Holiday How To: How to Dress for the Holidays

holiday how to jenna and nicole

Today, I’m so excited to kick off the “Holiday How To” Series with your new favorite style bloggers, Jenna and Nicole from Tater and Tot Style! Jenna and Nicole live in Seattle and have such incredible style: I always admire their outfits and home decor ideas from afar!  I love how different their styles are, and how they take the same pieces but style them different ways! Plus, I kind of want to be their best friend and raid their closets, but that’s another post entirely. I can’t wait for you to meet “Tater and Tot”!

(Ps: They’re Kyle’s friends and I really want them to like me, so make sure you show them some extra love today…ya know…brownie points and all that….)

Other Holiday How-Tos:

How to Eat Healthy this Holiday Season by Nicole Hagy Fit

How to Holiday Shop on a Budget! By Me!

___________________________________________

we have officially hit holiday season and we couldn’t be more excited!!

in fact, there are only 20 days until Christmas! eek! this only means one thing…that every weekend will be filled with every kind of party {christmas, holiday, cocktail and maybe the most fun, the ugly sweater} you name it, its happening this month!

we already know what you are all thinking…WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR!?

welp, we’re glad you asked…

five tips on how to dress for the holidays

1. don’t be afraid of sequins –We LOVE sequins, especially for the holidays and new years eve {duh}. it is the perfect standout piece and you can always find a good deal on them. plus they come in almost every form-skirts, shorts, dresses and tops, but don’t over do it. pick one piece and one piece only!

sequins

2. keep it simple – one key item per outfit. don’t feel like you have to wear everything “holiday” at once. a sequin skirt, simple tank and statement necklace is the perfect balance of simple, yet glam. you want to stand out, but not look like a disco ball while doing it.

keep it simple

{ tank/ skirt – similar}

 

3. something old and something new – your closet is your friend {believe it or not}. one of the best ways to avoid buying an entirely new outfit just for a holiday get together is to wear what you already own and purchase only one new piece. it’s crazy how a brand new top can make your year old sequin pants feel new again.

jenna something old{ flannel / sequin pants: H&M}

 

4. red lips. red lips. red lips – did we mention red lips?! this is one of our favorite accessories because a red lip can spruce up any outfit. or bring you from day to night in a matter of sixty seconds. a lot of women are afraid of this, but you’re just going to have to trust us on this one. it’s perfect for the holidays and if you’re scared then start light and when you get more comfortable go all in with a dark hue. {just a tip: if you’re doing a bold lip, go easy on the eyes with just a bit of liner and mascara {one feature at a time ladies}.

red lips

5. accessorize-we can’t say it enough, but accessories can reinvent ANY outfit no matter what time of the year. statement necklaces, headwraps, stacked rings and more are the perfect addition to compliment your look. And the more sparkle, the better-especially during the holidays! {note to self: if wearing an all sequin dress, less is more when it comes to your accessories. a simple bangle or cocktail ring will do just the trick}.

accessorize jenna{ necklace }

 accessorize nicole

{ necklace }

 

here are a few more holiday options we are loving!

other holiday options

(Click this link  to find out where you can buy these holiday treats!)

all in all have fun with it! it’s the holidays: a time to celebrate, and a glass or two of champs doesn’t hurt either. {we’re celebrating right?!}

and just remember: you don’t have to spend a lot to put together a perfectly stylish holiday outfit. so check out your closet, add some sequins, a red lip, and a few accessories –and wah-lah, you’re the hit of the party!

thanks to ashten for being a great host and featuring us on her amazing blog. even though we have yet to meet in person we feel like we are blog lovin’ soul mates and can’t wait to finally meet you. like really soon. {kyle get on it. like now.}

make sure to follow us on our blog for more style tips!

xo,

tater & tot

 

Connect with Tater and Tot!

Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook //

Tater’s Pinterest // Tot’s Pinterest

 

 

Holiday How To: A Holiday Series (Duh)

holiday how to ashtenI suck at a lot of stuff: cooking, science, DIY, math, reconciling budgets, making budgets, basically budgets in general.

