March 15, 2017 - Easy Outfits, I Feel Pretty, Style

A Moto Jacket and Not Measuring Up

Want to know a secret?  Some days I beat myself up mercilessly over SO many things.  Recently it’s been about not having professional blog photos.

I’m sure you’ve noticed over the past year that I do more and more mirror selfies.  Honestly it’s just easier.  My husband is my blog photographer, but not a professional photographer.  He travels a lot for work so when he’s home on the weekends, the last thing I want to do is bug him to take photos.  It’s usually not worth taking quality time away from our family to do it.

Yes, I know that pretty blog photos aren’t that big of a deal but it really bothers me. I want to create a better, higher quality experience for you.

But that’s not the only reason why I feel like a “bad blogger”, I also beat myself up over not spending enough time in my private Facebook groups for the GYPO Style Challenge, actually more than anything else.  Yes, you ladies in there are more than happy and willing to take care of each other but I would LOVE to carve out more time to interact.

Honestly I think if there were three of me, I could be a lot more productive and effective.  One Alison would be dedicated to creating kick butt blog content, one Alison would interact in the Facebook groups all day and one would do the planning and creation of the GYPO Style Challenge.

Sigh…in a perfect world.

But there’s only one Alison who more than anything wants to do better as a wife and mom.  Who has made the commitment to my family to close my laptop by 5:00 pm every day.  Most days I do it but that doesn’t stop me from laying awake at night knowing I have 50 unread Facebook notifications waiting for me.

And let’s not even talk about the other things that get pushed down on the list like calling my parents or sisters more often or planning new meals instead of eating the same thing every single week or any number of other things that I wish I had the bandwidth to take on.

Most days I just feel like a giant load of not measuring up.

Not measuring up to my own unrealistic expectations as a blogger, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

And I know I’m not unique. Swap my Facebook notifications for any number of demands you have and we’re all in this together.

But I have professional photos today.

Because I know I can’t do it all perfectly all the time. But sometimes I find time to try a little harder. And sometimes it works out. But if it doesn’t that’s ok too because really we are all trying and doing our best.

Those who love us know this. They see the good we are doing, not the unrealistic never ending mental list of what we beat ourselves up over.

Thankfully perception isn’t reality.  Thanks to you amazing readers who assure me that what I do makes a difference.  Thanks to my sweet, supportive husband who builds me up and is always there.  Thanks to my sensitive kids that know just the right time to tell me that I’m more than enough as their mom.

Even though I know I can do much better in many areas, reality is I’m not truly failing.  And neither are you.

So today I bring you some real blog photos because I had the bandwidth to try a little harder. I can’t promise that they’ll be regular but I’m trying.  And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.





[Moto Jacket:  Stitch Fix, Similar/Tank:  Similar/Jeggings:  Same/Necklace:  Chesley Mae/Earrings:  Same/Sandals:  Same]

OK, back to fashion, let’s talk about this sueded moto jacket I got in my Stitch Fix this month.  (In case you missed it last month, see Why I Gave Stitch Fix a Second Chance).

I’ve been looking for the perfect spring moto jacket for a few weeks now.  None of them quite seemed to fit the bill.  Then like a gift from above, this perfect sueded moto jacket arrived in this month’s Stitch Fix.  It fits perfectly and I wore it that same night to the HeartStories Girls Night Out that my friend Crystal hosts each month. (P.S. – If you’re local to DFW and haven’t come out to it yet, it’s a MUST DO!)  It’s the one night of the month that I actually dress up a little.

Here are the rest of the pieces in this month’s fix and my verdict on each.

1. Suede Ankle Boots – Loved these but have a pair very similar so they went back.  Plus I’m more into open toed shoes now since it’s starting to feel like spring in Texas.  I don’t think I’d get much wear from these.


2.  Frayed Hem Mid-Rise Jeans – Wanted to keep these but they were a little too big.  This is two months in a row where the jeans have been a size too big so I adjusted my sizing in my Stitch Fix profile.


3.  Blush V-Neck Sweater – I have an almost identical piece in my closet which I’m sure you’ve seen me wear on the blog a time or two.  I didn’t keep this either.


4.  Black Bow Back Blouse – Oh how I wanted to love this pretty blouse!  It has a flounced hem and the most adorable bow on the back.  Alas, I couldn’t find a way to wear that my bra strap didn’t show in the back.  So unfortunately this beauty went back (it’s much cuter in person, I promise)!


