Sweet Southern Darlin

Amazon Favorites

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It’s only April and I have already failed at one of my New Years resolutions..I am so sorry that there hasn’t been posts going up as regular but I am nearing the end of my LAST semester in college and have been so crazy busy! I’m going to try and turn that around though, so be expecting a lot of posts from me! I am trying to figure out two days a week that are the best for me to post so I can get on a better schedule so if you have any input let me know! Thanks for bearing with me.

Now onto what you guys are here for….AMAZON FAVORITES.

I am most definitely one of those people that LOVE finding affordable and cute pieces. Amazon here recently has stepped up their game in that department. From designer dupes to cheap finds, amazon has been my best friend lately. You don’t even have to leave your house and hello, that is a total bonus for me..LOL. I wanted to share some of my favorite amazon finds. Some are things I have actually bought and love and others are things that are in my cart that I most definitely be placing an order on. Also, did I mention all of these things are SUPER affordable, I can’t believe how cheap some of these are because the quality is so good!

I hope y’all enjoy my picks and maybe have found something you just cannot live without. If you have any affordable amazon favorites I’m interested as to what they are so let me know! I love finding new things on Amazon.

Easter Outfit Ideas

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Spring is here which means Easter is near! I know Easter is still a month away but I wanted to get this out early so y’all had time to get your outfit and aren’t struggling last minute. I was actually requested to do this blog and so glad I was! I love it when you guys give me blog post requests. Hope you either find an outfit or get some inspiration for spring wardrobe! Happy shopping! XO

Bonus…they’re all AFFORDABLE!

Click on the outfit you like and you will be directed straight to the link!

Hope y’all enjoyed the post!

Leave me comments or DM me on instagram for your blog post requests! My instagram handle is @harleifain

XOXO Harlei

Outfits of the Week

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You asked so I will deliver. I had so many comments and questions on my outfits that I wore for spring break in Arizona. I wanted to put them all in one place so it was easier and convenient for you guys. The weather in Arizona was absolutely beautiful.

We started off in the mountains skiing, then drove to the Phoenix/Scottdale area for a few days. I won’t lie, I am a very cold natured person (seriously cold 24/7) so when I hear mountains and snow I automatically started packing sweaters, scarfs and everything warm. Since our stay in the mountains was so short, I hardly wore anything that I packed. When I looked up the weather in Phoenix it said weather in the 60’s-70’s. Now in my mind I was thinking Texas 60’s and 70’s, boy was I wrong. Traveling out of state you really understand how crazy Texas weather is. In the mountains the weather was 28 degrees and i’m not kidding when I say it felt like a Texas 55-60 degrees..CRAZY. When we got to Phoenix, the weather was stunning, it felt like I had walked out of winter and straight into summer. I had a few spring things packed but mostly sweaters and that wasn’t going to cut it there. So what did I do? Of course I found the nearest Nordstroms and had to pick up a few spring summer bits. I tried finding links to everything but some things are old so I linked something similar.

I’ll be doing an Arizona Travel guide soon for all of my favorite places to visit so be on the look out!

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Earrings (one color available)

Flip Flops

Headband (similar)

Sunglasses

Bag

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Dress (similar)

Heels

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Cardigan (sorry couldn’t find exact link)

Sunglasses

Shoes

Bag

Headband

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Pants

Shoes

Earrings (similar)

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Spring Acessories

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HAPPY SPRING YA’LL!

Okay yall, I swear 2019 is a parallel universe!! First the Jonas Brothers get back together, and now puka shells are coming back??? I never thought I’d see the day, but here we are! SO many trends are coming back that were popular when I was a little girl, and I’m not mad about it (they’re more modern and trendy now anyways, thank goodness)

I wanted to share some spring accessories with y’all, (bonus) these are all at affordable prices! I separated them into 3 categories, jewelry, bags, and hair accessories.

I actually kind of love the shell trend, as long as it’s done tastefully. I think I like it so much because its gold plated and not just shells like you think of surfers in the 90’s. I can just imagine a sundress, cute hat and a shell necklace or bracelet..ahh so summery!!

Along with the shells, I’m all for a statement earring. I wear a statement earring just about every time I dress up, it can add so much to your outfit and its so simple!

I have a feeling rattan bags are going to be a spring/summer must for the next couple of years, but I love how they incorporated bamboo this season. It just screams summer and the beach, and I’m all for it. Bags are another easy way to spice up an outfit, big or small they count as an accessory so they’re like a piece of the outfit.

I gotta say, one of my favorite spring/summer trends is the barrettes, and top knot headbands. Were barely in the spring season and I’ve already sported this trend a ton! They can be worn day to day, on a night out and even with swimwear (thats my favorite way to use them).


I hope you are all so excited for the spring and summer months. Now that the weather is warming up i’m ready to say goodbye to my sweaters and scarfs and pull out all my dresses! Shopping for these season is going to be so much fun. Hope this gave y’all some inspiration or informed you on a few of the trends. I’d love to know how you style them or what your favorite trend is this season..comment below!

XOXO Harlei

5 Shoe Staples

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I put together my 5 shoe staples for my wardrobe. They range from flat, to heeled and can be work anytime of the year. These are shoes that I think are a staple for every wardrobe and everyone should have. I included some of my personal favorites, and they all range from various prices. Hope you like it!

1. Espadrille Wedge

Espadrille wedges are my favorite shoe for the spring and summer, I can’t get enough of them. I have my eye on the Treasure and Bond ones, I wanted them so bad last year and they sold out so I’m determined to buy them this year! They definitely take a cute spring and summer outfit to the next level.

2. Flip Flops/Slide Ons

A quick slip on sandal is a MUST for me. My personal favorites are the Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop. I wear them about 90% of the year (yes even when its cold). They are probably my favorite and most worn shoes in my entire shoe collection. I own five pairs of them and they are definitely worth the price. I can say with complete certainty that I got my money’s worth.

