Shelbee on the Edge Turns One and My Evolution of Style

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August 24 marks the first blogiversary of Shelbee on the Edge! And I could not have made it this long without all of the wonderful support I have received from my friends and family as well as members of this fabulous blogging community!

A special thanks goes out to my sister as this whole blogging idea was her brainchild not mine. And it took much prompting on her part and some actual yelling at me to “Just do it!” So thank you, sis, your encouragement and continuous support means the world to me!

I must thank my husband and children who have been so patient and tolerant of the hours I spend glued to my laptop (well, not always so patient and tolerant, but we are making progress!). But even with a million and one interruptions on a daily basis, I still have managed to trudge on through, get dressed, take photos, write posts, and visit other amazing blogs.

My friend Amy deserves a very special thank you as well. She is always there to offer and discuss new ideas. She is my forever reliant photographer. And she is an amazing editor as well…right down to catching weird techie glitches that she sees on her end as a reader. So thank you so much. Your attention to detail is very much appreciated! And the endless hours we spend discussing blogging stuff have created wonderful memories for me that I will always cherish.

And through this process I have even managed to forge wonderful blogging friendships that I hold very dear and near to my heart. You are all such amazing and empowering women who offer so much creativity and inspiration to your readers. Without your support, I would never have kept with this so long! I have been so inspired by so many of you and I have been moved to tears of gratitude by others!

Here is where I give a huge heartfelt thank you to the amazing and talented Anne M. Bray of Spy Girl (and other blogs) who surprised me with a sketch of myself a few weeks ago (the featured image on this post). But here it is without the text…

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Isn’t it magnificent?! Thank you so very much, Anne, for this very special surprise. I am so honored and flattered and I really have no words to express how moved I was by this gesture! I had planned to use the sketch for my 100th post but then decided to save it for my blogiversary. And I have been so excited to share it! (And just in case there are any snarky folks reading this post, Anne did give me permission to use this sketch in whatever way I choose.)

And I am so excited to say that this sketch is part of an art show that Anne will be displaying at the Over-40 Blogger Meetup in Los Angeles this December. You can read more about that here as well as view more of Anne’s masterpieces! I do recognize the images of some other amazing bloggers!

To celebrate this blogging milestone, I thought I would take you all for a little walk down memory lane and offer you some glimpses of the many styles of Shelbee/Michelle/Micki through the past 42 years. Brace yourself, for many of these photos include fashion and/or hair disasters. Laugh if you must as I did as I dug through old photos. I do not have many old photos so I came up with the best compilation that I could. So with no more stalling…welcome to Shelbee’s Evolution of Style.

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I still have my grandmother’s shawl that she is wearing in the photo below. I have been planning to style it for a blog post one of these days. But I usually just throw it on over jammies when I catch a chill.

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This photo is clearly before hygiene was important to me.

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In Kindergarten, I was often mistaken for a boy…

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That’s me in the too small argyle vest…the one who looks like a boy. The other is my dear friend Stacey.

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However, when I wore my favorite dress ever, you knew I was a girl. Or maybe a boy who liked to dress like a girl. I’m not sure.

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I loved plaids very early on…and still do.

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And graphic tees…

(That’s my sis sitting in the wagon.)

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And I still love distressed jeans…look at what a pioneer I was in trendsetting!

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A Made With Love By Mom Original

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Why did no one help me?!

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My love/hate affair with very short hair has begun…

[This photo has appeared on my blog before in my post Old Friends are the Best Friends about my lifelong friendship with Beth (the other girl in the photo! I’m in pink. She is in blue.)]

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1992

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This is the prom dress that my mom and I designed and she created for me…and I wore it to two proms. First to my friend Rachel’s prom at her school…

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Then to my own prom.

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1994

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Sporty Shelbee (my hair is just growing back from completely shaving it). This is my favorite picture of me and my dad!

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1995

My fascination with menswear inspired looks has begun…

(That’s my mom with her back to the camera.)

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1996

I started going really preppy at this point.

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And then there is a gigantic gap where there are simply no photos to be found of me over the next 12 years! I only started enjoying having photos taken and taking photos after I met my husband in 2008. So here are is a compilation of photos from the past 8 years.

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This is very early in 2008 (maybe even 2007) when I was still overloaded on a crazy concoction of psych meds. Can you see the bloat? How can you miss it?!

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6 months med-free and 70 pounds shed. I would love to get back to that, but alas, children and middle age have entered my life!

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That’s my BFF Jane on the left, the one with the gorgeous red locks! I am on the far right.

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2013

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2014

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2015

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2016

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And there you have it. I hope you all enjoyed that little photo essay of the evolution of my style. And I hope you got some good, great belly laughs as well!

Who knows what my next year of blogging will bring. But I’m sure it will be a roller coaster of some sort! Thank you all so very much!

