Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 Goals

I know it is halfway through January already and I am just making goals, but that is what happens sometimes. Last year my goal was to build my blog and establish it more, that didn't happen. I sporadically posted and had great gaps in posts. At the end of this year I re-evaluated the blogging and Instagram posts/time spent. I love doing both but it takes a lot of time and I was leaving other things undone.

I also have to have someone shoot the looks I post and posting to my Instagram pictures that the kids take or I do in a mirror aren't always the best. This year I want to get back to a more regular schedule of posting, but I had to get some stuff done at the house first. In the next month or so, I hope to reveal some of the home projects I have undertaken and accomplished. Everything takes me twice as long doing them by myself and around our schedules. One of my projects I still have to complete is an area to do try-ons and ootd posts.

When I started this blog I tried to rehash what it was like to go through Ray's journey but in-between I would do random posts on Wednesdays. I never kept track of what I was posting and just wrote from the heart and what was on my mind. Since this blog has been going over a year now I want to make sure my topics aren't overlapping all the time. I want to make a map of where I want this to go.

So even though last year I thought I would make my building year, I hope this will be it for me. I want to get back to a more normal posting schedule and not just random posts. I hope to use my time better and get everything I need to do accomplished and have time for the blog too. Right now my biggest goal is getting my home in order and then it will be back to the blog.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Decade

10 years ago I didn't make any plans and my only thoughts on the future were all so uncertain. New Years was spent calling an ambulance because Ray was so sick and needed to go back to the hospital. While most people look at the New Year as a time for new beginnings and to wipe the slate clean I was not so positive. Everything I had known and I knew, all my hopes and dreams, were slowly dying.

Every year since I think, Is this my year? Will I finally be more certain about what my future holds. The past 10 years I lost some of the most important people in my life. I had heard your 30's are supposed to be some of the best and for me I felt more and more anxious every year just floating through life. What am I supposed to be doing? The girls continue to get older and closer to that fateful age of 18 when they will be tested for the gene. Both having learning disabilities has pushed me to be even more anxious of what the future holds for both and continuing to push for them to receive the help they so need and deserve.

I have learned over the past 10 years I am stronger and can achieve much more than I ever thought possible. I can do things on my own, but the help and support of everyone around me is much needed and I need to learn it is ok to accept it.

I have grown a hobby into something more with my photography. My blog which I intended as a place to write down my feelings has given me a source of income and reached, and hopefully helped, a lot of people. I have made connections I never would have through my blogging.

I hope in the next 10 years I reach a place of contentment and stability. I hope to become less anxious and continue to grow personally and professionally.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Holiday Christmas Cards

Back in July I had a greeting card company, basic invite, reach out to me to see if I wanted to work with them. Most of you know that I want to stay true to my brand and only post about companies and brands that I want to work with and would use or do use. In July I wasn't really thinking about holiday cards, but told them to keep me in mind if they wanted to work together closer to Christmas. As a photographer, I am always looking for companies to recommend to my clients.

Fast forward to two weeks ago and they reached back out. I was eager to see what the cards would look like and what the benefits of this brand compared to others would be. I also waited to agree to do this post until I knew for sure it was a quality product that I would use. 

Basic invite is a greeting card company that allows you to customize the greeting cards which is a HUGE advantage for me and one of the reasons that I was so excited to order cards from this company and work with them. When I plan a session I do it based on the styling of the shoot. I usually have in mind colors, location, etc. When I have tried to order holiday picture cards in the past, unless I knew which cards I was going to order ahead of time, a lot of the ones I liked the best I couldn't use because they didn't work with the colors in my photos. Basic invite has 180 colors to customize your card with and 3 foil colors that can be raised or flat on the card. You can preview your card while creating it online with all the different color options to make sure you like the fit. I absolutely loved playing around with all the options and finding the best fit for my cards. They also offer pages and pages of different card options. 

