Why I’m Not In To Resolutions But More Goal Making + My 2018 Goals

I’ve taken a little break to refocus, spend quality time with those around me and recharge from a hectic holiday season with work; but in reality it was to sleep! A new year has yet again rolled around and everyone is making resolutions, coming up with words for their year and starting the “new year, new me” train. As for me, I’m currently eating a apple pie I bought out of the frozen section of the grocery store while I constantly see everyone posting about their new diet all while rolling my eyes and deciding whether I finish the champagne off or make a hot toddy. Yup, same old Stephanie in the new year.

Here’s the thing. I hate resolutions. Be honest with yourself and I with myself; you or I are going to give up on half of them unless you or I are extremely determined, it just sets us up for disappointment. And why make resolutions anyways? Because it’s the norm for the new year? Just because everyone else is doing them? Girl (or gent, all about inclusiveness here) be a rebel. Do what you want! And who needs a word for the year, when there are a ton of words in the English language to describe yourself every day! Like worthy, loved, amazeballs, pretty little young thang or dare I say a bad ass bitch. But you do you and if you feel inclined to create a word for your year, no judgement here. Though I hate resolutions, I do like to set goals. But I set goals on a monthly basis, it’s sadly part of my type A personality, so it’s not out of the norm for me to do so. Goals are more attainable in my opinion because they don’t have the word resolution or “this has to be achieved in order for me to feel fulfilled” looming overhead. So since it’s the new year and we are all about sharing what we look forward to, I’m going to share some of my goals for you.

On a personal level I would like to travel and explore more, work harder at the things I am the most passionate about, capture more memories but also be more present (how is this even possible) and dig deeper in to the hygge lifestyle. Nothing out of reach or that has specific deadlines. If it happens, it does, if not, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

For 30 Shades of Stephanie, there are some big changes coming. And this is not something that I just randomly thought of or created with the idea of a new year rolling around. I have discussed before a creative rut and sadly it never went away. It wasn’t until I had a press event and got to speak with the lovely Sarajane over dinner and drinks. She said some things that struck me, like blogs are dying and stories are the new “it” thing. But I love my little corner of the internet, even if just a few people read it. It’s more an electronic scrapbook of things I have done and storing all the changes I have went through as far as style and life over the years. So don’t worry I’m not stopping. But things are changing. There is going to be way more info, posts and daily life situations on InstaStories and Instagram in general more so than on the blog. I like the idea of keeping my posting schedule to MWF but it may also change to just Monday and Friday. Who knows right now. Also video content (thanks Sarajane). I have talked about it but never went through with it, mainly because I think sometimes I have a manly voice. But it’s happening in 2018. Why? Because A) I want to connect with each of you on a different level and B) there are just so many things a shutter through a lens cannot actually capture. Like, sometimes I want to be able to laugh with each of you about weird fabrics or why things just don’t work, for you to get my real ahhh ha moment when something as far as fashion comes together just so, so we can all feel a little sense of wonder when I visit new places (or so you can see I’m not just a serious work lady) and so I can feel like I’m actually talking to you. Because you the real MVP if we get to talk in person or on the phone or facetime. So just imagine these videos as one big facetime session.

ANNNDDDDD, there is an entire shift itself in the fashion you will be seeing here on the blog or on any social media outlet for that matter. Last year I talked about one of my goals for the year was to stock my closet with more things I love and investment pieces. Well guys, I actually accomplished that goal. WHOOOAAA. Fast fashion is fun (and don’t get me wrong, there are still trendy pieces I buy at Target and Old Navy) but it has slimmed down a lot for me. I just don’t want to spend money on things that are going to tear in a few washes and be out of style next season or year. I’ve gotten really picky with what goes in my closet. I now don’t have a problem with investing a bit of money on one piece if I can get a lot of wear out of it and also it’s something that will continue to stay in my closet. So more things like this, capsule wardrobe pieces, best investment pieces and how to shop smart for bigger ticket items are coming your way. So there may be a lot of stuff on repeat and I won’t be showing you the same thing the other 5 bloggers a few sites over are doing but that’s okay. I’m changing, my views are changing and my lifestyle is changing. So it’s time the brand of 30 Shades of Stephanie also took that change that I have been wanting to make and have just been putting off.

Even though I have all these ideas for what happens here and else where that I have been jotting down for the past three months, I love the input of others. Duh, I want to make y’all happy and have an enjoyable place to visit (whether to read or watch or double click to like). So if you want to share your input, head on over to Instagram to cast your votes on my InstaStories today about the changes taking place!

Dressing Up Leggings

Dressing Up LeggingsDressing Up LeggingsDressing Up Leggings

Leggings are the easiest thing to wear in the winter, if you wear them correctly. I’ve heard a million times leggings are pants. Depending on the fabric you can get away with wearing them as pants, but most are a little see through around the rump area. So to wear them properly as pants, I like to make sure the rump and front are covered and it’s a perfect alternative to pants that way. Layer leggings with an oversized cozy sweater, a warm top underneath and a hat and you have a pulled together chic outfit that doesn’t involve slacks or jeans.

