Friday, July 27, 2018

Summer Jumpsuit

 For the most part, the weather in Europe has been pretty mild. It does get hot during the day, but it cools off at night (which is good because I don't have air conditioning). But lately, it has been close to 100 degrees, making the nights hotter than usual!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hello, July!

I know it's a few days into the month, but what's more shocking to me is that we are more than halfway through 2018. That is crazy. It's already July! And I absolutely love the 4th of July -- it is the epitome of summer and it's also the day my husband asked me to marry him! This year, the 4th is taking a little bit of a different twist, as I'll be spending it outside of the US. But instead of being sad about what I'm missing, I'm using this as an opportunity to practice being present. To share how grateful I am for the experience of spending a summer in Europe, how much it has taught me, and how I still struggle every day (in Europe or at home) with staying present.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer In Europe

I cannot believe it is almost July! I'm almost 4 months through my 6-month assignment, and will be heading back to the United States in early September. I am really looking forward to checking a few more cities off my bucket list in July and August, but I cannot wait to get back to my husband and pup in two months! 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

6 Months in Europe: Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges

It has been a HOT minute since I've blogged. As much as I have wanted to share some of the places I've been while living in Europe, I've also been enjoying my time working during the week, traveling on the weekends, and not putting pressure on myself to do much else. But now it's time to actually write some of this out so I don't forget! First up: Belgium. One of my very favorite places of all the countries I have been so far.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Little Change for S&S

I cannot believe it has been over 4 years since I started this blog. I didn’t really know what it would turn into when I started, but I don’t know that I envisioned keeping up with it for this long. When I started blogging, it was a way for me to focus on something positive during a difficult time in my adult life. A lot has changed since then, and I’m grateful to have had this outlet for writing and creating. 

But lately, it has become less about the writing and creativity, and more about the stress and pressure that I (100%) put on myself. I am completely aware that I’m not great at blogging or instagrammaing. While I love brand management as my full-time job, I started this blog as a hobby and an escape from the daily grind. I wanted it to be fun and carefree and as much as I admire the women out there who have the courage to quit their jobs and build strong brands and businesses around their blogs...that isn’t why I started mine. I’ll never be a career blogger. Even if I wanted to, it’s just not in the cards for ol’ Seven & Stitch. 

But that’s OK! I love my full-time career and the opportunities it has given me. I’m good at it. And while — of course — I would love to see my blog and accounts continue to grow, I don’t have the time or true talent to get where I’d like to be. It’s not what I’m good at. 

I have never tried to pretend that I have great style. I wear what I like, and if someone else likes it too, then I love to share. But I also know there are plenty of things that I post or wear and probably get reactions like “she calls herself a style blogger?”. I have friends who are way more stylish and put together than I am. I just have enjoyed sharing and writing.

But lately, that enjoyment has been weaning. I get frustrated and self conscious more than empowered and inspired. I may have a cute outfit here and there that I really do want to share. But I’ve been traveling quite a bit while living in Europe and I hate the self-inflicted pressure of feeling like I have to have a new outfit for every new city. I just like to throw on jeans, a t-shirt, sneakers, and GO. I’m not one of those people who can throw on something cute with little effort. And I get it. It’s not life and death people, it’s a little style blog. I’m not taking myself too seriously.

Anyway, it’s time for a change. I think I realized it might be time to take a fresh look at the ol’ blog when I was in Spain with my husband and he said: ‘This trip has been really fun partly because you haven’t been glued to your phone the whole time.’ He’s incredibly supportive of all of my endeavors, but it’s easy for me to put too much pressure on something that was initially meant to be light and fun. It was never meant to feel like another job on top of the current one that I love and work hard to advance. I’d rather put that energy into something that will truly benefit others, whether it’s work or personal relationships, or volunteering. That is by no means meant to denigrate the girls who do put time into their blogs — so much awareness and joy and self-love can come from these communities and bloggers. But for me, personally, I need to find something with a little more purpose to channel the majority of that energy. And spend less time agonizing over Instagram posts. That’s not to say I’m going to stop posting (#socialmediaaddict) but just that I want to put less pressure on it. 

