bored in the summer, I check my social media accounts and see this person vacationing or that person with 40,000 followers. Why did I lose this many followers? Why don’t I have “Swipe Up” capabilities on Instagram? (HA HA. But why, though?) Totally ridiculous thoughts that do not matter in the big picture. It’s time for me to zoom out and actually live and see that bigger picture.

Photo Jul 16, 6 19 29 PM

Real life…family picture preparation.

Photo Jul 16, 6 19 48 PM

And there we go…

I have hesitated to go my own way with my blog or social media accounts in fear of losing readership, followers, and steam in my LuLaRoe business. But what’s worse? Living in this perpetual state of indecisiveness and inaction due to said indecisiveness.

So let me start fresh. HI. I’m Heather Lindenmeyer. I’m shedding the Rock, Style, Teach blog name because it was great for a season but doesn’t necessarily reflect all of who I am or what I’ve become. Let me share some facts about me that I don’t talk too much about.

1. My faith is important to me, and I have not written about it out of fear that I will come off as “preach-y” or even worse “judge-y.” But I want you to know that Jesus gives me strength to meet the demands of my everyday life (mothering two small children, working full-time, and owning a small business).

2. A lot of my life I have sought approval from others and have felt all out of whack when I wasn’t receiving it.

3. I really love fitness (especially running), but I don’t share too much about it on my blog or social media because I’m afraid of being annoying.

4. I have dated my husband Jordan for almost 17 years, and in early August, we are going on our first vacation (just the two of us) since 2006. ALL THE PRAISE HANDS.

5. I wrote a blog post at the beginning of the summer about teachers surviving the summer, and I mentioned fixing yourself up and why it’s good to do that (in some capacity) daily. The truth? I had good intentions in following that principle, but that all went downhill starting in about mid-June. HA. I can barely keep up in posting regularly on Instagram because my everyday summer look is way boring. And by boring, I mean workout clothes or sweatpants.

Photo May 22, 8 52 40 AM

I’m sorry I told you that. Go back to wearing no make-up and sweats and carry on…

6. About three weeks ago, my best friend made me join the local YMCA because she knew what was best for me, and that alone time I have to exercise (especially when my husband works long hours – the YMCA provides child care) has radically improved my life. It was not a suggestion. It was a “you’re doing this,” and I thank her every day for it. Everyone needs a best friend like that.

7. I really want to be a vulnerable writer, but I think there is an extremely fine line between being vulnerable so others can connect with your authenticity and revealing too much at the expense of your heart AND the ones you love the most.

8. I actually believe LuLaRoe pairs beautifully with non-LulaRoe pieces. I also think LuLaRoe has made shopping approximately 1 billion times easier on moms because have you ever tried to take two small children to an actual store? (Never take them to Ulta. Just don’t.)

camo-lola

9. I make sure all of the minivans and SUVs are out of sight before I take my blog photos. One time, one of my neighbors walked his dog right in front of my house while I was mid-pose, and I was way embarrassed.

10. I don’t know why my kids don’t understand the concept of quiet time. But when I’m apart from them, all I can think about is their sweet little laughs.

DSC_0338

What has been missing for me (for quite some time) on my blog is the freedom to write posts that feel right to me, that challenge me to grow as a writer and bare just enough of my soul that feels good to me. My life is much richer than being on trend and in style. My life is much richer than the number of followers I have on social media. I am grateful for each and every one. What is important to me is to be my authentic self and not so much about how many like my authentic self. Sounds like wisdom from a 17 year old, right? A little sad I’m admitting these things at age 34? Well, when you have lived a life where you have constantly sought approval from others, you may understand.

My competitive, go-for-broke, never-settle mindset has helped me and hindered me quite a bit. And right now, a refocus is needed. Let me leave you with something I’m mulling over and putting into practice: When you are so focused on the beauty in someone else’s existence, growth, success, whatever…you fail to see the beauty in your normal. The world needs what you have to give.

