Southern Sugaring: Ripping the Taboo out from the Roots

Summer is finally here and that means that certain things should be thought about more often. The first thing that came to my mind was a bikini wax.

It may be a little taboo to talk about, but the truth is that a lot of women and men take part in this activity.

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I have to admit that I was completely new to the world of waxing. I have always wanted to get one done but have either been to scared, to modest or to embarrassed. After having a baby, though, I no longer worried about modesty or embarrassment so I knew it was time to rip off the bandage… or wax!

I recently saw that Southern Sugaring of Savannah, Georgia was looking for models to train a new sugarista. For donating your time, and your bikini line hair, you would receive a free bikini wax. I jumped at this opportunity. I figured what did I have to lose, besides a lot of unwanted hair. My sweet friend Jessica Mock is the owner and head sugarista at Southern Sugaring so I knew that I would be in good hands.

My actual bikini wax was done by Misha. She was very professional and knowledgable about the sugaring process. Since she was technically training, Jessica was their to assist if a problem or question should arise.

You make have noticed that I keep mentioning the word sugaring. That is because this process does not use your typical bikini wax. Sugaring is actually a mixture of sugar, lemon and hot water that has been used for centuries to rid the body of unwanted hair. Because all of the ingredients are natural, the sugar substance actually binds to the hair instead of the skin. This allows for a more gentle hair removal that is much easier on your skin. Since it adheres to the hair, it really gets the hair out from deep at the root, prolonging your smooth, hair free skin.

At this time, they currently offer sugaring services for bikini line, arms, legs, brows, face and arm pits. I had my brows done by Southern Sugaring at another event and, to this day, it is one of the best, longest lasting brow treatments that I have ever had done.

Southern Sugaring also sells a wide array of gorgeous swimsuits, sexy lingerie, fun t-shirts and perfect sunglasses. They really are a one-stop-shop to meet all of your must have girlie needs!

But let’s get back to why I visited in the first place, my bikini sugaring. Let’s be honest. I was beyond nervous at first. The thought of stripping off your skivvies is never easy, even when a service is being performed at a very professional establishment. I was sweating bullets and I knew that was not going to help my sugaring treatment. Misha and Jessica did an absolutely amazing job of calming my nerves. They remained professional throughout the entire treatment and really helped to take my mind off of what was happening below my Mason-Dixon line. (Don’t you just love all of the jokes!)


Seriously though, all joking aside, the procedure was really not that bad. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that it was super easy and completely pain free but, it was much less painful than what I was expecting and the pain was quick. Once the sugar had ripped out the hair the pain subsided quickly. Jessica told me that if you stay on the recommended 3-4 week sugaring schedule, the process will get easier and less painful each time. She said that it is almost like your body knows what is coming so the area being sugared will become numb to what is happening sooner.

I got my treatment done on June 10th and now, on June 20th, my hair is just now beginning to grow back! I have never been without hair that I didn’t have to keep in check for that long. Not only that, but my skin stayed smooth and free from bumps. As I continue to get sugared, my results will last even longer and my skin will stay even smoother. I was so pleased with the results and the experience that I booked my next appointment before I left. I am even considering sugaring my arm pits and brows on a regular occasion. Even though my service was free this time, I highly recommend this service and all of the staff at Southern Sugaring. They were all completely professional and as sweet as a tall glass of southern sweet tea. This will be a treatment that I will continue to receive and will not mind paying. I don’t know about you, but a hair free bikini line that lasts more than a day is definitely worth a few extra dollars each month.

If you are local to Savannah, or visiting anytime soon, I encourage you to call up the ladies at Southern Sugaring to take care of all your hair removal needs. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to stay in the know and let them know that I sent you!

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Looking Great on a Budget

One of my favorite things to do is put together outfits on a budget. I used to love watching The Look for Less on the Style Network so I try to recreate this idea in my own outfits. It is such a fun way to revamp and restyle and really get a new look without breaking the bank.

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My first tip would be to simply find a good deal. This adorable floral blouse was the start of my outfit and was a steal at my local H&M. It has so many gorgeous colors so it will literally go with anything. I knew it was going to be a perfect piece to start with and build a fun outfit. Places like H&M, Forever 21, TJ Maxx and Marshalls have amazing prices year round! No sales necessary! They are a great place to shop for fun, trendy pieces. You will be easily be able to add the latest trends to your wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.

My next tip is to shop your own closet. For my bottoms, I pulled the rich green out of my blouse and went with these flattering skinnies. The best part about these pants? They were buried in my closet and still had the tags attached! I think they had been in their quite a few months and I forgot about them! I am notorious for buying items, hanging them up and forgetting about them. If you are like me and get the itch to go shopping quite often, just go look through your closet. If it has tags still, it is just like shopping!!