3. Flats

Flats are of course a staple because they can be worn casually or with a business outfit. Flats are my go to for business casual, they’re comfortable and make your outfit cute.

4. Heels

Every girl should have a pair of heels in their closet, especially black ones. My favorite are either open toed block heels or pointed toe ones. Heels with a pattern are so fun and can vamp up and outfit but black and nudes are definitely a staple you can keep in your closet for years!

5. Booties

Booties are another must have. I love that they can be work with not only jeans but dresses and skirts as well. I don’t wear booties very often in the warmer months but you definitely can with a dress or skirt. Booties are a staple in the fall and winter months. A good bootie and cute sweater is one of my favorite combinations.

Those are my 5 categories of shoe must haves! Let me know if my shoe staples match up with yours. I’d love to know what y’alls shoe staples are. Whats one shoe that you absolutely can’t live without, mine is the Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop. Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, Harlei

My Favorite Boutiques

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I’m very much a boutique girl and support shopping small. Most of my clothes come from boutiques (majority of my closet is boutique finds). I wanted to share some of my favorites with y’all not only to give them recognition but to also share where I shop. Good news is that they all have an online store, so you don’t even have to get out of your sweatpants to shop! Get a glass of wine or some sweet tea and start shopping.

  1. Southern Roots: This is a store I have been going to for years, I can’t make a trip back home without stopping here. My favorite thing about this store is the lines it carries. I’m from a small town, and the closest mall is 40 minutes away so finding specific brands and lines can be tough, and I love that they carry them. They have pieces from True Grit, Birkenstock, Southern Marsh, Show Me Your Mumu, Tribe & Turq, UGG, and SO MANY MORE. I love that they carry so many different brands, because its not all of the same stuff and a lot of places don’t do that. They also have carry stuff for men and children which I think is great. You can shop for yourself, your man and your baby all at one place, win win!

  2. Groovys: This is another one of my stores that I always have to hit on a trip home. I hardly ever leave this place empty handed. Their clothes are super cute and always on trend. I’ve gotten myself into trouble here a time or two (sorry to my bank account) lol. They also hold some brands but I mainly shop here for the clothing, however they do carry Free People!

  3. Shop Red Dress: I find myself online shopping this boutique all the time. I can truly add hundreds of dollars into my cart every time I shop because their stuff is to die for. They are a brand that really keeps up with trends and what people are wearing. You can find casual outfits, date night outfits, beach vacation outfits, etc. on this site. Once it warms up in Texas I will most definitely be placing an order, their spring/summer stuff is too cute. I’m all for a place where I don’t have to leave my couch to shop.

  4. Vici Dolls: Another one of my favorite online boutiques to shop at. I bought almost all of my outfits for a trip to Destin last summer from here, and got a lot of compliments. I don’t always find stuff from this site, but when I do they’re great finds.

  5. Hazel & Olive: The reason I love this place so much is that you can find cute and trendy things at such an affordable price. I love somewhere that you can grab a quick outfit but not break the bank. Fashion is getting so much more expensive, so I love it that this place continues to be so affordable while still being trendy.

Next post will be about my favorite stores to shop at that are more mainstream, but I wanted to get a post out about my favorite boutiques. I really love supporting small business, especially when they have great products. One day I hope to own my own boutique that provides great merchandise and friendly environment just like these ones.

The links to all boutique online stores are above, just click on the store name. Happy shopping friends! Let me know what some of your favorite boutiques are to shop at, I love finding new stores!

“Stay at home and shop online, you’re too pretty to have to find a parking spot.”

XOXO, Harlei

50 swimsuits under $50

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Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s way too cold to be thinking about swimsuits right now. I always like to buy swimsuits a little earlier because it always come down to summer, I have a lake trip or beach vacation planned and need a swimsuit but all of the cute ones are all gone. I’m starting to shop earlier this year in buying swimsuits so I don’t run into that issue. I found 50 of the cutest swimsuits that are UNDER $50!! I wanted to give you guys some affordable options. I always see bloggers in the cutest swimsuits but they’re like $100+ and it always bums be out because I can’t drop that kind of money on swimsuits. Don’t fret, I managed to find some really cute ones that won’t break the bank. There are a few on here that are SUPER cheap and actually a great quality.

These will also be great if you’re planning to escape the cold and have a tropical vacation planned that’s coming up. Spring break is around the corner as well, and while I’m headed to the mountains I know that some of you are probably headed to the beach!

I hope this helps you out and maybe gave you some inspiration for spring and summer. In my opinion, they can’t come soon enough!

All of the links to the swimsuits are on the pictures. Click the swimsuit you like and it will send you straight to the link to but it!

Hope you enjoy! XOXO Harlei

Hiking and being active

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With this weather being so back and fourth in Texas right now, I take full advantage of the days that are pretty. We decided to take advantage of the 70 degree weather and go hiking at Dinosaur Valley Park in Glen Rose. It was a great way for us and the pups to get some exercise in, and boy did we. Being outside is something I’ve always liked to do, you can’t beat fresh air and pretty days. I’m not one that works our religiously. I actually hardly ever work out which is not something that I’m proud to admit, so getting out hiking with great people and my pups was the perfect day. My body probably thanked me for it, lol. I encourage you to get out and be active, take advantage of the days the weather is pretty and go adventure. Thats something I really want to get better at this year, so far so good!

Also….is anyone else praying spring gets here soon??? I’m dreaming of warmer weather, my body can’t handle this cold anymore! Come on Mother Nature!!!

Comfy Chic

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My everyday outfit is always comfy but girly. This outfit is one of my favorites, simple but also chic. I kept getting compliments on this top, which is great because it is one of my favorite recent purchases. Free People is one of those brands that can be quite pricey but their pieces are either staples, or something you will have in your closet for a long time. It’s one of my favorite stores to shop at, even if I only leave with a piece or two.

