Your happy place. Get rid of the clutter.

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When you think of your safe haven or your happy place what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me and most people I know, it is their home. The reason my family and I’s happy place is our home is because it is a space that we enjoy that is clutter free and full of things that brings us joy. So, in going along with my ORA motto to organize, accessorize and revitalize, how would you apply this to your home to make it your safe haven?

Think about when you walk into a show home or apartment and how neat and nice everything is laid out and the oohs and ahh’s resonating in your mind. Okay, now add your books you love, pillows, throws, family pictures, your mismatched socks (kidding), your favorite candles and your decorating flare and voila’! Now you have a space you get excited to see when you walk in the door and most importantly brings you joy and creates that safe haven you love! The point is to get rid of the clutter that weighs you down, you don’t ever use, or makes you unhappy when you look at it.

Organization:

For us, having closets and drawers free from clutter is huge. When it comes to organizing drawers this can be a challenge because this is an easy place for things to become highly unorganized. We decided to try the roll effect for our t-shirts and work out clothes. When you open the drawer you are able to see the t-shirts and logo or item of clothing you have instead of searching through a pile of clothes. My husband has become quite attached to his t-shirts like this because he just picks one and goes..well, now we just need to work on his rolling skills.

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It is also important to get rid of clothing you don’t ever wear! We purge our closets and drawers every season and have plenty to donate. Only having items of clothing we wear in our closet makes it so much easier to pick an outfit for the day and you are stepping out in clothing you feel confident in!

Accessorize, everything has a place:

From books, to toys, to nail polish, to Tupperware, to mail, to bed linens, to towels, to paperwork….I have a certain place for everything! This way when you need something you know where it is. Pretty simple, right? You don’t have to go to the container store and spend a lot of money on getting organized…find cute ways to place items. We have a book shelf and I have various decorative items placed with file folders. For example on the bottom shelf I have paper work in cute file folders and then the next shelf books and a wooden monogram letter…I like to mix organization with cute decorations. Instead of having a huge filing cabinet in the corner of the room that you dread looking at it is nice to mix in fun things so it is more of a joyous space!

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Revitalize your space, add something new:

I can not contain the absolute excitement I receive from buying a new candle or throw pillow. It’s the little things people! Haha, seriously, a new rug, throw pillow, or candle scent can completely revitalize a room. One thing people always comment on when they walk in our home is how great it smells….which surprises me when we have a stinky, large basset hound that rules the house! If you walk into a room and look at your decor and it depresses you, change what you can afford to change by adding new, affordable touches.

Your home is supposed to be your safe haven from the world. Make it a place you enjoy spending time in and where you can’t wait to walk through the door after a long day! Get rid of the things that are bringing you down. It can simply be a coffee mug you hate looking at everyday, a picture frame, or a plant that isn’t planted in a decorative vase…haha, once again, its the simple things.

Happy Decluttering!

Xoxo,

Shelley Longwell

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SKY

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Sky is what I call her but Skylar is her name. She is the light of our life and proof of how amazing God can be and the blessings he bestowed upon us. No one can prepare you on what it will be like to become a parent. The first time I held Sky reality hit me and my first thought was, I am responsible for her life! That is a HUGE responsibility, but one that I was ready to conquer.
I know it is a sensitive subject but I feel like raising a child has become so stressful from all the books and information on the internet of people’s, doctors, and earth mother’s opinions on “the right way to care for your baby.” I did not read books, or go to classes. I honestly didn’t want to have all these expectations of what would be told to me and then worry if Sky wasn’t meeting them. You can never escape the advice though…someone will always have their input on the “correct” way to do things.
From the moment Sky was placed in my arms everything just felt right and I became a natural at being a mother! I am always calm around her and every time she looks at me or opens her eyes from a nap, I greet her with a huge smile, and in return she is a calm, happy baby. I believe such an important aspect of motherhood is just understanding your baby and being in tune with their needs and wants (haha, this is my parenting input) . I respect all the “correct ways” of raising your baby but for me it was not stressing or feeling defeated over what is right or wrong.
I know I’m veering off from writing about fashion but my whole world has been about Sky and my family! The meaning of ORA can be versatile though….I am organizing, revitalizing, and accessorizing my life instead of my closet!
So I’m ending this post with a funny story:
No matter how much pink I dress Sky in everyone asks me how old is “he”….ugh, really?!
I’m at Publix and waiting in line to get turkey. A women in her 60’s came up to me and said, “oh what a cute baby you have! How old is HE?” I smiled politely and said, “SHE is 4 months old.” She responded, “Oh, I’m sorry, she is just too cute, what is her name?” Me, “Her name is Skylar!” She then said, “Oh Tyler fits her so well!” I gave up at that point, and walked away. Haha, people are amazing.