When the holidays roll around I don’t have much to offer you: my tales of decking halls and packing for Lake Tahoe 3 weeks in advance are only going to get me so far. But, I did want to bring my own kind of “flair” to the holiday season; a fun way to do the holidays with style and grace, without breaking the bank.

So, I created a series: “Holiday How To”. Throughout the month of December, you will be graced by the presence of some really smart bloggers, who will give you tips and tricks for surviving the holidays. These are bloggers far more stylish, creative and savvy than I, and I’m so excited to share them and their talents with you.

What do I have to contribute, since I basically suck at everything?

Well, my shopping is already done. In fact, I was done before December 1st. And (aside from one big present for some ginger bearded gent) I didn’t spend over $30 on any of my presents. Today, I’m going to share where I shopped to get all my presents and how I shopped for 3 families on the cheap!

One: GroopDealz

I am basically OBSESSED with GroopDealz. They sell boutique items at a discounted price: I’m talking jewelry, home decor and clothes, all for under $50. They also have some extra holiday discounts going on right now, so you can totally stock up on some good stocking stuffers/little gifts. I was able to buy some blanket scarves and personalized home decor as Christmas gifts for family/friends.  I also buy most of my clothing items and jewelery from this site and haven’t had a single issues with sizing. One downside: they totally get you on shipping costs and they don’t ship items out for a few weeks, so order quickly so your item arrives before Christmas! (Ps: they have a blogger affiliate program, too!)

Two: eBay

I know what you’re thinking: “why would I want to buy someone’s used shit for Christmas?” and you’re right, except for one thing: many people sell brand new/never used items on eBay and the prices are (sometimes) pretty reasonable. I learned the hard way that you should never bid on an item until right before the auction closes because that’s when the item is really up for grabs! I bought Kyle’s Christmas present off eBay and I won’t say much just in case he’s in the blog reading mood (he never is) but WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE IT BECAUSE IT’S FREAKING AMAZING.

Three: Ebates

I was really skeptical about this one at first, but it’s actually legit. Ebates will PAY YOU to shop online. For every purchase you make through their site, you get a certain percentage back, and Ebates will send you a check every quarter with what you “earned” through shopping with them. I actually made some money while doing my Christmas shopping this year! (Be careful, it’s addicting!) Click above for my referral link!

Four: Groupon/Living Social

As someone who lives far from home, I find both of these sites extremely useful. Not only do they help you save money on fun activities/restaurants in your area, but they help you give gifts like massages/manicures/facials/wine tasting gifts you wouldn’t normally be able to give without physically BEING in the same city as the recipient. I use Groupon and Living Social for Christmas gifts to buy gifts for those family members that enjoy a nice spa day or a wine tasting. It’s like saying “have a fun day out, on me” without spending a lot of money and without having to scramble to pick up a gift certificate on your way home from the airport. Click above for my referral links!

Five: Target Cartwheel

Let’s face it: sometimes, you just gotta go to Target. I downloaded their Cartwheel app a few months ago, and have been able to save on everything from home goods to groceries. They offer discounts that aren’t listed in the weekly ad or online, and it helps you save a little at the register. I bought a few stocking stuffers and some of Tessa’s Christmas gifts from Target, using the Cartwheel app and it kept me within budget. Plus, they update it regularly so there’s always something new….which is why we all love Target in the first place.

Do you have any holiday shopping tips to share? Leave a comment and let me know!

I hope you enjoy this holiday series! Lots of fun bloggers coming your way in the coming weeks! Happiest holidays and happy shopping!

Far From Perfect

Last week, Kyle called me and said, “don’t get mad, but I tweaked our Christmas plans a little bit.”

Ladies, you know this means one thing, and one thing only: when a guy says “don’t get mad but…” we’re probably going to get mad.

Breathe, Ashten. “Tweaked them how?”