5.  Sueded Moto Jacket – Winner, winner!  Perfect right out of the box.  Amazing quality, just right weight, color and fit. This is the one piece I kept this month.  The true color is more like the photos of me wearing it above, a light beige, almost blush.  If you’re looking for a similar one, check out this great dupethis faux suede one, this striped one and this plus sized one.


Once again, I was thrilled with this month’s fix.  I felt that my stylist really got me and sent great pieces. Even though I’ve only kept one piece the past two month’s, it’s still totally worth it.  I love having these unexpected surprises arrive to add in some fun new trends.

Disclosure:  If you decide to sign up for Stitch Fix using my link, I earn a credit.  Even still, all opinions are 100% my own. Your trust is always more important than a product credit!

I Feel Pretty Link Up

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell me what made you feel pretty this week in the comments.


Getting my pretty on with Style ElixirJo Lynne Shane and A Little Bit of Everything.



There are just a few simple rules:

1. Follow GYPO. (Bloglovin‘, FacebookInstagram or Pinterest)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to GYPO (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretties.

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  1. Pretty jacket! You’re definitely not a failure at any of this, it’s a lot to juggle. I use a tripod and remote for photos so that’s always an option to have photos a step up from selfies and not have to bother the husband.

  2. I always feel like there is something I could be doing better. As women it is so hard to find balance. I think you have a beautiful blog that is so full of good information. I am still in love that cute haircut!

    xo, Whitney and Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

  3. We love you and all you do for us, Alison! You are ALWAYS enough.

    Trina Rader

  4. I feel the same way about pictures. Usually, my family takes my pictures but sometimes I don’t want to bother anyone and end up doing some other kind of post. In anything in life, sometimes it’s hard to find balance but practise makes perfect, right? And that’s a gorgeous outfit as well.

    Marta –

  5. You are being too hard on yourself! I think as women, we tend to do that. Think about all the things you do accomplish each day instead of the things you don’t!

    1. Hi Laura! You’re right. I go through these days once in a while but am usually pretty good at reminding myself that I’m doing enough. Everyone is fed and healthy and alive so that’s really all that matters at the end of the day.

  6. Alison, I totally relate to that not measuring up feeling. And the not having professional blog photos. (Your photos are always fabulous, by the way, professional or not). But we do our best and we are enough and we are definitely in this together. The timing of this post is perfect because I was having that “not measuring up” feeling just yesterday as I threw a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. But then I put it in perspective…my husband has been gone for 65 days and there are still 13 to go before his return. We are in the middle of the blizzard of the season. The snow blower broke so I had to shovel a foot of very heavy snow out of our extraordinarily long driveway….while the kids played in the snow. Upon coming inside with a very sore back and shoulder, I had to get the children out of their snow gear, meet their demands for hot chocolate, fold the 2 loads of laundry that were waiting, feed them dinner (albeit a frozen pizza), clean up dinner, do the bath and bedtime routine (which requires all of mommy’s attention when daddy is away). So after beating myself up for the things I didn’t do yesterday, I changed my perspective to the things that I did do…which is much more important! So thank you for reinforcing the message that I am enough!


    1. Your photos are always great too Shelbee! I can’t imagine having my hubby gone for 65 days in a row. Big hugs to you sister! That’s a lot to handle on your own. And hey, there’s nothin’ wrong with frozen pizza. Happy to hear that the timing on this was helpful for you. Hang in there!

  7. Oh my goodness, don’t be silly about the photos. They are great. I’m just laughing because just yesterday I was looking at the photo of you in the swimsuit (Instagram?) and being jealous of how skinny you (20 years younger than me) are. We all need to get over this comparing and berating of ourselves. I love everything you do, and that’s another thing I compare – I don’t have your energy, wish I did.

    I do appreciate your honesty. It is really encouraging to me. Thanks for all you do.

    1. Oh we are our own worst enemies, aren’t we? I play the comparison game way too often. I think the quote goes something like “comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s so true. You’re doing great Lori and thanks so much for you kind words!

  8. I hear ya, it’s so frustrating b/c I think we’re all kinda perfectionists and want our space to be perfect….I find all the social media stuff that goes with blogging to be so overwhelming. Great post.

  9. Professional photos or not, you’ve been an inspiration to me. I love reading your blog. You’ve made it SOO much easier for me to make decisions, update my wardrobe, and create outfits. I look forward to reading your emails each week. Thank you!

  10. Alison, the thing that attracted me to your blog in the first place was that I felt like I saw YOU! Not some “professional image” you contrived to put out there in blog land. And not only that I saw the real you, I could see me in you. (Even though I am MUCH older. 😉 ) You have always been honest and accessible, professional photos or cell phone selfies.