Updating Your Accessories Wardrobe for Back to School: My Favorite Jewelry Line

So if you follow me on Instagram, you know I just turned 34! And every year after my birthday, I get into full-on school mode. It’s like my kickstart to preparing for the upcoming school year. I first prepare my wardrobe (clothes, shoes, accessories) so I’m not getting upset that I don’t have anything to wear (#priorities).

I start by purging what I don’t wear anymore. But I have noticed that the pieces in my accessories wardrobe that have true staying power in my closet are Stella and Dot pieces. Now some argue that Stella and Dot pieces are pricey, but when I think about it, those are the pieces I’m still wearing years later. You get what you pay for in this case.

Many of you know I used to be a Stella and Dot stylist, but I decided last year that I wanted to focus solely on LuLaRoe. I still truly believe in the product and wear it all the time!

So in the spirit of accessory wardrobe updating, I thought I’d show you some of tried and true favorites!

My Staples

THE REBEL PENDANT

A quick browsing of my Instagram shows you that this is my go-to staple necklace. I have both gold and silver. I have worn this necklace for literally five years. It is so slimming and flattering and looks great with dresses, tops, anything really! I would totally pay this price for something I knew I’d wear for years! And I have!

Photo Jul 20, 9 19 43 AM

Photo Jul 20, 9 20 13 AMPhoto Jul 20, 9 21 24 AM

ESSENTIAL FRINGE NECKLACE

DSC_0630

Photo Jul 20, 9 22 46 AM

I reach for this gold fringe necklace all the time! It is my go-to gold statement necklace. I love it because it creates a statement but also looks very classy and sophisticated. I also like to layer a colorful necklace on top of it. This pink one is actually also a Stella and Dot piece that is not longer available, but that just shows you I’m still getting a ton of wear out of my older pieces!

BRACELET STACKS

Photo Jul 20, 9 21 50 AM

One of my favorite ways to add interest and edge to my look is through bracelet stacks. I absolutely LOVE the various options Stella and Dot has to vary shine, hue, and texture for a one-of-a-kind look in your arm party.

Here are some of my favorite bracelets to layer. These are ones I actually currently own:

Renegade Cluster Bracelet

Arrison Stretch Bracelet

Gilded Path Wrap Bracelet – Hematite

Illuminate Cuff

Addison Cuff

GETAWAY BAG

I don’t travel often anymore, but when I would stay in Illinois for the weekend when I was living in Iowa, this was my go-to bag! It unzips for even more room for more shoes or whatever your thing is that you overpack! I am planning on taking this bag to Vegas early next month. The print got me. It’s absolutely beautiful, not to mention well-made. I don’t buy travel bags very often, and I know this one will serve me well for years to come.

Photo Jul 20, 9 22 26 AM

HUDSON TOTE – MEDIUM

Photo Jul 20, 10 14 11 AMPhoto Jul 20, 10 14 19 AMPhoto Jul 20, 10 14 26 AM

I love this tote so much. The perforated detailing is on point, and I love the subtle touches of gold. This is a perfect size for a mom and would be a great option for work as well, depending on your job! When I go back to work, I will be carrying this one for sure!

CITY SLIM CLUTCH

DSC_0648

I don’t have the need for too many clutches in my wardrobe, but when I need a clutch for date night or a wedding, this one has served me well. And I wear black all day, every day, so it’s the perfect color for me. But you already knew that!

And here are some pieces I’m hoping to add to my wardrobe!

My Wishlist

Photo Jul 20, 4 25 51 PM.jpg

Daytripper Bag – Black/Cream Stripe

I love this bag for teaching! Since I’m an English teacher, I will need a bag that zips so my papers aren’t constantly falling out. Most budget-friendly work totes do not hold up for me, and this one has definitely caught my eye!

Photo Jul 20, 4 26 58 PM

Signature Engravable Delicate Necklace – gold

I have wanted this one for at least a year. I am still trying to decide what I want engraved on it, but one idea I had is a meaningful Bible verse. Another idea is my kids’ initials (because they both have the same initials).