Celebrating on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

5 Memory Lane: Hassle Free Photo Books

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Do you ever get overwhelmed by the number of photos you actually take in this age of digital photography and cell phone cameras? In the past 8 years since I have met my husband and had children, I have become sort of photo crazy, snapping away every single moment of life trying to create a way to memorialize how very special life is. And then my photos just sit…unviewed…in some digital file somewhere on my computer. Occasionally, I do make the effort to load them into an album on Facebook. But that is generally where it stops. For one simple reason…I get entirely too overwhelmed by the massive amount of photos that I do take. And I can’t bring myself to delete any of them. So there they remain…in an essential photo wasteland. And that, my friends, is kind of sad.

(Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post. It is, however, a shameless plug in an effort to promote my friend’s photo book business at 5 Memory Lane. And the service is well worth the money! Read on for more details…)

When my friend, Amy, approached me (about 2 years ago) with this proposal, “Hey, you know I can make a photo book for you. All you have to do is send me the pictures and I will do the work for you,” I actually refused the offer thinking that I simply could not weed through all of my photos and choose the ones I would want in a photo book. But then Amy took another action…she went ahead and created a photo book for me as a surprise Christmas present this past year. And it was amazing! She used photos from my blog and each page contained a photo and a lesson from my post 39 Things I Have Learned…. And it was the most fabulous surprise!

Here…have a peak inside!

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I loved my photo book so much that I decided I was definitely going to let Amy make another book for me. And since I never had transferred my wedding photos into a book of any sort, I thought this would be the place to start. Before I give you peak inside that book, I want to return briefly to my dread of having to weed through a zillion pictures and choose which ones I wanted memorialized in print. Fortunately, Amy had the best solution. She said I could send her all of the photos and she would weed through them all! ALL OF THE PHOTOS! So that’s exactly what I did. I placed hundreds of photos into a drop box for her…HUNDREDS…and she wasn’t lying. She did all of the work! And now I have a fabulous wedding album to pass on down through the generations!

Have a little look!

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(Note: I chose the words on the back cover…well…because that’s how my husband and I roll! Forever. It really is a long time.)

So I bet you are wondering how you can get a gorgeous photo book for yourself WITHOUT DOING ANY WORK, aren’t you? Fortunately for you, Amy can help! Just visit her website at 5 Memory Lane for additional information. 5 Memory Lane can create a brand new photo book from pictures that you send electronically. She can also create any other photo gift that you may want and even complete photo projects that you have started and never found the time to finish. And the most amazing part…5 Memory Lane‘s pricing is comparable and sometimes even less expensive than what you would pay through Snapfish or Shutterfly on your own…doing all the work yourself! Check out the pricing charts here. Well, how does she do that? She shops around for the best prices and passes the savings on to you. Plus, she uses the most trusted and secure photo book websites available for printing your complete project. So you are guaranteed excellent quality at a wonderful price!

So if you have digital photos that just keep piling up or you just want a fabulous photo book of your blog pictures, then Amy is your girl and you need to stop by and check out all that is offered by 5 Memory Lane!

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Do any of you get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pictures that inhabit your digital space? Do you just not have the time to start the process of having them printed? Is this a service that you would find beneficial? I would love to hear from you! I am so thrilled with this idea that I will certainly be ordering many photo books and other photo keepsakes through 5 Memory Lane.

Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

Army Banquet and On the Edge of the Week Link Up #10

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This post is not just about a pretty dress. It’s more about a hot mess wearing a pretty dress! My husband was informed months and months ago that he had a formal in August…we call these events Army Proms. So way back in March, I went shopping for my prom dress. Just to get ahead of things as I have never been prepared for these formal events more than a week in advance! The one time 6 years ago that I was prepared, I went and got pregnant and the dress I had bought fit until the weekend before the event. At which time, I had to go in search of a maternity gown!

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Anyway, I was prepared this time! I found a gorgeous royal blue floor length gown with a gold bodice. It was flowy. It was comfortable. I didn’t need shapewear or any kind of special bra. I had the perfect gold sandals, clutch and wrap to go with it as well as the perfect sparkly jewelry. Everything. So pretty. But alas, my preparation was all for naught. My husband came home early from work the day before the formal and told me I needed to go shopping. Because he had just received word that this event was in fact, not formal, but semi-formal. The email came complete with a dress code for women and floor length gowns were not expected. THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT! In an effort to NOT make someone in the Army ranks look like a jerk, this memo had come out the week before, but my husband was training at West Point and did not receive the memo until THE DAY BEFORE. (I don’t think my snarkiness has come across, so I will emphasize, the dress code changed THE WEEK BEFORE the event.)