    I think at one time or another, we all feel that we are not measuring up. If we feel that way all of the time, then we need to stop that. We need to give ourselves a little grace. If we feel that way occasionally, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate some things that are going on and what we may need to adjust. Faith and family ALWAYS come first. Love you, sweet lady. You ARE enough!

    1. Sweet Saxon, you always know the right thing to say and you’ve probably been around GYPO longer than just about anyone! Extending GRACE is really key – to ourselves and others. Thanks for this wonderful reminder. Big hugs to you! xoxo

  11. We all feel that in one way or another. The photos you took look fantastic! My second try at Stitch Fix was awesome too and ended up keeping the jacket as well. I think it’s finding the right stylist that “gets” you.

  12. Alison, These pictures are fantastic and the best part is that they are straight 🙂 I agree with LoriM and don’t be so silly about the photos!

  13. I’m totally struggling with this right now too. Thanks for the encouragement! I love your hair, by the way!

  14. Thanks for such a great post today… I am a high school teacher on top of mom and wife. These days my to do list is so long I just feel miserable and unaccomplished at the end of most days. Your words really helped today especially.
    Love the jacket!! I have been looking for a spring jacket like this. Unfortunately it is sold out at Nordstrom’s already. Any other leads on another similar one? Thanks!

  15. Your professional photos are lovely for sure. But I love the snapshot selfies! They make everything seem more approachable — l can truly envision myself in these clothes. They are authentic and real and make you and your advice more accessible. The second I saw the professional shot I felt like you had moved up to a level that maybe was going to be like so many of the other bloggers in your niche who aren’t very realistic about the average person. I will enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the pro shots but will be happy when you bring back the selfies! 🙂

    1. Hi Kristin! Thanks so much for sharing this VERY helpful insight! The mirror selfies won’t be going away, although (full disclosure) while we were taking these pics, we banked a few more weeks worth of outfits to make it worth the while. 🙂 I truly appreciate this feedback!

  16. Allison, one reason I follow you and not the other fashion bloggers is bc you are real! The highly polished professional photos intimidate me from trying to do exactly what your goal is to encourage us to do….get our pretty on. There’s something about the selfies that makes you feel like ones of us. It empowers me to think that I can do it. Please consider skipping the professional photos, not ever spending precious time with your hubby to do it, and just be you! We love you for that! Hugs from a fellow Murphy Mom who wants you to keep healthy boundaries and worry less!

    1. Hello fellow Murphy Mom! Thanks so much for offering up this feedback and insight. I guess I never really thought of it that way but you’re right. The mirror selfies won’t go away completely although we were able to bank a few more outfit photos for the next few weeks. Had to make it worth the time! Hugs to you too! Hope we can meet up in person some day. xoxo

      1. I was following GYPO before I even realized you live so close. Can’t believe I haven’t run into you yet at a local store! Will be sure to say “hi” if I spot you! 🙂

  17. Alison, it is interesting you mention this, as I had this conversation with my mom the other day. She told me that I am doing my best, and that I have my expectations are always so high! I think the main thing is that you mentioned, you are only one person and are doing the best you can! Thats great! Once I thought about it, I did think, geez this is what I am getting excited about, when 10 yrs ago I couldnt get out of bed! I love what you receved from SF, all are winners, I love the moto jackets, blush and the detail in the blouse. You look lovely. take care
    jess xx

    1. Hey Jess! It’s great to have high expectations for ourselves as that’s usually the driving factor. BUT when we beat ourselves up over falling short, not so much. I guess it’s about finding that balance of setting those goals but being ok if we don’t quite meet them every day. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words today!

  18. Aw, thanks Lauren! Yes, let’s be real together. Life isn’t Pinterest perfect in any way. Authenticity is something that feels missing in today’s social media crazy world. Thanks for the encouraging words!

    P.S. We were able to batch several outfits into our photo session so it might be awhile before I do mirror selfies with my phone. But they’ll be back! 🙂

  19. YES! I too love that quote and it’s SO true. I’ve gleaned so much insight from these comments. Thank you for sharing!

    It’s funny that you mention the lace bralette, my daughter and I were just looking at some last night and I thought about how cute that would be peeking out. One of those would’ve been perfect with that black blouse. Shoot! I should’ve kept it! 🙂

  20. I know how hard it is to juggle all of the conflicting demands. I feel overwhelmed frequently too. My husband is also my photographer, and since he got a new camera he’s been a lot more willing to take my blog photos…funny that! It’s still difficult to schedule photos sometimes though because he works shifts. If there were an extra five hours in the day it still wouldn’t be enough but I just try to do my best and try really hard not to compare myself to others. Love the moto jacket, that’s definitely the pick of the bunch!

