Buckle up and grab your popcorn, candy corn, kettle corn, or whatevs… because today I’m getting real. Sooooo, you may not have noticed…but I was MIA for all of September. It was a rough month for us. Between my son starting school and the mix of the roller-coaster weather, September inevitably opened the door for the dreaded funk, gunk, and junk to infiltrate its way into our home. First my son was sick, then my hubs was sick, then I was sick. Since all three of our birthdays are 20 days apart (house of Virgos)… we had all these fun and exciting plans to go to Carowinds one weekend and the beach another weekend, but NOPE. September was truly a downer. It reallyyyy started to take its toll and my blog and social media channels were sadly forced to take a backseat. We are FINALLY starting to feel less like swamp creatures and more like ourselves again JUST in time for my favorite month of the year. (The heavens part, angels sing, and the sun beams down on every pumpkin patch around.)
This temporary pause on the blog really gave me a chance to think about how I’m evolving and what direction I want to take Styled Sugarplum. At times, I felt censored with my content and like my back was against a wall because there is all this pressure for curated content and a certain idea of what a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blog should be. Well guess what. F THAT. I’ve decided to break free from the stigma I’ve created in my mind and just be me. That’s why I created this blog to begin with…I love to write and I wanted a place to share things I love, but also to keep it real and share my life..the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m still trying to determine if I’m comfortable sharing pictures of my family (because I’ve watched too many episodes of Dateline, 20/20, and crazy ass Netflix documentaries that are scary AF…and in case you didn’t know, there are a ton of freaks out there y’all…) BUT I want to be able to at least write about my life as a 33 year old wife and momma living in a small town in good ol’ South Carolina. I will never be a high fashion blogger documenting adventures in cities all over the world. I won’t be in the front row (or even the back row) at New York Fashion Week. It’s just not in the cards for me. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a hater…I think it’s absolutely fabulous. I admire and thoroughly enjoy reading fashion magazines and following along with bloggers that have an adventurous thirst for wanderlust and the means to do so, but you just won’t find that here. And I’m okay with that. You also won’t see someone who looks like a “model”, free of insecurities and issues…because truth is, I’m in a constant tug of war and uphill battle with taking control of my health, body confidence, and fitness. I want to be the best, healthiest version of myself for my family and it’s time I really focus on that with unwavering persistence. Basically, I want to outlive everyone so I don’t miss a thing. (Cue Aerosmith Armageddon “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” music video because you KNOW we all had a crush on Ben Affleck circa 1998.) Today starts a new day for me on the health train, because over the past month, I’ve really let my health and fitness take a backseat right there beside my blog. I mean, it’s hard to workout when you’re sick…AH no more excuses!
The past year has brought a ton of changes in my life… moving from Charleston, rebooting my academic journey and returning to college, adjusting to life back in our hometown, grabbing 33 by the balls, and wrangling our threenager that had a very strong-willed mind of his own (the motherhood struggle was real, however thankfully since he turned 4, it appears we’ve moved on to greener pastures.) I think after almost a year of balancing our new schedule and life, I finally have a grip on it.
Maybe.
My point is, I want to strip Styled Sugarplum back down to the basics and share what I want to. I mean dang, it is MY blog. It’s funny how outside influence can creep in, stress you the F out, and make you second guess yourself. No more. I’m fighting those demons. I still plan on sharing outfit inspiration, beauty reviews, recipes, home decor, sales and trends, and ALL THE THINGS…but I also want to put my heart on my sleeve and write about my life, struggles, and triumphs. Every picture may not be perfect, I might not have the most likes or followers, and my social media feeds might be rough around the edges…but I promise you this: it’ll be honest and true to who I am. For me, that’s worth it. Even if I have to start from square one.
Are you sick of reading yet? Don’t stop…not too much more. LIES.
So welcome to Styled Sugarplum, again! Let me reintroduce myself…I’m Katherine and I’m a wifey and mother working hard to balance this crazy journey called life. I sometimes have a dirty mouth and listen to gangsta rap. Sorry not sorry. Biggie changed the game for me in 7th grade and I’ve never looked back. I drink at least two cups on coffee every morning because without it, I couldn’t function. You can call it basic, but I call it survival. My husband is about as perfect as they come…seriously…but our journey together hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. We have grown up together and come a long way in the 14 years we’ve been together and I LOVE, I repeat, LOVE doing life with him. My life so far has been a series of really proud, amazing moments sprinkled with some trials and (sometimes rather large) errors, but no matter what, I’m grateful for every single day. I lived and learned…and continue to learn. Motherhood has been the most humbling journey and learning experience of my life so far and it’s definitely something that consumes me every day. I had a hard time “finding myself” after I had my son in 2013, and that’s definitely something I want to share in another post, on another day. That one will be a doozy for me emotionally, so I’ll have to really build up to that. Baby steps!
Final thought…promise! So, I took the picture below right outside my front door in the flowerbed in front of our porch. At first, I snapped it because I was playing with zoom features with my new camera lens a few months ago. For some reason, I kept it in my camera roll and now it has a different meaning for me. I see it as a symbol of a new beginning…how life can sprout from the most unassuming places at anytime, from anywhere. You might call it a weed. But maybe that’s what I am…imperfect just like this little green weed. As I take on the fall season, I have hope, a new perspective, and the mindset that I am a work in progress…not aimed for perfection but aimed for authenticity. It’s incredibly refreshing and I need to remember to find the life in every situation, around every corner…even from a little weed in my own front yard.