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 My third tip is to shop your local Goodwill. To pull my look together, and give it a more polished finish, I threw on this lightweight, khaki blazer from my local Goodwill. I recently wrote a blog post about shopping at Goodwill and my favorite thing to shop for is, hands down, blazers. You can get a great piece for about a tenth of the cost! I encourage you to read that post when you have them time. Once you have read my tips, set aside some time to go explore and see what you can find. Remember to try everything on because you don’t know how it will fit! With just a little luck, you will be able to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank!

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My final tip is to maximize your budget with accessories. You would be surprised just how much a different necklace can change your outfit. While the necklace that I chose for this outfit is a little more expensive, I could have easily added a statement necklace from Forever 21, a layer of vintage pearls from Grandmother’s jewelry box or a delicate chain from Stella & Dot to completely change my look. Accessories are usually less expensive than clothing items so you can have a large selection to really give more options to your closet. One of my favorite places to shop for accessories is small, online boutiques. I have found so many fun, unique pieces for a fraction of the price, and I love knowing that money is going to support a family instead of a big business. Some of my favorite online boutiques are Purple Peridot, Le Boutique Shop, Knitted Belle Boutique, Julia Marie and Harper & Jewels. Be sure to check out the Let’s Stay Connected page of my blog because I have coupon codes for many of the boutiques that I listed!

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I hope these tips will help you update your wardrobe without breaking the bank. If you have any tips of your own, let me know in the comments below. I always love to hear from you! I wish you all the best of luck on your budget shopping adventures. I know you will all find fabulous pieces for your wardrobe!

Similar Styles: Blouse | Skinnies | Blazer | Booties | Handbag | Sunglasses | Necklace

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.

A Partnership that Matters: Making a Difference with Goodwill Southeast Georgia

I recently had the great honor of teaming up with Goodwill Southeast Georgia for Goodwill Industries Week. This is an annual event that encourages people to shop at their local Goodwill and brings awareness to all of the great work that Goodwill does for our local communities. One of the biggest ways that that are able to fund their programs is through donations from people like me and you. Those donations, mainly clothes, are sorted and then sold and various Goodwill retail locations. The profits are used to fund programs like the Senior Community Service Employment Program, Pathways out of Poverty Program and GCF Learn Free, among many others.

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To help bring more awareness to Goodwill, I was asked to style the gorgeous Renee LaSalle from WSAV’s show The Bridge. Every day during Goodwill Industries Week, Renee wore a different outfit with pieces that were found at our local Goodwill. Tops, skirts, dresses, jewelry, belts and even a fabulous pair of shoes all made the cut, and did not break the bank! I was also asked to appear on The Bridge with Renee to help kick off Goodwill Week and talk about all of the fun that we had putting together her outfits. Here are the amazing outfits that I helped her put together:

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Goodwill Finds: Dress, Belt and Shoes

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse and Skirt

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse, Tank and Skirt

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Goodwill Finds: Dress and Belt

Friday

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Goodwill Finds: Blouse, Skirt, Necklace and Bracelets

It was such an amazing experience and I loved how each of the outfits turned out! Renee looked fabulous and was such a sweetheart!

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I also helped out by arranging a Kendra Gives Back Party to benefit Goodwill Southeast Georgia. I love any excuse to team up with Kendra Scott and this event was no exception.

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It was so nice to meet everyone that I have gotten to know through Goodwill and to raise money for such a good cause. Plus, adding new Kendra Scott pretties to me closet is always a bonus!

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I hope that you enjoyed all of the outfits that I helped to put together and that it inspires you to go searching for something for yourself. When you shop at Goodwill you are helping to change someone’s life and your money is going to help our community in so many ways! And if that’s not enough, the prices are Goodwill are unbeatable!  You can update your entire wardrobe without breaking the bank!

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10 Simple Steps to Looking Photogenic: A Guest Post from CaitsCozyCorner

At some point in your life, you are going to have your picture taken. For some people, that is on a daily basis. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am constantly retaking pictures trying to find the best lighting and get the best angle. We all want to look our best and camera ready. Well I have teamed up with Cait of CaitsCozyCorner to bring you a guest blog post on how to always look photogenic in your photos. Enjoy!

Having your photo taken can sometimes seem a little frightening, especially when it seems that you never look quite as good in portraits as you do in reality. This is a problem faced by many people, but is quite easy to overcome. Being photogenic is a skill which you learn, not which you’re born with. That’s why I’m here to help you. We’ve came up with some of the best tips to instantly start looking better in photos.