Photo Jul 20, 4 28 19 PM

Pave Triangle Path Ear Climber in Hematite

How fun are these? I typically gravitate toward studs, but I love the detail (and of course that they’re black…)

So many more things have caught my eye, and I am carefully making my wishlist! Will keep you updated!

Order Your Own

I have an online trunk show open right now if one or a few of these pieces have caught your eye. I would very much appreciate you shopping with me if you’ve found my tips helpful! Shop my link HERE. It will be open until August 3!

Tell me what you think! What Stella and Dot pieces are you loving right now?

 

 

Why Living (and Dressing) Intentionally Works for Me

In this season of life I’m currently in, I find myself having to weed unnecessary tasks out of my day. I simply don’t have time to do it all, and I don’t know about you…but my daily to-do list gets about 20 percent done on a good day. The unfortunate part of reaching this epiphany is that since I’m not working this summer, I think about my limitations and those things I’ve weeded out all day, every day…

I’m a thinker, and I really excel at overanalyzing. Not cool most of the time. When I’m teaching, this aspect of my personality serves me well, as I am able to reflect on what went right that day and how to fix what wasn’t super successful. But when my mind can’t use my overanalyzing tendencies to focus on something productive, this aspect of my personality isn’t as desirable. I have spent many of my summer days struggling with that simple fact: I can’t do it all. I think back to the days after I graduated high school (more often than I’d like to admit, actually), at a time when I had little to no experience adulting, when I thought that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, at any given point in time because I was finally FREE. That is like SOOOOO funny, right? I had this idyllic view of life, and not to sound all Debbie Downer, but life just isn’t really that way. Like at all. But I am learning as I go not to be bitter about that reality but rather thankful and grateful for the people and experiences that make my life what it is.

Now I think I’m at the point where I want to start discovering what I need and what I want to make time for. And oddly enough, I have the same views on my closet. My summer days used to be spent shopping for every little jacket, accessory, pair of shoes, etc., I saw on Instagram and “needed.” Then my closet was full of pieces that I would never wear and that worked for others in terms of their personal style but not really mine. Now don’t get me wrong…I still love to shop, but I find myself being more intentional about it, I guess.

One of my requirements for clothes, as many of you who follow my blog know, is that if a top cannot be worn for multiple occasions, I probably don’t need it. One such top that is the ultimate multi-tasker for me is the LuLaRoe Perfect Tee.

Date night: I love styling a printed Perfect Tee with neutral and classic accessories (pendant necklace, skinny jeans, peep toe booties) for a nice blend of trendy and timeless.

DSC_0762

Top: LuLaRoe Perfect Tee (size XS), Pendant Necklace: Francesca’s (a few months old), Jeans: American Eagle jeggings, Shoes: Groopdealz (Qupid brand)

DSC_0799

DSC_0771

And here is another date night look appropriate for early spring or fall. I just simply added a leather jacket and lace-up flats for the same effect that’s seasonally appropriate.

Photo Jul 10, 7 57 18 AM

School: I am a high school English teacher, and I love the same Perfect Tee for a day of teaching. I have paired the same Perfect Tees I wear out on a casual date night to school in a very similar way. I have also worn one over a Julia dress to work and loved the combo.

Photo Jul 10, 7 55 23 AM

Photo Jul 10, 7 56 16 AMPhoto Jul 10, 7 56 38 AM

Photo Jul 10, 7 55 49 AM

Sizing and Fit: The Perfect Tee is fitted in the arms and features a scoopneck, which is flattering to many body types. It is fitted in the chest area and floats away from the body in an A-line shape. It also features slits on each side so the top floats effortlessly away from the hip area, a place where many women carry a good amount of their weight.

Perfect Tees run 1-2 sizes large. I am typically a small in LuLaRoe pieces that run true to size (Sarah cardigan, Julia dress, Randy tee, etc.), but in Perfect Tees, I typically wear an XS, which fits sizes 4-10.