-Katherine

Hi y’all! Wow, I can’t even handle the fact that it’s August, much less the third week already! I don’t think a summer has ever flown by faster in my LIFE! Although it still stays pretty hot in South Carolina throughout August and September, our beach days are pretty limited now because our fall schedule is insane-o! After spending so much time in the sun all summer, it was extremely refreshing to discover Willing Beauty and take on their Hy 5 Challenge! It may seriously be the holy grail of skincare products…let me give you a bit of background on Willing Beauty and then I’ll go over all the deets of their Hy 5 Challenge.

The founders, Christy and her daughter Willa, launched a safe and effective skincare line in 2009 formulated for teens. After this launch, Christy yearned to provide the same safe and effective products for women of all ages. She partnered with green chemists, experts, and researchers to formulate what is now known as Willing Beauty.

Their Hy+5 complex is the magic behind what makes this line stand out from the rest. Hy +5 stands for Hyaluronic Acid, which helps skin balance and retain a smooth and hydrated appearance. That magic ingredient in combination with the 5 forces of nature make Willing Beauty a fierce competitor in the world of safe skincare. The 5 forces of nature are: Vitamin C, Prickly Pear Cactus Seed Oil, Antarctic Glycoproteins, Alpine Edelweiss, and Deep Sea Hyrdothermal Enzymes…say that 5 times fast…dare ya!  I’ve tried a ton of skincare brands in my adulthood…popular name brands, drugstore finds, specialty brands, organic…you name it. I personally have never found a line that works for MY skin like Willing Beauty does. I’m not exaggerating! Let me tell you more…

Within the first five days during the challenge, I noticed a drastic change. My skin is in the normal to dry range, and it was noticeably smoother and felt more hydrated after 5 consistent days of using Willing Beauty’s regimen. I completely stand behind their Hy+5 challenge! I have continued using it for several weeks now and cannot brag on these products enough. It has truly transformed my skin and I have also noticed less random breakouts and has minimized the appearance of fine lines as well. Here is a breakdown of the products from this line!

So the HY+5 challenge consists of a specific regimen using the cleanser, day moisturizer, and primer in the morning and the cleanser, age-defying night serum, and night cream before bed.

