Blogging Secrets and Why I Feel Like an Imposter

 

Blogging has become a fun and creative outlet for me over the past year.  I have found though at times I feel like an imposter, a fake!  Why do I feel like an imposter you ask?  As I follow other lovely bloggers, I read about things that they do and I find that I do not do any of them!  For instance, I do not have a blogging calendar.  This is the number one thing that I read that almost every blogger has.  I tend to come up with my posts on the fly.  If I wear an outfit that I absolutely love, or it uses aspects that I want to highlight, it then becomes a blog post.

Another reason I feel like a fake is that my photos are not high quality.  Most of my pictures are taken with my iPhone7 by one of my boys who are 6 and 10 years old!  I keep telling them I am getting them ready for a high paying career of photography.   The background is usually my front yard or somewhere I happen to visit the day that I am wearing said favorite outfit.  I do not have planned photo shoots to capture my looks.

My other issue is how awkward I feel in my photos.  I never know how to stand or how to position my arms.  I have tried to study others that I admire, and I just feel plain silly!  While in public, I wait until there is a lull in the crowd and snap furiously until someone walks by.  The same holds true when I am at home.  As soon as I hear a car drive by I freeze.  When people bring up the blog I tend to get embarrassed.  I never know how to respond.  I always wonder are they asking me about it because they are truly interested or making fun.

All of this being said, I am ok with feeling like an imposter.  This is my real life.  I am a mom, wife, and teacher.  My life is busy! There are days I don’t put make-up on and don’t do my hair, especially during the summer!  If you see pictures with a hat and sunglasses more than likely I am hiding that fact!  I am a bargain shopper.  I try not to buy anything that is not on sale or that I am not in love with.  Everything that I wear is comfortable, and I wear in real life!  I hope that all of these things make my style more relatable and easier for others to find inspiration.

I started blogging because I love clothing and creating outfits that help me feel good about myself.  When I get dressed in the morning it is for me I choose what makes me feel great when I look in the mirror.  Like most people, I love getting compliments on my outfits.  The biggest compliment though is when I see someone recreate a look, and has that feeling of self-confidence that a great outfit can bring.

I have never regretted starting Musings of a Shopaholic Mama.  I have loved every moment of this journey.  I may not always have the time to devout to blogging, but it is nice to know that I can just be me.  So when I start to feel like an imposter I need to remember that I am real.  Life comes first.  With this all being said,  I hope you have found some real life inspiration for your wardrobe from some of my musings.

 

XOXO,

Mandy

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Work and Back to School Essentials

I know that many people who follow along are not teachers, but my mind right now is in back to school mode.  School begins on Monday, and I can’t believe that we are starting already.  Do you remember being in school and loving getting new notebooks and pens?  I still get excited over shopping for new supplies.  When school supplies arrive in stores, I still search for the perfect notebook and planner. Of course as a self-proclaimed shopaholic I love shopping for back to school clothes.  Here are some closet staples that I think every professional female needs in their closet!  It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher or work in an office.  If you have to dress up these items are a must.  Most of my picks come from my 3 favorite stores Loft, Old Navy, and Nordstrom.

When picking out what categories I felt were closet staples, I thought about pieces that have been in my closet through multiple seasons.  I also tried to choose pieces that could be easily mixed and matched with each other to help expand your closet.  What are your closet staples you can’t live with out?

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dress Pants

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Blouses

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Cardigans

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Dresses

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Blazers and Jackets

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Hot Summer Nights

 

 

Outfit Details || Top:  Lane201 || Shorts:  Loft || Tote:  c/o Vera Bradley || Hat:  Target || Sunglasses:  Loft || Earrings: Kendra Scott || Shoes:  Macy’s ||

 

We just recently returned home from a trip to the Keys in Florida!  We had an amazing trip with lots of great memories.   I tried to do a capsule wardrobe, but I found even with the limited items I brought I didn’t wear half of what I packed!  We stayed mostly in our swimsuits and went to the beach, except for dinner in the evening.   Many of the restaurants we went to were outside so it was fun to dress for the hot summer nights!