“A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.”
― Victoria Secunda

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Xoxo,
Shelley Longwell

Faith and Passion=MJM Designs

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Have you ever been shopping and come across a piece of jewelry that you can’t keep your eyes off of and then slip into a daydream of all the accessorizing you can do with that one piece of jewelry? Well, my friends let me introduce you to MJM Designs! These are beautifully, hand crafted, one-of-a-kind bracelets, and necklaces that have a unique style and are made with natural gemstones.
Why I ADORE these: When I am shopping for jewelry I always look for a piece of jewelry that 1. Fits my personality and lets me express my style 2. Has a great price point 3. Unique and handcrafted, and lastly 4. Support local artist. You may be thinking I am just being bias once I mention it is my mother-in-law, who created these, but SERIOUSLY, these bracelets fit all my criteria for the perfect accessory and I can’t help but boast about such a wonderfully made product and more so be inspired by a talent that needs to be shared with the community and every fashionista who appreciates a design started with such passion.
A little background: Michelle started with an idea, a creative eye, an inspiration for her faith in GOD, and the patience to strand each bead in the wee hours of the morning. She tactfully puts thought into each bracelet and each line and not one bracelet is the same…you can’t get much more unique than that! Bracelets are adorned with brass and turquoise crosses, crystal and antique rondelles, crystal pave beads, ostrich egg shell disc, and the most beautiful natural gemstones!
Eye Candy:

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Where to buy:
Okay, so if you live in Atlanta Michelle will come to you so you can host a trunk show with family and girlfriends. Whats in it for you?! The hostess will receive a bracelet of your choosing or she will accommodate your special design request!
Facebook: Message her and she will be more than happy to discuss which bracelet you want! Each line is posted on her facebook page!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MJM-Designs/516930608329331

Alive Afer Five: She will also be at Alive After Five in the Roswell square where you will be able to try on all her pieces! Check out times here: http://www.aliveafterfiveroswell.com/

Happy bead shopping!!

XOXO,

Shelley Longwell

In the Famous Words of….

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I was recently reading an article about Oscar de la Renta and he was a asked a question that most people in the fashion industry should know but probably have many different answers too.

The loaded question: “What is the difference between fashion and Style?”

Oscar states: ” Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is about being yourself.”

I love this statement!  This statement relates to the concept of ORA in so many ways! Of course being fashionable is important but, hey if you were to follow the runway trends, do you really want to walk out of your house dressed liked this?

I adore Fashion and I appreciate what each designer creates, but honestly some high fashion is just not my style.

In the famous words of the fashion worlds greatest:

Yves Saint Laurent- “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

Jean-Paul Gaultier- “Elegance is a question of personality, more than one’s clothing.”

Stendal- “Only great minds can afford a simple style.”

Gianni Versace – “Don’t be into Trends.  Don’t make fashion own you, but decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”

The reason this question sparked a topic for me is the mere fact that you have to be comfortable in what you are wearing to portray you are confident in what your wearing. Fashion is constantly evolving, almost on a daily basis! I mean really, can your wallet keep up with chasing those fashion trends?

Be true to YOU and bend the rules of fashion to fit your personality!

Happy Styling!!
xoxo,

Shelley Longwell

Let’s rebuild your summer wardrobe for under $500, wait what?!

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I was reading an article recently about rebuilding your wardrobe for under $500. This means the grand total you will be spending is around $499.99. Not sure about you, but to me that is quite a bit to add some spice up to your summer wardrobe! I looked at some of the clothing and the price was steep for what you were getting.

Okay, I know you are thinking stores are clearing up all summer clothing to get ready for Fall but this is a GREAT time to rebuild your summer wardrobe and end the season on a fresh, mores stylish note!

Here is my take on rebuilding your wardrobe for the rest of summer for under $200.00…meaning $199.99 haha! I also did a price comparison on other name brands that are more pricey if you like to spend more moola!

 

 

~Honestly what would I do with out a crisp, new v-neck white tee and tank. If you have had one in your wardrobe for half the summer I guarantee you it does not look just like it did when you first purchased it!

Target Mossimo white tee $8.00 American Apparel $22.00

~Add some fun pants into your wardrobe that you can transition into Fall. How about some mint colored pants?                            Mint pant by Go Jane $45.00   J.Crew $125.00

~I think a stylish long dress is something you can throw on that is easy!

Target-Mossimo- $28.00 C&C California- $98.00

~I really love a great nude top, granted the color does not suit everyone it is such a great color to have in your wardrobe all year long…so it would not be a bad idea to splurge!