Morning players:

The Do Over Nourishing Cleanser is the first step and for good reason…it preps your skin and washes away any dead cells while hydrating like WHOA. This cleanser is so incredibly smooth and creamy, you can tell immediately that your skin is relishing in the goodness. After that, apply a bit of the Daydream Day Moisturizer. A little goes a long way with ALL of these products, you only need a tiny drop! This moisturizer is lightweight and full of antioxidants! NOW your skin is ready for the Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer. 

I’ve been using this everyday before makeup and it is BOMB. Even on days when I’m not applying a full face of makeup, this can totally substitute in place of foundation to even out skin tone and gives a fantastic base and coverage! I always use an SPF on my skin before makeup, so this fuses two products into one for me. Plus it’s a mineral sunscreen primer so it’s super safe! Like I mentioned before, all of these products are chock full of safe, clean ingredients! The Get Set primer is probably my favorite out of the Willing morning routine, because I feel like it just gives my skin flawless coverage and smooths things out (super high priority at this point in my life! Hello there wrinkles of the 30s…I’m totally regretting my Britney Spears tanning bed era in my late teens…Haha!)

 

 

Night players:

The night routine consists of the Do Over Cleanser again, followed by the Partner in Time Age-Defying Night-Serum, and lastly the Sleepover Night Cream. I’ve already raved about the Do Over Cleanser from the morning routine, so the fact that you use it twice in a day is a total WINNING moment. After the cleanser, apply a few drops of the Partner in Time Night Serum. Not only is it an age-defying formula, but it holds the highest active level of the HY+5 complex while improving elasticity and the appearance of fine lines (wrinkles be gone!) Last but certainly not least, is the Sleepover Night Cream…this is probably my favorite of the night players because it leaves your skin so dang moisturized! Even after sleeping all night, the minute I wake up…my skin is still smooth and hydrated. I’m telling you, it has really changed the feel of my skin completely.

Like I mentioned, I stand behind these products 100% and so does Willing. If for some crazy reason you aren’t satisfied with the line, they will take it back anytime for a full refund. They have a 100% happiness guarantee! Also, can we talk about how presh this packaging is?!? I love the bright and bold turquoise and black color combo.  I think it’s the total package (literally!) Are you *willing* to give it a try?? (See what I did there? Lol) If you’re interested in any of these products, want to try the Hy+5 Challenge, or just gain more info about the products…click here to check out their site: Willing Beauty 

Also, if you have any questions for me, I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Hey y’all! I interrupt your normal scheduled posts this week for an extra Nordy sale post! It’s the gift that keeps on giving… and the sale that keeps on selling! After seeing clothes fly off the shelves/screen while shopping and keeping an eye on popular items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I realized that I completely neglected the HOME section! There are so many fantastic deals right now on home goods and I’ve brought you all my favorites under $50. It’s almost August, y’all…and if you like to get a head start on your Christmas shopping or have any family/friends that have fall birthdays- this sale is a fantastic time to stock up on goodies! I separated my faves below into categories to make it easy for you to shop! Remember, everything is under $50 and Nordstrom makes shopping SO easy with free shipping and returns! Happy shopping!

Tabletop & Kitchen:

My top pick: Core Home Set of 3 Cheese Knives  and the State Slave Serving Tray Because cheese is the best food on the planet and these would make lovely gifts! Plus, the knives are only $20 and the tray is $40! The tray is super cute too because you can personalize it by state!

Pillows & Throws:

My top pick: Kennebunk Home Bliss Throw Blanket – It’s available in 3 million colors and so many fellow bloggers have raved about how soft it is! I’m thinking this might be one of those *To: me From: me* gifts! Only $26!

Bath:

My top pick: Loving the DKNY Chatter Rug and the corresponding towel set. These are just so stinkin cute. The towels say “rinse”, the hand towels say “dry”, and the washcloths say “wash”, and finally the rug says “clean”….I meaaaaaaan seriously, excuse me while I go buy it all and completely revamp our bathroom!

Wall Decor, Mirrors, Candles/Diffusers:

My top pick: Voluspa two wick candle trio Have you ever smelled these? Because they are the BEST candles ever. The packaging is beautiful and they make a fantastic gift or even a good stocking stuffer (yep already channeling Christmas vibes!)

