Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall Transition like a BOSS

So I am no fashion expert. I am honestly just a curvy mama that knows what she likes and hides what I like to be hid :).  One thing that I am a firm believer in is that when something works, girl wear it and buy it in every color!  Buy yourself things that you love and you know you will wear.  The key for me is having things in my closet that are token pieces, Things that I know that I can throw on with almost anything and look great.  We have to prepare ourselves for success - if we only have things in our closet that are two sizes too small because we are punishing ourselves for the weight gain? Well guess what? You are going to be freaking pissed every morning.  Because Lord knows that it is going to take way longer for that weight to come off when we are just holding out until we are ready.  Quit punishing yourself and spend a little money on a few things that you can wear now that is not a mumu or yoga pants.  Pieces that can take you from "oh shit we slept in!" to "I am killing it today, no one has any idea I woke up 15 minutes ago!"

There are two things I  have been wearing so much and that are especially great for the Fall transition right now and y'all need to check out for your closet...

Army Green Cargo Jacket!  I bought one last year from F21 that I still love and were a couple times a week probably. I love it because it goes with everything, black or brown, and I bought it long enough to cover me up and make me look put together when I am really not :).  Look for one with a way to cinch in around the waist with a drawstring - much more flattering that way.  Mine is pretty light weight so I wear it all day some days at work. But it is also warm enough to wear on cool nights. Wear it with everything from jeans, to leggings to over a dress or romper.  Here are some examples and the - mine is probably considered a parka so it it long :). Make sure and click on that arrow to the right too for more :)

Secondly - I am in LOVE with this cardigan!!! I have worn it probably twice a week since I got it. It is crocheted so it is not hot, but still a little warmth to it.  It is long so it makes everything look a little more chic, if you will.  I get tons of compliments on it and I know yall love it because you always ask about it on instagram :).  It is a tan/camel color and that is my favorite color to wear. It goes with EVERYTHING and looks good on everyone.  I have thrown this over everything from a cute vneck to a dress.  You will love it too.  Mine is from F21+ and it is linked below :)

So what are you waiting for (besides payday :) ) - go now, shop a little for YOU!!  Holler if you have any trouble finding and let me know if you get anything :)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Open Your Tired Eyes Beautiful!

Well hello there!  Are we in the twilight zone? Is Rachel claiming to do this again?!?  Yep, I am.  I never claimed to be perfect or have my shit together all the time, but I am baaaaack!  I have struggled with this spot on the internet for a couple years now.  Why?

  1. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME.  As y'all know I am a working mother of three kiddos with very full schedules. When I get home at night and have everything laid out for the next day, all I want to do is eat ice, watch SYTYCD or the Voice, and talk to my husband in peace.  Even thinking about getting out my computer and working on this blog, made me hate it.  
  2. I have failed y'all a couple times.  So this will be my third freaking time to try this. THIRD!  I wouldn't take me genuinely, much less want to listen to any ramblings.  Not that I am important, but we like friends we can count on. 
  3. I still have my own body issues that creep up.  I LOVE to preach to y'all about how YOU should feel about yourselves, and nine times out of ten, I will listen to myself as well.  But that tenth time is usually when I start thinking about Suburban Strut. And let's be real - there are haters out there. Many in my own backyard.  It is out of my comfort zone to lay it all out here some times...  
So here is the deal.  No matter how hard I try to look at this as a "hobby" once in my life, the Lord shows me over and over again that I need to be doing it. It is more than a hobby, it is my "calling" if you will - or my ministry. I have to realize that it is not God telling me I don't have enough time, or making me insecure of what y'all will think of me - it's that asshole, the devil.  And I have to shut his mouth and start looking up.

Suburban Strut is me.  It is my time to do something for other people and really for myself.  I think so many of us become "our kids' mamas".  Now, don't get me wrong, my priorities lie with being Shane's wife and Claire, Owen, and Bree's mama.  But I am also my Father's daughter. And I am Rachel Lynn Brown.  I am my own person and I deserve time for me and a time to make myself better. I did that with Suburban Strut.  