Nowadays, there are a lot of advises you can come across over the internet, but many people don’t practice them quite correctly. You know that  hand-on-hip pose celebrities do to make their hand look slimmer right? I’ve seen a lot of girls trying to do the same thing but it doesn’t come as natural for them –  they make more like a chicken-arms-pose. Well, to avoid these little mistakes, take a look at these tips for being more photogenic.

1. Lighting Is The Key

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Standing directly under a light casts weird shadows on your face, so stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, which is more flattering to your features. You can also position yourself  in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side. I love posing near big windows for a lot of natural light that fills the photo and accents the features I want highlighted.

2. Angles

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A lower angle visually stretches your figure, making you look taller and leaner, but when seated a photo shot from just above you is way more flattering. I tend to love when photographers get those great flattering shots from above and usually find that it’s one of my best photos taken.

3. Sparkly Eyes

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To make your eyes sparkle, look at a light source such as a lamp which will create a flattering gleam in your pupils. Plus, it helps minimize the dreaded red eye! I also tend to add a bit of sparkle eyeshadow or a light white near the tear drop of my eye to highlight that particular spot. My eyes always tend to light up with that small trick!

4. Find Your Best Pose By Looking At Your Photos

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Go ahead and look through some of your old photos of yourself. Which ones do you love? Why? Look for a pattern that you notice. Perhaps it’s the high angle or the way you tilt your head. Next time you have your photo taken, make an effort to imitate your best poses and remember why you loved those photos of yourself.

5. Get Rid Of Flyaways

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Photos usually highlight flyaways, giving you a gawky, messy look. Dry oil or a good pomade will help, but make sure you use it lightly. If you are afraid to use too much, spray on your hands and then lightly try to control fizz! Sometimes, if I don’t have any with me on hand, I’ll use a bit of lotion to help smooth those annoying little hairs!

6. Tilt Your Head

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Facing the camera straight on can rarely be flattering, so instead turn your head slightly to one side or the other. This way you give your features a greater depth and highlight your cheekbones. Try to do the same with your body, but also cross one of your legs or just bend it to break up the shape. For me, I found my best photos are when I tilt my head slightly to the left. Play around with with tilting your head in the mirror and see which way you like best.

7. Use The Body-shrinking Technique

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Lean into the camera and stick your head out forward and tilting your chin down just a little bit. This will make your head will look bigger, giving you the optical illusion of a smaller body. I never knew this trick until a photographer shared it with me, took my photo and shared the results! It’s true and I try to work this angle when shooting some looks for blogs.

8. Know Your Good Side

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As I stated above with head tilting, try to find out which side of your face looks better on camera. This differs from person to person, but studies say that most people’s more photogenic side is the left ( which is actually mine too! ).

9. Smile

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Putting your tongue behind your teeth when smiling is an old trick but it does work. It helps you avoid a too-wide grin and look goofy. But remember to always ‘smile with your eyes’, to look more natural. To do this, squint slightly to create small pillows beneath your eyes, giving them a half-moon shape.

10. Group Photos

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When taking group photos never stand the closest to the camera – it makes you look disproportionately larger. You should instead place yourself on an even plane with the other people in the photo.

Now that you’ve got some great ideas for your best looks, it’s time to find a great photographer who can capture the best version of you! If you’re in the Atlanta area, you must go see Donald Chambers who has over thirty years of professional photographic experience. He studied at California’s Art Center College of Design and assisted with acclaimed studios before moving to Atlanta to start his commercial studio in 1984 .Donald prospered in that studio, focusing on a wide range of subject matters with clients such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Georgia Pacific and Alton Brown.

After three decades, Donald has come back to his first love: photographic portraiture. He has a passion for working with people and capturing unique and authentic moments. He equally enjoys working with individuals, families, babies and couples. He is renowned for his masterful lighting in classical black and white along with vibrant use of colors. Donald shoots for as long as the subjects have energy and can provide quick reviews to ensure his clients see images that are suitable for framing! You’ll love everything he shoots!

Be sure to check out Cait’s blog and show her some love! I hope you enjoyed her guest post! I know that I will definitely be using some of these steps the next time I have my picture taken!

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All photos retrieved from photographer Donald Chambers website.

End of the Year Blues and Blue Hues

Y’all! It has definitely been a hot minute since I have been able to sit down and actually write a blog post! As a teacher, this is my busiest time of the year. I am so grateful that the end of the year is finally here and I can enjoy an entire summer with my sweet Vivi, but it is definitely bitter sweet because I will miss my sweet Kinders who I have come to love like my own over these past  10 months!