You can browse and shop there entire HOME section on Nordstrom’s site here

I hope you enjoyed my roundup of home goodies from the sale! And don’t forget to check out my top fashion picks in the main menu under *Nordstrom Anni Sale*! (You can also find a quick shop page in the drop down menu for all my home picks as well!) Follow me on Instagram for daily updates (@styledsugarplum) and make sure to subscribe to my blog (if you’re on desktop, you can find the subscribe button on my sidebar under my welcome picture and if you’re on mobile…keep scrolling down below this post to find it!) Thanks for stopping by and stay styled, sugarplum!

Happy Wednesday! Today, I’m bringing you an all white look that is effortless and classic for summer. This look would be perfect for brunch,a day date, movie, or dressed up with heels, a colorful straw clutch, and bolder accessories! I’m completely swooning over the beautiful lace details of the Raleigh top from Gray Monroe! The bib ruffle that continues onto the shoulder and the lace makes me feel so girlie! I love it simply paired with these white skinny jeans and pearl sandals.  These sandals are Steve Madden dupes for only $25 and also come in black! As for accessories, I kept it simple with the Catalina tassel earrings from Baublebar (you know I love my tassels), black mirrored aviators, and two *Words to Live by* bracelets from Charming Charlie.  They’re only $10 each…what what! I have the “Live What You Love” in silver and the “Good Vibes” one in gold.  Lastly, I carried my Kate Spade tassel bag that I purchased in the Saturday Sale last fall. The Kate Spade Orchard Street Hemsley is a similar style and here is another low budget dupe!

You can shop my lace top (it’s the Raleigh top and they have several similar styles also) here: Gray Monroe

And the rest of my look here:

I hope you have an awesome week! I’m working on a blog post for later this week that includes two items that are total game changers for me! Can’t wait to share them with you! Also, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still in full swing! Items are getting restocked daily, so make sure to check out my *NSALE* Menu up at the main menu with all my top favorites! Stay styled, sugarplum!

Shop my Look // DressBP Print Halter Dress / Similar here and here. // ShoesOld Navy Triple Strap Block Heel Sandal / Similar here and here. // Bag: Similar here , here, and here. //  Earrings: Baublebar Mini Pinata Tassel Earrings in Blush // BraceletJimani Collections- Asha Zahara Beaded Seed Bracelet // Sunnies:  Similar here (only $10!) and here.

Hey y’all! Today, I’m really excited to introduce you to a company that I know you’ll fall in love with like I did. There’s nothing better than a company with a mission, so without further adieu, meet Jimani Collections. Jimani Collections strives to achieve a sustainable solution for poverty in Kenya through employment and female empowerment. Jimani Collections has partnered with women in these impoverished areas who needed an outlet for their talents, but lacked a safe workplace and the business tools to make that happen. They offer ongoing education and training, so that these talented artisans can showcase their work through beautifully well-made, handcrafted pieces. Not only are they skilled in making jewelry, but in accessories and small home decor goods as well. Jimani Collections gives them the opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise. I love the attention to detail in everything… it shows the passion and love they share for this company and its purpose.  You can read their entire backstory here.

I’m wearing the beautiful Asha Zahara Beaded Seed Bracelet. I love the multiple beaded strands and the gold/grey colors together. It’s a delicate piece that can be worn alone or stacked with others. Because of the neutral colors, this is a bracelet that transition easily and can be worn from season to season. All of the components for this bracelet were sourced from the markets in Nairobi. I also fell in love with their home decor section (especially the basekets!) Below, I listed some of my favorites from both collections.

Jewelry

Home Goods

 

Make sure to check out their website and browse these special pieces first hand! It’s so very inspiring! Check it out here.

I’m slowly receiving a few things that I purchased from the Nordstrom Sale, so I’ll share those after I receive everything! I hope you have a great rest of the week and stay styled, sugarplum!