Gingham Style

fashion

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I love printed fabrics because they can transform a look into many different styles. For  point of reference take a peek at these three different styles I created with a gingham print. Now, depending on who you’re talking to some may feel that gingham is synonymous with a preppy look.

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But on the flip-side another might say that it’s more indie style. If you’re asking me, I don’t discriminate and think it easily goes both ways! Take for instance the above picture. If I switched out the tank for a solid black and wore a more classic shoe it would work well for a business look. Oh, and switch up the necklace with a simple drop style.

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This look is my favorite because it’s edgier. I cuffed my pants so that I could wear the open-toed booties and wore my leather jacket and fedora to bring some drama.

I’d also like to note that sometimes wearing a printed pant can be intimidating for us ladies. We tend to think it accentuates areas we prefer not to. However, there’s a print out there for everyone. I like the black and white gingham because the black helps balance out the white, meaning it doesn’t necessarily broaden the hips and thighs. It also depends on the fit of the pant on you. I tend to go for a slim leg with a high-waist because it sits on the smaller part of my waistline. These pants are from Talbots and they’re called the Chatham and you can get them for 25% off right now!

Have fun discovering a printed pant that you love!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

A Sisterhood Event

Journey

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I think us ladies can all agree that life can be very stressful. Some of you may be mothers, wives, business owners, work professionals, college students, or maybe all of the above. Well this weekend there’s an amazing retreat that’s taking place at The Betsey Mills Club in Marietta, Ohio. It’s called the MOV Red Tent.

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Right about now each trade member is planning on how they will be setting up their tents and anxiously awaiting to share things with women like us. I had the pleasure of having a Fashion Tent the first year and really enjoyed myself. Something about sharing your passion with others is a great feeling especially when you see an attendee discover that in them too!

During the MOV Red Tent experience I was introduced to what all is offered to us ladies in the MOV. There’s yoga of all sorts, natural remedies, dance, drumming, painting, henna, learning about self-love and how to express it, and so many other things that help you celebrate being a woman.

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There’s so much to say about the MOV Red Tent, and the best way for me to share more with you is for you to click this link and see the list of activities and schedules.

I like to think of being a woman as being part of a sisterhood. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every woman viewed it that way? You know, like we’re all in this whole thing called life together and that it’s not always easy? Well I can tell you that the women that are involved in this event feel the same way.  They will assure you that you’re not alone and if you need a friend this is the perfect event to find one! So step outside your comfort zone and try something new to relax and learn all about self-care in many ways.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

Seeing Red

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Last week I shared some bargain finds. I promised I’d share two more fun pieces during my shopping trip. So here you go!  For this look I found a red ruffle top at TJ Maxx for $6.00 and these mules for $6.00 at Gabriel Brothers. I’ve receive the most compliments on these shoes when I wear them and they can be worn with so much! The first image I layered with a denim jacket and a pair of gray jeggings from Talbots (my absolute favorite fit of denim).

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This top can also be worn simply by taking the denim jacket away. I love pairing cognac with gray because it’s not as predictable. You know me, I’m always trying to pair the unexpected ha, ha! I also cuffed the jeggings to add some extra styling.

 

Here’s an up-close look at my jewelry. I added a little bit more color with my beaded earrings and you know how I love my necklaces by Lynne and Lucille that I find at Wit & Whimzy.

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Here’s another way I styled these two finds. I switched to my Talbots boyfriend denim and tucked part of the shirt in to showcase more of the ruffle and accessorized with a different necklace.

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And do you recognize these shoes from my last blog post? I love how I look barefoot. Very unique look 🙂 This time I dressed up the red top by pairing it with black dress pants and a mint colored necklace that can both be found at Talbots.

So which style do you like best?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

In Love with Lace

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February has begun and love is in the air! And I don’t mean the romantic love. One of my many favorite things in the fashion world is the delicateness of lace. There’s something so feminine and fierce about it. For the first look I used a bralette underneath to give this top an edgier aesthetic.