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I felt that this dress was more than appropriate to star in my journey back to blogging. The rich, gorgeous navy blue is more than appropriate for all of my end of the year activities and the lace overlay adds a sense of fun and whimsy. I love that it can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For this look, I opted for the must have sandals of the season. While the designer version can cost around $170, these were a steal at $59.99! They come in three different colors and are seriously so comfortable! I recently took my daughter to the zoo and wore them all day with no problem. For a dressier look, this dress would look great with a strappy pair of heels or classic pumps and for a fun, relaxed look, it would also look great with a pair of cowboy boots!

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This super versatile dress is from the sweetest company, Pink Blush. While they originally got their start selling the cutest maternity clothes, they quickly branched out into clothing to fit everyone woman’s need, no matter what stage they happened to be in life. With sizes varying from Women’s to Women’s Plus and Maternity to Maternity Plus, there really is something for every woman on their site. They also have nursing friendly clothes and accessories and a large variety of jewelry, scarves and other accessories. With reasonable prices, fast shipping and frequent sales, I am sure you will quickly fall in love with this company.

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Now, lets get back to my fast approaching summer break. A definite perk of being a teacher is being able to have the summer off. I really enjoy this time now that I have a daughter because it is two sweet, uninterrupted months that I am able to give her my undivided attention. What really bothers me though is when people claim that a teacher has it so easy because they get summers off. Ask any teacher and I can almost guarantee you that they will be spending the summer to prepare for the next school year. Personally, as soon as I am able to get into the building, I will be at the school setting up my classroom for next year. I will be making copies, putting together new centers, laminating supplies and sorting games. Since it is the summer, I will be using my own money to purchase the supplies necessary to complete these tasks and much of them will be done in an hot classroom since the air conditioner will not yet be switched to on. These hours worked at the school will be on my time and unpaid. When I am not at the school I will be perusing Pinterest for new ideas, making manipulatives in between diaper changes and laundry and purchasing an never ending supply of paper of printer ink to print out all that is necessary to start out the school year. And this is just what I will be doing this summer!

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Let’s not forget that long hours that were put in during the school year! My school day started at 7am, Monday – Friday. We were allowed to leave at 3pm every afternoon. The key word there is allowed. There were many days that I stayed until 4, 5, even 6, especially at the beginning of the school year! There is always so much to get done and you rarely have time during the school day to do anything but teach. Your planning period is used for meetings, conferences and professional development so you have no choice  but to plan on your own time. Then, when you finally do go home, you lug a big bag of papers to grade, sort, enter and file. You are required to stay late for PTA Meetings, Chorus Concerts, Basketball Games and Carnivals and can often be found at school on Saturday morning just trying to get a handle on everything. You buy snacks, candy and treats for the kids in your class and when grocery shopping, throw in packs of glue sticks to replenish your low stock. (I swear that my students must eat these things with how often we run through our supply!)

I could also go into detail about how many teachers work second jobs in the summer. Many teachers work summer school, summer camps, tutor or even get jobs at their local mall or grocery store to help supplement the low teacher salary. This means that their break, from all the hard work put in during the school year, is no longer a break. But that really is a whole other conversation in itself, so I won’t elaborate any further.

And even though you break your back, spend your last penny and neglect your own family, you would not change a thing, because being a teacher is in your blood. It gives your life meaning and you would not change it for anything. It is worth every hardship, every tear, every late night. You love those students as if they were your own and are happy to be there for them in any way that is needed.

You are a teacher.

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So the next time you or someone you know goes to say that teaching is easy and that teachers have it made, just stop. The 7am-3pm, 190 days a year, is just the tip of the iceberg that goes into this life changing profession. Instead, tell them you are thankful for all that they do, or stand up for the work they put in during the school year. There is no tired like teacher tired. The break is nice and it is very much deserved, but it rarely used as a true break. A teacher will remain a teacher 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You can’t turn it off. It is who you are.

You are a teacher.

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Dress c/o | Wedges | Clutch (similar)| Earrings | Sunglasses (similar) | Lipstick

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.

Just Keep Rolling On

Y’all! Life has been so crazy lately! Is it just me or does everyone feel like life is moving at warp speed at the end of the school year?

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As a teacher, I am busy pretty much all day, Monday-Friday. This means that the little bit of time that I have after school is filled with trips to the grocery store and post office, catching up on laundry, making dinner and loving on my sweet daughter. Throw in blogging and selling Lipsense and you have one worn out Momma. Exhausted does not even begin to cover my life. This all really becomes a problem at the end of the school year because I am just done. I am emotionally and physically drained, confused by all the meetings I have scheduled and frantically rushing to complete end of the year paperwork. This is why Teacher Appreciation Week falls at the end of the school year! We need the boost and encouragement to make it those last few weeks!