My over the knee boots are a dupe for the Classes Stuart Weitzman ones. They are the only OTK boots that I have found that fit my chicken legs without falling down or looking slouchy. I searched for years trying to find a pair that actually fit my legs and thank goodness I’ve found them! They are definitely worth the price!

I’m all about a good dupe, my bag being one of them. Chloe is a designer that I absolutely love, its right up my alley with their feminine pieces. However, my college girl budget doesn’t allow me to be able to purchase designer brands of any kind..amazon to the rescue! When I stumbled across this bag, I was ecstatic. It’s such a great bag for an even greater price!

With this kind of outfit I can transition it into spring no problem, which I love. Change the boots for sandals or wedges and put on some shorts and I have another outfit. Those are my favorite kinds, if I can’t wear something more than a couple times, I have a hard time spending money on them.

I want to start a series of affordable fashion on here, so if thats something you’d be interested in leave a comment! Any other suggestions on things you would like to see such as home, beauty, etc. please leave a suggestion that I can go through. I would greatly appreciate it!

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Leggings

OTK Boots

Necklace

Bracelet

Bag

Thanks for reading. XOXO Harlei

Classic (Texas) Winter Outfit

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Were at an awkward point of the year in Texas where it can’t decide if it wants to be cold or not. I personally am so ready for spring. I love sweaters and being cozy, but i’m so looking forward to buying dresses, rompers, shorts and swim suits! I feel like spring/summer can’t get here fast enough!

This is an everyday outfit for me at the moment, I live in jeans and a sweater. I love the combo because you can dress it up or down. Jeans and a sweater is one of those things you can wear and have your hair up, minimal makeup but still look presentable. JustBlack denim is one of my favorite denim brands because they fit my tiny chicken legs better than all of the other affordable brands I’ve tried. Everyone always recommends really expensive jeans to me for that reason, but I can’t justify spending that kind of money on jeans right now (hello, college girl on a budget!) I’m all about investing in good pieces, and can fully see myself buying good denim in the future, but as for now JustBlack is my go to!

The shoes are from last year and they’re Steve Madde. This is a pair of shoes that I don’t think I will ever throw out. Not only are they a classic, they also hold a special memory for me. I wore them in Paris, while at a champagne tour and tasting. Not only were they cute, they never hurt my feet and we had to walk a TON that day, so its a win win!

I love this classic outfit but boy am I ready for some pretty weather! Let me know in the comments if you’re totally over the winter season or want it to stay for a little while longer!

Sweater (sold out) SIMILAR

Jeans (size down)

Shoes

Necklace

Sunglasses

Happy shopping, y’all!

xoxo Harlei

Goals for 2019

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You know what they say…January is a free trial month. I’m more committed than ever to this blog and all of my goals for 2019. This year is pivotal for me. It’s the year I graduate college, find a fashion internship, and get a big girl job. I have high hopes for this year and ready to prove to everyone that I can do anything I set my mind to!

  1. Find a fashion internship. I’m required to have an internship to graduate, so I will be working as an intern this summer. I’m hopeful to find one that speaks to everything I’ve always wanted to tackle in fashion. I don’t expect this internship to be my dream job, but it will be my start in the fashion industry and be something that adds experience to my resume. It’s a very stressful process, but I'm hopeful and trust in what God has planned for me.

  2. Grow my blog. Having a fashion blog has been a dream of mine for YEARS! One day I let go of my fear and created it. However, I haven’t been as active with it as I hoped. School and other priorities got in the way, this year I want to change that. I want to be proactive with it and really grow it into what I had always dreamed of. Hoping to have at least 10k followers by the end of 2019.

  3. 2 posts a week. Since its the year of my blog, a goal is that I will be consistent in posting. I want to put up at least two posts a week, one of which is an outfit post. It’s really something that I want to do not only for myself, but for the people that read the blog. I want them to look forward to reading something two times a week and not wait weeks or months for the next post. Like I said, January was a free trial month. Its February and two posts a week start NOW.

  4. TRAVEL. TRAVEL. && MORE TRAVEL. My last class of college will be a New York Fashion Study Tour….I mean go out with a bang right?! I definitely couldn’t pick a better place than one of my favorite places on earth. Traveling is something I've acquired a passion for that I didn’t do much of when I was younger, I definitely want to change that. Even if it’s just small weekend trips, my bags are packed and ready!

  5. Step out of my comfort zone. I’m definitely an introvert, and a homebody and I want to change that! This year is big for me so pushing myself is something that I’m definitely going to have to learn to do.

  6. Spend more time with the Lord. There is no question on how blessed I am. The Lord has given me what I need and SO much more. However, I feel like I don’t spend enough time one on one. Don’t get me wrong, I thank him daily and try to live my life in a Godly way…but I feel like I slack at it also. I don’t want to find myself being one of those people that prays when they need something. I want to be someone that just prays. Prays for myself, my family, the world, my blessings, my hardships, everything. Diving into the word is something I definitely want to get better at.

  7. Do things that make ME happy. Of course I don’t do things that make me unhappy in my everyday life, but I’d like to do more little things. Things such as going to concerts, girls nights, small county fairs, driving down the road with the windows down, screaming songs at the top of my lungs…you name it. Not big things that cost a lot of money, just things that bring a smile to my face. You only get one life, live it well. Also, I’m only 21 once, I only have 8 and a half years left in my twenties, I intend to spend those years wisely doing things that bring me joy…no matter how big or small.

There are so many more things I want to tackle this year, these are just a few of my top ones. A new year brings new possibilities, new adventures. Its a fresh start, you get to decide how you’re going to live it. I’m choosing to live mine to the fullest. I want to be a great friend, daughter, and sister. I want to bring smiles to peoples faces. I want to make my family proud. I want to live my life through Jesus. I want to live, and I have every intention of doing just that.

