Making Memories One Kid at a Time

Making Memories One Kid at a Time

So it's no knew news that I live an active lifestyle. Not only do a operate a full run boutique but also handle all of our Ranch needs along with raising 3 little girls. 

Most mornings you can find me running or jogging in our pasture. My husband mowed a path all the way around the front of one of the paddocks and with the cattle grazing it has always stayed shorter. It's where I share my gratitude with God, ask for prayers, and work through problems. It's where I think about my action plans and get some of my best ideas. It's quiet (no headphones needed) and the most beautiful time of day. Our Longhorns have gotten used to my runs- ya'll last year when I began running out there, they were running too- totally hilarious. Guess they thought a predator was after me. Nope, just extra calories. 

Anyway, as school let out for Summer my youngest has asked to come with me. I've politely declined several times- ya'll I NEED those 30 minutes of quiet but this morning after she asked along with "I can be healthy too, Mom" I knew that it wouldn't kill me to have her tag along and that if I'm going to lead an active lifestyle, why not have her join in too. So off we went, and I'll be honest at first I was like, "OMG there goes any planning/thinking/praying" but I had the best time. We talked, we laughed, she asked questions and I answered. I realized as the baby, she doesn't get much alone time, or undivided attention and as the rest of our house slept this was her chance to get some time without any interruption. I taught her how I run looking down in case of snakes and low and behold, we literally saw one 5 minutes later. I had actually never seen a snake out there, just knew there could be one. 

That morning, after our walk I realized that sometimes the best medicine is getting some special time with each child and it reminded me to find a way to do that a little more. Being a Mom is hard. Being a Working Mom is hard. Being a Mom to more than one Kid is Hard. Balancing it all is Hard. 

But it's so worth it right? I would love to hear how you make time for your kids special and individualized. Comment Below. 

XOXO,

Barb

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Keeping It Real- One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Keeping It Real- One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Real talk this Morning. 

 I’m tired. Like drop dead, crabby AF tired. 

 And here’s a fun fact. I haven’t had coffee in a month. Or eaten anything with gluten. Seriously. And I have been feeling GREAT. but this morning, I NEED COFFEE. 

 On Thursday nights I host a Live Sale for my Boutique which has me up late, getting to bed well after everyone in my house is asleep. Totally fine with that. It’s my job. And I Love It. But what you don’t know is for some crazy reason our youngest decided a few weeks ago to have some sort of obsession with riding the school bus. The bus that arrives at 6:30. The bus that I feel is just way too early for my kids that have a very long school day as it is now. I know. I was an educator for several years. They need all the rest they can get. So, we drive them in. But....her obsession is real and she has been determined to ride the bus. Even if it means going to bed earlier. Even if it means waking on her own. Even if it means discipline. And you know I'm all about Goal Diggers. So, we allowed it. But then SHIT. GOT. REAL. 

Now, to be bluntly honest I am the only early riser around here. And not that I necessarily enjoy rising before our crowing Rooster does but because if I'm going to get that workout in its got to happen at the crack of dawn or it doesn't get done. It is what it is. So, I figured it wouldn't be too bad. I would wake her up when I got up to work out and it would be fine. But then it got crazy. She began to get this obsession I wouldn't wake up. Or she would miss the bus. She began resorting to infant mode and all of the sudden I had a newborn again. One that woke at all hours of the night only this one didn't need breast fed. This one was at my bed side saying "Can you do my hair?" at 2am. "How long do I have before the bus comes?" at 3am and when I had enough of that and told her she COULD NOT WAKE ME UP THAT EARLY she began just getting ready on her own. Turning every light on and getting ready in complete entirety. A 6-year-old all dressed up with no place to go. Watching Netflix at 4am. A full 2.5 hours before the bus was set to arrive. The rest of the household still sound asleep. Her Mother? A Walking Zombie. Hangry at the World before the Sun had rose planning to fuel that anger with Carbs and plan an early Happy Hour. Who needs to work today right? My Middle Daughter says to me "Mom, you can always go back to bed" where I laugh and say "Oh silly child, but there is work to be done today and a Mother does not simply just go back to bed." 

Ah, the joys of being a Working Mom, right? 

Now any tips on getting your 6-year-old to Sleep through the Night. Seriously. Drop them Below. 

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Self Love is the Greatest Middle Finger of All Time

Self Love is the Greatest Middle Finger of All Time

Hey Ya'll! I'm Barb the Owner of Southern Mess. Most days you can find me in our Warehouse working my tail off to bring you the latest and greatest. We are known for our love for fashion that focuses on Real Women. All of our Models are 30+, have real bodies, kids, work, and our images are not photoshopped. We want you to really see what you will look like in our clothes. People would often refer to me as having a Gypsy Soul with a Sailor's Mouth. And I won't argue with that. I love serving the world but empowering Woman to support one another and giving back to our Community where I can. I'm most passionate about my husband, my 3 girls, our ranch, and my business. When I'm not busy working on the boutique you can find me outdoors on our Ranch. Or doing piles and piles of laundry. Yay...laundry. 

