Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cup 'O Tea Moment: Getting Fitted

Hey girls!

Definitely a post for ladies only today! So ladies: Grab a cup of tea and sit with me while I share a little of what I've learned with you guys!

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Have you ever seen a sweet house, the kind you roll past and think, "ooh! that's pretty!" but on second look, something seemed off, the windows were a tad too far to the right, or the door was at a strange angle? Like the structure wasn't quite built properly? Guess what girl, that happens with outfits too!

So yes! Today I wanted to stress to you just how important it is to find a properly fitting bra!

Before I officially opened my business, I really got into studying practical fashion:i.e.body types, shapes, etc. So I took a leap and stepped into a lingerie store for the first time to get fitted for a "big girl" bra. I took a leap of faith, not knowing where else to go, and stepped into the local Victoria's Secrets. Although the store really scared me at first (I grew up a homeschool, very modest girl), a friendly face greeted me. The woman who fitted me was named Sandra and that one little fact really helped break the ice! She took a couple measurements and asked what exactly I was looking for and I literally just said: "Teach me!"

So she took a couple measurements, and explained to me the importance of getting fitted: both for support and comfort. A good fitting bra should have 80% of the support coming from the band, yes, 80%! Which leaves only 20% of support coming from your straps. If you depend too much on your straps for support, it puts too much stress on your shoulders, a huge "Ah Ha!" moment for me!

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Sandra also explained to me that you want to go in fairly often to get fitted as most women's weight often goes up and down. Usually its nothing major, but over time, if you loose 4 pounds every 6 months it starts to add up quickly and changes your size! For me, I go in to get fitted about once a year unless I notice that my weight has changed quite a bit. For example, About two years ago, I was at a 34D but as I lost weight (unfortunately a bit of muscle too), I went down to a 32 band, which changed how my cups fit, pushing my cup size up to a DD!

Another thing I was initially scared of was the infamous push up bra! Sandra introduced me to the idea of a light push up bra to give me support at work and it CHANGED my life! Being larger in the chest, I feel very self conscious about my chest bounce as I walk. The little bit of padding in the demi push up she gave me brought an immediate confidence boost in going to work as well as everyday life!

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Lastly, I noticed a difference IMMEDIATELY with how my top fit! Suddenly my chest fit perfectly into the darts already sewn in my shirt! It made a huge difference in balancing out my proportions.

So, perhaps you're a little bit more shy and need somewhere a little less "out-there" than Victora's Secrets to get fitted.

Quite a few department stores offer fittings, so you might either give them a call or stop by to see if, or when they could fit you for a bra. My personal favorite place to pick up a few bras is Soma! They may not have as many "fun" things to try on but I've found the staff at my local store to be more professional and a lot more attentive to my needs than any other store I've been in! I've actually made friends with the staff at my local store and they love to recommend me for people needing alterations!

Another plus is their "vanishing edge" undergarments which is what actually drew in to begin with! I hope to review them soon for you lovely ladies but I hate to admit that project runway and another cup of hot tea is calling to me!

Have you ever been fitted for a bra? Why or why not? Do you think, if you haven't been fitted, do you think you could work up the courage for me? Promise its worth it!

@ndr@ K.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hello! Look Who's Back

Hello Ladies!

Wow! I can hardly believe that the last time I posted was back in April! It's definitely been a while!

Life has been going non-stop for me over the past year and it seemed for a long time that things were not going to slow down any time soon!

Selfie at Ever After in Chattanooga!

Back in June of 2016 I ended up finally applying for a business license as a seamstress so I could officially open up my own home business. For those first six months, life was a little rough. Fortunately, I was extremely blessed in that I found another seamstress who took me on as an apprentice and taught me everything I needed to know. While trying to do all of the social media work, set up a website, getting all of the suppplies in order, etc. I tried to work with her a few hours a week and keep working at a little monogram shop a couple days to pay my expenses.

Within the first six months of opening the business, I only made a total of $400.

Then in January, the seamstress I worked with, went out on maternity leave and recommended me to help out while she had her baby. So I was able to work out a partnership with the AMAZING local bridal shop, Ever After! The girls there were so welcoming and the other seamstress that worked in the store was so helpful! They all took me in and made me feel like a part of the family! So by February, the amount of calls I received regarding alterations had snowballed and I was taking on lots of prom and bridesmaids dresses!

My job was to help these girls look their best for these special events, I felt like their fairy god mother!