    Emma xxx

  21. Alison, Looks like most of us agree – we don’t mind the selfies!!

    I have to remark about your necklace–love it!! Can you tell us a little more about Chesley Mae?

  22. Just today I was thinking about how I need to read with my son more, cook better meals, dedicate more time to help my daughter with homework..sigh. Thanks for this helpful reminder. Love your blog!! and the selfies:)

  23. Goodness, I certainly feel you on this topic. Some days I feel like I will never get caught up with blog comments, visiting other supportive bloggers, social media, etc. Don’t even get me started on my “Real” life. Your photos today look gorgeous and I really like the casual look! Another great Stitch Fix box this month.

  24. Dear friend, You are BEAUTIFUL! With your background, you have undoubtedly had many professional photographs taken and I’ll bet it was fun! Sometimes I feel sorry for bloggers because blogging has just burst into something almost unrealistic anymore. I recently quit following so many fashion bloggers (and home design) because honestly, I just didn’t feel like I identified with them anymore. They felt too much like a business or catalog.
    You are so adorable and real and that is why I continue to follow along! I ‘know’ you could have professional photos done like the rest, but the selfies in the mirror of your home, makes you someone more identifiable! The fact that you make your family a priority is especially attractive and that you limit your social media presence is actually a really important example for all those sweet mommies out there that are following along!
    Alison, what you offer is so much more than just fashion! Have professional photos done when it’s fun if you’d like, but I’ll bet if I read all the comments today, I’d find that the majority is just like me…..we love you and your iphone selfies!

    1. Thanks for your always sweet and thoughtful commentary Susie! I really appreciate this kind of feedback and your insights. It’s about trying to strike that balance and putting in the extra when it’s feasible but being ok with the times that it’s not. It’s such a relief to know that the phone selfies are not only an option but a preferred one at that! Thanks for following and more importantly for being my friend! xoxo

  25. I love that this blog is from a ‘real’ mom trying to keep up like the rest of us! I don’t care if your photos are professional… just show us where to get the outfits that we can get it and afford it! Lol!!
    Also, I think we all go through seasons of not feeling as if we are ‘enough’. We all have been given a few people to take care of in this life. God gave us what He wanted us to be responsible for in this life… our jobs and our people… I want to hear’Well done” from Him when it’s the end of my life here- and so the idea of not being enough pales when I know in my heart I am doing the best with Him that I can. I know you feel that way too and we have to encourage and remind our sisters of what matters in the end. We are all appreciative of the time you spend for us!!! You are a blessing to all of us!!

  26. Thank you for being so open and honest with us!!! I am very new to blogging still but can totally relate to how crazy it is to try and keep track of everything that goes into it. Your photographs, even the mirror selfies all look amazing!! You are one inspiring lady! Thanks so much for hosting and for sharing with Roxanne and myself at On Mondays We Link-Up :). Loving this outfit on you…the jacket and shoes match perfectly!!!

    Trendy & Tidy

  27. We women always beat ourselves up over trying to do and be everything for everyone! You are an inspiration and role model for all of us, Alison! Love your pictures whether selfies or professional. They all show your inner beauty and how sincere you are in helping all of us gain inner confidence by looking our best on the outside. Thank you for what you do! On a lighter note, love that moto jacket on you and I need that painting that is hanging above your couch! XOXO

    1. Hi Karen! Your kind words mean so much to me. Oh that painting! There’s a story behind it. The artist is Max Lawrence and the title of it is Romans 8:39 “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It’s abstract but I just love the colors and meaning behind it. Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

  28. You are just about perfect in my book…I feel less than when I look at all that you have accomplished and how beautiful you are and thin -size 27 jeans would not be way too big on me (I would never be able to publish my size to the public)! Keep on keeping on…you are doing a fabulous job.

  29. Thanks for linking up to the Top of the World Style party. This motorcycle jacket is a great buy. It will work year round.

  30. such a cute outfit!!! love the jacket! I am right there with you on blog photos, I rarely ask my hubby to do it either. I feel so awkward asking him to take them when we are out and about. Weird. So, I got myself a tripod and take my own. Good old self timer and remote. Sure I get weird looks but I get stuff done and I have become a perfectionist as I get better. You look lovely and don’t worry about that professional picture stuff, you are awesome!

  31. I feel like I could be a better blogger. I don’t have a great camera. I use a tripod or my boyfriend to take my photos. My mom loves your FB group and has been a little more adventurous in her style since joining.
    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday.

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