Forever 21- $27.00 Theory- $200.00

~A pop of color is always fun to add to your wardrobe…if not in your pant selection definitely your shoes!

Lulu’-wedge-$29.00   Dolce & Gabbana- $229.00

There you have it! Instead of spending $499.00 I have managed to add some end of summer pieces to my wardrobe for $137.00!! I wanted to show you a compare and save scenario to see you really can buy items for cheap if you are running low on funds and look like you spent over $500.00 on your wardrobe!

Oh and for desert:  if you would like to spend that extra to equal $200.00 here is a great side bag that you can carry into fall!Forever 21- $30.00

Happy summer shopping!

xoxo~

Shelley Longwell

 

 

I LOVE a good challenge!

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This weekend I had the most enjoyable pleasure of helping a client ‘revamp’ her closet. In an earlier blog I mentioned how everyone does have a buying pattern. This client bought khakis, black plants, and tops she liked….(in every color they came), and cardigans. Possibly one of the more extreme buying patterns I have come across.

The challenge: Walking into the closet made my chest break out in a rash and have a minor anxiety attack. Clothes were all over the place and unorganized, summer, fall, and winter were mixed. Pant sizes were mixed (at this time she is fluctuating between sizes). Purses were all over the place and shoes were all over the place in pile on her closet floor. There is no way you can mix and match clothing when it is so disorganized and lost in a sea of other clothing!

As soon as I walked in her closet I asked her if she felt like she could not breathe walking in to her closet everyday and she laughed and responded, “YES”!! Okay, so this is a problem!

Breakdown: I started weeding out her pants so we could have the appropriate fitted sizes for her to have easy access too and not have to worry if they fit or not. This process would be easy right??…well, try 200 pants later. EXHAUSTED! Once pants were organized by size and style, we moved to tops and weeded out faded tops and some that were just completely outdated, to small, too big, or just not flattering on her(fit, color, style) .

We then moved onto purses and shoes. The whole closet floor was covered in shoes! After discarding 2 bags of shoes we came to agreement of which ones to keep for now. 😉 This was a challenge because she did not have a hard time parting withe some styles, but I assured her she had so many others that styles that were updated and added style to her everyday wardrobe! Again, with purses we kept the trendy, classic ones and discarded the outdated styles. Ahhhh, I am still envisioning classic black Chanel bags!

My main goal was to organize her closet in a manner where she could get creative with her wardrobe…oh, and walk around in her closet as well! :). I wanted her closet space to be a creative board so each day she could walk into her closet and come out with a stylish outfit for the day. When clothing is visible, organized and fits, usually you can create a new outfit everyday because you see what you have and it is not getting lost in a sea of unorganized clothes. A good blog to refer back to is the “trickle effect” blog on how to organize your closet.

Here are some before and after pics of my clients closet to give you an idea of the organization process:

Before                                                                After


XOXO,

Shelley Longwell

I was kidnapped by wedding planning :)

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Wow, I can not believe how long it has been since I have written a post! All I have been thinking about are flowers, RSVP’S, and catering!

In the world of ORA:

I am thrilled to have a closet organizing this weekend! I look forward to meeting a potential new client and revamping her closet…or should I say OrganizeRevitalizeAccessorize her closet. 🙂 As we are making a fast pace toward the end of spring and gearing up for humidity and heat during summer our wardrobe change can become dull. Dull, meaning it makes the heat more bearable to throw on a sun dress, flip-flops and call it day! There are so many light fabrics for spring and summer with vivid prints, stripes,geometric prints, and the oh, so famous animal prints to spice up your wardrobe!

Here are some trends for spring/summer 2012:

Fashion color trend: Mint Green(HUGE TREND), Neon’s (Bright blues, Yellows, greens, oranges, and hot pinks) within the neon shades orange made a huge debut on the runways! Black, white, red and lastly creamy neutrals.

Patterns: Think, whimsical: bird prints, fruit, and feathers! Floral, from soft muted pastels to South Pacific inspired. Stripes are huge year after year, so this should be a staple in your wardrobe. Anything paisley will also be another big trend but only touches, don’t overload on this!

Fabrics: Lace (But only for a few more seasons ladies), crochet, and soft fabrics such as silk.

Purses: Belt bags, not fanny packs 🙂 but the cute small square flat belt bags. Incorporate at least one over-sized clutch this season.

Shoes: Kitten heels, cut out booties, and I hate to say it but gladiator sandals will be making a reappearance…more so than in 2008. If you can zip it, or buckle it up, buy it! Hardware on shoes it still a trend for this season.

Okay, let’s visualize! Now that I have talked about it take a look at some outfits that will have people looking twice at you:


Happy spring/summer shopping!!

XOXO,

Shelley Longwell