Sunday, December 31, 2017

Easy NYE Outfit Idea Featuring Items Your Probably Already Have In Your Closet

For once the weather has been consistently cold for Christmas and to kick off the New Year. The only downside of a cold New Year's Eve is how chilly the bay will be tomorrow come time for my friends and I to take the Polar Bear Plunge. It's not supposed to hit the 50s in Fairhope for another week which has me considering taking my dad's wetsuit for triathlons with me for the chilly dip. 

The holiday season is full of traditions and one that some of my friends and I have together is New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Ever since high school I have spent my New Year's Eve with my friends in a less than flashy way. I'm talking no sequins, occasionally falling asleep before midnight, and usually cooking together. Is this normal for 20 somethings? Nope, but we love it. As I've gotten older I think I've become more of a home body when I finally have the opportunity to be home since I truly appreciate a short stint in my own bed in the house I grew up in. For our *fancy* (please tell me you're picking up on the sarcasm here) night we tend to stay comfortable in workout clothes and eventually pajamas. On occasion we will follow through with our plans to go to the party hosted downtown in our little hometown, but I can guarantee you still, no sequins here. 

For any of y'all like me it's about warmth and comfort when getting dressed for the night. I'm sure I can't be the only one with this mindset and I'm also not denying that given the opportunity to get really dressed up for New Year's Eve that I wouldn't take it. As for what I'll be wearing tonight if we do in fact decide to leave the house, it looks a little bit like this. Comfortable jeans, a go to white v-neck sweater, furry black vest, and suede black over the knee boots. Comfort: check. Warmth: check. Semi Festive: well there are beads, headbands, and champagne glasses at NYE gatherings for a reason right? 

sweater // vest // jeans // over the knee boots // hoops // watch // gold bracelet (similar) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 )

I want to hear what fun plans y'all have for the evening! Anyone else love a low key night with friends too?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Favorite Outfits of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close in the next couple of days I've been doing a lot of reviewing of the past year in terms of blogging. If you didn't catch my post yesterday that shared my favorite posts I wrote during 2017 definitely check that out. But, I also wanted to take the time to separately share my favorite outfit posts from the past year as well. I have always been interested in styles and design, and I used to sketch outfit designs when I was younger at our beach house. I think somewhere in my closet there are still notebooks of those drawings, and while I'm not an artist it's funny to think of how now as an "adult" I still enjoy the same sort of thing. 

Outfit posts have been such a fun way for me to share clothing finds I've made while expressing my personal style. I also have to admit they are super handy to have and include to break up the more text heavy posts that are typically more time consuming. It's so funny to look through the survey I included in yesterday's post to see different people's opinion of outfit posts. Based on the responses so far y'all really seem to love them and find them helpful when creating your own outfits (although one or two have said they don't), and I look forward to continuing to include them in the year to come! If you prefer a different style or aren't a fan of the way I dress I understand that as well, and hope that you'll find plenty of other entertaining posts throughout each week. 

If you see any pieces you're hoping to add to your own wardrobe I was sure to link to the original blog post that contains links to what I'm wearing below each of the photos. Do keep in mind that these are outfit posts from the entire year however, and some of the items featured may no longer be in stock. 

pale blue peplum


Friday, December 29, 2017

My Favorite Posts of 2017 + Reader's Favorite Posts of 2017 + Survey

This week of the year is always a bit of a weird one. It has been super rainy here and that combined with the fact that my Christmas break is almost over has me a bit bummed. I think part of the reason for that is in part due to knowing that I won't be able to take as much time to work on my blog and the behind the scenes aspects that I really enjoy once I head back to Greenville and teaching and grad school pick back up. While I know many people would dread working on the back end stuff of blogging over their vacation it reminds me just how much I love having Prep In Your Step as a creative outlet.

The other day I sat with google analytics open and read through every single post I wrote this past year. Talk about nostalgia. Can I go back to being a college student, please? As I was doing this I decided to make note of my favorite posts from this past year. If you know me at all you know that decisions are not my strength. In that typical fashion, most months include a couple of favorite posts. Initially I thought about choosing from those my VERY favorite post of 2017, but that's just not going to happen. I am content with my indecision for now if that means that I don't have to choose which post wins that title. Before I share all of these with y'all I have to admit that I'm a bit shocked and also very proud. With the spring semester of my senior year being one of the craziest with student teaching, spending all summer in grad school every day from 9:00-4:00, and starting a teaching job while attending masters classes I am shocked at how many posts I was able to publish this year. If anything took the back burner I knew it would have to be Prep In Your Step and part of me is so proud that I never had to take an extended break. I am proud of myself for attempting to balance my interest with an understanding of what is "worth it" to invest my time in. I can only hope that I am as proud of myself for the number of posts on Prep In Your Step when I do a recap next year as I am this year. Maybe this year I'll get better at juggling a social life with all the other things on my to-do list as well. And while I've got your attention at that sentiment, I want to take a minute to thank y'all for reading. I'd like to think I'd still be blogging if no one read (pretty much how it was at the very beginning of Prep In Your Step 7 years ago), but it is so much more fun to be able to engage with y'all. I hope these posts help, inspire, and entertain you as much as writing them has done those things for me.

So, without further rambling, here are my favorite blog posts from 2017.

My Favorites:













Stocking Stuffer Ideas

The posts below are based solely on numbers. While bloggers will sit around and say numbers don't matter, they are definitely worth looking at in terms of growth. It was fascinating to see which posts from this past year received the most reads and many of them were a bit unexpected. If you happen to need a way to entertain yourself for the weekend I've certainly offered plenty of reading material through links in this post alone to keep you occupied.

Reader Favorites:
January: Favorite Products of 2016
February: Step Into My Week + Really Exciting News
March: Spring Break Shopping
 April: My Workout Routine
May: After Graduation Plans
June: Gearing Up For Grad School With PB Teen
July: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
August: Step Into My Week
September: Sunday Routine
October: Fourth Grade Classroom Tour
November: Best Gifts I've Received
December: Gift Guides For Everyone On Your List

As if this post isn't nearing on a novel already, I would love for you to weigh in with your own favorite posts I've written this year. Last year was the first year I made a reader survey and it was SO helpful when it came to planning content for the year. I would really appreciate you taking the time to weigh in with your own thoughts. I do have to remind you though that ultimately, Prep In Your Step is how I escape from reality and express my creativity which means that I need to remember to make sure that each post is of interest to me before hitting publish. If I had all the time in the world to devote to this endeavor you'd see more varied content that may hit all of your requests, perfect grammar, and new features but when push comes to shove I have to prioritize and please myself first. Please remember that this is not my job but instead my hobby. Hopefully, even with that reality, you find that what I like to write is of interest for you to read and stick around! I am open to your ideas and am so excited to read through your valuable feedback. It's always so interesting to see the reasons each of you click back to my blog, and I am always so surprised that a feature that one person may not love is the reason another person continues to come back.

take the survey here

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey! I hope that you'll come back tomorrow to see my favorite outfit posts of 2017. 

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