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Don’t get me wrong…I love to shop. But understand that I do not enjoy shopping under that kind of pressure. So first, I searched my closet. I literally had nothing appropriate for a semi-formal event. And shopping in my area is extremely limited. The closest metropolitan area with decent shopping is in Syracuse which is over an hour away. And I had a doctor’s appointment at 2:30 before I could begin this shopping endeavor. It was after 4:00 p.m. THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EVENT that I began searching for the perfect cocktail dress. Actually, I was willing to settle for less than perfect. I was just shooting for appropriate at this point!

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(How do you like my vintage hat on my deer?)

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So off I went to the very small Salmon Run Mall in the tiny little city of Watertown, New York. Without boring you with all of the shopping details, I think I did find the perfect dress for the occasion, but it was not without much trial and error. In fact, I brought home 4 different dresses and 3 pairs of shoes for my husband and mother-in-law to help me decide.

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I do need to send out a giant thank you to the girls in Dress Barn and DSW. They were nothing short of fantastic, helping me with shapewear, zippers, and shoes! I am so thankful to them for making this stressful shopping experience just a little less stressful! So if you are shopping in the Watertown area and want a fabulous customer service experience, definitely head over to the Dress Barn and DSW at the Salmon Run Mall. (By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I paid for all of the items I brought home. I just like to give credit where credit is due!)

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The banquet was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of my husband’s battalion. Here are a few more photos from the banquet just so you can see a little bit of what happens at an Army dress up event.

This is the Polar Bear Grog Bowl to honor all of the soldiers in this battalion who have served in all different wars in the last 100 years. This was a very cool ceremony as they emptied bottles of different types of alcohol to commemorate different places where the Polar Bears have served.

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Then we drank it. I thought it would be disgusting but it was so diluted with orange juice that it didn’t taste all that bad.

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My husband and our table mates.

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My husband seizing a photo opportunity with a survivor (and his wife) of the Bataan Death March which occurred during World War II.

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This is Sarah, the best table mate ever!

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And to add hot mess to my pretty dress…as we were leaving the house to head for the banquet, we discovered that the outlet which powers our garage refrigerator and chest freezer had shorted out from the rain. When I went to the basement to check things out and find an extension cord, I stepped in a giant puddle at the bottom of the basement stairs. By the time we actually got into the air conditioned car, I was a sweaty hot mess in a really pretty dress.

This is moments before I turned into a sweathog!

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Outfit details:
Dress: Dress Barn ( I cannot find this dress online and now I am recalling there was another customer trying to find her size in the same dress and they couldn’t find it online either. But they have so many fabulous dresses!)
Cardigan: Old Navy Cropped Open-Front Dolman Sleeve Cardi (The navy is sold out online and there are few limited sizes in other colors, but currently on clearance for $5.97).
Shoes: Mix No. 6 Lina Patent Sandals in Taupe.
Necklace: Cato Fashions (from last year).
Floral Bracelet: Claire’s (I bought this a few months ago and I can’t find it online).
Earrings and Single Strand Bracelet: Very Old.

Thank you to everyone who has joined my link up in the past! I am so grateful for all of the support I receive from this wonderful blogging community! Please keep spreading the word and sharing the love!

And now…here are your favorite links from last week!

Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots is looking fabulous in her boho On the Fringe look!

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Rena of Fine Whatever is so fresh and summery and exuding all kinds of wonderful in her Tropical Paradise outfit!

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And Julia of When the Girls Rule is stunning her black and white outfit Keeping Cool in the Alley!

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You can also grab my Link Up button, if you’d like!

Shelbee on the Edge



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Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up.

Boho Betty Drawing

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I wouldn’t normally publish a post just to encourage you to purchase something, but this opportunity was too exciting not to share! And right now I am limited for time to draft a “real” post, so here it is…

Boho Betty is currently running a drawing for all affiliate partners and their customers! From now until August 21 at midnight PDT, all customers who make a purchase during this time period and the affiliate who referred them will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $25 Boho Betty Gift Card! The winner will be announced and notified via email on Monday, August 22. So if you have been contemplating trying out some Boho Betty accessories, now is the time to purchase! Remember to enter code SHELBEE at checkout for 20% off your purchase!

*The links provided in this post are affiliate links and any purchases that you make through these links will earn a commission for me (as well an entry into the drawing for me as well). This does not in any way influence my opinion about this brand. I absolutely love my Boho Betty bracelets! They are super soft and lightweight for all day wear. They are durable and easy to put on. And above all else, they are so darn adorable!

Here are some of my favorite picks from the current Boho Betty lines.

The Sundance Stretch Tassel Bracelet ($27.00)

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The Snow Fox Faux Suede Wrap Bracelet ($24.50)

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The Aker Beaded Tassle Necklace (28.00)

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The Chiang Rai Beaded Wrap Bracelet ($37.00)

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Lynx Faux Suede Wrap Bracelet ($24.50)

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If you do make a purchase, I would love to hear what you have chosen! I cannot wait to add more Boho Betty pieces to my jewelry box!

Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support me! I hope you love this line as much as I do!

Feeling excited on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

100th Post: 100 of My Favorite Things

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I have been so excited to publish my 100th blog post! I have had a lot of ups and downs through the last 99 posts between struggling with writer’s block, motivation issues, and the constant readjustments due to Army life. I am pleasantly surprised that I have stuck with blogging long enough to publish 100 posts. And I have my one year blogiversary coming up in about a week. So please stay tuned for a very special post in celebration of that blogging milestone as well!

After much brainstorming and lots of input from friends, I decided for my 100th post that I would share with you 100 of my favorite things. (A huge thank you to Aimee as this idea really was 100% hers!) Perhaps these 100 things will give you a bit more insight into who Shelbee is. Actually, you probably already have a pretty good idea of who Shelbee is because I am pretty open and honest in what I write here. So instead, I think this post may give you a better idea of who Michelle is (that’s me, in case you had any doubt). In fact, I will first let you in on this little secret…no one in my real life actually calls me Shelbee! Depending on when and where people have entered my life, they either call me Michelle or Micki. Shelbee was a silly alter ego that my friend Alicia M. and I made up many years ago and we would refer to ridiculous things that I did as “Shelbee did it”! And it’s kind of funny because my kids refer to Shelbee in the the third person as well as if it is not really me but this alter ego who exists somewhere in internet land. And my mannequin that was gifted to me from my friend Aimee and her mom, of course, her name is Shelbee. But please, blogger friends, do not feel as if you can no longer call me Shelbee because she and I are inherently the same being. And all of my stories shared here are genuinely and 100% me…Michelle, Micki, Shelbee! So here we go!

100 of My Favorite Things in 10 Categories
(These are in no particular order. Some are blogging related, others are not.)

10 of My Favorite Brands/Stores to Shop
(Most of these stores are on this list because there is very limited shopping where I live!)

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1. Gap Factory
2. Old Navy
3. Kohl’s
4. Target
5. DSW
6. Famous Footwear
7. Payless
8. New York & Company
9. Cato Fashions
10. The Salvation Army Family Store (This is a recent shopping experience, but one I have grown to love!)

10 of My Favorite Blogs
(These were very difficult to narrow down to 10. You can find more of my favorite blogs here.

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1. The World According to Eve
2. Spy Girl
3. Sheela Writes
4. Not Dressed as Lamb
5. Kremb de la Kremb
6. Fashion Should Be Fun
7. Fashion Fairy Dust
8. Fake Fabulous
9. Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
10. 50 Is Not Old

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration! The blogging world is an amazing community of fabulous people and I am so grateful to be part of it!

10 of My Favorite Movies
(This list actually contains 13 movies because I included the sequels to 3 of them.)

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10 of My Favorite Fashion Trends

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1. Dresses worn over pants.
2. Maxi cardigans/dusters/vests.
3. Tunics, especially asymmetrical hemmed tunics.
4. Kimonos.
5. Tassel jewelry.
6. Scarves, of course, worn every which way!
7. Tee shirt dresses with sneakers.
8. Flat form sandals.
9. Boyfriend jeans and flared denim.
10. Maxi and midi skirts and dresses.

10 of My Favorite Things in My Closet

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1. My Kitten Mary Jane shoes.

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2. My thrifted burgundy velvet blazer.

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3. My butterfly kimono.

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4. My red cape.

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5. My furry vest.

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6. My Jennifer Lopez cowl neck sweaters.

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7. My glitter sneakers.

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8. My denim jacket.

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9. My leopard print sweatshirt.

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10. My green plaid cardigan.

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(I didn’t include my scarves on this list because there are too many and I love them all and they would have occupied the top 10 spots!)

10 of My Favorite Topics to Discuss Passionately

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1. Mental health issues.
2. Pride of ownership and work ethic.
3. LGBT rights and tolerance.
4. Grammar (for real).
5. Arbitrary rules.
6. General respect for others, common courtesy.
7. Religious beliefs.
8. Army life.
9. Fashion, of course.
10. My children and family…always a favorite.

10 of My Favorite Books

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1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
2. Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and really all of Jane Austen’s works.
3. Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs.
4. My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl.
5. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
6. Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho.
7. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.
8. Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher.
9. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, Ph.D.
10. Stiff by Mary Roach.