If you're dying to hear more, here are 5 things you might not know about me: 

1. I have chapstick....everywhere. All over our house, in my car, in the office. Addicted. 

2. I love a little coffee with my creamer. 

3. I never raised a farm animal until we moved onto our Ranch. 

4. I used to get up every morning and milk our goats before work. 

5. My husband and I had 3 children before we decided to Marry. 

Still here and don't think I'm super weird? Great. Then we should be friends. Seriously though....Let's Connect! Follow me on Facebook and IG @smboutiquetx. 

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Southern Mess Holiday Bonus Info

Southern Mess Holiday Bonus Info

Purchases made between Dec 1 and Dec 31st will accrue $5 for every $50 spent. The bonus cash is earned per order and is not accumulated. 

For example place a $55 order you'll earn $5 bonus cash certificate in that order. Place $200 order and you'll get a bonus cash certificate for $20 in that order. 

Bonus cash codes can be used Jan 1-30th. There is a minimum purchase requirement. Offer cannot be combined with other codes, coupons, or sales and does not apply to previous purchases. 

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Holiday Hours and Shipping Info
The Vow to Shop Small

The Vow to Shop Small

Shopping Small is so much more than supporting local communities.

It's supporting actual people, working hard every day to make a dream come true.

It's putting food on the table. Helping makes end meet. And loads and loads of sacrifice.

We grow because of your support and commitment to keep things small and your trust in our company. Your support helps us do our part to ensure better roads, better schools, and more revenue coming into our city. 

It allows us to create jobs and keep them secure so our employees can better their situations and reach their goals. 

It truly takes a village.

I would personally not be where I am at today if it wasn't for an amazing group of small business owners, friends, and family who have been the support system I needed to get through the tough and focus on our company goals.

Last year I sent an email out titled "When you Buy From a Small Business an Actual Person Does a Happy Dance" and I meant it just as much then as I do today. 

When I began our company, I had no idea where it would take me. We began as a little monogramming company on Etsy where I shipped orders from my coffee table and processed orders from my kitchen table. Last December I left my full time job teaching to focus on Southern Mess full time. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my goals and where I wanted our company to go.  I wanted something authentic, different, and personal.  We are so much more than fashion. We are a way of life, and a tribute to Woman all over the world. We are about empowerment, community, and working together for a common good. We are real and we are just like you. Through our brand we reflect every day fashion. We are casual but like to dress up. Our graphic tees often say the things everyone else  was already thinking. The faces behind our brand are Mothers trying to figure it all out just like the rest of us. They have flaws and insecurities but have also grown so much in confidence, and that's the very thing we love we feel we were blessed to do. I have a passion for fashion but also for coming together and building something amazing, lasting, and honest. 

Thank you from every part of my heart for your support.  It means the absolute world to me and my family. As we come up on 3 years of business, I'm amazed at what we have been able to do and so excited to show you what we have planned next! 

XOXO,

Barb

Southern Mess 

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Perfection and Being Thankful For Enough

Perfection and Being Thankful For Enough

Perfection.
 