Suburban Strut is so much more than fashion tips and beauty tricks.  I know y'all knew that, but, that was a big part of it. And I want it to go hand in hand.  My goal here is encourage y'all to take care of yourselves, make yourself feel better with a cute outfit or easy make up ideas, but also to see just how beautiful you were made - JUST AS YOU ARE.  Enough with the body shaming.  Enough with "if I only could lose 10 more lbs..."!  Enough with "I wish I looked like..."!  We need to love ourselves today.  And love this girl TODAY.  You should be constantly be working to make HER better, but right now, she is all you got.  Why waste another day wishing her away? We honestly may not have another day.

Take that time for YOU.  Take the time to pray for yourself.  When was the last time you did something for yourself? When was the last time you spent some of your budget dollars on a cute outfit for you rather than your babies?  When was the last time, you got your nails done with your girlfriends or alone?  Or when was the last time you looked in the mirror and saw your beautiful face?

We NEED these kinds of things.  In the end, we are better wives and mothers when we are unapologetically ourselves and LOVE her.  When we allow time for ourselves or at least take a few extra minutes for ourselves, we are a better version of us.  A better version of us- or our authentic selves - is what we want our kids to remember! It is who our husbands fell in love with! This goes for all you single ladies too - when you are yourself, the man attracted to you then will be the one that you want!!!  I say this all the time, when mama is happy - it translates across the whole home.  We are better women when we feel beautiful and are confident in ourselves in all aspects of our life - that is how HE wants us.  

So I say all this to say this: I am going to do Suburban Strut for ME. My time to connect with women, build you up, and help a sister out.  Will you follow along and do this for yourself? Will you take a few extra moments to take care of yourself? Will YOU bring YOU back?!?!  The best part?  This ends up being nothing about is all about glorifying HIM. When we take care of ourselves and are happier - we are better children for Him... and we better raise our little soldiers for Him.  Trust me - we do this together and we pray constantly - we are all going to see all kinds of good things happening.  

Time to open your tired eyes beautiful and see what I see - a beautiful woman that deserves all the happiness in the world - a crowd of people ready to cheer her on!! 

Love y'all!! Here we go......I am doing it for them - who are you doing it for?  Feel free to post on insta and hash it #theydeserveME


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beanie on Top!

Repeat after me...

"I do not look stupid in a beanie."
"I do not look stupid in a beanie."
"I do not look stupid in a beanie."

Stop. Hush your pretty mouth. Say it again. "I do not look stupid in a beanie."

Do you know how many times I hear "I wish I could wear a hat like that!" every time I wear a beanie? At least 5 times.  And that is a lot considering I wear one at least twice a week.

You should love all "head wear", hats, beanies, head wraps, etc. Why?  Because they give you something that you crave alllllll weeeeek long. TIME.  No, I have not lost my mind, hear me out!  I plan to wear a hat, headband, beanie, etc at least once during the week and pretty much all weekend long.  Because that means I don't have to wash my hair and fix it on that third day.  I wash my hair every 3-4 days.  So for example, this week I washed it on Monday.  I got two good days out of my wash and styling, but today on Wednesday, I am rocking a beanie.  Usually by Wednesday, I am so tired because Monday and Tuesdays are our busiest evenings. And on Wednesday, I have one more kid going to school as Bree only goes Wed- Fri.  So this morning, like every Wednesday morning, I did not want to get out of bed, and I laid there doing the math in my head deciding when I HAVE to get up so I can get the kids to school on time.  My saving grace and what got me FIFTEEN extra minutes? My beanie.  I knew that I did not have to fix my hair today and just wear one.  Do you know how much FIFTEEN minutes means to a working mama getting ready in the morning with three kids? It is pure gold.

So. Why don't you wear hats and head wear? I bet because you think you look stupid, right? Or you think that your head is too big...or too little...or your hair does not look right...or you don't even have one you like. Or you think you look like you are trying to be a hipster. Come on. I know you have said that.  I did too once. But you have to get over it. Every time I see a woman in a cute beanie or head wrap, I think "kudos to you mama, you are adorable!". I never think "nice try mama, you are not a hipster.".