He then launched into a long story about a friend of his who is moving home and needs us to drive their U-Haul up to Reno (an hour and a half out of our way) on our way home for Christmas. This friend would be following us in Kyle’s car, and would we be so kind as to wake up even earlier and drive another 50 minutes out of our way to meet them before departing to Tahoe because they were too scared to drive this U-Haul themselves. Ashten, this friend was in need of our help, you see, and we had to do it because we’re good people and that’s what good people do, right? They help those in need?

Yeah, I got mad.

I won’t get into the reasons why this is the WORST IDEA OF ALL TIME but I will tell you the thing that was really grinding my gears: he didn’t even check with me before signing us up to do it.

The truth is: by the time I land in California it will have been 3 months since Kyle and I were in the same place and before we’re thrown into the holiday bonanza we need some quality time……quality time that doesn’t involve driving in a cold, bulky, U-Haul in the middle of December, and yes I realize I’m being selfish but in this case? I get to be.

Breathe, Ashten.

“While I appreciate your big, caring heart and how you’re willing to do almost anything for someone you care about, I think this is a bad idea. I really think we need some time together and not in a U-Haul. I wish we could have talked about this before agreeing to do it, because I just feel like this will put a damper on some of the only quality time we have before the holiday craziness.”

That went well.

We agreed not to add the U-Haul to the trip and I won’t lie, I felt a little victorious.

And our plans moved forward.

A few days later I was on the phone with my best friend Ashley, talking about Kyle and I spending New Years with her and her husband in my hometown. Kyle and I had discussed this a few weeks ago, when I found out I got some extra days off work for the holidays but the details still hadn’t been worked out. Since this is the first New Years Ashley and I will have spent together in 4 years, you can imagine how high pitched, squealing excited we were.

“OH MY GOD LET’S THROW A PARTY!” Ashley squealed.

“YES A DRESS UP PARTY WHERE WE POP BOTTLES AND THROW GLITTER!” I squealed back.

Before I knew it, a Facebook invite had been created and sent out, and I had ordered NYE themed straws from GroopDealz for my bottles of champagne.

And I committed a cardinal relationship sin: the double standard.

I never talked to Kyle about any of it: never asked him if he was ok with Ashley and I filling her home with my friends from college, never reconfirmed the plans we had briefly discussed a few weeks before.

I am an asshole.

I called him. “Hey, don’t be mad but I tweaked our New Years Eve plans a bit. I made these plans without talking to you, even after I got mad at your for not running the U-Haul plans by me. I’m sorry. If you need me to cancel or change the plans let me know. I’m sorry I’m an asshole.”

And now I’ve learned an important relationship lesson: I can’t ask Kyle to do something I am not willing to do myself. Give and take, people. Give and mother effing take.

On a related note, I changed my profile picture on Facebook to a picture of Kyle and me the other day (it generated a lot of likes and a few squeals), and a friend sent me a message on gchat: “omg I just saw your profile pic. You and Kyle are perfect! Just perfect!”

And that kinda threw me for a loop, ya know? Because: 1. I’ve never been called perfect when paired with another human being. 2. I didn’t know we still got excited over Facebook profile photos and 3. Perfect? Are we really perfect?

Since I was thrown for such a loop, I decided to look up the definition of “perfect”:

perfect definition

At first I was flattered: my friend thinks we have no flaws, that we make no mistakes, that we are completely correct and accurate. That’s quite a compliment for two people who live on opposite sides of the country and have only been dating less than a year. Especially after my double standard sin.

But here’s the thing:

I know I am not perfect. I won’t even make a joke about “being so close it’s scary” because if you’ve read this blog filled with my flaws long enough, you’ll know that punchline isn’t even funny. I am Type A, I am bossy, I like things to go my way, I plan everything and I need to know everything, I am loud and insecure, I am scared to trust anyone. I am so independent I push people away because I swear I don’t need them. And Kyle? He isn’t perfect either.