10 of My Favorite Shelbee on the Edge Blog Posts

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1. Old Friends are the Best Friends
2. The Real Story Behind Deployment
3. Is It Weird to Tell a Female Stranger that She is Gorgeous?
4. 39 Lessons that I Have Learned on My Journey Out of the Darkness Into My Happiness
5. Stay Sassy…and Style Art Review
6. Here’s the Thing About Confidence
7. Vanity or Sanity?
8. Mind Your Words
9. Made with Love by Mom
10. I Literally Have Nothing to Say

10 of My Favorite Television Shows

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1. Once Upon A Time
2. American Idol and The Voice (See how I cheat at this just to get one more favorite in there!)
3. Beverly Hills, 90210
4. Friends
5. Nashville
6. The Mindy Project
7. 21 Jump Street
8. Sex and The City
9. Meet the Goldbergs
10. The Big Bang Theory

10 of My Favorite Lies that I Have Told My Children

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1. “Mommy doesn’t know how to change batteries. Only Daddy knows how to do that.” (I literally did not change a battery during my husband’s entire 9 month deployment!)
2. “Mommies have long hair to cover the eyes we have on the backs of our heads.” (This one backfired on me, however, when I told my 5 year old that I could not look at what he was showing me while I was driving. He responded with, “Just use your back eyes, Mommy.”)
3. This one I told to one of my children’s friends…”When you are swimming and your lips turn purple, it means you are starting to turn into a mermaid. If you don’t get out of the water right away, your legs will turn into a fin and you will be stuck living in the water forever. That will make your mommy very sad.”
4. Sometimes Army living forces us into unique holiday situations. Often, we have Christmas at our house a week or two early because we travel to see family during the actual holidays. I have explained to my kids that “Santa comes to our house earlier than he comes to your cousins’ because we live closer to the North Pole.”
5. Speaking of Santa, when questioned as to why Mommy and Daddy don’t have to go to bed before Santa comes, I have explained that “Mommy and Daddy have to wait up to let Santa in (my son was very freaked out by the concept of Santa entering our home via chimney) and then we make sure he brought the right gifts and we help him wrap them (this also explains why Mommy uses the same wrapping paper as the Santa gifts).
6. “Yes, this ice cream is, indeed, jalapeno ice cream. You won’t like it at all. It is very spicy.”
7. “The little moles that you have on your body are angel kisses. The more you have means the angels just love that much more. And the raised ones are super special angel kisses.”
8. On days when my children relentlessly beg to go shopping for a new toy, I tell them it is a special holiday and all of the stores are closed.
9. “Mommy doesn’t know how to transform that Transformer back into its robot form.” (That’s not really a lie! However, I probably could figure it out if I tried.)
10. “If you eat too much cheese, you will never poop again.”

That is all from the edge. I hope you enjoyed! Please stay tuned for my special 1 year blogiversary post coming up in 10 days! (There will be other regularly scheduled posts in between.)

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

An Outfit, A Watch, A Movie, and On the Edge of the Week Link Up #9

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First, I want to let you all know that this is my 99th blog post! I have something special in mind for my 100th post coming up early next week. And also another special post the following week to celebrate my 1 year blogiversary! So please be sure to check back and see what I have planned!

Now on to this post…

Tuesday night, I escaped all parenting duties and headed to dinner and movie with my friend Aimee. I went for super comfortable in my very distressed and faded boyfriend jeans, a boxy tee, footbed sandals, and a lightweight sweater around my waist in case the movie theater was chilly. I also seized the opportunity to show off my new Churchill Timber Watch that I recently won in a blogger giveaway! I entered a few Timber Watch giveaways and the email never told me which blogger hosted the giveaway that I had won. But thank you to the mystery blogger! I love my new watch!

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Outfit details:
Jeans, Tee, and Cardigan: Old Navy (all old).
Sandals: Payless Topaz Woven Footbed Sandals (currently on sale for $15).
Watch: Churchill Timber Watch
Evil Eye Bracelet: Michal Golan.
Bag: Bed|Stu (I have had this bag for a really long time).

My Timber Watch:

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A random passerby outside the mall was giving me a thumbs up while I was so awkwardly posing in front of the stone wall! Aimee was so kind as to continue snapping photos!

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And the required girls’ night out selfie…

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…with my awkwardly placed hand.

We went to see the movie Bad Moms.

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My quick review in one paragraph: It was not what I expected. I definitely laughed. A lot. But it was very unrealistic and a tad bit over the top. I guess I expected it to be more about the very real struggles in daily parenting which produce plenty of humor. Perhaps because my children are not yet school-aged (my oldest is just starting kindergarten this Fall) and the premise of the story was based around battles amongst PTA moms, I had really no frame of reference to relate to some it. But the message was much appreciated…that none of us are perfect moms and none of us really know what the hell we are doing in this parenting gig, so we should just stop judging each other and get on with the struggle. Because it is real, people. This struggle is real! Worth watching, for sure. Just a little different from my expectations.

So I have covered the outfit, the watch, and the movie. Now on to the link up.

Thank you to all of the fabulous bloggers who linked up On the Edge of the Week last week! I do apologize if I have not made my way around to each post linked up. Life is getting the best of me lately! But I swear once school starts in a few weeks and my husband is home for good, I will have much more time to commit to checking in with everyone. But please do spread the word about my little link up so we can really get this party off the ground!