If you need a Perfect Tee, I would love to be not only your favorite blogger but also your LuLaRoe Retailer (wink wink). Please join my Facebook VIP Shopping Group, where I talk about styling your LuLaRoe and hold weekly sales.

Thanks for reading, friends! Chat again soon!

The Ugly Side of Self-Promotion

I have been thinking long and hard about this post, but I want to speak out about something that has troubled me about the online community in regards to direct sales. When you are a blogger and/or a LuLaRoe Retailer like me, for example, you put yourself out there for potential scrutiny. Unfortunately, that is the society we live in. But some follow our social media accounts or blogs for inspiration, and that is what we are hoping to provide our followers. We bloggers and/or Retailers (insert any direct sales rep, really) knowingly put ourselves out there in hopes of a greater connection with our potential and current customers, building excitement and trust in the product we are selling.

But what about others using our photos and not giving us credit?

I blog here (obviously. Hi. That’s what you’re reading right now), and I cannot tell you how many private messages I get weekly from my LuLaRoe customers, letting me know that another Retailer is using my picture. I have even been cut out to look like an action figure in one Retailer’s post! I totally wish I still had the picture!

First of all, I would like to say this practice is in poor taste and to your DETRIMENT as an expert in your product. If you are only (or even mostly) sharing pictures of others in the clothing you sell, for example, your clients are most likely not going to trust you as much. They want to see it on you. They want to read your excitement in a social media post and see you market yourself. As my social media buddy Tracy said so eloquently, CREATE YOUR OWN CONTENT. Your customers will thank you for it!

Photo Aug 01, 11 36 13 AM

I took this picture back in August 2016. I humbled myself in front of my neighbors, and at the risk of looking like a self-absorbed idiot, I took a picture (with my tripod) in my new LuLaRoe Carly dress. My neighbor at the time actually saw me taking it and struck up a conversation with me about photography. It was not as awkward as it sounds. Ha ha.

I put this picture on my blog and on my social media accounts to show my potential customers how I style the Carly dress. I knowingly put it out there, and I have no problem with others seeing the picture, especially LuLaRoe customers who are looking for style inspiration. If I can help someone feel more confident in the Carly, then that makes me happy.

However.

Photo Jun 19, 11 03 26 PM.png

A sweet customer of mine noticed another Retailer using my picture and took a screenshot to show me how another said Retailer 1. put me up for scrutiny in a “this or that” post (I totally disagree with this practice because I think comparing two different styles is like comparing apples to oranges and perpetuates a “catty” culture of woman vs. woman, but that is just me…) and 2. put her name on my photo. I am actually showing you the revised version where she replaced “giveaway” with her name.

I felt like doing this to all of my pictures after this happened.

Photo Jun 20, 2 39 49 PM

So many things wrong here. And in speaking with the Retailer privately, I came to understand that she thought since it came from Pinterest, it was fair game. Technically, I did not watermark the photo, but I thought about how hard I work to promote my business by taking my own photographs…and I was upset. Though I am not a lawyer or well-versed in copyright law, my understanding is that the person who took the picture is the owner of the photo, even without a watermark. (Psst…if you are a lawyer or well-versed in copyright law, comment away…) Also, from a teacher’s perspective…we are teaching our young minds how detrimental it is to plagiarize, to take someone’s idea and pass it off as our own. We then need to most definitely follow the rules we expect our youth to follow.

In reality, the purpose behind this blog post was for you to think about what you post, to respect the work of another by giving credit where credit is due. LuLaRoe is very generous in providing us with stock photos, so if you’re not a fan of taking your own pictures, please use the stock photos. I know if my picture is used by another party, I would expect a tag on social media. You are welcome to use my picture at any time as long as you are providing me the credit I deserve. But in reality, take the time to create your own content so your customers get behind you and believe in what you are providing for them.