I hope y’all take the time out to maybe reflect on the past year and set goals for this new one. Think of the things that maybe didn’t work out in your favor, but also the many blessings in your life. It’s a new start, anything can happen.

God Bless

xoxo Harlei

Fall Fashion Haul - What I've Bought So Far 

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It definitely doesn't feel like fall here in Texas yet but this is the time I love to start incorporating a couple pieces for the season. These are usually pieces that I know I will wear all season long. I seriously am so excited for the weather to get a little chilly here because fall is my favorite season and definitely my favorite season for fashion. 

I wanted to share what I bought in case you were looking for that particular item or something similar, and if you aren't sure what to buy for the fall seasons. 

I will be doing a post here soon on fall outfits I put together and a how to style certain pieces, so be on the lookout for that! I will also do a post on how to transition into fall if where you're located still has hotter weather! 

Last Few Days of Summer

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While I'm daydreaming about fall time and sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, football and chilly Sundays it is definitely still summer time in Texas. This heat ain't no joke! I'm so ready for fall fashion but I'm soaking up the times I still get to wear shorts and tank tops! 

For the last week of summer before classes start back up we took a trip to Waco and went to Fixer Uppers Chip and Joanna's Magnolia Market. If you have never been here and you live in Texas or visiting soon, visit this place. If the black and white details and southern charm aren't enough for you, the store and bakery are sure to appease you. Their grounds are so homey and relaxing, its the perfect place to take family or friends. It's a place I like to visit a couple times a year, and it truly is such a cool place to visit. 

These Texas summer days are HOT ones, so loads of clothes and layers aren't ideal for the weather, I opted for the 'denim shorts and tank' look that is oh so popular. I loved this outfit because I could breath, didn't get too hot and it was so cute...whats not to like?

I had just bough the Tory Burch Reversible Logo Leather Belt and could not wait to start styling with it, so of course it had to be thrown on with this look. This belt is truly a staple and I recommend it to anyone, especially if you're not looking to spend a ton on a Gucci belt. Its reversible and so it can be changed from black to a camel brown. it also works during any season, I cannot wait to style and add this belt to my fall outfits! 

The Dolce Vita shoes are another piece that I can't wait to transition into my fall wardrobe. They're so cute, very chic and comfortable, all the things I love in a pair of shoes. It's a pair of shoes that I know will be in my closet for years to come. 

LINKS: 

Top (similar, same brand) 

Shorts

Belt 

Shoes 

Sunglasses 

 

XOXO, Harlei 

Back to School

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Its that time of year again, school is starting back up and I know everyone is so excited...LOL. Its such a bitter sweet time for me as I'm starting my senior year of college, WHAT. Its so hard to believe these years have flown by as fast as they have. Im so excited but so scared and nervous about the unknown. Its exciting though being a senior fashion student and one of the first for the new major so I can be a mentor and someone that incoming fashion students can look up to. I'm also excited to spend this last year with the friends I've made along the way before we all go our separate ways. 

I LOVED back to school shopping when I was in grade school. Finding new shoes and getting all of the cutest supplies was definitely my thing. I wanted to put together some pieces for back to school that even I find myself buying. These things can be for grade school and even college. Hope you find some inspiration from this or maybe something on here you forgot to get. 

    

 

 

Some type of bag is always an essential for all the supplies and books you'll be carrying. I always switch between a purse bag and a backpack. This year I bought this simple black backpack from Vera Bradley. I love the black because it won't look crazy with my everyday outfits. It will be fine on the days I dress up and also the days that I'm lazy and wearing leggings and a t shirt. This one is also special because Vera Bradley will also monogram them. I got mine in stores and didn't do that, but its definitely something I'll be looking into doing. Its such a cute and simple touch to personalize your backpack and add a little extra touch. 

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Planners have always been a love hate thing for me...I buy them every year but I'm so bad about using them. This past year I made myself use one and it helped me SO much, now I cannot go without one. I love the designs that Sweet Caroline Designs have, I'm actually waiting for a restock of one particular design because IM OBSESSED. If you're a planner person and cannot live an organized life without everything being written down (aka me) I recommend taking a look at Sweet Caroline Designs, Erin Condrin, and Lilly Pulitzer! 

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Notebooks are another thing that is an essential, you never know when you need to jot something down or take important notes for a class! Boring notebooks are so not me, I definitely have to have some kind of print that I think is cute. Anything cactus print is always a yes for me, I love cute cactus prints. This one is also so affordable! 

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I'm always jotting down grocery lists, to do lists, blog post ideas, you name it. Having a notepad on my desk is a must for me! I will literally forget everything if I don't write it down. Again, I love a cute print and something that is eye catching, because not only is it beneficial for me and my note taking, it also serves as a decor piece for my desk area. 

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Pens, totally unnecessary.. Wal Mart ones will do. I however love cute pens, and am a total sucker for buying them. You know the start of the school year the you start writing in your planner, everything is coordinated how you like it, and highlighted just the right way? Thats the best feeling, and opening new cute pens to do all that with is the best thing. The patterns on these ones were too cute not to include. 

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So I'm going to be a momma and tell you all to use hand sanitizer, LOL. This is so important for me, it seems that I always get sick at the most inconvenient times. Bath and Body Works always have the best scents for every season at the most affordable price!

 

A sanitizer holder is totally not necessary and optional. I just love this tortoise one and personally purchased this one myself. I'm a fan of anything tortoise and it looks so cute on my all black backpack. 

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Leggings are a college girls essential. I'm not sure if younger girls wear them or not but they're definitely a staple in college. I had uniforms in high school, we had to wear khakis everyday so I'm not sure if high schoolers with free dress wear leggings and a t shirt or if they dress up for school. I do know that I wear leggings at least 50% of the time and couldn't live without them. Lululemon leggings are definitely a splurge item, but I definitely don't think they are absolutely necessary. Yes, they are nice and good quality leggings, but there are others more affordable that are just as good, I will link some affordable options as well. 