And now…here are your favorite links from last week!

Ana’s black and white silk drawstring-waist dress definitely caught a lot of attention. She looks absolutely stunning in this beautiful dress. For more outfit inspiration from Ana, visit her blog Mrs. American Made.

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And Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style was a favorite in her ivory crochet dress!

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You can also grab my Link Up button, if you’d like!

Shelbee on the Edge



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Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up.

5 Ways to Unblock Blogger’s (Writer’s) Block

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If you are a blogger or a writer or involved in any creative pursuit whether it be for income or for pleasure, then I am sure that you are all too familiar with writer’s block (which I like to call blogger’s block) or creative block. Simply put, it is the inability to think of something to write (or paint or sculpt or sketch or create) and the condition of being unable to proceed with your creative endeavor. Speaking from the viewpoint of a blogger, we are faced with the challenge to create new and interesting content every time we sit down to draft a new post. And for me specifically, I am a terrible photographer (which is not the best quality for a fashion/lifestyle blogger), so if I want to get your attention then I really had better have something interesting to say.

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A few weeks back, I wrote a post about my struggle with blogger’s block and since writing that post, I have been brainstorming ways to unblock the block. The result of my brainstorming is this list of methods that help me jump start my brain and get the creative juices flowing again. In hindsight, writing that post about not being able to write actually gave me the boost in creativity that I needed.

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Granted there are tons of articles listing ways to overcome writer’s block or creative block. Just type “writer’s block” or “creative block” in a Google search and you will see for yourself. I have not read any of these articles as I wanted this post to be the ways I personally have discovered to help beat the blogger’s block. But, to be honest, I will probably go check out some of the other tips out there when I am done writing this post.

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So let’s get on with it…five tips, uninfluenced by outside sources, that I have discovered to beat blogger’s block.

1. Just start writing.

I already stated that writing a post about having nothing to say was probably the best step to take when confronted with a brain filled with absolutely nothing original to say. The act of writing, in and of itself, is enough to kick the creative part of the mind into action. Eventually you stumble upon some interesting topic that piques your interest and then you run with it. So I started writing about how I Literally Have Nothing to Say and eventually I discovered that I was saying something. And it turns out, I was saying something that readers actually were relating to!

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2. Read what others are writing.

This is a big one for me. When I am totally lost and uninspired on my own, I seek it out elsewhere. And being a blogger, I have an endless list of other fabulous sources where I can look to find inspiration. Getting super bogged down with managing my own website as well as managing a household and tending to two young children, I definitely don’t keep up with following along as much as I would like. So I take advantage of my blogger’s block time to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs, websites, and magazines. You can check out who I look to for inspiration here. My post Are You Irresistible? came into existence just this way…I took an interesting article that a friend had sent to me and I created an entire post built around it.

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3. Find a favorite quote.

This tip has never failed me. If I am completely stumped on where to even start, I look to some of my favorite quotes (which I have jotted down in various journals and elsewhere) and I build from there. Sometimes the writing goes in an entirely different direction from where I began, but I don’t mind that so much as the point was really to just get started. For example, my post Mind Your Words has its origins with a quote that ended up buried deep in the body of the post, not at the forefront at all. ( “…for what are words but the body and dress of thought? And is not the mind indicated strongly by its outward dress?”) And this turned out to be one of my favorite posts. And to think it started out with blogger’s block!

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4. Ask for ideas.

Oftentimes, the easiest way out is actually just that…easy! And there is nothing wrong with taking the easy route every now and then. If you are coming up blank, just ask others for ideas. Ask your friends, your spouse, your kids, your readers. Especially your readers. I did just that at the end of my post Exciting Things are Happening on the Edge and many of you offered tips, ideas, and topics that you would like me to address. I received suggestions in the comments and via e-mail which is super exciting because I now have a list of ideas for future blog posts! And that leads me to my last tip.

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5. Keep a list of ideas.

I keep notepads on my bedside table, on my desk, on my coffee table, and in my kitchen. Oh, and one in my purse. If an idea strikes me, whether it’s a good one or not, I write it down. If someone gives me a suggestion, I write it down. So now, just 2 1/2 weeks after posting that I had nothing to say, I have list of 20 different topics for blog posts. I don’t know if I will actually create blog posts based on all 20 of these things because I am sure that new and better ideas will come to me in the meantime. But I still maintain my list just in case! And this post itself was plucked directly from my list as I sat at my computer to write and thought, “Hmmm. I’m not really sure what I want to say right now.”

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What are some tips that have helped you unblock the block? I would love to hear in the comments…and maybe at a later date I can publish an even more extensive list of tips to keep the creative flow going!

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Outfit details:
Jeans: Gap Factory Legging Jeans in Medium Wash.
Tunic: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s (from last year). This Lace Yoke Swing Top in Faded Rose is similar but with short sleeves.
Cardigan: Ronni Nicole purchased from the Fort Drum Exchange. Shop other Ronni Nicole styles at JCPenney or Kohl’s.
Sandals: Joe Boxer for K-Mart (from last year). Similar here and here.
Necklace: Kohl’s Clearance. Similar here.
Earrings: Fort Drum Exchange.

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Unblocked on the edge (for now),

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

Little Bits of Inspiration #8

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Recently, I have started keeping a list of posts that inspire me so that I have content all ready to go for my monthly installment of Little Bits of Inspiration. These are so many fabulous writers out there in blogland and other wonderful bits of inspiration that I have found. My list has grown quite long, but I am still only going to share 5 (well, because I think more than 5 is more than most are willing to read) so some of these may date back a month or two. But I think it is fun to revisit old posts anyway…especially the ones that contain so much inspiration! So here are the things that have inspired me lately…

1. We Still Write Love Notes posted back in June by Della Devoted.

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I love this post by Della which offers one little way to nurture your marriage and it is such a tiny and easy thing to do. “Take time today to show your spouse that you love them. Love notes are easy and they only take a second to write. Who knows, it could start a spark in your marriage and get it going again.”

2. Ankita of Makeup, Style and Sugar wrote this brilliant post back in February (on Valentine’s Day actually), Grunge Valentine’s Day: Love Yourself First.

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Although Ankita has addressed her post to all those single girls out there, her message is a powerful and important one for all all of us. “And since you aren’t going to spend as much of your time with your partner, your family, your friends, as much you will spend with yourself. Learn to make friends with yourself first, love & embrace your demons, talk to yourself more, try knowing yourself better, believe in yourself and always, ALWAYS have your back!”

3. Debbie of Fashion Fairy Dust always inspires me. Her post Lace Duster & Fringe Sandals from back in June suggests “just because a piece is meant to be one thing that doesn’t mean that it can’t be something else entirely. just because a piece is meant to be one thing that doesn’t mean that it can’t be something else entirely.”

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So if you are not feeling inspired by what’s in your closet, try to look at it a bit differently. And check out Debbie’s blog for other outfit inspirations and all around wonderful life tips!

4. The fabulous girls over at Pumps and Pushups recommended three great Instant Mood Boosters for those days “where nothing seems to go right, everyone says the wrong thing and you just feel totally, blah.”

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So if you need a little help getting out of your funk, check out what they had to say!

5. Susan at un femme d’un certain age wrote this brilliant post about positive body image, Thinking About: The Good Enough Body.

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Susan discusses coming to terms with her body post-menopause, loving it, and finding her style, “I’ll always be short and “sturdy” (no amount of weight loss will add inches of height or make my broad shoulders narrower) and my first post-menopause decade has further softened my contours. I don’t say this out of disparagement or looking for reassurance, but rather because with acceptance comes freedom from chasing a phantom. I’m still figuring out how to best balance dressing this physical form with expressing my style, but I’m no longer pining for a completely different body.” Such a beautiful, powerful message!

Those are just some of the things that have been inspiring me lately. What inspires you?

Feeling inspired on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

Boho Betty and On the Edge of the Week Link Up #8

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If you read my last post, you will already know that I am super excited about my new venture as a Boho Betty brand rep! I received my first order of the the Foxglove Gold Studded Wrap Bracelet and the Wutu Faux Suede Wrap Bracelet (which unfortunately is no longer available). I am thrilled to say that these bracelets are even better than I expected!

The vegan leather on these bracelets is so super soft against my skin creating a very comfortable fit. The Foxglove Wrap Bracelet has two snaps as closure for different sizes and the Wutu Wrap Bracelet has a magnetic closure making it so simple to put on. But be careful with these magnetic closure bracelets…if you catch them even slightly on something, they pop right off.

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. However, if you choose to purchase a Boho Betty bracelet from the links provided in this post, I will receive a small commission.

Also, remember to enter code SHELBEE at checkout to receive 20% OFF your purchase!

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Foxglove Gold Studded Wrap Bracelet

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I stacked the Foxglove Wrap Bracelet with a double stranded beaded bracelet that I snagged on clearance from Kohl’s.

Wutu Faux Suede Wrap Bracelet

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I stacked the Wutu Wrap Bracelet on the other wrist with my decades old silver charm bracelet and silver square link bracelet which are both from Tiffany & Co.

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And I was photobombed by Frankie the Cat. Since it was his birthday on August 1 (the day I took these photos), I decided I would let him into the post. Happy 1st Birthday, Frankie!

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I apologize for my crooked pictures. I guess I didn’t notice that my phone was lop-sided! And don’t you just love how my necklace is caught on my boob? It happens every time!

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Outfit details:
Skirt: Old Navy (no longer available, but similar here and here).
Top: Fort Drum Exchange (from a year or two ago).
Sandals: Merona Edyth Gladiator Sandals in Cognac from Target.
Scarf: My very old, very fake Hermes scarf bought on the streets of New York City many years ago.
Necklace: I cannot remember where this necklace came from, but it was most certainly a super duper clearance item!
Earrings: Kohl’s Clearance.
Bracelets: Kohl’s, Tiffany & Co., and Boho Betty.

Have any of you ever purchased a Boho Betty bracelet? If so, I would love to hear what you think of their products. Or simply check out their website and let me know if there are any bracelets you would add to your wishlist!

Thank you to all of the fabulous bloggers who linked up On the Edge of the Week last week! Do spread the word about the link up so we can really get this party off the ground!

And now…here are your favorite links from last week!

Laurie of Vanity and Me wrote a very informative post about Two of the Best Non-Invasive Beauty Treatments with Instant Results that got the interest of many readers! If you have not read it yet, you should go check it out!

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And Mimi of In My Prime Time wrote a fabulous post offering some make up and interior decorating tips. If you have not had a chance to read this post, you can check it out here.

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Shelbee on the Edge



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Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up.

Exciting Things are Happening On the Edge

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I am so thrilled to share with you all some of the exciting new things happening here on the edge!

First, if you have visited my blog before and are reading this now, then I am sure you have noticed the whole new look of my website. I am coming up on one year of blogging in a few weeks (and my 100th post) and I decided it was time for a makeover. Plus, I have a bunch of new affiliate advertisers and needed a sidebar to place my ads (my previous format did not have a sidebar). I think this new format is a bit easier to navigate as well. And I like the pretty colors! What do you think?

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Second, my outfit photos in this post were taken in my living room which also got a makeover in the past few weeks. I have decided to reclaim parts of my house from the overflow of kids’ toys that seem to have taken over all of our living space! A massive cleaning out occurred in preparation for a late summer yard sale. Plus the clutter was making me very anxious. One room done, six to go!

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Third, I just became a Boho Betty Rep! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first two bracelets…

The Wutu Faux Suede Wrap Bracelet (which just sold out…Boo!)

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And the Foxglove Gold Studded Wrap Bracelet (currently on sale for $13.00).

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If you are not familiar with Boho Betty, they are a British company which designs the most adorable, unique, and fun bracelets which really do appeal do so many different tastes. They find their design inspiration from all around the world and each collection speaks to different fashion trends. There really is something for everyone. Definitely check them out. And if you find something you like, enter the code SHELBEE at checkout for 20% off your purchase! (*I do receive a small commission if you purchase a Boho Betty product from the links provided in this post.)

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Fourth, I won a Timber Watch in a recent giveaway (and I do apologize, the message did not tell me which giveaway it was from…I had entered a few different giveaways for Timber Watches), but thank you to whomever hosted the giveaway! I chose the Men’s Churchill Watch and I cannot wait to style it!

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Fifth, the very next day after winning the Timber Watch, I received an email that I had a won a $75 gift card towards a new Jord Watch in a giveaway hosted by Laura of I Do deClaire! So, thank you so much, Laura! I have not decided which watch I am going to choose yet, but I will certainly let you all know!

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Sixth, I just set up my Poshmark closet! I was having no luck at all with my Shelbee Lane resale endeavor on the blog, so I abandoned that method and took a more established route! I have quite a few fun and unique pieces listed for sale in my Poshmark closet already. Definitely, go check it out! How adorable is this Red Ann Taylor Loft Cashmere Blend Belted Coat?!

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Seventh, and final piece of exciting news, my husband comes home next week! And quite possibly for a very extended period of time. Quick breakdown of our recent separations due to Army life: he was gone for 8 straight weeks in January and February of 2015, home from March to May 2015, deployed to Afghanistan from May 2015 until February 2016, home from February to July 2016, and away for 6 weeks from July to August 2016. While I am excited about his return, he may only be home for 1 week and then he might have to head out to the field for training for 2 consecutive weeks. But after that, he should be home with us for 2 straight years! I don’t know if I can handle it! But, I have learned to never count on anything with the Army…so it all remains to be seen. But he is coming home next week, so I can’t wait to see his real face rather than his FaceTime face!

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Outfit details:
Top: Old Navy (no longer available, but similar here, here, and here).
Pants: Old Navy (from last year, but similar here and here).
Crochet Vest: Cato Fashions Daisy Crochet Waterfall Duster Vest in Plus Size Only (currently on clearance for $11.99).
Shoes: Kohl’s (from last year).
Necklace and Earrings: Cato Fashions (no longer available).

I know this was a super long post, but I was just so excited to share all of this fun news with you! If you have made it this far, thanks so much for reading! Also, I am brainstorming for some ideas for my upcoming 100th post and my blogiversary post. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Doing happy dances on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up