We are not perfect. We are in transition. We are learning.

But you know?

I would rather not be perfect. Perfect is boring and leaves no room for error. Perfect means we can’t say “I’m sorry” or learn from my our mistakes and that doesn’t leave room for our relationship to grow. I look at the photos I’ve posted of us on Instagram: seemingly perfect moments of two people who have goofy looks on their faces and most of their shit figured out and I realize this is the kind of shit that makes people THINK we’re perfect. But we aren’t. We’re far from it.

We have to work really hard on our relationship because we live thousands of miles apart. We both work long hours, and Kyle’s schedule is always changing so there are some days we don’t talk on the phone at all. I bottle my feelings up inside then let them explode, while Kyle is pretty good at expressing his. I am bossy, he goes with the flow. We both make mistakes. We aren’t perfect. And I like us like that.

I also realized after writing this that my friend used the term “perfect” in the most dramatic sense of the word. And here I go, writing long ass blog posts about it, placing unnecessary meaning on a word she probably didn’t mean to use.

But at least I learned something right?

 

The Finest Whip in Town (A Post that’s NOT About Pie)

 

treeThe tryptophan hangover has finally worn off over here. Our halls have been decked. Our stockings have been hung by our non-existent chimney with care. I dressed Warner up like a reindeer on Instagram.

I bought a car.

And before you go all “WHOOTY WHOO NEW WHIP HOW DOES THE JAY-Z SOUND ON THAT NEW SOUND SYSTEM?” (it sounds freaking awesome, to answer your question) there’s obviously a story that goes with this new car, because hi my name is Ashten and if something can go wrong in 2014? IT WILL.

I have lamented about this before, and I shall do it again:

I HATE ALL THINGS CAR.

Two Mondays ago, we faced one the coldest night Atlanta has seen since Snowpocalypse, only to be followed by more cold temperatures in the morning. I decided to switch my gym time to the evening, so I wouldn’t have to fight the 5am frigid temps like a smart person. I let my faucets drip like I was supposed to, I threw an extra blanket on the bed like I was supposed to, I even gave myself a little extra time let my car warm up…..like I was supposed to.

Bundled up like Ralphie’s brother Randy in “A Christmas Story”, I darted to my car, turned it on and……

Nothing.

That’s weird because cars are supposed to, like, START.

So I tried again and…..

Nothing.

Third time’s the charm, right?

And so I tried, a third time. And?

It started. But the entire car smelled like burned gasoline. And the dashboard was shaking. Oh and smoke filled the entire neighborhood.

Without much time, or many options at that point, I ran screaming into Tessa’s room.

“MY CAR WON’T START BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME AND I HATE 2014. CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE ME TO WORK BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO BE LATE AND MY CAR SMELLS LIKE GASOLINE AND HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I HATE CARS?!”

“Ashten. It’s 8 in the morning. Get out of my room and I’ll be down in a minute.”

On the way to work I called several mechanics who told me I might be facing a transmission issue and I should come in as soon as possible. And because I hate all things car, I refused to listen to them, and decided to let my car “sit in the corner and think about what it’s done” then see if it behaved after it had “learned its lesson” the next day.

Logic: my strong suit since 1984.

The next day, after more cold temperatures, I gave myself even more time and was met with the same results when I tried to start my car.

I ask you: is there ever a good time for your car to die on you?

Answer: No. Especially when it’s already been a crazy year.

Never mind the fact that my car is almost 10 years old, has been driven into the ground and I was terrified to drive it anywhere except work. No, this is NOT what I needed right now.

When I first moved to Atlanta, I was without a car for about a year. It was one of the worst and most humbling experiences of my life: and experience I was NOT ready to relive a second time. The cost to fix my car was more than what my car was actually worth and so, the car search began.

On the long list of car related things I hate, car sales people are in the top 3. Car people bother me. They’re pushy, they’re too blunt and they never listen. Or take me seriously because I’m a girl. I think I would rather swim in a tank of whales than deal with car people.

