Two-fer Friday

I originally wore this dress to my "brother-in-law's" wedding where the color scheme was black/white/yellow. It's usually hard to repurpose formal-type clothing but I really like the graphic pattern and wanted to go wear it again. I think I could stretch a little more and be a bit more creative but I think the playful color and  texture of the accessories gives it a more playful feel. 

Black and white maxidress: Ross Stores, Cobalt peep-toe mary janes: Charlotte Russe, Embroidered and sequined satin clutch: Canal St. NYC, Necklace: Street vendor


I love this top. It's simple sexiness and really light; the open knit and sheer-ish back lets you feel the summer breeze on those hot days. On a day you don't feel like being too fussy it's a piece that can hold its own and doesn't need much else; a good shoe, bag and simple jewelry.
Knit tunic with chiffon back: Forever21, Leggings: Macys, Statement Necklace: International culture fair, Sueded clutch with tassels: Forever21, Maroon and pink strappy sandals: Bakers shoes, Bracelet: Utah gun show - Yes,  they've got something for everyone at the gun show.

Allana Balfour

Easy Maxi

This is one of my favorite dresses; it's a really easy shape and it doesn't take much to put together a cute but comfortable summer outfit. I wore a navy and white graphic maxi dress with clear,  spiked, jelly,  gladiator sandals,  a basic envelope clutch in bright poppy,  and a geometric necklace which I wore backwards for the texture. Keep the hair simple and you are good to go. 
Dress: Ross Stores, Clutch: eBay, Sandals: JustFab, Necklace: Gift from  my friend Shelly 

Allana Balfour

Almost Summer

When my family and I were preparing to leave Salt Lake City I took photos of my outfits (lots in a friend's beautiful back yard) but in the mix of it all most of them did not get uploaded. Along with current photos I'm going to be posting past ones that never made it to the big show. Some of the items may not currently be available for sale but I hope that my outfits will give you some inspiration for your own looks.
Fuchsia dress: Old Navy,  Cream and black cardigan with pearlized buttons: Target, Strappy snake print sandals with ankle cuff: Shoedazzle, Belt with gold hardware and faux leather bow: Eloquii,  Large turquoise ring (and earrings): eBay.

Allana Balfour

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

I found this illustration many years ago while working at a call-center in Salt Lake City (I made a few adjustments). It illustrates perfectly how I felt then, and sometimes now. I love color, I have big hair (not big enough), I can be loud, and I love to stand. While I was living in SLC I had this "grass is greener" fantasy that I was simply in the wrong environment. I thought that I would return home and "be among my people," that the streets would be a metaphorical catwalk, and I would nod in fashionable knowing to those I passed. I thought that the color revolution had transformed the city and that the streets would be filled with people who looked like gems. Instead I find that most people still stick to darks and neutrals and most people sort of blend together. There are definitely those fabulous, bright, ones I would take my hat off to (if my hair fit under hats) but they seem to be the minority. I want everyone (everywhere) to rise and shine and be bright and gorgeous. Don't be afraid to show off, don't save that bright dress for a special occasion; wear it today. Everyone has their own style but whatever it is, today, be bright, be huge, be your most awesome self, even if you are doing it alone.

Allana Balfour

Love and Gratitude

Looking back at a picture and realizing that you were/are beautiful or that your life was awesome, but you didn't  feel it at the time, is a little sad. You realize "In that moment I had no idea who I was or how great what I had was. I should have loved and appreciated myself more."

I have spent a lot of time struggling with self-love and happiness with my accomplishments. I have always looked to the future for that time when I will be happy with myself, my job, my bank account, etc, and have missed a lot of the joy in the present. Other people frequently see things in me that I overlook. Looking back at a previous post ( Casual Friday 07/14/12) and thinking about the time it was taken I was focused on the "negatives" in my life:

  • The numbers on the scale weren't moving much even though I was working out hard and staying the course    with the diet
  • I felt stifled and undervalued at my job
  • I didn't want to live in Salt Lake City any more
  • It was difficult to start a fashion career in SLC

 I should have realized I had a lot to be thankful for:

  • The man standing behind the camera loved me like nobody's business
  • I looked really pretty
  • I was working out regularly, eating well,  and getting healthier by the day
  • I lived close to my families, shared a house with a cousin I adore, and had people all around me who I love
  • I had a job that even though I didn't care for the actual job duties allowed me to be my free self
  • I had created a creative outlet for myself where I could be expressive and immerse myself in something I am passionate about
  • I had a volunteer position that made an actual difference in a cause I care deeply about  
  • I had two fur-babies who made my day, every day

 I have come to realize the beauty in paying attention to the now; If you don't you may miss out on a lot. What I focus on, and my happiness, is completely up to me. Looking at life from the grateful point of view makes the experience completely different. It's totally changed my outlook, my contentment, my level of gratitude, and my ability to show love to others and myself. Yes, live for the future (if we are lucky we will get there), but now is all we actually have. Feel the now, be happy in it, and let your spirit be huge in it.

Thank you to those around me who have loved me, supported me, saw the good in me, and helped me grow. Thankfully for me the list is long; you know who you are. Like the song says "I'M HAPPY."

Allana Balfour

So Hot

SWAK has seriously upped their game. Their selection of dresses right now is everything. I've been dressing very fem for about a year now and wear dresses and skirts mostly every day. This dress is so sexy I barely have words. For hourglass or pear shaped curvy women this dress does the most. Raven Tank Dress in Fuchsia

Raven Tank Dress in Fuchsia