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Another thing I love is a great bargain! These lovely shoes were a steal for $4.99 from Gabriel Brothers! I love the clear strap over the toes while the soles and heels of the shoes are a dramatic black. It brings a unique illusion of being barefoot while adding height! I’ll take it 😉

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Lastly, I fell in love with how this top flowed with my fringe skirt. I used a camisole to wear under the top this time since I was showing more skin on my lower half. Did I mention how  this top was another amazing find? TJ Maxx had this beauty on sale for $12.99!

Bargain shopping can be overwhelming at times and I don’t always love looking in discount stores but sometimes it truly pays off. Case and point? I now have two new valuable pieces for my wardrobe for under $20!

Next on the blog, I will feature two other bargain finds that are more casual. Stay tuned.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

The Story of Us

Journey

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For those of you that don’t know me very well or maybe even at all, this is a pic of me with my husband, Marc. We met each other in the fall of 2005 through a mutual friend named, AJ. Marc was with his best friend, Mike in the checkout line in Walmart (lol, don’t judge) which is where I was introduced to him. I had an immediate attraction to Marc.  Mike and Marc invited my friend and I to a little get together. AJ and I decided to head that way later.  I had butterflies in my stomach because I’m super shy when it comes to a guy that I could be into.  Plus, I had just started somewhat talking to someone and Marc was going on a date that night. Which once I found that out I was disappointed and left the party to go hang out with the guy I had started talking to. Come to find out, Marc had come back after the movie. The date was more of a friendly date apparently. But I firmly believe that timing is everything and if Marc and I had started seeing each other then, we probably wouldn’t be married today. I had a lot more life lessons to get through before I was ready for “the one.”  Plus, I was convinced someone as attractive as Marc would never be into me anyway.

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I found out that he worked at the same mall as me and he came into where I worked the very next day to say hello and invite me to hang out with all of them again. I had a date that night so I passed even though I REALLY would’ve preferred hanging out with him. From that point on we would always say hello when we’d pass each other going into work and whatnot. I still would go and hang out with a lot of the people in that group so I got to see him from time to time. I even remember attempting to flirt with him at some point and it was super corny and dorky. Basically, he had no idea that’s what I was trying to do.

A year passes and I had been seeing that same guy from earlier but was miserable. Have you ever dated someone for so long and have no idea why?! Yea, that was me. We made no sense together and he was all sorts of wrong for me and I was wrong for him too. Well, my friend AJ and I went into where Marc worked one afternoon and Marc knew the guy I was dating and asked how we were doing.  I replied in a not very convincing way, “we’re okay.” Marc had a disappointed look and said, “damn” as he walked away. AJ was standing next to me and I looked right at him with a confused, yet excited look and said, “ what did that mean?” He said, “I told you he liked you!” I NEVER remember him telling me that but maybe I was too distracted in my horrible relationship that I wasn’t hearing him?! Who knows ha ha! All I know is that interaction helped motivate me to get out of the relationship I was in because it helped me realize that I deserved better. I had never lost interest in Marc but like I said timing was never perfect for us. We ended up starting to chat on AIM (remember that?!). Then we started hanging out and became inseparable.

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We started seeing each other regularly in early December of 2006 and haven’t left each other’s side since then. When we hung out I had never laughed so much in my life and felt more myself than I ever had. It took some getting used to not having a jealous and overbearing boyfriend but I got used to it and it felt wonderful. The one good thing that came from past relationships is that I learned how horrible it is dealing with a jealous mate and I knew I never wanted anyone to deal with that from me. So see, life lessons had to occur because I had jealousy and trust issues from being cheated on in the past as well. The guy before Marc helped me realize how stupid it was to be jealous. He would question anything I ever did. He almost tried to stop me from hanging out with my very best friend, AJ simply because he was a guy. Thank God I didn’t lose sight too much because I didn’t listen to him when it came to what friends I could and couldn’t hang out with.