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Some days  I really don’t know how I get everything done. And honestly, some days I don’t even get the things done that I really need to get done.

When I take a step back, though, and actually look at the big picture, I realize that is totally alright. How can it be alright, you ask, for a teacher to not get everything she needs done? The truth is that I am so much more than just a teacher. I am a Mom, a nurse, a mentor, a tailor,  a chef and a friend. I truly believe that my job is so much more than teaching my students their ABC’s and 123’s. I am teaching them to be good citizens and good friends. I am caring for them when they are ill, breaking up fights and sewing back on buttons. I am bandaging boo-boos, tying shoes and putting back together the Lego figures. If you have spent anytime in a classroom, you know that each student has completely different needs. Some days, a student may need a hug and snack way more than a lesson on animal habitats.

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So please forgive me if we don’t sing the alphabet song every day like it says on my lesson plans. We are tackling every day in the classroom as it happens. Sometimes that means that plans are thrown out the window and we have to just roll with whatever happens! If we need an extra Recess to get out the jitters or a quiet time after snack to rest our tired minds, I am going to make that happen. After all, I am molding little minds here, and that is delicate work! Even the best artist needs a break.

All of this is a major reason why I am so exhausted. It is honestly hard to take care of someone else’s babies when you are paying someone else to take care of yours. I miss Vivi a lot during the day and wish that I was able to stay home with her. I love my job and know that they work that I am able to do with my students is priceless and that really does help so much. It is hard to change plans at the drop of the hat because you have an announced fire drill. It is hard to put a baby on the bus not knowing if they are going to have a hot meal on the table that night. It is just hard.

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But as my title implies, I have learned to just keep rolling on. I have learned to tackle each day with a fresh outlook and new perspective, even if that means throwing the plans out the window. I have learned to set aside the needs of my daughter (who is very well taken care of while I am working) to focus on the needs of someone else’s sons and daughters. I have also learned to let the laundry wait so that I can finally spend time with my own child once work comes to an end. One day, I am not going to look back and wish that I had done more laundry or washed more toilets. I am going to look back on all them memories that I made and wish for more of those. Memories with my students, memories with friends, memories with my own daughter… learning to keep on rolling on is sometimes how the best memories are made.

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If you see a teacher this week, or know one, make sure a take the time to tell them thank you and just how much you appreciate what they are doing for our future leaders. They wear more hats than you realize, sacrifice more than you know and are probably more exhausted than you have ever been in your life. Just like me, they are rolling on through life, just trying to do the best they can in all they do. And here is something for you to think about… where would anyone in the world be without some teacher who made a difference. Teaching is the most influential job that you can have and I know that all of you can think back and remember those teachers who made the biggest difference.

Now excuse me while I go unwind with a pedicure and a Venti Starbucks! After all, it is Teacher Appreciation Week!

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Similar Styles: Blazer | Blouse | Skinnies | Heels | Handbag | Earrings | Sunglasses

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Photography Courtesy of Magnolia Blossom Photography

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.

Kendra Scott Summer Launch

If you have been following me for a while, then it is no surprise to you that I am a little obsessed with Kendra Scott. The jewelry is so effortlessly chic and instantly pulls my outfit together. She has something for nearly every style and she is constantly giving back to the community.

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I was beyond thrilled to check out the new summer launch. I had heard that it was unlike anything she has ever done before and that could not be more true. The result was a gorgeous mix of bright turquoise, fun tassels and sophisticated glam. Reminiscent of a day spent on an exotic tropical island, each piece is sure to transport you away, if only for a minute, to a getaway of your dreams.

This is, hands down, my favorite collection that Kendra has ever launched. I have already bought a few pieces and will definitely be adding more to my closet. I will link some of my favorites below and encourage you to check them out! They are very well made and most are adjustable! Happy Shopping!

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Kacey Long Pendant Necklace

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Harlow Statement Necklace

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Serayah Statement Necklace

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Ellie Stud Earrings

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Elisa Pendant Necklace

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Misha Statement Earrings

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Elaina Adjustable Chain Bracelet

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Kingston Long Pendant Necklace

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Tatiana Long Pendant Necklace

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Kirstie Stud Earrings

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Vanina Turquoise Bead Necklace

What is your favorite from the collection? Let me know! I always love to hear from you!

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Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post and I may receive a small commission.