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Tennis shoes were always something I got before each school year, this year however I never had time to go shoe shopping even though I desperately need some new ones. These are a pair I found on Nordstrom that I loved and really considering ordering, my tennis shoes I have right now have seen their better days. Shoes are different for everyone, each person has their own style on what kind of shoes they like but I wanted to include an option that I found and personally like. 

 

Thats all I have for school supplies, hope this gave you some inspiration and helped you on things you might need or have forgot! 

LINKS: 

Backpack

Planner

Cactus notepad

Girl Boss notepad

Pens 

Hand Sanitizer 

Sanitizer Holder 

Lululemon Leggings // Affordable leggings

Tennis Shoes

 

Comment below any posts you would like me to do, I'd to know what y'all want to see! 

XOXO, Harlei 

DESIGNER DUPES

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I love designer items, but I'm also a college student and my bank account doesn't love a good designer piece like I do. For the past couple of years brands have been coming up with their own version or a knockoff version of a designer piece and selling them at an affordable price. Some pieces look very very similar, and others just take inspiration from what the designer did. Designer dupes have recently gained a lot of popularity. I wanted to put a post together about designer dupes that I love and can agree are inspired from the original design. The look is so similar and the price is SO much cheaper. 

Chloe Backpack: $1,850.00

Dupe: $22.00

Chloe Susanna Booties: $1,390.00

Dupe: $24.00

Marc Fisher Wedges: $149.90

Dupe: $39.98

Balenciaga sock boot: $1,190.00

Dupe: $37.99

Gucci Belt: $450.00

Dupe: $178

Gucci Loafer: $680.00

Dupe: $59.99 

Manolo Blahnik Heels: $965.00

Dupe: $129.00

Louis Vuitton Neverful MM: $1,260.00 

Dupe: $160 

David Yurman Bangle: $895.00 

Dupe: $17.99 

Chanel Espadrilles: $675.00

Dupe: $198.00 

Hermes Blanket: $1,525.00 

Dupe: $62.99 

 

Maybe one of these days I will be able to afford my expensive taste, but until then I love finding great dupes for designer items. If you have had your eye on one of the designer pieces mentioned above, but couldn't bring yourself to purchase it... I hope this helped! 

 

Xo, Harlei 

NYFW

harlei fain
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In honor of it being New York Fashion Week, I wanted to share some pictures from my experience of fashion week. I had the amazing opportunity to go to New York for fashion week in September of 2017, and when I say amazing thats exactly what it was. Going to New York has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, I was always bugging my family members to "please take me to New York, PLEASE!" I'm very blessed to say I not only got to go once, but twice in the SAME YEAR. My first trip to NYC in May lit a fire inside of me that I honestly can't even explain and my love for that city has only grown since then. Being able to see all the behind the scenes of fashion week was something I never thought I would have gotten to experience, and what an experience it was. New York has not let me down either time I've gotten the chance to see it, there truly is not another city like it, and being able to take it on with a good friend of mine is a blessing. While I take pride in my southern roots and LOVE the south, I feel like New York is a second home to me. As crazy as it seems it's almost like I'm two different people. The south is home, and I will always be a southern belle.. I feel like a completely different person when I'm in NYC. Can't a girl have both worlds and just fly south for the winter??? The light that was ignited inside me most certainly has not gone out and has only gotten bigger, as has my passion for fashion and the industry. Both trips were crazy and nonstop but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Seeing a city I've always dreamed about was amazing in itself, but seeing my passion in that city was indescribable. I truly cannot thank the people that helped me get there, both times. Fingers crossed I'll be in attendance to NYFW February 2019! 

Heres to an amazing year, hopefully going back to my favorite place AND another fashion trip to Paris, France in May! 

Thank you to all that have followed my trips, and my fashion journey. It truly means the world to me and I know it's just the beginning. Im ready for whatever the fashion world and industry has for me. 

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS | HEBREWS 13:6

If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly, remember there’s a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.
— Unknown

Galentines Day!

harlei fain
Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates & guys are just people to have fun with.
— Carrie Bradshaw
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Don't have a special someone? GALentines Day is right up your alley! Valentines day doesn't always mean spending time with someone your romantic with, just about spending the day with people you love and care about. I wanted to put together some things you and your girlfriends could do on February 14th or any day for that matter! 

Here are some things you could plan on doing for your very own GALentines Day! XOXOXO 

 

Plan a GALentines Day Party for you and your closest gal pals! This is such a great and fun way to spend the day with your besties. Hangout, have brunch, play fun games (I recommend looking up bachelorette party games) and sip on your favorite beverage while catching up and having girl talk! I would love to spend a day like this with my girlfriends, if I wasn't so busy this is something I would definitely plan. 

 
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SHOPPING. Nothing is more therapeutic to me than a girls day shopping trip, it's one of my favorite things to do! I love the idea of spending the whole day with your best friend(s) shopping, it is something so simple, but SO MUCH FUN. I seriously love shopping days with my girls, nothing makes me happier or stress free. 

 
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GIRLS NIGHT OUT. The obvious thing to do when galentines day is brought up is a night out on the town with the girls. Being carefree and grabbing drinks with your friends is so much fun, especially on valentines day. A girls night out with your closest friends, dancing the night away is definitely my idea of a galentines day well spent. 

 
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BRUNCH. If you're at an age when all your girlfriends have significant others and already have plans for valentines day, brunch is a great way to get the girls together. A couple of hours in the afternoon spent eating and having girl talk couldn't be more perfect AND you still have time to go out with your guy at night! 