Along with customizing the greeting cards you can chose from 40 different envelope colors. The envelopes are all peel and stick so they can easily be closed. They also offer an address capturing service that allows you to request friend's and family's addresses over social media. The addresses are stored in the account and can be selected when designing the cards. Address printing is offered at no additional cost. This is a huge time saver especially if you have a large family or are a company looking to send to clients. 

If you are still unsure or want to make sure the quality and colors are perfect before placing an order they also offer samples. I ordered samples of 4 different styles with 4 different photos to check the quality and colors before I even did this post. They all came back beautiful and exactly how they appeared when I was done customizing them.

If you are interested in checking out their selection of 2019 Christmas cards or 
office Christmas party invitations click the links and they are currently offering 15% off with code 15FF51.

**Thank you basic invite for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own**

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving/ Black Friday Sales

I have been getting questions about sales and trying to put together a list of some of my favorite places to shop during the holiday sales. Some of the sales have started and some have not. I am speculating on the sales they have run in the past for what will be offered but most have been these same deals for years.

J Crew 50% off and 60% off sale:

J Crew Factory 60% off:

Abercrombie 50% off and free shipping:

Abercrombie Kids 40% off and free shipping:

American Eagle 40% off and free shipping:

Target :


Zara usually does 30% off sitewide:

Asos usually does 20% off sitewide:

Missguided 50% off:

Urban Outfitters Buy 1 get 1 50% off:

Old Navy 50% no exclusions and it appears some items have been restocked!:

Ssense Golden Goose Sneaker Sale:

Spiritual Gangster 40% off:

Amazon great deals on kindles, fire sticks, books, etc.:

Hopefully this list is helpful!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

LTK Day #4 Jcpenny

Today's sale is for a store that we regularly stop into when we are at the mall (maybe because it is one of the few left in that mall?!)

My original plan was to try and put together a few family holiday looks, but I wasn't able to find much left in my size. It seems like our local store is always picked over so I just let the girls pick out some of their favorite items. Besides the fancy dresses all the items were added to their Christmas lists.

Shop these looks through my profile (youngwidowedstylishmama) for extra savings today! or click the link on the top of this blog SHOP MY LOOKS to take you to these styles!

Monday, November 18, 2019


I didn't really post much about yesterday's sale because I am not really familiar with the brand. I did post what it was on my Instagram stories for those interested, but I wasn't comfortable giving recommendations, etc since I haven't used the products.

LTK Day #3 is one of my favorite stores! Anyone else add to wish list instead of to cart? I always have a wish list going strong on this site haha.

This is one of my favorite retailers because they carry petites and also wide fit in shoes. They were also one of the first retailers I came across that also carried maternity right after I had my girls and realized that there was a huge lack of cute maternity stuff.

Head over to the app to see shop today's deal or click the link on the top of this blog page (shop my looks) and it will take you to all these items to shop.

Check back tomorrow for the next deal....

Saturday, November 16, 2019

12 days of LTK--Day 1

If you haven't downloaded the app yet, you need to! It is the easiest way to shop and find products. Unlike Pinterest where you find the perfect outfit and click the link to only end up at a dead end, this takes you right to the product. It isn't just for fashion you can search home d├ęcor and products as well. You can follow your favorite influencers or just do a general scroll or by search terms. My name on the app is youngwidowedstylishmama so head over and give me a follow! I do make a small commission on the purchases made through the links and it also helps me know what people actually like and are clicking on that I post.

For the next 12 days LTK is going to have exclusive sales for people in the app. Today starts day 1 with one of my favorite stores from when the girls were little. They pretty much exclusively wore clothing from this brand. I couldn't get enough of the warm, cozy outfits.

Even today we still buy their pajamas. Lily is obsessed with one piece footed pajamas and this is one of the only brands that carries them.

Head over to the SHOP MY LOOKS tab on top of this blog page to take you to my page and shop all my picks as well as find out today's promotion for this brand or just hop over to the app!

Don't forget to stop by daily to see the other sales that are going to be going on!