And I HATE, HATE, HATE whales.

It took two weeks, and hours of my life I will never see again, but I have come out victorious. I have entered a new level of adulthood: the kind that includes a car payment. I haven’t had one in three years and while it’s a big, scary commitment, it’s an opportunity to remind myself to be careful with my budget as I enter 2015. Mostly because I’m scared to miss a payment.

Friends, welcome me back to blogging after the holidays and meet the new Warner Mobile. And that’s what I did over Thanksgiving break.

I’ve been blasting Jay-Z like nobody’s business. HOVA.

Gratitude Friday: Number Three

 Gratitude Friday: One

Gratitude Friday: Two

Links I’m Grateful for this Week:

Transformation Tuesday is bullshit. This post made my whole week.

“What’s Your Story” by Girl Brooks. Friends, please help this pup in need by sharing his story.

Holiday gifts and a good cause? The Young and Brave is the place to be. Shop their new products. Great stocking stuffers.

9 Things You Should Read If You Take Your Blog/Business Seriously by Sarah Von Bargen (who I adore.)

Blog of the week: Healthy Hits the Spot. I have worked with Paige for almost a year: not only has she been a trusted coach but she’s become a dear friend. Paige is sweet, encouraging and truly cares about you and your story. I highly encourage you to read her blog, get to know her and work with her. She’s amazing. (PS: she’s doing a Whitney English planner giveaway on her blog right now. Enter!)

Confessions of Someone Who Had Nothing to Write About Today

Here’s some shit I’ve been holding back from you, Internet. Except not really because I was born without that thing called a “filter” and apparently “confessing” things on the Internet is a thing we bloggers do now. And I normally don’t cave to these kinds of things but WHATEVS LET’S DO THIS.

So hi. Here are my confessions. Enter proverbial Usher.

One:

I am only doing this because I had nothing to blog about today. I had a really great idea for (another) relationship post but then I realized I’ve been blogging WAY TOO MANY of those lately, annoyed myself and here we are.

Two:

I will have you know that the only other reason I’m even here today is because I had to FORCE myself to log off my eBay account . Watching bids is like watching a pot of water boil: THE MORE YOU FOCUS ON IT, THE LESS LIKELY THINGS ARE TO HAPPEN. I think I am the LAST person to figure out that eBay is the Holy Grail, and I CAN’T STOP BIDDING ON THINGS I DON’T NEED AND SELLING THINGS I DON’T WANT.

Three:

The pharmacy continues to mess up Warner’s medications. I’m talking EVERY TIME I GO THERE, they have found a new way to fuck up his prescription. I know I should switch to a different pharmacy but I save almost $40 on Warner’s prescription at this current pharmacy and I can’t give that up. Also? I (no so secretly) enjoy yelling at them every time  they get it wrong.

Four:

I have already started listening to Christmas music. And watching Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel. Feel free to judge but at least I haven’t put up my tree yet, ya filthy animals.

Five:

I just checked eBay again.

Six:

I hate Taylor Swift’s new album. I only listen to her songs because I want to know who she’s dating: like I’m clued in on some high school drama. And since she hasn’t dated anyone for this album I feel like she’s basically lied to my face and every time someone calls it her “best album yet” I feel like they didn’t really listen to it. Also? I’VE BEEN DOING HER AWKWARD DANCE MOVES FOR YEARS. SHE STOLE THEM FROM ME.

Seven:

Tessa and I are trying to work out 5 days a week, in an effort to stay healthy during the holidays. She tried to skip the gym yesterday and I yelled at her in the worst way. Then this morning I skipped the gym because I told her it was too cold for me to get up that early to work out.

Eight:

I sing songs and replace the lyrics with Warner’s name. You should hear my brilliant rendition of “Warner Shakes it Off”.

Nine:

I kind of want to secretly sign Tessa up for 90 Day Fiancé. I actually think she would enjoy it, despite her claims that “I’m crazy” and “she’s not that desperate” and “it’s not a mail order groom service, Ashten you’re dumb.”

