Month: April 2017

The Season’s Hottest Swimwear

Britt and I’s swimsuits are from Kortni Jeane

If you have seen my Instagram lately, you might think that I’ve taken up a new profession as a swimsuit connoisseur. Well let me tell you, there is this funny thing about recovery and being cooped up all day. It forces you to buy an absurd amount of swimsuits. That’s right, it’s the darndest thing and I’ve yet to figure out why this is the case. I’m hyping it up to be a side effect of the pain meds. Since I am going on SO many beach trips in the near future it’s totally justifiable though. Well I mean I’ve thought about going on vacation so that is kind of the same thing right…it’s like maybe if I just buy enough swimsuits it will force me to plan a beach getaway. Or is that not how it works?

I love that there are more options than ever when it comes to swimwear this season. And not just the ity bity bikinis, but one pieces and all over coverage is making a major fashion statement. I have to admit that I was pretty worried when I heard that Victoria’s Secret was going to quit carrying swimsuits. It’s where I got ALL of my swimsuits so branching out has been quite the adjustment for me. Change is hard guys. I’m that girl that orders the same item off the menu every single time at every restaurant so just imagine the dispare I went through to learn that I’d have to completely turn my life upside down to find a new favorite swimsuit retailer.

Me dramatic? Never.

So what did my search results find? Well for starters, Kortni Jeane was an obvious girly girls’ heaven. They have so many different patterns so that you can mix and match your top and bottoms. I also love that they are the perfect mix of modest and cute! Another bonus is that the majority of their swimsuits are high waisted and flattering on ALL body types, even expecting mamas! Just for sizing reference I ordered an XS (my normal size) but definitely regretted not getting the small so if you are in between sizes, I would size up! Other retailers that I have bought swimsuits from this year are ASOS, Nordstrom, Dillards, and Shein. Check out some of my favorites from these retailers below.


One Pieces

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Paperbag Pants + Sale Alert

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps
Work Wear: Paperbag pants + scalloped top + pumps

Top: Similar | Pants: ASOS (Only $32) | Shoes: Similar | Purse: Gigi NY | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Ring: Similar

Photography by: Banavenue

I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve sat down to write a Work Wear Wednesday post. You’d think since I’m wearing business attire 40+ hours a week, that some of that would make it’s way over to the blog! Well, I promise to get a little bit more consistent just as soon as I recover from surgery a little bit more.

These pants have actually been in my closet for months now and I have just slowly been watching this paperbag waist trend pop up more and more. I am naturally drawn to any sort of work attire that remotely feels like pajamas. Let’s be real for a second, if I could get away with wearing pajamas 24/7, I would do it in a heart beat. Needless to say, if it remotely looks, feels or resembles pajamas in any way, but could pass as being semi (we will take what we can get) professional, then it is fair game.

For all of my working gals out there that struggle to find pants that fit them, that is one of the great things about these paperbag pants. In fact, I would put them right up there with drawstring pants. Both of these options are becoming more and more acceptable to wear to work and paired with the right pair of pumps, you can make just about any pair of pants work appropriate! I’ve linked a few pairs for you guys at different price points below.

Before signing off on today’s post, I wanted to let you all in on a HUGE sale that is going on. LOFT is having their friends and family sale event that offers 40% off their entire website (that includes sale items). Don’t worry, I already skimmed the entire sale and picked the best of the best here. I even made a section for my favorite work wear picks so make sure you check it out! Happy shopping my friends! It’s totally justifiable when it’s on sale right? It’s like you are making money 😉


Call Me Old Fashioned

Top: Similar | Pants: AG | Shoes: Johnston & Murphy (under $100) | Purse: Similar | Sunglasses: Similar

Photography by: Banavenue

From a young age, girls read about their prince charming and we are taught to be hopeless romantics from day one. Well nowhere in any of the fairytale books that mom was reading to me did it say anything about finding my prince charming in a bar or on a dating app but as we grow up and start to enter into the real world, we realize this whole dating and relationship thing is a little (ok, a LOT) more complex than Cinderella made it seem.