So life came at me full speed! My calendar was booked up two weeks in advance and I was working non-stop. I made a few mistakes, undercharged a lot, did LOTS of things the hard way before realizing there was a simpler way to do things, and by May I was beat! So i took a weekend off, left DC and refreshed.
At the Smithsonian back in May!

When I got back, the owner of the shop and I discussed starting me out on a few, simple bridal gowns. I'd worked on a few before and had helped on quite a few during my apprenticeship, but as with any new thing, I was a bit apprehensive about it at first. But I started slow and before I knew it, I was more comfortable with ivory lace than I had been with Sherri Hill prom dresses!

So we moved on to the next challenge: tackling some clients at their store in Chattanooga.

A couple months ago we had a little photo shoot for the store and we all took a selfie with the photographer. I've loved working with all of these girls! I've really started to feel like part of a family!

Thus, I started taking on just one day a week of appointments in Chattanooga, at their adorable location in downtown. I met all kinds of new people, worked with some amazing, and a couple difficult brides and quickly made friends with the manager there. I soon fell in love with the Chattanooga vibes and downtown area. I'm a city girl at heart!

We're slowly moving into the off season for bridal and formal wear alterations so I finally am finding myself with a weekend here and there to enjoy! But in a way I.m still recovering from the whirlwind of a year it's been!

There's still a lot of uncertainty for me, trying to balance my schedules between two stores while also spending time with my family, friends, and my boyfriend, Chris. But I know in time I will get there! In due time I plan to get back into blogging as I have a lot to share and I love the friendships I have made in the blogging world. (Like my girl Paige over at Sunday Best and All the Rest).

Chris has been through a lot too lately, including his mom, dad, and youngest brother moving to Texas. As you can see here, we were very happy to celebrate our new normal with sparkling cider.

Although this year I've been through a lot, I've learned so much about the greatness of our God. Through all the business, through all of the struggles, and through all of the mountains I've faced, His words have constantly been a comfort to me. The peace the Spirit has brought truly has surpassed all understanding! I've been up until 1:00 am some nights making sure everything gets done in time. I've had to put some things on hold (the true test of a boyfriend is how many times he forgives when you tell him you have to work all weekend) and I've had to close the door to a few things and some of them broke my heart. But through it all the Lord has walked with me, calling His words to my heart and granting me peace when I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.


So, I'm so excited to get back into blogging and to share my testimony with you guys along with a few style tips, life "hacks," and maybe a recipe or some random thoughts along the way.
It's safe to finally say: I'm back!

@ndr@ K.



P.S. Another life lesson: Coffee is truly a gift from God in order to help in our time of need. ;D

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Makeup Finds

Hello Ladies!

Today I wanted to dedicate a post to something I normally avoid whole-heartedly: makeup!

Now, in no way do I even pretend to be a professional at makeup. It's still a constant learning process for me; trial and error really. There have been plenty of days where I put on something and have to pull out the makeup remover as I couldn't stand the product or look I was working with. So from my various tries, let me share some of my favorite products! 

One of the first things I'd love to share, is what kind of lipstick I use. In the past I've always stuck with what I know, but one day I decided to branch out. So after asking for a little help, I ran across this amazing liquid lipstick by Anastasia: Beverly Hills. 

Source: http://www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com/liquid-lipstick/liquid-lipstick.html

I can wear it all day and it still be shining bright for dinner in the evening! I've always been disgusted by someone's lipstick coming off on their cups or silverware. With Anastasia's liquid lipstick, I don't have to worry about those ugly lipstick lines! It sticks nicely to my lips with minimal smearing, even with their bright, American Doll shade (my favorite as seen above). It's a little more than I'm normally willing to spend on lipstick, but it's well worth it!


My next major find in terms of makeup has to do with eye shadow. If you remember back to the days I used to do outfit posts (like this one), my eyelids aren't exactly out there for the world to see, so I'm not a huge fan of trying to do all kinds of crazy shadows or liners. No one ever gets the chance to notice! So I'm normally extremely conservative for eye makeup... that is, until a friend introduced me to the Urban Decay: Naked palettes. 