Ten:

When people unfollow me on Instagram I get personally offended. DID I NOT USE ENOUGH FILTERS FOR YOU? PHOTOGRAPH ENOUGH COFFEE? WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME?!

And there are my confessions. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back with some earth-shattering life lessons. Or maybe I’ll be on eBay all day and forget to blog. You never know.

Here’s How I Know I’m in My 30s

onesieSunday marked 5 months since I turned the ripe ole age of thirty and I know what you’re thinking: “she doesn’t look a day over 24″ and that’s why you guys are the best readers ever.

And then I took some calcium, ate dinner at 4:30 and was in bed by 9pm. I live effing dangerously.

I went to Target the other day to purchase a few early Christmas gifts (you start thinking ahead in your thirties). I was in jeans, Uggs a scarf and a long sleeved t-shirt, because it was freezing cold. I saw a few girls in their early twenties scowering the boot section in sweatpants, uggs, beanies and crop-top t-shirts. When the first thing that went through my mind was “that outfit is a contradiction”, and the second thought was “they should really put some clothes on”. And I realized my twenties are now in that rear view mirror and I’m miles away from crop tops and confusing outfit choices.

But I’m not far from child’s onesies. BECAUSE THEY’RE AWESOME.

My thirties are so much different than my twenties: not in any grandiose way that is so noticeable that people stop me and say “wow there’s something different about you!” It’s little things: changes in my body, my responsibilities and my priorities. I feel more stable and a little more balanced. I also feel like my metabolism is slowing down, which I would like reversed, if possible.

What I’m trying to say, is these last 5 months have made me an authority on being in your thirties and so, sarcastically, I’m here to show you the things you have to look forward facing as you slowly inch towards that miracle number.

And you should read that as: how I know I’m aging, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not.

I recognize NO ONE at the MTV VMAs anymore.

The VMAs were once a time-honored tradition, where we all gathered around the television in our dorm room to watch our favorite celebrities walk whatever color carpet was “in” back in those days. Even overly-accessorized Johnny Depp made an appearance and he was already in his 40s back then. Now? Not even Johnny Depp attends and I’m frantically Googling who walks the carpet these days because I AM NO LONGER UP ON MUSICAL TRENDS. *NSYNC FOR LIFE.

High school kids look like eleven year olds.

Tessa and I were at the movies a few weeks ago and there were, what seemed to be, a lot of young kids hanging out at the theater without parental supervision. “A little late for these kids to be out without their parents, am I right?” I said to Tessa. Turns out? They were juniors in high school. I heard them talking about homecoming while in the popcorn line. I realized then why using my student ID for a discounted movie ticket didn’t work.

Staying out late=11pm. 12am tops.

The aforementioned movie Tessa and I went to started at 10:40pm. I complained because it was “too late and we wouldn’t get home until after 12am.” PS: This was on a Friday.

Parties involve dinner, not kegs.

I used to love parties. Free booze, free place to crash when I got too drunk and everyone who was anyone was usually there, including the guy from the basketball team that I had a crush on. Now? If I am leaving the comforts of my couch to hang out with you, there better be food, and I’m not talking the kind you microwave: I’m talking something worth pinning, bro.

 My metabolism retired early.

In my twenties I was not “skinny” but I definitely could eat like I was without gaining weight. Now? I look at pictures of food on Instagram and I gain 3 pounds.

Money matters now.

Right after college (and for a bit during college) I lived at home. I also worked part time and attended class twice a week. I had no responsibility, no worries, no debt and no sense of financial knowledge. I was able to go to Vegas on a whim with my friends, go out drinking all the time and buy new clothes whenever I wanted. Now? I have to pay rent. I have to pay bills. I have to save money for the future. And that means less going out and more money in the bank. This is the worst part of being 30.

Hangovers hurt, and 4 hours of sleep is my idea of hell.

