A Change of Heart & A New Direction

 
Via Instagram
 

I’m back from a week in India and have some exciting news to share! I was traveling with fair trade jewelry company Bajalia, on a buying trip for their wholesale clients. It was fascinating research and learning experience for me to see different ways things are sold and made by artisans in India.

The trip was a small piece of a larger development that’s been happening since February. You may recall a blog post I wrote called “Fashion and Faith – Can They Coexist?" I am happy to announce that said post has developed into a book deal with Amazon Publishing’s Christian imprint, Waterfall Press! Publishing a book has been dream numero uno since I was a little girl and it has been an incredible journey already so far in writing this book.

The morning that blog post went live in February I was scheduled to do a style seminar at a church. I was so nervous about sharing my style tips with Christians that I shared my thoughts in that blog post on a whim. I received an email 48 hours later from a publisher asking me to write a book on the subject. I wish I could say that I was on board immediately, but I wasn’t.

It took me a couple weeks to adjust to the idea of writing a faith-based book. I couldn’t imagine subjecting myself to that kind of scrutiny, because for two years (2011-2013) I went through horrible depression related to being bullied through blogging. I have been closed off to the idea of growing for what feels like forever and turned down some huge opportunities because I wasn’t ready. What this book means to me more than anything else, is that I’m finally ready to say “yes” and be obedient to anything God asks me to do (a dangerous place to be, because He asks you do crazy things like write a Christian book about fashion, what am I doing?!). I wrote my book proposal and submitted it to publishers in early April, and in May agreed to a deal with Amazon. The book is almost done (my deadline is fast approaching!) and will be released in 2017.   

I want the book to be great, for it to help people, and to make an impact. But right now I'm taking a moment to celebrate how it feels to have taken that dark time and made it into something good. It doesn't matter how many people read this book, I feel like I’ve already won. I am wearing a piece of armor that feels like a new thing that is now a part of my body forever, like I grew a second skin through that transformative time. Caterpillars morph into butterflies by first turning into useless goo and that was me for a bit, but this new body through Christ is a beautiful thing. I used to beg God to take the pain away and it always felt like a cold response: “No way, you have to learn how to deal with this.” I never understood why, but it’s clear to me now that I needed to be goo first, to become something new so I could go confidently into this next step.

My trip to India last week was a small part of this journey. Besides the subjects of fashion and faith, I’m also increasingly interested in fair wages, ethical shopping, the environment, and large number of related topics that will be covered in the book, and are already fitting into my journey in new and interesting ways. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I'm happy to finally be able to share what's been going on behind the scenes lately. I hope it's a reminder that whatever dark times you have been through or are going through, that they happen for a reason, and they help us enjoy the sunshine more fully when it does come. I’m basking in it for the moment, and invite you to join me. Just for a moment, here in the sunshine.

Pre-Styled Outfits with Betsy Boo’s Boutique

 
Betsy Boo's Boutique

Dress, sold out  /  Earrings, necklace sold as part of sets

Betsy Boo's Boutique

Yellow purse  /  Yellow necklace  /  Dress, sold out

Betsy Boo's Boutique

Striped handkerchief set  (top, bandeau and necklace)  /  Blue clutch

Betsy Boo's Boutique

Pink top  /  Necklace  /  Clutch  /  Wedges

Betsy Boo's Boutique

Coral paisley set (top, bandeau, earrings)  /  Clutch  /  Shorts, sold out

 

I’m so excited to share Betsy Boo’s boutique with you guys today! It’s my first time partnering with them, but I’m already a huge fan. I gave five outfits from their store a try – check out the photos and links to items I’m wearing above.

While I love their cute clothes at affordable prices, I’m most excited about a really cool concept– their pre-styled outfits option. Perfect for a busy young professional or mom-on-the-go, Betsy Boo’s puts together outfits called “BBB Sets” that come pre-styled and at a discount. (You’ll pay less than you would buying each piece individually!)

The styling behind this service is key, and I can tell you from experience that they are completely on point. I’m picky, but they did an amazing job and the outfits that arrived were perfect as-is. For example: in photo #3, they sent the printed top, matching blue bandeau, and coral pendant necklace together. Your undergarments and accessories are already taken care of, all you have to do is add jeans, shorts or a skirt to the bottom. It can potentially save you so much time – I love it!  

There are tons more BBB Sets to check out so be sure to browse them all. And let me know in the comments section – which Betsy Boo’s outfit from today’s post is your favorite? 

Today's post is brought to you by Betsy Boo’s Boutique. All opinions, clothing selections, and editorial decisions are my own.

Today's Everyday Fashion: Blue Stripe Dress

 
Blue stripe dress with pink accessories
Blue stripe dress with pink accessories
Blue stripe dress with pink lace up heels
Inspiration: Lord & Taylor

Inspiration: Lord & Taylor

 
 
Blue stripe midi dress, pink shoes and earrings
 

I hunted and hunted for the perfect light blue stripe dress this year, and this is definitely the "one" for me! Dresses with full skirts often hit much higher (right under the bust) which doesn't work as well on my shape, so I really appreciate how this one hits lower (under the belly button). That little detail coupled with pockets and the perfect faded periwinkle color of the stripes sealed the deal. I paired it with bubble gum pink accessories thanks to my inspiration photo, making it an outfit I can't wait to wear for an upcoming work event and baby shower this summer!

Dress: Limited, $65
Shoes: JustFab c/o, $39 (similar below)
Purse: Vince Camuto c/o Off 5th, $70
Earrings: Kendra Scott c/o Amazon, $36
Approx. dates: Shoes are 3 years ago. Purse and earrings are last 6 months. Dress is new.

Pink accessories on a budget