Source: http://www.urbandecay.com/naked-2-palette-by-urban-decay/282.html?cgid=highest-rated#start=1&cgid=highest-rated

After browsing Pinterest for various looks that would work with my eye color and shape, I settled on the Naked2 palatte. All of their Naked palates are absolutely gorgeous (especially for more natural looks) and I would honestly recommend any of them. This is simply the one I settled on for myself. There are literally dozens of tutorials all over the internet for these palates. Here's an example of one for the Naked2 palatte that I use:

Source: Pinterest.com

Those are the two recent major additions to my makeup collection. I absolutely adore lipsticks so I'm completely over the moon for my new lipsticks! I still use a mix of activated charcoal and water for eyeliner as I've found it's the easiest for me to apply and it helps keep me from getting cysts.
I'm still on the lookout for some complimentary blush colors for me to use as well a stellar foundation; although my skin tone varies significantly based on how often I get out into the sun! It's still a hunt! 
So far though, I'll share with you two of the products I've considering investing in but haven't yet:

I literally know four people that sell Mary Kay makeup so it often feels like I'm constantly having facials from one consultant or another. Often I'll buy a new eye shadow color (at least until I bought the Urban Decay palatte. I recently though ran into two amazing products!

The first is Mary Kay's Oil Mattifier 
Source: https://www.marykay.com/tinapsmith/en-us/products/skincare/product/targeted-solutions/mary-kay-oil-mattifier-180206
I have oily skin constantly and all I have to do is dab a tiny bit of this stuff wherever I look a little oily and it disappears! It's a lifesaver on long days!

Source: https://www.marykay.com/tinapsmith/en-us/products/makeup/eyes/mascara-lashes/lash-intensity-mascara-300023
This mascara is literally AMAZING. It fills out even the thinnest lashes and makes any eyes pop! I absolutely love this mascara more than any other I've ever tried! Seriously, if you have a Mary Kay consultant close by, ask them to let you try their best mascara! You won't regret it!

Any makeup products you have tried lately or would like to try?

@ndr@ K.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Inspiration:

Hello Ladies!

Today I want to take a quick moment to share with you guys what has really been inspiring me.

My biggest inspirations would have to be strong lines as the main feature on clothes, shoes, bags, literally everything!

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It's all bout using the simplicity of strong lines as the main design feature. Usually, blouses, skirts, dresses, etc, use prints, color or even texture to bring interest to an item. A huge market trend has been to move away from crazy, busy prints to catch one's eye and the interest in more complex design features! Super exciting for someone like me who knows how difficult challenging structures can be!

Remember my post a couple weeks ago? 
Well, I'm super excited about a growing trend that I'm really digging: showing off your shoulders!

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My absolute favorite item would have to be this cute, modest, and super soft dolman top from Mally B's (a definite favorite in my home town, that actually ships all over!)
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What trends have you noticed in your area that are inspiring you?
@ndr@ K.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Let it Shine!

There are so many different ways to show off your beauty but a lot of modest-conscious girls often forget one of the best and most natural ways: skin!

It's so easy to get lost in zeal to duck and cover sometimes we loose sight of how beautiful we were created to be!

So how's a girl supposed to show skin while staying modest? 

Let's start with the easiest way of all
Show off those arms girl! 

While so many girls are torn between how long skirts, shorts, and pants should be, a great way to show off your natural beauty and God-crafted skin is to go with a sleeveless blouse. It's simple. It's elegant. It's natural! Seriously girls! 


Another great way to show off a little bit of skin in a modest way is to try a different neckline. 

There are SO many different styles to choose from, really, why would anyone stick with a simple crew neck? While some may not fit typical modesty standards, there's a plethora to chose from. Showing off your collarbone is always a big plus, so don't be afraid to let it show! Some girls get so caught up in making sure their necklines cover everything, they forget to take a step back and reevaluate. 

If you went to a museum with a "secret" work of art. It comes in two pieces. One only the painter was allowed to see. The other he put on display. Part of the wonder and the beauty of the piece was for all the museum patrons to stand in awe at both the beauty before them and the mystery of the missing half. 
Would the painter cover up half or all of the second piece? 
It's a beautiful, one of a kind creation made with a mystery to be solved by only one! It would be a shame to cover up what the painter has allowed the patrons to see!

In the same way, It's a shame to cover up your entire body (a work of art). Keeping part of it a secret adds to the beauty, but don't get so caught up that you forget to display what was meant to be displayed! It's part of your own personal beauty! Let it shine!

@ndr@ K.Mo

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Four Words that Brought me Here.

A lot of people end up thinking I have my whole life figured out. 
When I was a little girl, no older than seven or eight, my mind was already made up. No questions, no doubting myself. Someday, I was going to own my own business. 
Granted, I had no idea what kind of business I wanted to own, but I WANTED to own my own business. In my head, it didn't matter if it was a restaurant, a boutique, coffee shop, or bakery. What mattered to me is that it would be mine.