We now have so many more variables to deal with in the dating world than our parents ever did and don’t they just love to remind us of the “good ol days” every chance that they get? I can just hear mom saying now “why can’t you just pick up the phone and call one another?”. O Mom, don’t you know that there are a million and one other ways to try to contact someone before actually making direct contact?!

We now live in the age of social media, texting, and other superficial ways of flirting. Before you can even think about going on a date, you have to go through all of these hoops just to get there. First it’s the exchanging of numbers, then it’s some superficial small talk over text, and then maybe you even add one another on one or five million forms of social media. You can’t just come right out and ask to go out for drinks because that would make you seem crazy!! Believe me, I feel just as ridiculous typing this as you probably do reading it, but that my friends is what our world has come to!

I am not shaming anyone who has met their significant other in a bar or on a dating app because I have most certainly met guys in both scenarios. I am more so upset with the fact that since we do have all of these variables to deal with, it’s like nobody knows how to be direct and forth coming! All of these variables allow us to hide behind our little smart phones and play games. Whether we want to admit it or not, that’s what it is, it’s mind games! Why are we making dating so much harder than it has to be? Why can’t we just come out and say “hey, I like you?” without sounding too needy or too clingy?

So yea, call me old fashioned but I am still holding out for one of the good ones. A guy that has no issues with picking up the phone and having a conversation until 2 in the morning. Not someone that purposely waits 5 hours to respond to a text message (because that’s playing the game right?) or would rather send filtered snapchats back and forth than hang out with me in person. I’m tired of the mind games, I’m tired of the lack of self confidence that social media has built, and I’m tired of a dating world that is built on forms of communication that aren’t organic.

If you are riding the single bus and feel my struggle, all that I can say is that our prince charming is out there and when you find him, he is not going to play games. If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is that if a guy genuinely likes you, he will do anything in his power to talk to you and get to know you. Not text you every other day, not Snapchat you at 2 am, not Instagram direct message you because he saw you post a picture in a swimsuit, not Facebook message you because he sees you are online. No ladies, don’t stand for any of that. He will want to hang out with you and if he can’t do that, he will still make it known the best way that he knows how that he likes you. Now, I can’t tell you how that will look because here I am still single, but believe me, if a guy is into you, you should know without a doubt and if you don’t, well then he isn’t worth your time. *Tell him boy bye*

So hold out for your prince charming. The one that mom read you fairytales about. The dating world might look a whole lot different than it did in those children books and even now with all of the perfect ending chick flicks, but I promise you, he is out there. Maybe in a bar, maybe on a dating app, or maybe someone in passing, but make sure to hold out for the one that doesn’t make you question if he likes you, one day you will just know. And that’s the one worth holding out for!


3 Days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My PJs: Plum Pretty Sugar // Britt’s PJs: Plum Pretty Sugar

I believe that most of you know that I vacationed in Puerto Vallarta recently with my good friend Britt from Hello Honey blog. If you have not been to this area of Mexico, I honestly cannot say enough amazing things about it! Our number one concern traveling as 2 girls, was our safety and not once did we ever feel unsafe. Not at the airport, at our hotel, walking around the city or even getting a taxi. Although we didn’t venture out too far from our beautiful hotel, The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, we had the most relaxing, and beautiful vacation I think either one of us could have asked for.

Our vacation was a quick 3 night stay as I had little time to take off from work and Britt had 2 important men waiting for her at home. We made the most of our 3 night stay and pushed the limits when it came to sun bathing, relaxing, and over indulging in ALL of the food options at the hotel. With 4 exceptional dining options, a full service spa, 24/7 gym, 2 pools, and a walk-up beach front, we were in our own little paradise!

Day 1

Since we did not arrive until late afternoon, we checked into our room and then immediately headed down to check out the hotel pool situation but more importantly the swim up bar situation (#priorities). After a few drinks we freshened up for dinner and made our way down to the Westin’s fine dining restaurant, Arrecifes Seafood and Steakhouse.