Colorful Weekend

Colorful WeekendColorful WeekendColorful Weekend

It’s the weekend! I can say I need it with the crazy work schedule I have had this week plus starting my final semester of college! But it’s cold. There is ice out there today and they are calling for snow tonight and tomorrow! Even though the temperatures are low, it’s the weekend and I’m dressing like it. Layers of color! I’m experimenting this weekend with mixing with different colors and prints. Everything in this #ootd is a different color, the cardigan and scarf are contrasting prints; but everything meshes together because of the earthy tones in everything. It’s the weekend have fun with what you are wearing!

Do any of you have any exciting plans for this weekend?



Winter Florals and Knits

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Lately I have been obsessed with mixing different prints and textures in to my daily outfits. I’ve become a huge fan of knits recently. Not only are they warm and perfect for winter, but they also give any outfit a cozy and comfortable vibe. Which is perfect for me. So pairing this floral dress with this olive green cardigan was a no brainer to me. Topped it off with a cozy arm knitted scarf. This #ootd is perfect for a coffee date, casual lunch dates, meetings, classes or just running errands.

Gift Guide: For Her Under $30.00

Gift Guide: For Her Under $30.00

Buying Christmas gifts can get expensive so I have pulled together some gifts for her that under $30.00 each. These are perfect for any lady on your list especially perfect for someone on a budget, Secret Santa gifts or stocking stuffers.

Scarf-Perfect for any fashionista or someone who lives some where frigid. This will be 40% off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Eyeliner– The best felt tip liner and the darkest black liner around.

Hat– Hats are very trendy and perfect for bad hair days. A fun color is a great addition to any fashionistas collection. This will be 40% off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Jamberry-Prints for every style and for $15.00 you get two salon quality manicures and pedicures.

Heated Blanket-Perfect winter gift, especially for the girl who spends more time at home rather than going out. Currently on sale for $29.99 but will be on sale for $19.99 on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Gloves– High quality gloves for a great price! Will be 40% off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Lorac Lip Gloss Set– The best value for a holiday set. All glosses are full size and there’s a shade for everyone.

Antlers– Great for the decor lover, boho chic girl or someone wanting to add to their gallery wall.

Rings– You know I love Ashkal jewelry and a lot of their jewelry is under $30.00, plus right now they also have some discounts!

Lotion-It’s getting colder and everyone needs some extra hydration. This Frosted Winter Woods smells amazing.

Candle– Candles are a great gift for just about anyone and Bath and Body Works has some amazing smelling ones!

Clutch– A perfect alternative to more expensive version of clutches plus on Thanksgiving and Black Friday it will be 40% off.

Phone Case– Affordable, unique phone cases that give back. Kidogo Kidogo gives phones to women in need in Tanzania with a percentage of sales from phone case purchases..

Fashion Forward With Spring

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If you are anything like me, you want to stay on top of the trends (yet still look timeless) and know all about the newest designers and trends. A newly designed app, Spring, allows you to peruse all the latest things in fashion in one simple place. It has top designers and new upcoming designers all in one place. The app is pretty much like Pinterest fashion boards and Instagram fashion pages had a baby, but the most exciting thing is you don’t have to go to several pages if something catches your eye. Yes, Spring has it made it simple enough if you scroll and find something you like, you can easily purchase the item there.

Scrolling through the feed you can find top names such as Baggu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander McQueen and American Apparel. But you can also find new names like Bing Bang Jewelry and Marissa Webb. Spring even has home goods.

Even if you aren’t purchasing from the app, you should download Spring as an inspirational guide for fashion. Scrolling through the pictures is a great way to try something new in your #ootd. When I was recently looking I saw that Marissa Webb had very neutral palette with pops of color. So when getting dressed I kept everything dark and simple and added a pop of color with a cotton blazer. Cotton blazers, vests and over coats were another thing I saw as a trend in designers on the app.

So if you love fashion, I highly recommend downloading Spring!.

Repeat Dress with Fall Florals

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Dress-Target // Kimono-Target (sold out) // Leggings-Forever 21 // Boots-Charlotte Russe (old, similar)

I can’t believe yesterday it was extremely hot and for the next few days we are expecting bad storms. I can’t believe today is the first day of October. This swing dress has been on repeat quite a bit lately because it is the perfect transitional piece. And there’s nothing I love more than a stripes and floral combo. I have been keeping my darker floral printed pieces (mostly kimonos) around for layering this fall. Just because the leaves are starting to die there are still some flowers that thrive in the cooler months. So why not continue to wear floral? Floral is really easy to pull off during these chillier days as long as the print is darker or muted hues. Throw on some leggings and boots and it makes the entire #ootd a little bit better for Fall.