Let's just talk beanies for a sec because I feel like that is the hardest one to wear for most people.  To me though, they are the easiest and most comfortable.  I was apprehensive at first, but I try to go into trends with the mindset of "outside of showing too much skin, embarrassing my kids and Shane, or being uncomfortable, there is not ANYTHING I won't try at least once".  I bought one from Savoir Faire (my tan one I wear ALL the time still and that was over 2 years ago) and started scouring instagram and pinterest. I would look at how the models wore them on the boutique pages and I would look at fashion blogs.  Then I just wore it.  I literally put it on how they did, tried not to look in the mirror too long and left the house.  That is the key.  The first time you wear something that you KNOW is cute on everyone else and you want to try, just do it and walk away. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stare at yourself in the mirror and over analyze it. Because you know what you will do - take it off and then be pissed because you now have hat hair and only 2 mins before you need to leave. Right? Just walk away and see how many compliments you get. And I bet, you will catch a glimpse of yourself in your rear view mirror and think "Damn. I am cute today!". If not, send me a pic and I will tell you how cute you are :). AND, with these frigid temps - your head and ears will be so cozy :).

How do I wear mine? I wear it to the side a bit, scrunch it so it is not sticking up on my head and show some hair so I don't feel bald. Like this...

So, what do you say? Would you try it? At least once for me?  Then maybe you will be on the "I get to skip washing my hair one more day train!". And you look super cute and fashionable...with dirty hair and some extra sleep :).  How is that for a #suburbanstrutrefresh - you just refreshed yourself with a new trend, your day to day slump of outfits choices, and with the chance of extra sleep!

Tag me if you try it - love you pretty ladies!!!! xoxoxo

PS - here are some headwear links - Savoir Faire, Impressions, and F21.

PSS - Next post - hopefully this week - lipstick!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Suburban Strut Refresh

Well hello there friends! Remember me!? My name is Rachel and I am a procrastinator. And a chronic over thinker. And a size 1X.  And I love me some leggings.  Now you remember....

Really though.  What the hell? Why in the world did it take me so long to get back on the Suburban Strut train?! I will tell you.  Satan. That bastard has been on me like white on rice. Telling me "You are toooo busy. Wasn't it nice during the break for the holidays not to worry about it? I mean, no one really missed you anyway!". Unfortunately, I listened and put it off longer than I should. But today. Today is a new day and I just kicked his teeth in.  Suburban Strut is back friends and we are going to do this thing!!

I really love Suburban Strut. I love to write. I love to share clothing. And I LOVE to help women feel better about themselves. It is what I am supposed to be doing. But I never said it was easy for me. It is totally out of my comfort zone. And I kind of like it.  I KNOW that is what the Lord wants me to do and He has been showing me signs every single day since January 1 when I told myself I would start up again.  But I fought it and kept saying I was too busy.  And honestly? I was not even sure what I wanted this to be...

So that is where I am today. Figuring this thing out. My main New Year Resolution this year? Grab a hold of Suburban Strut and make it what I love. Make it so fun and enjoyable that I can't live without it.  Right now - I know I want Suburban Strut to be a place of encouragement and love. A place where women can find their inner confidence and live better lives - look and FEEL prettier everyday. I am going to talk about clothes, fun finds, tell stories, write from my heart, and follow my gut - the Lord.  When I am doing Suburban Strut, yall inspire me to be a better woman, wife, and mama.  I need this is my life, I know it!

So as you can tell, I needed to just write. I have put off starting up again for weeks because for some reason it seemed so hard.  I just needed to start writing from the heart and BEGIN!  I think that SS challenges me so much to be a true "struttter" - I hold myself back.  Realizing that is a good kick in the ass.

What is holding you back from strutting and feeling better? How about y'all join me and we get out of this "post holiday, it's freezing outside, how in the world did I gain this much over Christmas, I am tired of my clothes, I need all new everything, if only I had more time in my day" FUNK?  Let's make 2015 your year to feel better and strut. For the rest of January - we are going to talk about refreshing our lives and feeling beautiful, but more importantly confident.  I am going to call it the "Suburban Strut 2015 Refresh" and hash it #suburbanstrutrefresh on social media.