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Back to the important story. I grew so much while dating Marc. I learned to have confidence in myself and how to express my emotions. I was comfortable with who I was. I came from an upbringing where we never talked about our feelings when we were upset about something and he came from very opposite. Although it was hard for me to learn it’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I always avoided confrontation because it intimidated me but he helped teach me that we could solve problems through talking our feelings out. What a weird concept (lol kidding).

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We knew after three months of dating that we wanted to marry one another, but it wasn’t until about a year into our dating that Marc proposed. It was the perfect proposal for us, he asked and I was smitten and giggly and said yes!  Then we slow danced to “our song” and we ate the dinner he made.  We ended up moving in together and got married slightly over a year later in October of 2008. There’s a lot more that happened from then up until now but it’s been the best journey and we continue to learn so much from one another.

After being married for five years we were surprised with a new adventure. I was expecting our little Harper. We knew we wanted children but we didn’t know when. God apparently knew we needed her in our life because he blessed us with her in 2012. And guess what? We continue to learn more and more about one another and Harper makes our life more complete! She’s the perfect mix of the two of us.

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My advice to anyone reading this is to always make sure and laugh with the person you love. When you’re upset with one another, talk it out. Don’t scream and yell…talk. It’s not an easy thing to do all the time but it helps. I truly believe Marc and I have never had a huge fight because we’ve learned to talk to each other and put any anger or frustration aside enough to just talk it out. I don’t know how we manage to do it, but we do. And that is what I think the key to marriage is, simply talking. And just always remember that relationships are just one imperfect person loving another imperfect person.  Oh! And one final word of advice….ALWAYS listen to your best friends when it comes to your dating relationships. They know what’s best for you. And lastly, be with someone that brings the best out of you and believes in you!

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

The Tale of the Cable Knit Sweater

fashion

I love a good cable knit sweater. But how many different ways can you style it? Here’s a few images to inspire you to think outside the whole jeans and sweater bubble.  The top images are the no-brainer way to wear it. But my gray, heavily distressed denim helps make it look less preppy and edges it up a tick. I also loved pairing cognac colored shoes to add some warmth to the look.

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The next image I just added a black blazer to jazz it up. You could even pair a nice heel with this and switch to black pants for a more professional look.

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Here I switched out my shoes to leopard flats and wore a lightweight khaki jacket. A more fun and casual look. I even switched up my hair-do for a more relaxed look.

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Now I’ve styled it with a flannel, boyfriend style button-up top to add a different type of layer. I stuck with the leopard flats to show how you can mix patterns in a more subtle way. I also wore my glasses to give it a different vibe.

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Lastly, I tied the flannel shirt around my waist and tossed my hair up in a messy pony tail for an easy, effortless look. I wore the same jewelry in every look to show that it works for all styles. The necklace is from Wit & Whimzy and it’s made by Chastina. A new favorite! As always feel free to send any questions my way for styling tips or share pics with me on how you styled your cable knit sweater. You can always tag @randomosity740 on Instagram too 🙂

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Celebrate Your Milestones

fashion

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Well, it’s official! A personal goal has been reached. It started with a vision which lead to a sketch and has now become a reality. Wow! What a feeling. As you know I love everything and anything to do with fashion but I’ve always dreamt of being a creator, a fashion designer. I took a few fashion illustration classes in grad school and enjoyed it but never mastered the skill in my mind. But then I realized the sketch for a design is all about a concept and doesn’t have to be perfect. Below is my initial sketch for the dress you see me wearing. I love anything leather-like. It makes me feel empowered. And I love lace because it’s so feminine. 72CE5789-66C8-4D73-B1C4-E7F65389FD05.jpeg

