Coping with the Ebb and Flow of Life

Let’s have an utmost moment of truth, shall we?  Life isn’t always as picture perfect as it may seem and if you’re anything like me, when hard times hit and emotions build up, you tend to internalize those and try your best to focus on the good and the people in your life rather than your own struggles.  While I’m not denoting how great that is to have an optimistic mindset and a selfless one at that, the older I get the more comfortable I become with who I am and consequently continue to realize that it’s okay to not be okay.  Sadness, heartache, anger, flaws, failure – it’s what makes us human and in a twisted way that’s the beauty of life.For seven years I worked towards a goal I wanted so badly to achieve.  As the years progressed, my dream and desire grew immensely with every opportunity I was provided and each person I was able to meet and impact with my story and life passions. Then, just two months ago that dream came to an abrupt end in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  In my preparations, I fully went into Miss Wisconsin 2017 week with the mindset that I wasn’t coming back to La Crosse (the city I’ve called home the past six years), as I felt that was an important mentality to have in order to go “all in.”  Needless to say, it’s been difficult to re-adjust and cope with the reality that I am back, that I’m not Miss Wisconsin, and that the current stage of life I’m in holds a lot of uncertainty.  There’s been days when I just want to curl up in bed and watch Netflix, moments where I feel utmost despair in relation to my job (come on, I know you’ve all been there), and other times when I completely question decisions I’ve made; but there’s almost always a moment of reflection or clarity that follows.

My sister recently got married and in my Maid of Honor speech I touched on how there are many defining moments in our lives: graduations, new job opportunities, marriage, etc.  Through the trials and tribulations those milestones throw our way, there’s always constant figures that stand by our sides.  Relationships may dwindle and change, people most certainly come and go, individuals you think care deeply about you vanish in a flash without looking back; but through it all there’s a core group of people — our family and our closest friends that will never leave us.  The older I get, the deeper sense of appreciation I gain for that core group and the undivided support they provide me during the good times and the bad…even when I don’t want to disclose information or how I’m feeling about a certain matter; like Miss Wisconsin.  It’s no surprise I’m extremely stubborn and sassy, I’ve been that way practically since birth.  So when Miss Wisconsin came and finals passed by, it was easiest to internalize how I felt and push forward like the strong, independent woman I learned best from, my mother.  However, after receiving kind comments (repeatedly) about how I seem to always have it together amidst my career and social life, I felt it was important to point out that no, I do not have it “all together” or on most days partially together for that matter and again…that’s okay.  In fact, if it were not for coffee on most days I’d be a complete train wreck.  I am typically rushing around getting ready in the morning, barely having time to pack a lunch before I run out the door for work and the rest of the day seems like a blur.  By the time I get home and finally get a chance to lay down I consequently feel like I got nothing accomplished that I meant to during the day, anyone with me?

People don’t share the daily craziness and occurrences of their life on Facebook or Instagram because that’s not typically exciting.  Social media, although it’s a great forum to share positive memories and edited photos, it’s not always a plausible representation of someone or their life on a regular basis.  Instead, it’s a highlight of the good and it’s important to take that with a grain of salt.  Personally, there are plenty of elements of my life at this very moment in time that are unknown and others that are frustrating.  Whether it be college loans, the desperate need for a new vehicle, or not knowing what my next move is — remember that everyone is consumed by their own demons and obstacles.

If you’re coping with a difficult situation or dream that has slipped away from you know, trust in God’s timing.  His plan and purpose for you is much greater than you can imagine and you have to trust time to guide you down the path you are meant to be on.  On that note, please go vote for our Miss Wisconsin, McKenna Collins for America’s Choice at Miss America in just a few weeks.  She’s been doing an incredible job representing our state and needs your support now more than ever!  You can vote once daily, voting is free!

Vote for Miss Wisconsin, McKenna Collin’s for America’s Choice: VOTE

Lesson to be learned in this heartfelt message — listen to your heart and your gut when they’re instinctively trying to tell you something.  Don’t push emotions aside when you’re upset or discouraged about something, but rather reflect on those feelings and acknowledge that they are absolutely valid.  Finally, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and always attempt to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before being quick to make assumptions about them.  You never know what battle someone is facing and a simple compliment goes a long way.  Also, be optimistic about life and laugh in the face of hardship, a simple moment of joy can go a long way.  That is all


On a lighter, tighter and more humorous note there’s also the ebb and flow of when you put weight on (or as I like to think packed on some gains) and none of your shorts seem to fit you, aka me this summer. After maintaining a vigorously healthy diet and exercising more than usual leading up to Miss Wisconsin, I’ve provided myself a little more leeway the past couple months.  Now don’t get me wrong, many of my shorts didn’t fit prior to that week – they just sat in my drawer as I chose and choose to wear jeans most days instead or yoga capris  when I’m not working (who wouldn’t want comfies instead?).  After trying on my shorts recently, I realized that with the changes of life I’m SO over short-shorts and quite frankly I don’t know why I ever wore them.  PSA-they’re not the least bit comfortable, I’d rather not have tight fabric riding up the front and back of my body (no, thanks).