For a long time I felt I needed to be that. To have whatever that little word meant. To own it. Or heavens forbid be judged for it. 
And then as if God knew exactly what I needed, I no longer strive for it anymore. As Southern Mess grew, my obsession over things that really didn't matter begin to diminish. Maybe it was because there were just not enough hours in the day to be amazing at everything. Or that with the growth of my company, every moment with my family mattered more than how I felt things needed to appear to be. 
Yet I still find myself apologizing. "Sorry my house is a mess, it's been crazy." "Ignore the mountain of laundry, I'm powering through it between work." Leftovers instead of experimenting top Pinterest recipes? No shame. Hair a mess and wearing the same shirt from yesterday? Oops. My signature look. No makeup. 
And as I sit here now, powering through the finishing touches for our big Black Friday weekend, with 24 unread text messages, 50 unread PM's, and a mountain of emails I'm not the least bit stressed about tomorrow. My old self. She would be. You see, I decided to host Thanksgiving ,except this year I'm not stressing over the perfect menu, making my house look like we don't live there, or how I'm going to impress everyone. Instead I'm so very grateful for that moment with family who loves us. Who chose to spend their Holiday at our home. And who, let's be honest, don't care what my house looks like. Because those are the people we need in our life. The ones who want to be there for you, as you are. 
See perfection is often perceived. Assumed. And most often, wrong. No one is perfect. Sometimes, with the advances of social media, we just appear that way. And quite often, we  feel this expectation to live up to what everyone else is doing. 
I had someone say to me once (and it wasn't a compliment) that I thought I was just soooo perfect. (insert eye roll). They went on to cut me down about my Master's Degree, my business success, even the home we live in. And although deep down I know those words were meant to be hurtful and stemmed from jealousy, I've never forgotten them. You see, they saw what looked like the perfect life I live. I do have a Master's Degree. I also worked my tail off for it all while being pregnant and giving birth to 3 children over 8 years total of school. My husband and I paid for every bit of that degree ourselves. I earned it. I'm over the moon proud of Southern Mess but it hasn't grown without many sacrifices from myself and my children. Blood, sweat, and tears were put into it. Anyone, and I mean anyone can have that too, if they want it bad enough. I didn't get lucky. I put in the work. And oh my home. Yes, I love our home. It's what I've dreamed of. An old farmhouse with Longhorns in the pasture. The home we were afraid we would lose when my husband got laid off. The home we renovated mostly ourselves. The home we chose over taking vacations and buying frivolous items for years so we could afford it. The home I hope to pass down to my children someday. Again, nobody has a perfect life. 
The point of it all is that during this time of year, it's so easy to get caught up in the pressure. Please take the time to enjoy the moment. Love those in your life who love you back. And know that things are often not what they appear to be. Don't ever let someone else's blessings feel like your failure. Celebrate with them and Be Thankful for Enough. 
Happy Thanksgiving
XOXO,
Barb 
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Happy Wife Happy Life- The Southern Mess Interpretation

Happy Wife Happy Life- The Southern Mess Interpretation

Ya'll.

This quote literally has always made me cringe a little. So much so that I knew when I began designing I had to put it on a shirt. Maybe it's meant to be sarcastic. I don't know. I've always had a weird sense of humor like that.

But seriously though. It's taken me a very long time to find my own happiness and to figure out what even makes me happy. The other day I watched a little video clip and in the video the Woman was saying how we as Mothers and Wives often lose our way. We forget how to find our own happiness because we are constantly serving others and in that servitude we begin to think that in order to find happiness we need to gain that happiness FROM others when in fact happiness comes from within ourselves. 

When I first looked at this quote or heard it, I immediately thought of the husband. He needs to keep his Wife Happy and in return they will have a Happy Life. I thought that was ridiculous. Absurd. Insert the cringe face. This quote doesn't mean that to me. It's about keeping ourselves happy as Wives and Mothers so that we can have a Happy Life with zero regrets. You see when we are doing what we love and what we enjoy, we are able to spread that to others. We are able to put that energy into positive things and focusing on our blessings. So it's not so much about perhaps keeping someone else Happy but allowing them to find their own Happiness even if it's different from your own. Then embracing it and loving them more because of it. 

I still have so much to learn in life but if I can share one thing I have, it's not to settle for anything that makes you unhappy. Or anyone for that matter. Life shouldn't be about sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of someone else because that only leaves you with a whole lot of resentment and regret. You deserve to find your passion and utilize it for all it's worth. You deserve to be around the people who love you for who you are at your worst and at your best. You deserve to be Happy. 

XOXO,

Barb

Owner, Designer, Workaholic at Southern Mess

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Stop the Negativity Please

Stop the Negativity Please

If you watched the Super Bowl, then you probably saw Lady Gaga's performance. If you're like me, her performance is all that you watched. 

She went above and beyond and whether you're a fan or not, she owned the Halftime Show. 

But I was shocked, saddened, and concerned at what followed. A slew of social media posts began focused on her body. Judging, shaming, saying things like "Couldn't get past that belly flab".

Ugh, ya'll. That's our problem. We are so quick to judge and say things that can't be taken back and Dear Lord, if they can't get past her belly flab then I guess I won't be putting on a swimsuit this year. Or like ever. 

But seriously. I'm curious how amazing the bodies are on all of these people, who felt so inclined to judge HER body. Probably not so much. Because you see, as a society we take our own insecurities, and we push them off on someone else. 

As a Mother of 3 girls, I have had to really watch myself. I'm not always happy at what I've done to my body, whether it be from childbirth or that extra slice of pizza, but I owe it to my daughters to teach them the difference between healthy and thin. Fit and sedentary. About taking care of our bodies but also being proud of what they are and what they are capable of. 

Ya'll in the past 10 years my body has changed. A lot. I'm larger than I once was. Softer than I was. Older than I was. I've had three babies. My body has gained (and lost) 30+ pounds each time. That is life. That is sacrifice. That is love. And it came with a whole lot of baggage I hadn't planned on. 