I posted this sketch on Instagram one day over a year ago and a manufacturing company had messaged me stating if I ever wanted to produce this look to give them a call. Now, I don’t know how many of you believe in things happening for a reason but I sure think that way. Rather than thinking they’re just reaching out to me because they want to make money, I decided to view it as an opportunity. Not necessarily meaning that I need to mass produce this design but I should definitely produce at least one and give it a shot; bring my sketch to reality.  I put lots of thought into the details of this dress and who I could reach out to that has the skills to help me. I took a few sewing classes but not enough for me to feel confident in constructing something like this so I reached out to an old friend, Allison Dittebrand. I hadn’t seen her in years but because of the power of Facebook I’ve been able to keep up with her life and knew that she went to fashion design school. I chatted with her and we decided that yes, she could do it. We went over the details and what it would cost to produce something like this. Well, at the time I didn’t have any additional income to spend on something like this but I was blessed enough to have someone in my life that believed in me and what I was wanting to do. She gifted me a check to cover the expenses for this and her name is LeAnn. Talk about an overwhelming feeling of having someone believe in you enough to help a dream come true. So, LeAnn if you’re reading this, you have NO idea what that meant to a gal like me.

Things started to get real for me. Okay, this is supposed to happen. So here is the reality of what goes into producing a custom dress made from patterns that you can’t buy at a JoAnn’s. Allison fit all the different pieces to fit my actual body and then had to produce two different sample dresses; one to see if the item fit my body properly and the second to see if the type of fabrics I wanted to use would work properly together. She was PHENOMENAL and she put a lot of hours into making this happen.

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Unfortunatley, Allison did what she could but got very busy with school and wasn’t going to be able to finish it very soon and suggested maybe I try doing the final dress. I loved that she felt I could do that but I wanted to leave that to a professional ha ha! But thank you Alli!! I was asking around town seeing if anyone knew of a person that could do something like this. I had all the things that were needed to complete it; fabric, pattern and me! And what do you know, my dear friend Andi Roberts mentioned that her mother, Sheila Roberts knew how to sew but she didn’t live here. I was bummed but wasn’t giving up just yet. Well guess what ended up happening? Sheila moved to Marietta and I got to talk to her about my dress and she was confident in being able to construct the final dress for me. Hallelujah!! I was overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t get over how the universe, God or whomever you believe in was allowing these little doors to open to make this happen for me. I have a faith in God and I knew it had to do with him allowing a dream of mine to come true. Well listen to this…it gets even more exciting! My wonderful friend and makeup artist, Tonya Winebrenner fell in love with my dress and wanted to be part of this special vision of mine. She did my makeup in these photos and nailed it! I told her my vision and she rocked my world with her skill. Hair and all!

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The final portion of this story is behind who took my photos. Her name is Kelsey Preston and I met her through social media of all things. I follow her and her husband who is also a local fashion influencer on instagram, Ashton Preston. We would comment on each other’s photos but nothing much more than being friendly through comments. I got a message one day from Kelsey asking if I would ever be interested in letting her test a new lens for her camera on me and how she would enjoy photographing a female fashion lover. I jumped at the opportunity because 1. I think she’s pretty awesome and I enjoy following her on Instagram. 2. What a perfect opportunity to get my dress photographed! Divine intervention? I think so lol❤️

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I share all of this with you because of course I’m celebrating and happy that I achieved a goal of mine. But I also hope you are inspired and realize that when you have a goal or dream, watch for signs, believe in yourself and never give up. Persevere.

I chose the fabrics I did because behind every darkness in your life there lies a rainbow. So when life has you down look for those glimpses of light that can turn into your personal rainbow.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

It’s Freaking Cold!

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It’s Friday! And it’s freaking cold outside. I always struggle with how to dress when it’s freezing outside because I still want to be fashionable. So here are a few things I consider  before braving the cold.

Location. Am I going to a friend’s house, out to dinner, a movie or out to a bar? And wherever I’m going will there be a place for me to store my coat? Take for instance this first image. Here, I’m wearing the warmest coat I own because again, today was VERY cold. I love layering because you have options for when the temperature changes. I hate when I go in and out of different room temperatures which is why layering is key.

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I wore this faux leather jacket under the above winter coat so that I had another option to stay warm. For instance, when you go to a restaurant it’s still typically cold inside but who wants to eat in a bulky jacket?