 

Sleepovers are always the best time ever. You're never too old for a good old fashioned slumber party with the girls. Sleepovers have always been my favorite, ever since I was a little girl. Watching movies all night, eating junk food, doing facials, dancing to the best girl anthems, gossiping... I mean what could be better? 

Here are some of my favorite GIRLS NIGHT movies 

  • Dirty Dancing 
  • Grease 
  • Freaky Friday 
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 
  • High School Musical (marathon) 
  • Cant Buy Me Love 
  • Bridesmaids 
  • Bride Wars 
  • Sweet Home Alabama 
  • Anything by Nicholas Sparks 
  • She's The Man 
  • 13 Going on 30 
  • Legally Blonde 
  • A Cinderella Story 
  • Mamma Mia 
  • Miss Congeniality 
  • No Strings Attached 
  • Friends With Benefits 
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 
  • Sex and the City 
  • The Heat 
  • Burlesque 
  • Chasing Liberty 
  • The Devil Wears Prada 
 

I hope this gave yall some ideas you could do with your girlfriend on valentines day! Girl time is always the best. Have a great GALentines Day ladies! 

XO, Harlei

Inexpensive Valentines Date Ideas

harlei fain
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By popular request, here are some cheap valentines date ideas! 

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Building forts as a kid was always so much fun, but imagine how much fun it would be at an older age AND with someone you care about?! It's such a carefree date idea and its so simple, you don't have to leave your house! 

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Breakfast in bed is always a treat, but I LOVE cooking with people. My favorite thing to do is put on a record or play music on my phone while cooking with someone. I love the idea of making a valentines day breakfast with that special someone.

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To me, there is nothing more romantic or fun than being spinned around. I love dancing, no matter where it is. Dancing is a perfect date to me, whether it be at a place with a dance floor, spinning around the kitchen or moving furniture and making your own dance floor. So romantic, I love it! 

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Valentines gifts are so difficult, but how you give it to someone is always fun. I love the idea of making a scavenger hunt and having that special someone work for the gift. It's such a fun idea, but also makes the gift more special...plus it is so much fun for both people! Giving gifts is my favorite, and making the process a fun experience is always worth it. 

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Sunsets scream romance. If you're just watching it off your patio, in the bed of a truck, etc. It's a great way to spend time together, doesn't cost any money and you just enjoy each others company. Adding a picnic, or streaming a movie on your laptop while in the bed of a truck are ways to make it more romantic and more of a date. 

If you don't have plans just with one special person, I love love love the idea of a couples game night. Playing games like trivia questions, the newly wed games, etc. and making it a competition towards your friends that are in a relationship is so different than a normal valentines day but I think it would be so much fun! 

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If you or your v-day date are movie people like me, then a drive in is the perfect date. It's so old school, and I love that! Lay down some blankets and pillows in the bed of a truck or the back of a car and watch any movie out that you're both interested in seeing. Seeing movies is so fun to me, but a drive in is so much different than a normal movie theatre. It's a great opportunity to spend time together, its romantic and just fun I'm general. (& if your looking for movie requests I highly recommend The Greatest Showman!)

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Now, ice skating would be a laughable date for me because I cannot ice skate to save my life and would just end up embarrassing myself...but, if you can ice skate or pick up things fairly quick, this is such a fun date idea! I've always heard of people going on ice skating dates and I'm so envious because it sounds so romantic and fun but I definitely don't have the grace for it. If you do however, this is a great date idea. Doesn't cost too much money, and what better way to start off a relationship by laughing at each other and just overall having a great time (no matter how ridiculous you may look doing so.) 

 

 

I hope these gave you some inspiration on things to do on valentines day, especially if you're on a college kid budget like me. It doesn't matter the date, or how much money you spend on the other person, but enjoying time with that said person. Odds are you'll barley remember the prices of anything, but the memories you make together. 

Hope y'all have a great Valentines Day! Stay safe and enjoy the company of whoever you chose to spend the day with. 

xo, Harlei 

Cute and Cheap Valentines Day Outfits - Casual

harlei fain
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This one is for all my casual girls out there! This is definitely giving me spring feels (come on warmer weather!) The casualty of this outfit is great if you don't have any fancier plans, but still want to look nice on valentines day. It doesn't get much simpler than an off the shoulder top, jeans, and wedges. Its cute and comfortable, who doesn't want that? 

This is also an outfit that doesn't have to be for valentines day at all, I would definitely wear this on a nice spring day! Its so versatile and really an everyday outfit. This is the kind of pieces I wear on a day to day basis, I love my jeans. Jeans are a staple in my wardrobe, as well as flirty and fun tops. The top I found on a sale rack from last spring/summer but any off the shoulder top would look so cute with this outfit. These shoes are so comfortable too! Block heels are my favorite because they're easy to walk in and so comfortable. If I'm wearing a shoe with a chunky heel, I know I'm not going to have to worry about my feet hurting halfway through the day. This is another outfit hit for me, definitely going to wearing this again. Its so fun and simple and can be interchanged so many ways. Definitely a dress up or down kind of outfit. 

Outfit Details: 

1. Shirt-alternative  (alternative

2. Jeans 

3. Shoes

4. Sunglasses 

5. Earrings 

6. Bag 

Cute and Cheap Valentines Day Outfits - Girly

harlei fain
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This one is for all the girly girls like me! This outfit is right up my alley, I love dressing feminine. I dressed this one more for a date night out and for a fancier occasion. When I think of valentines day, I automatically think pink. I wanted one of my outfits for be geared more towards that. The soft blush and neutral tones make this outfit so wearable. It doesn't take much for this to look so put together, and I love the fact that it's so comfortable. 