I recently posted a handful of my shorts on Poshmark, an APP that allows you to buy and sell clothes, of which I’m obsessed with as of recent.  I swear whoever invented it was sick and tired of not getting the money they thought they deserved at Plato’s Closet (we’ve all been there).  Please check out my listings and take them off my hands if you’re interested, I’ll be posting more very, very soon.

SHOP MY Poshmark Closet Here: Tianna Vanderhei’s ClosetP.S. This entire outfit was purchased at TJ Maxx.  The high waisted, relaxed fit denim shorts were less than $20 and are super duper comfy and the top falls into the same satisfactory category.  In fact, I pretty much feel as though I’m wearing pajamas when I style them together!

  • GAZE Ruffle Bell Sleeve Top from TJ Maxx, ONLY $9.99 – Reasons this top is fabulous: (1) It can be dressed down for a casual look with jeans or shorts  (2) You can jazz it up with dress pants or a skirt for a work environment  (3)  Adding accessories and heels can transcend it into the perfect look for a night out on the town.  Even better?  The cotton material is super soft and flowing.

 

 

Other flowing, classic black shirts you should check out:

 

Stay stylish and optimistic friends,

XO

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Embroidered Items You Need for Fall

The embroidery trend is out in full force and it’s freaking fabulous.  I will admit, my usual style is classy and sexy, but edgy and this certainly accentuates the edgy side of my wardrobe.  I also feel as though (sadly) as we get older, our wardrobe tends to get more and more bland and that’s just not okay with me.  “You don’t quit playing because you grow old, you grow old because you quit playing.”  —  Don’t lose your whimsical desire to experiment with things in life, including your style.  Try new things, dare to be bold, and most importantly spice it up every now and then.  Like these jeans… 

P.S. My white and blue striped, collared top is Levi’s.  Snagged at TJ Maxx for ONLY $8 and it’s originally $49.95!  Just another prime reason as to why I love TJ’s oh so much.

Looking for some other jeans to spice up your wardrobe a little bit as we prepare to transition into the fall season (yes, I know you’re probably telling me to bite my tongue but it’s quickly approaching and we can’t stop it from coming)?  If you’re not super into the bright contrast of the flowers and chili peppers on the Indigo Rein skinnies, these Nanette by Nanette Lepore Released Hem Jeans from TJ Maxx provide the same, trendy touch but in a much more subtle way PLUS they’re currently marked down from $29.99 to only $15!

 

Here are a handful of other embroidered jeans that may suit your liking if you’re not uber fond of the first two options.  I especially love the BooHoo High Rise floral jeans from ASOS.


 

Of course you can’t just shop embroidered jeans without buying some eye-catching tops too.  Obviously I wouldn’t recommend pairing embroidered pants with some type of embroidered shirt because the patterns would most likely class, but these tops work great with colored pants or solid jeans of some sort.  My personal favorite out of these six from three of my go-to stores (TJ Maxx, Lulu’s, and Francesca’s) is #6, the ‘Beautiful Imagery Light Blue Button Down.’

Stay stylish and sassy my friends,

XO

Don’t Pay that Designer Price for Designer Jeans

Want designer, high quality jeans without paying a fortune for them?  Look no further.These Calvin Klein light wash jeans were snagged at TJ Maxx for only $29.99.  Yes, you read that right.  They’re super stretchy and comfy skinny jeans and I absolutely love the burned out coloration on the ankle.  Shop skinny jean options at TJ Maxx: “Skinny Jeans”

Let’s talk about flounce tops because I can’t seem to get enough of them this season.  They’re comfortable and sexy with an edgy feel.  This black bodysuit I’m wearing is from Forever 21 and was purchased for about $15.  Bodysuits are even better because they fit nice and tight.  Plus, there are thong options so you don’t have to worry about that pesky line in whatever pants you’re wearing.  I’ve linked some similar ones below you might like!