 

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Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  All thoughts and opinions though are my own.

 

When I found this top at Lane 201 I knew that it was the perfect top for the keys!  I love the way that a white top helps enhance a sun-kissed look!   The lace, ruffles, and off the shoulder top had the feminine detailing that I have been loving this summer.  To help make this look a little more casual I added my favorite pair of distressed denim shorts from  Loft.

 

One of the evenings that we went out to dinner we visited a restaurant that had a pool!  This was the perfect thing to keep my boys entertained while we waited on our table.  Knowing that I needed beach towels and sunscreen, my Vera Bradley tote was the perfect accessory.  I was able to carry everything I needed for the boys along with my wallet!.

 

 

I threw on my hat, sunglasses, and kept my accessories simple with my favorite pair of Kendra Scott earrings.  Since I packed light I only took two pairs of sandals with me.  One being these from Macy’s.  They are currently under $20, and have been a closet staple this summer!  It was the perfect outfit to sit out by the pool while waiting on our table.  The fruity drink also didn’t hurt!  What do you like to wear on hot summer nights?

 

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Double Stripes

Outfit Details || Top: Loft (on sale) || Shorts: Similar || Necklace: Kendra Scott || Earrings: c/o Sugar Fix (on sale) || Sunglasses: Loft (on sale) || Shoes: Macy’s  (on sale)||

 

At the end of each season I tend to get bored with my clothes and I become uninspired.  I know we still have two months left of summer, but I am starting to tire of my daily casual style.  I am happy that school is starting soon to expand my wardrobe a bit.  When I get bored with my current clothes I try to mix things up and try to get creative.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  All thoughts and opinions though are my own.

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To add some variation to my daily looks I have been trying to add a little pattern mixing.  In the fall I love to pattern mix and find that is easy.  Summer styles I find a little harder to bring in pattern mixing.  I think this is due to not wanting to layer because of high temperatures.  Plus the items are smaller!

 

What makes these double stripes work is the color palette and the different sized stripes.  When mixing like prints there needs to be a definite size difference in the patterns.  The fact that this tank has wide bands of colors versus the smaller stripes of the shorts makes it not look to busy.  There is a fine line when mixing prints, and I find that I walk that line like a tight rope!  How do you pattern mix?

 

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The Power of the Cardigan

The power of the cardigan is amazing.  They are perfect for all seasons and can make an outfit totally different.  It always amazes me how often I find myself grabbing for a cardigan.  When I look at the different areas of my closet, the biggest section of my closet is hands down cardigans.  They are a closet staple that I feel gets the most use for me.  In my mind you can never have to many!  This section is also the hardest for me to get rid of anything.  You never know when you need a certain color, length, or weight!

Disclaimer:  This post was done in collaboration with Gray Monroe and contains affiliate links.  All thoughts and content are my own.

Outfit Details || Dress: c/o Gray Monroe || Cardigan: Similar|| Sandals: Old Navy || Necklace: Purple Peridot || Earrings: Sugar Fix via Target || Sunglasses: Oakley ||

When shopping I love to find clothes that can pull double duty for me.  What I mean by that is clothes that can be worn to work and at home!  This dress from Gray Monroe fits this profile perfectly for me!  I love the fun and carefree print along with the flowy fit.  The best part about this dress is the fact that it has pockets!!!

 

While this dress is perfect for a summer day it is not perfect for school.  The spaghetti straps are just a bit to small to be work appropriate.  Here lies the power of a cardigan.  I love how just adding one pieces make it perfect for the work environment!  I could have added a plain black cardigan or a fun color, but I wanted to play around with some pattern mixing.  The monochromatic colors are perfect for tying the look together.  Since the cardigan is mainly black with this white stripes it helps to enhance this dress versus compete with it.

 

 

Unfortunately, this dress is sold out already.  When searching the website though I found so many dresses that can pull double duty just by throwing on a cardigan!  Here are some of my favorite styles!  You can shop all the cute styles here.  Which one is your favorite?

 

Huntley Dress

 

Mikah Maxi Dress

 

Pepper Dress

 

 

 

 

 

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