If I was going on a date for Valentines day, this would definitely be my go to outfit. It was so cheap and easy to put together, and let me tell ya..those are my favorite kinds of outfits. The detailing on this sweater is gorgeous and is definitely a statement in this outfit. The sequins draw you into the outfit, but will point your eyes to the best feature; YOUR FACE. I love the girlyness of the skirt as well, and with the bows on the shoes, I don't think it could get more girly. I loved piecing these pieces together and shooting this look, definitely one of my favorites that I can definitely see me wearing over and over. 

Outfit Details 

1. Sweater 

2. Skirt (similar

3. Shoes 

4. Bag 

Cute and Cheap Valentines Day Outfits - Edgy Chic

harlei fain
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Welcome to the start of my Valentines week! I'll be posting Valentines Day related ALL WEEK! First of the series is cheap and cute outfits you can wear for whatever you have planned on Valentines Day! The first one is more edgy with all black, but the sleeves add a little girlyness to it. I love these sleeves, they totally make a statement. Its no surprise that I'm a total girly girl, but I wanted to do something a bit different. This still has a feminine feel but the all black counteracts it and adds a little bit of edge. If edge isn't quite your thing, change the black pants for jeans and you still have a cute outfit. This would totally look cute with pink slacks if you're feeling bold! It's an outfit that can be dressed up or down, simply with accessories or shoes! I opted for heels with this one, but it definitely would work with flats or booties. Heels will make it more fancy and for a date night, but thats the beauty of this outfit... it would work around whatever plans you have. 

Outfit Details

1. Top: this top is SOO cheap but actually pretty great quality! Im in love with it! 

2. Earrings (similar)

3. Jeans (similar ; similar

4. Sunglasses (cheaper alternative) 

 

Stay tuned for the rest of the Valentines series! Hope you enjoyed this one!

xo, Harlei 

Simplicity with a pop of YOU

harlei fain

I love fashion. I love styling and putting together outfits. I love outfits that make a statement, or are different.  But I also love simplicity. There are so many ways you can take a simple outfit and make it to wear you stand out. This outfit is a way to take a simple black shirt, sweater or blouse and give it a little flare. Growing up I always heard the saying 'black and brown make a frown' and while that can be true, they can also work very well together if you know how to pair the two. The brown on my boots and purse are a very similar color so they won't clash when worn together. I paired the two around this black pullover, the black and brown together make a contrast and I love that. The contrast is what takes this very simple outfit into something that will make you look twice. On top of the contrast, I wanted to add a bit of sass. The paper pom pom earrings are a great way to add texture. They're also something that will will bring your eyes up to the face. The earrings are made out of paper and that makes them SO light. I love a good statement earring and will suffer the pain if they're a bit heavy but these ones are so nice because you can hardly feel that you have anything on! Add jewelry to this outfit (I prefer gold with this look) and maybe a staple red lip like I did and you're good to go! 

Now, I know this whole blog post is about me telling you what works together and how to make something stand out...you can always make this outfit your own. Pair it with something that you personally like, change the shoes, put your own take on it. A quote that I heard years ago was 'fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it' and it has stuck with me. The beauty of the fashion industry is that there are so many different styles, and you can truly make something your own. Diane Von Furstenberg once said, "Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good." 

xo, Harlei 

 

DIRECT LINKS 

1. Sweater - (ps, its on sale!)

2. Boots 

3. Bag - few years old so I linked the newest style thats similar

4. Earrings - similar 

5. Jeans 

6. Sunglasses 

7. Bracelet 

8. Monogram Necklace

9. Horn Necklace

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

harlei fain

HAPPY 2018 YALL! Im so excited for this year, and I have really high hopes for it. I figured what better way to kick off the year than New Years resolutions? These are just a few I'd share with y'all. 

1. Be Kind. I've always had the mindset that being nice will get you so much further in life than being snotty and rude. This year I want to take that to the next level, I want to not only focus on being kind but also doing good. Im striving to do at least one good or kind thing a day for someone, whatever that may be. I want to touch peoples lives in 2018, and be a good influence. I can only hope that when people meet me they leave me thinking that I'm a kind person. 

2. Dress to Impress. Ive always been the type of person to dress up anytime I left the house. In high school my mother used to beg me to put on sweatpants and a t-shirt, lol! Going into college after a few semesters that kind of changed. I found myself going to class in leggins, a sweatshirt, hair up in a bun and no makeup! I know that college isn't a fashion show, but I always feel SO much better throughout the day when I actually do something with myself. I grew up with being told that a southern woman always looks put together, and I always believed that but lost it along the way! Another reason for wanting to look my best is for first impressions. First impressions are EVERYTHING. I guarantee that when you meet people for the first time they will always look back at how you were dressed and never forget, it changes the way people treat you. I want to be someone that makes a great first impression and that people remember me in a good way. 

3. TRAVEL, TRAVEL & MORE TRAVEL. A huge resolution for 2018 is to travel. Travel anywhere. Travel whenever I get the chance. 2017 was my big year of travel, growing up we never traveled much. Going to New York twice, and traveling all over the east coast  gave me the travel bug. I saw things I never knew existed outside of my small town in Texas. It made me want to explore more than I ever have before. I have a few trips already up my sleeve for 2018 and I hope that I can achieve my goal to travel often. 

4. Step out of my comfort zone. It's no surprise to my close family and friends that I'm terribly shy and also a homebody. This year I hope to come out of my shell a little bit more than I'm comfortable with. As I mentioned above, I traveled to New York twice in 2017, both for fashion. In May I went for a fashion studies tour with my college and in September for fashion week. Both times I was in different meetings and appointments, meeting various different people in the fashion industry. It made me realize my goal as a fashion studies student, all the dreams I had for my future career...but I wouldn't achieve those dreams if I didn't stand out and be heard. I needed to put myself out there and not hide behind others in order to get what I wanted and what I've always have dreamed of. 