 

And no outfit is ever complete without the perfect pair of shoes (my guiltiest pleasure when it comes to shopping purchases).  These Zigi Soho black suede mule sandals were only $24.99 at TJ Maxx.  I actually joked that I don’t have ‘buyer’s remorse’ I have remorse when I leave a store without buying something I like and end up going back for it; which is precisely what I did with these shoes.  So dilemma.  As much as I love the slide-on, contemporary look of the mule trend…I’m not a fan of the uber chunky heels so it’s been difficult to find ones I like enough to pull the trigger on.

Stay stylish and spend less my friends,

XO

Like Sunshine and Summertime

It shouldn’t come as a surprise this is yet another post about a cold shoulder top, I’m a huge fan of them.  It seems like everytime I step foot into a store lately there’s a plethora of them in a variety of colors and I’m not complaining.  I love the simplicity of this white top, paired with a neckerchief from Express (which are trending right now).  It adds a little sassiness to the class of the cotton shirt.  It’s a MUST add to your wardrobe as the summer months approach!IMG_5354 (2)This white, lightweight cotton top I was able to snag at Francesca’s for $14.  In fact, I glanced at a few times one night and had to go back for it the following day (thankfully it was still there)!  Unfortunately, I can no longer find it online or in store, but I’ve linked some similar tops below for you to check out.  Also, no surprise here…there’s very similar tops available right now at my favorite store: TJ Maxx.IMG_5369Best part of the week?  My May BootayBag arrived in the mail!IMG_5334IMG_5339Check out BootayBag here: Meet Your New Bae…IMG_5373

Here are some more cold shoulder tops (all with fabulous price tags) that you might enjoy as well:

Stay stylish my friends,

XO

Patriotic Floral and Blue Suede Bliss

Style is one of the four points of the Miss America Organization crown.  To me, its relevance is demonstrated by staying current with trends, but also taking into account what clothing best represents your own personality (and comfort is high on the list too).  It’s fun and exciting to experiment with new patterns, textures, and cuts of clothing pieces but it’s essential that in doing so you never stray away from who you are and the things that you like.

I typically describe my style as sexy, classy, and simple.  Trying to balance these three qualities can be tricky, however, I feel they’re three accurate adjectives to describe not only my daily wardrobe but my stage wardrobe within the Miss America Organization as well.IMG_5342IMG_5344This patriotic, floral dress caught my eye when I was making a quick sweep through TJ Maxx and I couldn’t pass it up!  Off the shoulder tops and dresses are very in for the spring and summer seasons and I love the dramatic neckline they create!

IMG_5361IMG_5375I had my eye on similar suede, bow sandals from DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) for the past few weeks.  When I stumbled upon these Kenneth Cole ones (the only ones I could find in store at TJ Maxx) I was elated!  If you like those, here are some similar styles you might like:

XO,

Stay stylish and comfy my friends.

 

Sweet with Southern Flair

Cold shoulder tops are an absolute must for the spring and summer.  They’re edgy and fun-allowing you to show a little skin and feel sexy.  Not to mention they help you bronze up those shoulders while you’re enjoying the sunshine (what’s not to love?).Sweet Tea Clothing Co., an adorable boutique in Wisconsin Rapids (my hometown) has some fantastic items you need to add to your closet for the upcoming months.  One being this blue and white striped, button-up cold shoulder top.

P.S. I think Benjamin wanted some of my coffee (he knows what’s up).

I LOVE how this shirt has a professional blouse appeal to it, but still exemplifies the carefree spirit that you should embrace whole heartedly as the weather warms up.
Want to shop in store?  They’re located at 821 Pepper Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids, if you haven’t paid them a visit I would highly encourage you to do so!  Want to see more of the stylish dresses, cardigans, pants, tops, and accessories they have in store, follow them on Instagram.Want to shop this look?

Oh, and the Halley’s Comet Round Octagon Sunglasses from Francesca’s made another appearance.  I’ve been wearing them non-stop!  Shop them here: ONLY $16.00

Stay stylish my friends,

XO

It’s A Bootay(ful) Cause

EEK!  My first BootayBag arrived in the mail and I’m super excited.  Have you heard of it?  If not, let me tell you a little bit about the monthly delivery and how it’s helping to make a difference.

BootayBag is a philanthropic based company that sends out a monthly, recurring subscription for women (you can skip months-how fantastic is that flexibility?).  It includes two pairs of undies for only $12, yes you read that right, only $12 and that includes shipping!

 

Are you ready for the best part?  Whenever someone posts a picture with the hashtag ‘#UnderMatters’ on social media, they donate $1 to the Melanoma Foundation.  Come on, who doesn’t love a product that supports an even greater cause?  I know millennials, like myself do!

Read More About BootayBag HERE:  BootayBag – Your New Bae