This was by far my favorite meal, or I should say meals, of the trip. We had a series of 6 courses and I devoured every single one of them as I was not told that we would be having 6 courses. I all but licked my plate clean on each of the courses as I was sure it was my last, especially when we came to the 4th course, which was sorbet. Any person in their right mind would think sorbet was dessert right? WRONG. It was a “palette cleanser” to get us ready for the main course and dessert. The inner fat girl in me was not mad about this. Maybe a little disappointed that I had wasted stomach space on the first couple courses but not to fear, I still devoured my delicious filet as well as the goat cheese cheesecake, coconut ice cream and cappuccino.

Day 2

Our first full day of vacation took the term relaxation and maybe even over indulgence to the extreme. I justify it because neither one of us had had a vacation in far too long! We started the morning with room service and since everything on the menu looked absolutely divine (I promise we weren’t even hungover), we pretty much ordered one of everything. Vacation calories don’t count after all. After taking our sweet time enjoying our feast on our balcony that overlooked the beautiful pools and beach front, we got ready for a day of relaxing by the pool. With 2 pools to choose from, we chose the one with the swim up bar (duh). We were very quickly introduced to our new best friend, the Miami Vice cocktail. Happy hour was from 2-3 each day but we pretty much made every hour a happy one if you know what I mean 😉

There were several places to grab lunch around the hotel such as Arrecifces Beach Club or Tlaquepaque pool bar but we decided to make the most of our sun time and order directly from the pool menu since it was quite abundant. Ceviche, tuna tartare and guacamole and chips were our diet for much of the trip when we weren’t on our liquid diet that is.  Maybe it was the drinks talking, but we met several people at the pool that we became friends with right off of the bat. In fact, they tried to talk us into canceling our fight home so that we could stay and go to karaoke night with them. I was pretty convinced, Britt needed a little more bribing 🙂

For dinner we ate at the Westin’s La Cascada restaurant where we enjoyed scallops, muscles, roasted duck and creme brulee . I loved this dinner setting a lot because it was still inside the hotel but was open to and overlooked the entire property. We even got to end the night watching a firework show!

Day 3

Our third and final day qualifies as my favorite day. We started the morning off for breakfast at one of the beautiful pergolas (similar to a cabana) on the beach. The menu consisted of the hotel’s Superfood menu packed with nutrients and energy. Normally you would find me with my nose turned up but everything that was served, including the quinoa yogurt parfait was out of this world, as was the view of the ocean.

From there we went to the onsite spa to get a massage and let me just tell you it was the best one that I had EVER had and the facility was one of the nicest too. We sat in the sauna and freshened up in the locker room after our services were done. With fully relaxed minds and bodies, we blew off any sense of trying to be productive and headed right back to the pool for more sun time and Miami Vices.

For our last night’s dinner we finally ventured away from the hotel premises and into Old Town Puerto Vallarta to a place on the beach called La Palapa. I guess you could say we went out with a bang because I think we ordered more drinks (er, shots), than we did food. Which is saying a lot because there was no shortage of food. We started with the coconut shrimp and then I got the tuna tartare (my fav) and Britt had the salmon. We also each ordered a dessert and coffee. There was a 2 person band that sang American song covers and Britt and I danced our last night away overlooking the sunset and beach.

Having stayed at multiple Westin’s in the states, I knew what a quality hotel I would be getting, but the Puerto Vallarta site was by far more like a 5 star resort than anything compared to in the states. With enough amenities and beach front access, you honestly could stay at the resort your entire vacation and be perfectly content which is exactly what most people that we talked to were doing. Since I am such an avid traveler, I do not normally try to ever go back to one place more than once, but I can honestly say that Puerto Vallarta and the Westin are two places that I would LOVE to go back to. That being said, I am currently taking applications for travel buddies 🙂

*Thank you so much to the Westin for sponsoring our stay while we were there. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*


My Surgery Diaries

Hip Dysplasia Surgery, PAO, Big News reveal

Well I’ve sat down to write this post more times than I can count and each time I end up calling it off. I had planned to tell you all about my surgery prior to it actually happening. Then I decided I would wait until after the fact so that I would have more answers and more understanding of what my actual condition would be.

Well fast forward to a week after surgery and each day has been a struggle. Sitting up in bed, reaching for a glass of water, sleeping, eating, and other basic activities are seemingly impossible. And to be frank, writing a blog post has been the least of my worries. As much as I have wanted to fill you all in on what has been going on in my life, sometimes life itself gets in the way. Sometimes it’s messy and ugly and down right hard.