5. LOVE. It's nothing new that the world we live in has seen some terrible things happen to it. So to love on people is a big one. The small amount of love and gratitude I can give to someone could change their whole world. Not only love on people in general, but my loved ones. Im holding on to them a little tighter this year. My best friend, roommate and little brother left for boot camp last night that I'm writing this. My heart hasn't really hurt like this before. I couldn't be more proud of him and his choice to serve our country, but I also couldn't miss him more. A year is a long time but will also be here before I know it. Im holding my loved ones that I can still see and talk to everyday tighter and praying for my brother every chance I get. If you're reading this and have served or know someone that has served please know I'm so thankful for you. To all the people serving and the families that miss them, you are in my heart. Ive always had respect for the people that fight for our freedom, but its so different when you have someone you love serving. My love and prayers go out to you. May 2018 be a great year for you. 

Alright, I'm off of my soap box. I would love to hear you guys' resolutions, feel free to share in the comments. I pray you all have a great 2018. I'm so excited for what this year has in store for Sweet Southern Darlin and I hope y'all are too! Tell your friends!

OUTFIT DETAILS 

I LOVE COLOR. I used to only wear grays and blacks, but that all changed when I got into college. My style totally changed and I really got into color! Now my wardrobe is a ray of different hues. Color is a fun way to bring a piece of you into an outfit. Or in this occasion it was a way to bring brightness into the cold, gloomy day. Don't be afraid of wearing bright colors, you were born to stand out! 

The blue sweater I'm wearing is from a small store in Flagstaff, Arizona. I can't remember the name exactly but I will try to find something similar. 

The boyfriend jeans are from Old Navy! I couldn't believe it when I found these, they're so cute and fit like a dream! I have the skinniest chicken legs EVER and finding jeans is so difficult for me. These fit so nice, especially being boyfriend fit, and they're so cheap!! Definitely worth the price!

Now, my favorite piece of the whole outfit... SOCK BOOTIES! Sock booties are a huge trend this season, designer brands are coming out with different styles left and right! Not to worry these look just the same and are A LOT cheaper than the designer ones I've had my eye on. The boots are from Target and dare I say quite comfortable. I didn't know exactly how I would wear them so I was hesitant but after I styled them, I think they will be a favorite for the next few months!

My earrings are baublebar, probably my favorite place to get my jewelry. I love statement earrings, they can take your outfit to a whole new level. They're so sassy and fun to wear and a great piece to any wardrobe. These are one of my favorite pairs at the moment, and they're not heavy!

LINKS TO EVERYTHING

1. SWEATER (similar) (similar)

2. BOYFRIEND JEANS

3. EARRINGS

4. SOCK BOOTIES 

xo, harlei 

Gift Guide for Him

harlei fainComment
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If you're like me and find shopping for guys SO hard, maybe this will help. I never know what to get all the men in my life, because my brother and boyfriend might like something completely different than my dad. Its easy when they tell you they want a specific tool set, or golf clubs but the men in my life definitely do not do that. These 8 items can be for a guy any age, teenager and up! They're simple, but are everyday items they will get use out of! Also, its currently a week until Christmas and I have yet to by the men in my life anything, so if you're like me (last minute as always) then this will definitely help. I have these items linked at Nordstroms or the brands website, but you can find them at so many common stores! 

1. Bleu De Chanel: This stuff smells SO good. Its a more luxury cologne for the special guy in your life but its so worth it. Its one of those scents that last all day, I automatically know when someone is wearing it. It last a good while and a great gift for any guy in your life!

2. UGG Slippers: You can never go wrong with a pair of UGG's. Slippers are a great gift for a guy, especially a dad, grandpa or uncle! They will last for years and are heaven on your feet! 

3. True Grit jacket: I love true grit. Its seriously the most comfortable sweater and I love the look on a guy wearing it. It can definitely be dressed up or down. No doubt the guy you're buying for is going to love it. Mine has lasted me years, and my brothers too! I bought him one last year for christmas and he still wears in today! 

4. Patagonia Pullover: This is also a great pullover and its way cheaper. The patterns they have add a little detail, and these aztec patterns are definitely in this season for mens fashion. Another great versatile pullover. My brother also has 2 of these and loves them! It looks great with starched jeans AND lounge pants!

5. Watch: Watches are one of those special items you can always turn to if you're stuck on something to buy for a guy. Its something they wear everyday. It looks great with so much! It looks great with a more casual outfit but also a dressier outfit. I love watches on guys, its a great accessory. 

6. Patagonia hat: If the guy you're buying for is a hat lover like my dad, brother and boyfriend then this is a great option. Patagonia hats are a great gift and you can find them at so many places. The guys in my life hardly ever go out without a hat on. The Patagonia patterns are super cool too. They look cute with t-shirts as well as button downs and jackets. Cant go wrong with a gift like this!

7. Bose Speaker: Its no surprise that a speaker would be on here, guys LOVE music. This speaker is dent and scratch proof as well as waterproof! Its great for working, summer days, and even in the shower! My brother has always been one to have music playing (really loud) while taking a shower. This speaker is also SUPER loud too, so its great for so many things. 

8. Adidas shoes: If the guy in your life is shoe obsessed (like my brother.. again-he seems to be my inspiration for this) then you definitely can't go wrong with tennis shoes! Good shoes are a good gift, these ones are nice looking and the colors can go with anything. They can be worn everyday, you can never have too many shoes! Adidas have a reputation of making comfortable shoes, and comfortability is definitely a necessity when buying tennis shoes. 

 

Hope these things gave you some ideas and helped you on last minute shopping. Cant believe how fast December has come and gone! It seems like Halloween was yesterday and that I still have weeks to buy all my presents! I usually do good under pressure and last minute, so fingers crossed I get everything done by Christmas Eve! 

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your holidays are filled with joy and surrounded at loved ones! 

Cant wait for all the things I have planned for SweetSouthernDarlin in 2018, keep a lookout! Hoping to really revamp it and make it awesome for you guys! 

xoxo, Harlei