While other girls dreamed of princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, I already had my mind made up. I didn't want any of that prince nonsense. Had The Princess and the Frog been around when I was little, Tiana would have been my Disney Princess.

As I got older, I never lost sight of that goal. I continued wading through my school while gaining all kinds of leadership experience; first working on a yearbook and later bringing to life a new improvisation group. Continuing through my high school years, I learned to answer phones as a receptionist, bit my tongue with customer service as a cashier and finally learned the ins and outs of time management and deadlines as a catering coordinator. Through all of this, I never lost sight of my dream. If you ever asked my last boss about my dream, he would probably laugh and tell you how from the beginning of my time there I warned him that I wouldn't stay forever. I knew I was destined for more. 

Eventually I graduated from high school with my dream and came to a stark realization: I was never meant to go to college. 

Now that statement may seem really small and rather insignificant, but for me, that was a huge decision. My whole life, this was the goal, this was the plan. Everything I had done in high school was supposed to prepare me for this huge step deemed "higher education." What would I do? What COULD I do without a degree?

Not long before I graduated, my mom and I went shopping together (just another day right?). We both strolled around the store pointing to this or admiring how pretty that display was. On our way out of the store though, a beautiful, emerald dress with some interesting structure caught my eye. 
Pulling the bright green dress of the rack, mom and I admired it with awe! The problem came when the price tag caught my eye. Yikes! I couldn't afford it working part time! With that, out came my notebook! "Your notebook?" were the very next words out of my mother's mouth. She was a little shocked that I kept a little note (or sketch) book inside of my purse. Much to my shopping companion's surprise. I captured the design in my little book for me to take home and create my own version.

"You have a gift" Were the words that forever echoed in my head after that occasion. 

With those four little words clunking around in my head, I decided, "Why not give it a try?"

So I went online, purchased some online classes, and begun to learn this lost art of sewing! 
Before long, a few online classes weren't enough. I needed more. So my family and I began to ask around to see if I could find someone to teach me one on one and eventually possibly help me open my own business. 
I can't even begin to tell you how many different places I went to try to get someone to teach me alterations. I constantly came across people who either couldn't understand what I needed because of a language barrier, or were afraid I would cut in on their business. Nevertheless, among this disheartening search, I became more and more convinced of a real need for a young, English-speaking tailor in my area! The dream was not dead!

With the futility of my own family's efforts being thwarted, I went to my best friend and vented my frustrations about this search.

Me and My best friend! (She's key in this story!)
Even amidst my grumbling, the Lord was at work. 

Not long after my exhausted search, my friend was given the honor of being a bridesmaid and went into the local bridal store to get her dress altered. As soon as she and her mother met the tailor she was working with, an idea began forming in their heads. They dared to ask, "could we bring a friend to our next appointment?" 

Thus, I met a woman with my same sewing skills, my love for beautiful dresses, and someone who had accomplished my dream.
Now, I'm so thrilled to be working with her and even filling in where she needs me. 
Better yet, there's now a certificate hanging in my studio confirming that I'm finally living my dream. 

Me and a few wedding dresses behind the scenes at the local bridal store!
I firmly believe that God gives us not only dreams, but gifts and even family (biological or in Christ), for a specific reason. We can't see it, but He has us covered. After all, He makes ALL things beautiful, in THEIR time. 

@ndr@ K.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Redoing the Closet!

Working in the same space you both live and sleep in is not easy.
Every time a client comes in for an appointment I have to stumble around the masses of fabric, sewing supplies and my own wardrobe to tiddy-up and make my living space appear like a spacious studio suitable for a budding tailor. 
It's not easy... let me tell you.

This is it! So believe me when I say I know how to make the most of a small space!
So of all people, I know the struggle every girl has with her closet...  
What do I keep?
How much is going to fit in the closet?
What can I actually fit into?
How do I keep my shoes from getting scratched? 
Is there a way to keep my sweaters from stretching that doesn't involve developing semi-permanent wrinkles?

So It's getting to the end of winter! It's time to take a look, once again, at your closet and reevaluate what stays and what goes as well as developing a better way to properly store more delicate items of clothing. 

Before you do, I want to take a moment to share an AMAZING article about redoing your closet!

Check out "Read This Before You Redo Your Bedroom Closet" from the awesome home improvement website thisoldhouse.com.

They cover everything from practical storage to crafting your own personal spin on some phenomenal designs. (They even tackle closets with a slanted wall!)

So click on over! I promise you will not be disappointed!

@ndr@ K.