Are you still wearing florals?.

Fall InVESTment

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Vest-Target // Tank-Old Navy (Just $6.00) // Jeans-Forever 21 // Booties-Target (old, similar) // Necklaces-Jared The Galleria of Jewelry & Wal-Mart

Dressing for Fall doesn’t mean you have to be completely bundled up, especially when the weather is a little crazy and one day it’s chilly and the next it’s poolside worthy. Longer vests are the perfect piece for fall that are super chic, keep you looking fall Pinterest worthy without sweating. Longer vests dress up any outfit. You can wear a pair of jeans, a simple shirt and by throwing on the vest it instantly adds a little chic to your #ootd. Your vest doesn’t have to be black (this one from Target even comes in white). These long vests come in a ton of different colors, you can even try some with different patterns and fabrics. I honestly think long vest are the perfect transitional piece that you can wear to work, school, out shopping or a night out. When the weather gets colder the longer vest will look great paired with a turtle neck or even a plaid button up.

I love this vest, this vest (Great price and comes in plus sizes as well) and this vest!

Will you be rocking the vest this transitional and fall season?


Homework + Coffee Style

Homework + Coffee StyleHomework + Coffee StyleHomework + Coffee StyleHomework + Coffee StyleHomework + Coffee Style

T-Shirt- Gravel Road Tees // Jeans-Forever 21 // Cardigan-Target // Shoes-Target // Necklace- Jared the Galleria of Jewelry // Ring-Ashkal // Planner- Ban.do (this specific style is sold out but this print is available in a bigger size and other fun prints are available for a limited time)

Everyone gets excited when Summer draws to an end because they get excited for football, fairs, fall food, fall scents and fall activities; I do love these things (probably more than anything) but the ending of summer means school starts again. Long nights, long days and countless hours staring at a computer screen.

People don’t think that online courses or degrees are as hard as going to school on a campus, but as someone who has went to college on campus and now furthering my education online and it’s honestly harder. I have to juggle everything (and there is no more “campus fun”) so there is honestly no way to “skip” class or miss e-mails or not sign in for lectures or avoid class. Since I am working, blogging, being a creative artist and going to school sometimes I have to escape my own home to get things done, somewhere where there is quietness and no home distractions. If I am going to a library in Asheville (the downtown library is great), hitting up a coffee shop or finding a little grassy spot with a wonderful mountain view I would wear something extremely comfortable like a graphic tee and skinny jeans; that’s pretty much my #ootd everyday. Either the local coffee shop or the library are generally extremely chilly so I layer a cardigan with that. A fun witty graphic tee makes a tedious task just a little more fun. This t-shirt from Gravel Road Tees is perfect for any student and especially a coffee addict student. Gravel Road Tees also has an awesome coffee shirt for moms!

While studying or turning in assignments, the coffee addict and detail oriented part of me, has to always have coffee and my planner with me. Pumpkin Spice Latte for the win! Side note, the other day I got a chai latte with a pump of pumpkin spice and it’s the perfect blend of fall flavors; honestly it will probably be my go to drink as the weather cools down.

If you love my shirt or soft shirts or witty graphic shirts, I highly suggest checking out Gravel Road Tees because all of the tees are on a serious sale right now as they are getting ready to make some new shirts! These shirts are locally screen printed here in NC!


The Art of Layering

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Dress-Old Navy (currently only $18.00)// Booties-Charlotte Russe (already sold out, similar) // Skimono (scarf/kimono)-Charlotte Russe // Belt-Target // Hat-Forever 21 // Bag-H&M // Earrings-Ashkal // Rings-Ashkal // Necklaces- Jared The Galleria of Jewelry and Wal-Mart //

Fall is just 11 days away and it’s slowly starting to cool down (mostly in the mornings and in the evenings) so finding something that goes from day to night is a must. The perfect piece for this type of weather is a dress because it’s extremely easy to layer with it and dresses work for office, school or errands and can be easily extended to a night #ootd. When I want to stretch my outfit I start with a simple, yet flatter dress like this grey dress from Old Navy (plus it’s only $18.00) then add versatile jewelry and shoes. To extend the outfit a little further I have layered necklaces and rings that can easily be taken off if too much for day time. Packed to layer I have a hat, skimono and belt. Simply add the skimono (or kimono or leight weight scarf) and tie with a belt. Easily this simple dress is transformed to entire different outfit with two pieces!

When shopping for colder weather items, in order to save some money I look for items that can easily be “layered” with other pieces to create different looks. This is a very affordable way to add something fresh to your fall wardrobe.

Layering is really easy to do and really there is no wrong way to do it. I always like to layer and still create a waistline. Belts are a great item to have for layers and work great for scarfs, skimonos, ponchos, cardigans and over sized shirts.