I know I need this. do you?! I will not stop until we have our own army of confident women - rocking mens' lives, raising strong babies, and changing the world - one fab outfit and organized day at at time :)!

Who is with me?!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Goldenrod Love

Cardigan - Zulily, similar | Tunic - Impressions c/o | Necklace - Baublebar | Jeans - Gap | Booties - similar | Clutch - Gigi New York

#ssholidayglow from the air again!  I am flying home and stuck on an airplane for 2 and half time to blog :)!  This outfit is definitely one of my faves and what I plan on wearing to a holiday event this Fall. I think it would be perfect for Thanksgiving or a night out!! I triple puffy heart love the color combo of the goldenrod, turquoise and navy!! I ordered this long duster cardigan from Zulily for cheap and it is great - but I was not sure what I would wear with it (I linked a similar one, but keep watching they post these all the time for $20 or less!).  When I got this fabulous ikat tunic from Impressions and they happened to be laying together in my never ending stack of clothes that need to be hung up  - I was in love!!!  

Also I included my turquoise Gigi New York clutch with this outfit.  I love me a good clutch and I feel that every woman should always have a few on stand by to carry when they are going out.  When I travel, I always carry one of my Gigi clutches in a my bigger, work shoulder bag.  That way I don't have to take a purse and when we go to dinner at night, I carry the clutch only.  I love the Gigi clutches because you can get them monogrammed and they come in gorgeous colors.  The turquoise was my summer/spring one ( I was so excited that I could still carry it though in the fall) and I just recently received my fall one - purple!!  I know they are not exactly cheap, but I think they are timeless and worth the spend - trust me, you will carry it a ton!! The link above will take you to the size I like and buy for myself - you will see there are tons of gorgeous options!!!!

Happy Thursday friends!!! xoxoxoxo

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cool Chevron

Today's #ssholidayglow comes from one of my most favorite boutiques, Impressions - their Curve line.  This Umgee Chevron tunic is so fun and easy to wear, I love the colors and design - especially love the cut outs in the arms - perfect for the not so cool Fall days - you know the 80 degree days and all you want is to wear boots and a scarf? Yeah you won't sweat to death in this (insert thumbs up emoji :) )  I am going to wear this top this week in California while I am there for work meetings with pleather black leggings instead of jeans.  This top could definitely be worn year round too. To give it a "fall flair" if you will, I added the burgundy necklace, booties, and bag,  I love how the aqua and burgundy look together. Don't be afraid to add Fall colors to your summer pieces - it works, I swear :),

If you want to order the top - you will have to call the store and tell them you want the chevron tunic Rachel/ Suburban Strut wore - ok?!

Like I said, I will be in California all week for work - so that means no kid pictures and I will be more focused on Suburban Strut Instagram instead of my distract me from missing my kids :). Feel free to follow along!!

Happy Monday and thanks for reading!!! xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Plaid is Always a Good Idea

Cardigan, Plaid Shirt - similar, and Jeans - Old Navy | Boots - DSW | Necklace - similar | Bag - Savoir Faire

I really love plaid and I pretty much buy every single one that will button over my ahem...girls.  This one from Old Navy Plus made my heart go pitter patter and I love it!!  It is roomy and fun colors. I think this would be a great outfit for anything this Fall that was casual and you wanted to look nice, but be comfortable. I laugh every time I write those words because I think I write it in every single post, whether it is a dress or jeans.  Because I don't wear things that are not comfortable. That is my first rule when trying on clothes - will I really wear this? Is it comfortable? I don't think you have to lack comfort to look nice.  Too many of us  gals shove ourselves in clothes just because of the size and in the end we just look, well, uncomfortable, no matter what we have on.  Everything I post here will be comfortable and easy to wear AND stylish. Promise.

Anyways - back to this outfit - it's a good one and anyone can wear it.  Also, it was super affordable, pretty much all from Old Navy!!  You can switch out any cardi and plaid top!

#ssholidayglow continues!!! Check out the hash on instagram for all my posts! Make sure and tag yourself too if you are feeling the glow!!!

 Love y'all!! xoxoxo

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