I’d love to keep sharing my travels and an outfit here or there if I have something I think others would like. But I also just want to soak up this time living and traveling and exploring a new place, without trying to make it look SO amazing. Because, this time in Europe away from my husband and family and everything I know isn’t always easy. It’s hard and lonely and providing a really ripe experience for self growth. But that’s for another blog post. 

Thank you for reading my monologue, thank you for following, thank you for the likes and comments. But for now, I’ll leave the hardcore style inspiration to the gals who really do it well. And let’s just see where it goes!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Shop Bop Sale!

I know, I know. Today‘s the last day of the ShopBop sale. I‘m a little behind the ball on this post but couldn‘t resist posting a few of my favorite finds because what better way to spend a Saturday morning than with a cup of coffee and a little online shopping?!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Still Waiting on Spring

I have been here in Germany for almost a month. While it has been incredibly hard to be away from my husband and pup, it has also been such a great experience to live in a new country and explore new cities. I'm writing this as I'm eating breakfast before heading to Belgium for the weekend. I know this opportunity is a special one, so I'm trying to appreciate every minute and take full advantage of traveling and exploring. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Black Ruffles

Hello (or guten tag!) from Germany. For those who don't know, in January I was offered a short term assignment on one of our alliance teams in Ingelheim, Germany. I am living in Wiesbaden, about 25-30 minutes south of Frankfurt, and will be here until September. It has been busy switching jobs, packing, and moving, but I'm excited to get back in the swing of regular blog posts. I'm getting settled...I have a little apartment, a company car, and am looking forward to taking advantage of summer in Europe! But one thing I don't have with me here is my husband or pup. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Spring Tweed

I hope everyone has been enjoying 2018! It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the new year, now here we are, weeks away from March. We have had some exciting developments in the Renbarger household over these past few weeks...I am moving to Germany!

Monday, February 5, 2018

4 Years of S&S

Oh my gosh, where have the last 4 years gone?! Four years ago today, I launched this little blog. I had no idea how much I would love blogging, how many amazing people I would meet, and NEVER did I think I'd keep up with it for four years. It has given me focus when I've needed it, given me a creative outlet when I've craved it, and given me a few sleepless nights when I've unnecessarily stressed about it. By most standards, I'm a very small fish in a big pond of blogging. But I am so proud of it and the journey on which it has taken me. It's fun. It was fun then and it's still fun now, so I'm going to keep going as long as I'm enjoying it (Instagram algorithm be damned). 

I thought I'd spend a few minutes (which turned into almost 2 hours) going through some of my old posts. This one above was from 2014 and one of my favorites at the time. I still wear that Kate Spade jacket every spring! Some of the looks are a bit cringe-worthy now, but at the time, I was so proud of each and every post. It's so fun to look back and see my transformation as a professional, as a girlfriend/fiance/wife, and as a self-proclaimed stylist at heart. I hope you enjoy looking back at some of my favorite looks!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Warm & Cozy

Well. It warmed up for a minute. One minute. Then it went back to freezing. But at least we have had some sun sprinkled in there. The cold isn't what really gets to me in the winter, it's the dark and the grey. My mom went down to South Carolina right after Christmas and said she was sad to miss a few of those freezing, sunny days. She said she likes the frigid cold and sun for a few days; said it must be the Norwegian in her!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Favorites

We're officially a week into 2018! Have you been keeping up with your New Year's resolutions? I didn't make any official resolutions, but have been holding myself accountable to some of the habits and rhythms I'd like to integrate into my daily life. I love the feeling of a fresh start, even if it is just because of January 1st! 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Cheers to 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a great night celebrating the passing of another year. Going along with the year of firsts for 2017, this New Year's was also a first for us...a first for staying in with zero plans. A few of our friends were going to stay with us for the evening, but they had to change plans so JR and I decided (after we looked and saw there were hardly any dinner reservations left) to stay in just the two of us. It was so nice. Definitely a far cry from the NYEs of our 20s (and it's not to say I don't love getting dressed up and going out to ring in the New Year) but it was a very fitting way to end 2017. Staying in with my husband, reflecting on a year that has meant so much for us and our relationship.
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