Last Friday, I had major hip surgery on my left hip in order to correct hip dysplasia. The surgery that I had was called a Periacetabular Osteotomy or a PAO for short. I’ll save you the trouble of running to your good friend Google and summarize what this is but let me first tell you how it all started.

Although I was never tested as a baby, I was most likely born with hip dysplasia as it is not something that is commonly developed after birth. I did not discover that I had this until 5th grade when I felt like my right hip was popping out of socket. Several doctors later and I found out that that was not the case and that I had a more serious issue. Insert my hip dysplasia diagnosis here.

I went from doctor to doctor to doctor all the way through high school and each one said the same thing. I would have to have major surgery that would put me in bed for 3 months and then would later have to learn to walk again. Well at this point in my life and being that my hips didn’t KILL me, the obvious answer for this college party ready girl was a HELL NO to surgery.

Fast forward about 6 years and I now have a desk job where I sit for 8 hours a day. Apparently my hips have a problem with that being that they are all high maintenance and what not. I decided it was time to go see another doctor. He said my only answer was surgery so I went to another doctor to which I heard the same diagnosis.

Here was the hard part. I was not in excruciating pain. My hips did not cause me daily pain. I was living what I thought to be a pretty normal life. I was having to make a decision to undergo a major surgery solely on the fact that my hips were disintegrating and at some point they would completely give out. At that point, my only option would be total hip replacements. My doctor told me it could be 2 years or it could be 10 but either way the hips that you are born with will always be better than fake ones.

I’ve always been a realist and someone who needs to see all of the facts. I talked to a couple of girls who had had this same surgery and both of them decided to go through with it because they were in serious pain. So why did I need to do this? For me it was completely preventative and not so much a necessity right now. Thoughts like “what if I could make it another 25 years on these hips” consumed me. I felt like why put myself through this now when I could play my odds and see how long my hips could make it?

At this point I prayed. I prayed hard. I prayed for a sign because I honestly had no idea what to do. On one hand I rationalized that this would technically be the perfect time to do it. My job was flexible enough that I could take off for the surgery, I was not tied down with a significant other or kids, and my parents were willing to take care of me post-op. On the other hand I felt like why fix something that is not broken? Ok so I was kind of broken. But I have always been the type that won’t take any sort of medicine or seek help until I’m basically dying. So the thought of undergoing “preventative” surgery was just crazy talk to me.

Well from the time that I started praying for clarity, my hip pain got considerably worse. I was experiencing pain every day and at a stronger pain level than I had ever had. Keep in mind this started after we were told that our only option was surgery from TWO different doctors. This was my sign people. I’ve gone 25 years on these hips and they had never hurt me the way they did in the 2 months leading up to my surgery.

We scheduled my PAO surgery for my left hip for March 24th (last Friday). I would have to have both hips done separately as this is a major surgery and only one hip could be done at a time. My right hip will be done at a later date. Long story short, a PAO is where the surgeon cuts out the socket portion of your hip, rotates it to correctly cover the hip ball, and reattaches it with several screws. The surgery was 6 hours long and I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. So pretty serious stuff.

The good news is that I am home (well at my parent’s) and I have an AMAZING nurse aka Mama bear 🙂 It is a long road to recovery but I am getting stronger and more mobile each day. I have been completely overwhelmed by family, friends and even complete strangers that have reached out to me to bless me with their prayers, presence and gifts. Never have I ever felt so loved and for that I am truly thankful to each and every one of you. It is because of all of you that I have felt motivated to continue on and push through the pain. I know that this phase is temporary and that God promises comforting for the broken hearted and pain stricken.

God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:28-29)

I know that this may not answer all of your questions right now and I apologize for leaving you all in the dark for the time being. I greatly appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes during this time as well as understanding that I’m not completely sure what my blogging schedule will be like. Since writing is a huge outlet for me, I don’t foresee becoming a stranger to you all, but then again these pain meds make me say and do some crazy things so I apologize in advance for any crazy talk, inappropriate language, rants, and anything else that seems un-Shelbi-like. Just go with it 🙂