I used to go out drinking on a Wednesday, get home at 3am, wake up at 7am and go to class all day, then go to work, then hit the bars for “Thirsty Thursday”. Now? I think bars are “noisy and crowded”, two drinks has me feeling a little sideways and I am hungover for 2 days. I look back and have no idea how I functioned on 4 hours of sleep because now? It makes me a grump-a-saurus-rex.

Here are some good things about being 30:

1. I don’t live at home anymore….which means I get to come and go as I please.

2. 401k. Health insurance. Paid vacation. We call these perks.

3. What people think of me doesn’t dictate what I wear, what I think or how I handle social situations. I say what I think, and I don’t care if people aren’t going to want to be my friend afterwards.

4. Never having to ask your parents for money because you can take care of yourself.

5. My friendship circle is solid. It takes a lot of time, work and mistakes before you get that circle just right and in your thirties? It’s just right.

6. I can afford to stay in my own hotel room. No more sharing with 15 other people because that’s all our part time jobs could afford.

7. Two words: personal style.

8. I demand what I want. I can do that, because I actually know what I want, unlike my twenties when I did what I thought was “cool”.

9. People take me seriously. Just not on this blog.

10. There’s this weird feeling that comes over you at 30: you just feel more settled overall. Life may not be exactly how you pictured it, but you’re working towards it, or you’re formulating a plan to get there. And the stuff that you thought was a big deal? Just isn’t anymore. It’s one of the weirdest, yet most satisfying feelings that is really hard to explain.

But really, I would like to have that metabolism back. I kind of wasted its good days at In N Out.

Gratitude Friday: Number Two

Gratitude Friday: Number One

Links I’m grateful for this week:

A post about how opposites attract by Kalyn at Geez Louise

Southern Hospitality, Holidays and Pumpkin Bread by Rachel at Rachel Rewritten

How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays by Nicole Hagy Fit

(have you signed up for her challenge yet? It’s only $5!)

More blanket scarves on GroopDealz!

Blog of the week: Hooley with a Z! Erin and I have been blog friends for about a year, and she just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Amelia Joyce. She’s really rocking this mom thing, and I really urge you to read this post because it blew me away.

A $9 Box of Hair Dye and Self-Esteem

Have you ever felt out of control of some aspects of your life? Like, have you ever strapped on your boots and trudged through your mind trying to find something, anything, you can alter (even the smallest thing will do) just to say you had some of the control back? Or, have you ever looked in the mirror and just been like “NOPE. JUST NOPE”, which caused you to spontaneously make some drastic change just so you felt better?

I equate it to being a hormonal teenager whose mom tries to say they understand what the teenager is going through. The teenager runs to their room screaming “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL!” Then slams the door, just for dramatic effect. Sorry mom, this is not one of those things you talk about. You truly feel that no one will understand WHY you feel this way when you look in the mirror. You just know you have to do SOMETHING. You have to change SOMETHING. There’s no consultation with friends. There’s no asking for approval from the boyfriend (that you ask for as a courtesy so he feels involved). Just “I HAVE TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO BREAK THIS MIRROR.”

Welcome to my Tuesday night.

I hated my first attempt at the blanket scarf tutorial. Hated it. Hated how I looked in it, hated how I sounded in it, hated how inept I felt when I fumbled around, trying to tie my scarf. It nagged at me all day, so as soon as I got home I filmed it again. And again. And again. Finally, I gave up and went with my last take; not entirely happy but satisfied enough to hit “publish”. I watched it over and over, critiquing myself and my lack of knowledge on the topic of “fashion blogging”.

I faced the reflection in my bathroom mirror, and nope. Just nope. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HOW I FEEL. It’s my hair. My faded ombre; the “summer look” I’ve worn for a year and a half. The hair I haven’t touched up in months because I just can’t justify the expense. The hair. It’s the hair. Wait, I can fix that! I can fix it tonight! I CAN FIX IT WITH A BOX OF HAIR COLOR. I’M SAVED. Never mind that I had just set an appointment with my hair stylist for December to transform my hair into a whole new look; an appointment that I budgeted in advance for. No this had to be fixed tonight. I couldn’t stare at this hair for another second.