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Here’s the jacket styled in a different way so that I don’t have to feel completely bundled up.  I would wear this specific jacket out to a bar because I can buckle it up to stay warm when heading home.

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Finally, here is the bottom layer; a cowl neck sweater from a local shop called Teri Ann’s in Marietta, Ohio about a year ago. I paired it with a statement necklace. I love using neutral tones and brightening it up with a white accent. This sweater is perfect to wear anywhere when it’s under layers because it’s cozy, yet trendy.

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I took a side shot of this because I love the subtle hi-low look especially with the button-fly denim. This is a nice and simple style to go with and wear just about anywhere.

Do you have a favorite sweater? And how do you stay warm in the winter while still enjoying outdoor activities?

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Casual to New Year’s Eve Ready

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I love the feeling I get when I find a great buy at TJ Maxx that I know will serve multiple purposes. For instance, take this flounce-sleeve textured top that I recently found. I love the versatility this top provides. Here I am wearing it in a casual way with denim I found while visiting a consignment shop in San Francisco last spring. Major score because they were a pair from Rag & Bone. They’re a dark gray wash and I thought they would work perfectly with the look I was going for; comfy, yet cute. My Pumas are pretty much the only sneakers I own so when I go for comfort these are the first things I grab. I cuffed my denim to give it more style and tossed my hair up in a ponytail.

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I’m wearing one of my favorite pair of earrings that you’ve probably seen A LOT in my blog posts. These are by Lynne and Lucille and I found them at Wit & Whimzy.

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Now, here is my dressed-up version wearing the same top. As you’ve probably learned, I love mixing faux leather and textures together. It’s hard to tell in the pics but this top has raised dots all over it (you’ll see a better shot below). I went with nude, ruffle pumps because well, why not? It brings something interesting to a monotone look. Then I finished it off with some sparkly jewelry and a beaded silk wristlet and added some curls to my hair.

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Here’s a pic to show more of the sleeve detail.

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This is what I would choose for a dressier look when it comes to my makeup. I’m actually wearing Cora-lina Lipsense on my lips and Onyx Shadowsene as my under eyeliner and shadow blended with some burgundy shadow too. I liked pairing the dramatic eye with something not too nude and with more color in it. I’m pretty much obsessed with Lipsense product because of my cousin, Traci so if you’re interested in learning more check out her Facebook page here.

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Here’s my look at a glance and a better detailed shot of the dots on the shirt. Have fun searching for clothing that serves multiple purposes 🙂

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Dreaming of a White Christmas

fashion

88113165-475B-4877-9584-E5AD1070DDBBWell the countdown has begun. My little girl, Harper made a chain link countdown to Christmas Eve so all we talk about is Christmas. We woke up this morning with literally the slightest dust of snow on the ground.  Needless to say her eyes lit up with excitement and I don’t blame her. Something about the first glimpse of snowfall makes everything seem so magical around the holiday season.

When it comes to winter fashion I adore plaid and anything in the burgundy realm of color (in case you haven’t figured that out about me yet 😁). I also think it’s acceptable to wear winter white. There always seems to be so much controversy about wearing white. Let me clarify a few things beforehand. Winter white is more along the lines of an ivory and not a crisp white like you see in the spring and summer. I also want to add that fabric is an important factor as well. You wouldn’t want to wear linen in the fall or winter so keep all that in mind when wearing winter white.

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The above picture is how I paired my winter white denim from Talbots. If you really want to be daring you could do an all winter white look too which is very elegant.

Also, don’t be afraid to wear a maxi skirt in the wintertime too. This color can be festive and flowy. I showed two different ways to dress it up or down. I’m actually wearing my velour bodysuit. I love velour in the winter. It’s such a luscious fabric!

I’m a sucker for accessories and love these pieces. The earrings are made of bullets by Lynne and Lucille, the bracelet is from Red Giraffe Designs and the necklace is from Rocks with Sass. The earrings and bracelet can be found locally at Wit n’ Whimzy.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney