The Struggle is Real & Link Up On the Edge #80

First, before I talk about the struggle, I want to introduce you all to Sherry of The Life of the Party who is co-hosting the link up with me today.  If you don’t know Sherry, here is a brief introduction in her own words.

“I started The Life of the Party as a way to document past parties for my children, family and close friends and it’s since morphed into a fashion and interior design and healthy lifestyle blog. I’m very passionate about design and find my brain constantly swimming with ideas of new and interesting color combinations and mixing of fabric textures and patterns. This blog has turned my passion into action; I’m constantly inspired by everything that surrounds me on a daily basis and The Life of the Party is my place to bring those thoughts and ideas to life.”

I am super excited to have her join me today!  I only recently began following Sherry’s blog, but I quickly became a fan of her chic and sophisticated style which she always sprinkles with a little side of edginess.  And as you know, edginess is my jam!  Sherry also hosts her own link up, Fashion Informant, every Thursday, so be sure to visit The Life of the Party and join the party!

Sherry of The Life of the Party

So now I want to talk about the struggle I am facing this winter. A real life blogger struggle. The snow. The wind. The rain. The weather is legitimately ruining my blogger game! If you could see me some days when we go out for photo shoots. It is downright comical sometimes. We should probably be making videos instead of taking photographs.  And the irony here is that my co-host Sherry hails from Hawaii, so I was laughing out loud when I created the collage above of us each wearing pretty blue dresses! What a difference the background makes, right?

*This is a sponsored post. This dress and bracelet were provided to me for purposes of this review.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are totally my own.

The day I decided to wear this velvet dress from Zaful, I checked the temperature before heading out and it was a balmy 20-something degrees. Not so bad for where I live. I can totally tolerate 15-20 minutes outside without a coat and I will be fine.

*Dress: Tiered Sleeve Plus Size Velvet Dress c/o Zaful.

We had a fresh coat of newly fallen snow which always makes for a gorgeous background, so my husband and I jumped in the car and began driving around town looking for places to shoot some photos. What I didn’t count on was that the plow trucks around these parts mean business and they had already made their rounds multiple times. And plowed snow is not nearly as pretty as unplowed snow.

*Bracelet: Spiral Pattern Metal Cuff Bracelet (Available on gold or silver) c/o Zaful.

As we were driving, I spotted an empty parking lot for a church with mountains of snow all around the perimeter. I thought that would do. So we pulled in, hopped out, and began shooting. I quickly learned that 20-something degrees is actually really quite cold even after my body had acclimated to weeks upon weeks of sub-zero temperatures.

*Boots: Charlotte Russe (No longer available online, but may still be available in stores). Similar here, here, and here.

Needless to say, I did not last 15-20 minutes out there. We hopped back into the warm car and I was done! Then I started scrolling through the photos. And I wasn’t happy with the way my gold bag (which is actually a wine cooler) looked sort of greenish in the photos. I didn’t really like the lace shawl either. Has that ever happened to you, my blogger friends, something looks great in the mirror then doesn’t translate quite as well in the photographs? Anyway, by this point, my husband was already driving. And he was cold. Much to his dismay, I asked if we could drive up to the park and get some more photos without my bag or shawl.

Now here’s where the struggle really began…the park is situated on top of a hill or a small mountain or something. I always forget how much wind whips across it especially at the lookout points which happen to be the best place for pictures. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the wind can work in your favor.

But most times, it does not. Add falling snow to the whipping winds and, well, you get the picture.

Some of you may wonder why the heck I would continue to do what I do. The cold, miserable photo shoots in the frigid North Country winter can be tedious to put it mildly. But I do have a few good reasons.  First, it’s my job. Second, it really is fun even with the chance of frost bite. Third, I usually end up in a fit of laughter by the end of a photo shoot and everyone knows that laughter is really healthy.  And fourth, it makes for some really great memories.  So the why the heck would I not continue to do these crazy photo shoots?

As much as I love this blue velvet dress and I really wanted to wear it all day long, by the time we got home, I had to change into jeans and a sweater because I was chilled right through to my bones…actually this is the outfit I changed into that day.

Do you have any fun photo shoot stories to share? I would love to hear them. It is what keeps this job really interesting!

And now for your favorite posts from last week.

Suzy of Suzy Turner in Portugal shared an amazing post, Why there is nothing wrong with being perfectly imperfect. There is some seriously sound advice in this post from which everyone can benefit. So please go give it a read if you haven’t already.

Suzy of Suzy Turner in Portugal

“If you’re a teenager or in your twenties reading this, now is the time to start loving yourself for who you are. Don’t compare yourself to the person next to you, and definitely don’t compare yourself to that person on Instagram or in the glossy magazines. They’re not real anyway, because they’ve either been photoshopped or they’re using so many filters! Just be you. You’re beautiful just the way you are. And so are you, my lovely 30 and 40+ friends. Don’t hide behind your clothes because you’re a little bit older. Embrace your body in all it’s glory. We are all beautiful in so many ways: inside and out.” -Suzy Turner


And Elsie of Polished Whimsy shared her post, Try This: Fringed Tweed Pencil Skirt. How fabulous is Elsie’s pattern mix and color combination? She has some seriously fantastic style. So if you are looking for inspiration, Elsie is your girl!

Elsie of Polished Whimsy


Thanks for stopping by today, my friends! I look forward to seeing what you all have to share this week. Have fun linking!  And remember to check out the Zaful Valentine’s Day 2018 sales!

Keeping it on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

68 Responses

  1. Oh my, I am starving just looking at these photos! And I think it s cold over here! I applaud you!

  2. I can relate… snow, wind, cold, that’s been my week so far. Getting to work has felt like going on an arctic expedition. I’m seriously thinking of staying indoors the whole weekend. You are a brave woman, I salute you.

    • Tiina, I totally knew you would relate! It is just crazy! I honestly don’t get out much either because it is just so darn cold that it hurts. Yesterday, we hit temperatures in the 40’s and I went out for a walk because I could. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely and warm weekend!


  3. I am so with you on this Shelbee. I spend enough of my time in the winter to know it is a pain to get outdoor pictures! That is why so many of mine are indoors! But I do love the snow for a while! Love your outfit, the colors are so pretty! Cheryl

    • Cheryl, thanks so much! You have such a pretty spot inside your house for photos though! If I had that, I may not go outside. The light in my house is terrible and there is literally kid crap everywhere! So brave the winter outdoors, I must! Have a fabulous weekend.


  4. Oh my gosh these photos! They sure look amazing! You have a good eye to catch the tint of the bag and the shawl. I would have just called it a day but I’m happy you went back to shoot your vision! And you have such a loving husband who will do that for you! I’m a wimp and won’t shoot in the freezing cold lately, haha. That’s why most of my recent pics are in a mall or room with a ton of windows. When I was living in DC my photographer refused to wear gloves while he shot because he didn’t have the same feel/control with the camera and his hands would turn blue! Anyhow – Your dress and jewelry are fabulous!!

    • Roxanne, thanks so much! Isn’t the color of the bag super strange? In reality, it is very gold with some like black distressing and it picked up the black and gold of my necklace. But in the photos….yikes! Not so good. It looks like vomit. And seriously, we have so much fun when the weather is kicking our butts! It really just causes so much laughter which always feels great. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend, my friend.


  5. Shelbee, this just proves how much of a pro you truly are! When I was in your neck of the woods recently, I hardly took any blog photos because I just couldn’t bear to be outdoors without all my layers on! It was FREEZING. You’re a much hardier chick than I am too lol
    And you look stunning in the photos, even if you’re being whipped by snow, wind and ice!!! That dress is gorgeous, as are the shoes, shawl and bag (I would never have thought it was a wine cooler!!!).
    THANK YOU again for featuring me – you really are AWESOME, Shelbee.
    Huge hugs
    Suzy xx

    • Suzy, I love everything about this comment! I am laughing out loud right now at this: “even if you’re being whipped by snow, wind and ice!!!” I totally was getting whipped in the face by snow, wind, ice, AND my own hair! So funny. Thanks for the great compliment and for inspiring all of us with your amazing post!


  6. Sherry sounds and looks fabulous! Thanks so much for braving the weather to share this look. Dying over the dress and chic booties! Thanks for the link up Shelbee.

    • Kathrine, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I do love this dress and I can’t wait to wear it again. Isn’t Sherry just fabulous?! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.


  7. It is amazing what we do for our blog, and yet in a way they end up being funny stories, right??
    Love this dress so much—even with the shawl, Shelbee!!

  8. Your velvet dress is gorgeous. I can’t get enough of the ruffle sleeves and your shoes just perfectly pairs with this dress. The floral detail is top notch! Funny you mention Sheree. I just visited her blog yesterday and definitely like what I saw. I also saw she had a link up and did a DOH moment because she had asked me to join two weeks ago and forgot. Total blogger fail! 😭😭😭 I get you with the blogger struggles. Though my struggles for pictures are not as intense as yours since we don’t get below degree temperatures and I don’t go out enough to utilize my time to take more pictures but there’s been an incident where it has been too windy and almost all of the pictures had my hair sticking up or me eating my own hair! I do agree that it gives for a good laugh and memories and since my hubby helps me with the photos, we have a good time!

    Maureen |

    • Thanks so much, Maureen! Sherry is really fabulous! Feel free to use my Link Ups page to remember which link ups go live each day! It’s the only way I would remember to join! And yes, the wind can definitely make for some seriously funny photos. I am forever eating my own hair! Thank you for stopping by and have a marvelous weekend! Hopefully, everyone is healthy so you can enjoy it.


  9. OMG. That’s a real snow storm with a lot of wind that you are posing in. That must have been very uncomfy. Nevertheless a great smile. Very professional!

    • Thanks so much, Nicole! It was a little crazy up there on that hill! I have many more snowy photos to come. It’s snowy pictures or no pictures at all where I live! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.


  10. The struggle is real, and I give you major props for shooting photos while it was actually snowing!! I love the sleeves on your dress, and those floral boots are so fun!

    • Hahaha, thanks, Rachael! It was only flurries when we first went out, then it really started snowing…but I was committed at that point! All in the day of the life of a blogger! Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.


  11. You look wonderful. Those pics with the wind and snow are great. As the late, great Steve Sabol of NFL Films once said, “Weather gives a certain cool element to game, the worse the weather, the greater the shots are.” Maybe, I think that way because has been between 60 and 70 degrees around these parts lately-LOL.

    Anyway, thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Patrick, thanks so much! And I think I agree with Mr. Sabol…the weather does add a certain element of interest to all outdoor activities that would not otherwise exist on a perfectly sunny day. Thanks for sharing that perspective on the matter. Have a fabulous weekend in your 60-70 degree weather!


  12. This has been a difficult winter for picture taking! I really love that you used a wine cooler as a purse, why not! Fun post!

  13. Your blue velvet dress is so pretty and I am fawning over your floral booties! You are so brave getting out there in that frigid weather for blog photos. I just skip mine when it’s that cold – lol! So glad you introduced Sherry. I will definitely check out her blog and link up.

    • Thanks so much, Jennie! You are going to love Sherry! And if I didn’t go outside for pictures in the cold, wind, and snow…I would have to halt my whole blog for the entire winter! So there you have it…and there are many more snowy photos to come. Have a fabulous weekend!


  14. Shelbee, I love your pictures! They make me smile, because it reminds me that us northerners put up with a lot. You are a real trooper. I just take pics inside on those blustery days. I need to be more brave. It makes for a more interesting life. Love that dress. You look amazing, even with the wind whipping! Kudos to your hubby too, for taking the pics. Great post. – Amy

    • Amy, thank you so much for being my cold weather cheerleader! Ha. It is fun and silly that I go out in this weather, but it definitely does add a different element of interest, doesn’t it?! I would probably take photos indoors except the lighting is terrible and I can’t escape all the kid stuff in the background…literally everywhere! So I will continue to brave the outdoors all winter long! Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely weekend.


  15. Even though there is snow you still rocking girl! Love your total outfit. I also love Sherry’s outfit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Shelbee, I love this whole outift. It looks great on you. The greatness of the outfit comes through even less than perfect photos. I am not sure I could brave the cold like you do, but you are a champ. So is your husband.
    🙂 gwingal

  17. Don’t be blue! You wear it well and great fun fashion linky too. #BlogCrush

  18. You are a trooper! Getting pictures in the bad weather is no fun at all!

  19. Shelbee, you are seriously a pro. I get whiny when it’s raining here in Northern California, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be posing in a snowstorm! You never cease to amaze me. The struggle may be real, but the photos are worth it. 😉
    Cheryl Shops |

  20. Oh my goodness, you are amazing! Not only do you brave a snow blizzard but you look pretty awesome too! I am in awe of you.

    • Anne, thank you so much! That just me smile and even laugh a little! I don’t know that what I did here is really all that spectacular, but I’ll take it! So thank you. Thank you very much! Have a wonderful weekend!


  21. Shelbee, I don’t know how you do it with the cold. I seriously consider holding off taking photos when it’s less than 60 degrees! I know, that’s comical… What can I say, I’m a warm weather girl. Thankfully I live in Los Angeles. But in all seriousness, I truly admire the dedication it takes to take photos in those conditions. You inspire me to suck it up when it’s “cold” here and just go take my photos!

    And thanks for featuring me today! I am so honored! Now I’m off to follow Sherry and read Suzy’s article!

    • Elsie, thank you so much for this comment! If it were 60 degrees all year round, I would be the happiest person on the planet. Well, I might actually already be one of the happiest people on the planet! But imagine if I lived in a milder climate…we couldn’t contain my happiness then! Thanks for always inspiring us with your impeccable style. It was pleasure to feature you!

      Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.


  22. Shelbee, I absolutely love all of your snow shoots! They look fantastic! You have to keep doing what you do! LOL! I love that dress, and I love it even more with those super cute booties!! Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend!

    • Julie, thank you so much! The snow really does provide for a gorgeous background in photos. But it is a little risky walking in it wearing the shoes that I like! One of these days, I am going to fall flat on my butt! I always tell my husband, if I go down, you better start snapping pictures to capture the fiasco! Always keeping it light. Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.


  23. That blue is such a gorgeous color!! I’m dying because it looked like you were in a blizzard taking pictures. You have the best attitude sweet friend! After my 3 winters in MN, I’m just not so sure I could do it. You get and A+++😉 Happy weekend! XO

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! I am loving this teal color so much, too! And yeah, it was starting to become blizzard like conditions by the end of this photo shoot, for sure. So funny! Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.


  24. The cold temperatures make me not want to leave my house, or do anything! You are a rockstar for taking these photos in the snow!

  25. Photos in the winter are so hard! We try them outside, but I only go in our yard so I can run in and get warm. I love that velvet dress! It’s such a gorgeous color on you!

    • Thanks so much, Laura! I would do the photos in my yard except when the snow start to melts just a tiny bit, my entire yard turns into a mud lake! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.


  26. You are doig great getting out and about taking photos Shelbee, I think I have gone into fashion posts-hibernation!! Love your blue dress, this is a great colour on you 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at Welcome To The Weekend Blog Hop hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Hope to see you Monday.

  27. Hi Shelbee! Love the velvet look and those boots!!!
    Thanks for hosting and for sharing with my party as well!
    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  28. This post makes me smile – yet again. You have a way with making people laugh and like they can be themselves around you – or your blog. 😉 Anyway, i’ve lost count and the amount of outfits that I liked in the mirror and not so much in the photo! Kind of makes me nervous to not take a pic before. haha. I think the shawl looks fine but I notice the tiered sleeves more in the pics without! As always, thank you for hosting!!

    • Chrissy, thank you so much for always keeping it real and honest! I am so glad that I can make you smile. That’s what makes this job so worth all the work and the freezing cold snowy photo shoots! And I agree, this dress needs less so the color and velvet and tiered sleeves can stand out better. But in the mirror…it was just so much blue, so I was trying to break it up some. But in the pictures, it didn’t need to be broken up at all. And just as many times as that has happened…I have had gifted pieces that I have to share that look terrible in the mirror and then photograph actually quite well! One in particular was the black dress for Ada’s winter wedding collaboration. It was a huge hit on the blog and IG and was featured as a favorite on some link ups. In all honesty, it was really quite awful in real life! I don’t have any idea how the pictures did it justice. So weird! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a fabulous weekend. I am currently snowed in…go figure!


  29. Marilee Gramith

    Hi Selbee,
    I’ve been intrigued by you and your comments on the posts of other bloggers for awhile There was “something” about your windblown picture/link on Catherine’s recent post/linkup that inspired this comment.
    GIRL, You are hilarious!! I LOVE the entire series of photos in snowy gusts that just keep getting more and more threatening while your expression of hopefulness and joyful abandon just keep getting more and more charming!
    Your blue velvet dress offered little by way of protection from windchill but is SO pretty and as good as any princess frock in Disney’s “Frozen”. I love your floral booties as well and have a similar pair but in a Doc Martin knock-off style. Your multi-tassle jewelry is very cute and a great length.
    Please consider wearing some gloves or cute mittens (!) next time you brave a blizzard. They’d be a cute addition to the overall look and I’d shiver less while reading your authentic, friendly content.
    Having grown up on the shore of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota, I can assure your that I feel your pain/ chill and admire your feisty enthusiasm Shelly. I’m subscribing!! :-):-)

    • Oh wow, Marilee! You just made my weekend with this lovely and kind comment! As I sit here completely snowed in once again wondering why I didn’t have on gloves in these photos because I almost always have gloves or mittens on in the winter. But oh, I just got the cutest pair of blush pink gloves adorned with giant bows and a pretty pink dress to match. So stay tuned for that! And my floral Doc Marten boots have not appeared on my blog for some time, you have now inspired me to get those out. They are perfect for the mounds of snow that have accumulated on the ground this weekend.

      So growing up on a Great Lake, you understand the struggle of lake effect snow…oh my word…yesterday was so awful here. The husband is in Louisiana for training which makes the weekends quite long and challenging stuck indoors with the little ones…then the snow was falling at a rate of about 4 inches per hour for most of the afternoon. I was doing all I could to keep the driveway clear. By the time I got to one end of it, there was another 2 inches accumulated at the other end. Then in the midst of it, my 6 year old whipped a chunk of frozen leaves into the face of my 4 year thereby splitting his eyebrow open. Oh my word, how lacerations on the face bleed! I just kept thinking if I have to trek to the hospital now for stitches I may very well go from on the edge to completely off it!

      Anyway, thank you so very much for this wonderful comment! I appreciate your support and I am so glad that my posts can bring people laughter! Have a fabulous weekend!


  30. I feel your pain my friend! This year seems a lot more challenging to get photos outside than the last few years. It’s so freakin’ cold & windy! The shots I linked today with the wrap pants were tough. Fortunately several of them gave off a snow globe vibe as opposed to the “idiot taking pictures in a snowstorm” that was the reality…😂

    • Oh my gosh, Debbie! I hear ya! It is so funny trying to take photos in a blizzard, right? And I love that you referenced a snow globe as my most recent post is all about my life inside a snow globe! Because that is sure what it feels like lately! Thanks so much for stopping by. I will be making my rounds to visit posts today. Have an amazing week!


  31. Love the blue in the wintery paradise!

  32. The velvet dress is gorgeous, I love the colour. And those ankle boots are just fabulous! You are very dedicated to go out and take photos in such cold weather!

    Emma xxx

  33. I LOVE the sleeves on this dress! So unusual and just add that extra bit of interest and detail. I get so grumpy when I’m cold so this definitely wouldn’t have been the photo shoot for me! Haha. #blogcrush

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