I threw on my jacket, grabbed my keys and headed towards the door with such a purpose that Tessa nervously called after me, “what’s wrong?! Where are you going?!”

“I hate my hair. I have to dye it before I shave it like Britney Spears circa 2007.”

And I tore out of my door much like Britney Spears circa 2007.

$9 and a few minutes later I stood in my bathroom and applied my L’Oreal Preference shade of Dark Brown. You know, the darkest brown one can get before dying your hair completely black? I figured nothing would cover THE BLEACH USED WHEN ONE GETS AN OMBRE better than a really dark brown. And, you know, fall is the color for dark hair, right?

Keep telling yourself that, Ashten.

I applied that dark brown hair color with the vigor of an angry teenage girl scribbling in her diary and then I let it sit a little longer than the box suggested, you know TO MAKE SURE IT COVERED THE BLEACH. As soon as I washed and dried my hair I regretted my impulse decision.

My hair stylist is going to KILL ME.

The ombre was gone, and in its place a cheap, poorly executed intimidation of what a  professional dye job should be.

But I had the control back.

The next day I realized I had missed a pretty significant chunk of hair towards the back/ends and the bleach I so desperately wanted to cover was still peeking through.

No one noticed it except me, but oh it bothered me so.

I tried so hard to cover up that damn faded ombre and it’s still peeking through. I RISKED DEATH BY HAIR STYLIST FOR THIS AND I’M STILL SEEING THE ONE THING I WAS TRYING TO HIDE.

The truth is: I was having a low self esteem day. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was what I hated. I have those more frequently than I care to admit. I have those more than you will ever see on Instagram.

Self esteem is kind of like my spontaneous $9 dye job. Some days we feel like nothing can fix how BADLY we feel about ourselves. Some days we will do ANYTHING to have the control back. (Read: do anything NOT to be Britney Spears circa 2007.)

On those days, or in those moments we’re standing in front of the mirror and we think no one could possibly understand how it feels to look at our reflection and nope. Just nope. In those moments we may make a spontaneous choice to fix our self esteem: we latch on to a new man, we eat a cupcake, we take a diet pill, we buy a $9 box of hair color. And in reality? It doesn’t change anything: it merely covers our lack of self-esteem for a little while, and even still our insecurities poke though, just like the damn bleach spots from my ombre.

Those feelings, those moments, they will happen. They’re normal. No one is confident all the time. And if you are? HOW THE EFF DO YOU DO IT?!

The key is to face these moments head on and stop them in their tracks. Rather than buy a $9 box of hair color, I should have said 5 things I like about myself and moved on, ombre and all because that quick fix? Wasn’t worth it. Quick fixes never are, in my experience. Self-esteem comes from the inside out: it doesn’t come from a man, a cupcake or a diet pill, and it doesn’t come from dying your hair the darkest shade of brown because you can’t face looking in the mirror on a Tuesday.

I learned my own lesson the hard way. The darkest brown, patchy hard way.

Oh, and here’s the product of my low self-esteem. I’m conveniently not showing you the back.

hairTo my hair stylist: if you’re reading this? I AM SORRY AND I’LL SEE YOU IN DECEMBER. PLEASE BE KIND TO ME.

How I Wear My Blanket Scarf

Hey Ashten! Where can I buy a blanket scarf?!

I’ll feed ya, baby birds…..

GroopDealz (DEAL ENDS TODAY): click here to purchase one!

Blanket scarf from Amazon: click here to purchase one!

The original Zara Blanket Scarf: click here to purchase one!

American Eagle Blanket Scarf: click here to purchase one!

ASOS Blanket Scarf (a little more expensive): click here to purchase one!

Kate Spade NY Plaid Blanket Scarf (for the baller): click here to purchase one!