About 4 years ago I had a goal to put on a bikini again. Not even sure why to be honest, but I did it.  I lost 25 lbs of pure fat and was super proud of the hard work I put in. But all the weight loss didn't take away my stretch marks, my insecurities, my fear of judgement. I looked in the mirror and was still not where I wanted to be, which was unrealistic because I wanted my body to be 18 again, before kids so you know..... I wore the bikini anyway at the encouragement of my bestie but I was so dang uncomfortable because of what others may be thinking. Ya'll that sucks! I lost all that weight, worked out super hard, got crazy toned after three kids and I was still worried I may be too fat, too old, too stretch marky (yes, I know that's not a word).  We have gotta stop this cycle of judgment and instead celebrate each other, uplift each other, and encourage each other to wear that dress, rock that look, and most of all BE YOURSELF. 

Lady Gaga came back with an amazing message to her haters. She said that she was proud of her body and that you don't need to cater to anyone else in order to be successful. And she's so right. But I also know that those words spoken about her were hurtful. Made her possibly second guess her decision making. Quite possibly even changed the way she looked at herself in the mirror, you know what I'm talking about, when you scrutinize all the parts of yourself you are already insecure about or weren't until someone else said you should be. Those words, they change people. 

So the next time you see someone rocking something you probably wouldn't and your first thoughts are to laugh, mock, or shake your head remember that it took confidence to wear what they are wearing, whether you would or not, and that's something we can all look up to. 

XOXO,

Barb

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The Calm After the Storm

The Calm After the Storm

Ya'll there are things in our life that are meant to challenge us. Some deep to the core of your soul and some that seem devastating at the time but are really minor in perspective. 

For the past 10 days we were without electricity. Hit by an ice storm that devastated our town, the area, and our farm. Pretty hard when you are caring for a family, a business that is run online and a farm. I went 3 days before I showered, then 3 more after that. I think that's the longest I've gone without one, since I was like 5. That first shower offered to me by someone who owed me nothing. Just a kind gesture and one worth remembering. Inspiring me to pay it forward someday.

We did break down and buy a generator after about day 5 or 6. A painful purchase, but without it we would continue to go without hot water, which not only we need for that said shower, but our bottle calf who I worried would get sick drinking his milk cold. We needed power to cook, so my girls could go back to school, so I could work. 

I've been spending my time cutting out the ugly from my life. Whether it be people, my own thoughts, or the noise from the outside world. Through this, I remained positive, slightly anxious but manageable and I focused on all the things I COULD do without electricity. Yea, hauling buckets of water to animals isn't fun, but hey I could use the exercise. To be honest, without the distraction of my phone or the internet I got to read, A lot. I got to really listen to my kids. I got to explore outside. I even got to watch my girls spend a whole day helping their Dad move tree limbs while I deep cleaned all the places in our home I always say I have no time to do.

If you look closely in the photo of me, you will see some of those branches blurred in the background. I contemplated moving them. I did. And then I decided that even though no one will probably notice, I will. I will see them and remember this storm. A man lost his life getting power back in our area. Working around the clock, like countless others, so our area could stop living in the dark. Makes my hot water catastrophe seem like an absolute joke compared to the nightmare his family is living right now.  

Each day is a gift. There is no promise of a tomorrow.

 Cherish the beauty even in the storm. And keep on smiling. 

XOXO,

Barb

Owner, Creator, and Work A Holic at Southern Mess

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An Anniversary and a Birthday

An Anniversary and a Birthday

As another year creeps in, I'm constantly reminded that I'm not getting any younger. I have 3 little girls and my oldest will be rushing off to Jr. High next year. Unsettling for a Mama who gave birth to her at the young age of 22 for sure. 

Interestingly enough, this day, my birthday, is also the anniversary of Southern Mess. Up until this time last year, we were a small Etsy shop still testing waters. Over Christmas last year, I told my husband I was going to become an online boutique. I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes. 

My first website looked childish really. Setup as best I could. For those who placed their very first orders, thank you. You've watched us grow, succeed, and become well, You. 

I wanted to do something special for our anniversary but wasn't sure what. So I ordered this over the top Southern outfit from another boutique owner not really confident I would actually ever wear it. Oh how I tried it on. For weeks. Back and forth. Do I? Don't I? Is it too flashy? Am I too old? Can I even pull this thing off? I need to lose weight. I need to be 20 again. My boobs are too big. My stomach isn't flat enough. Can my legs get any whiter?

And then I remembered something said to me by two different people last week. Eat the Cake. Buy the Shoes. Take the Trip. I kept thinking "Wear the dress." 

And I did. Because our whole company, my vision, is about celebrating woman. For who they are, what they've become, and what they can be. No strings attached. I designed a shirt with a phonetically spelled cuss word displayed across the chest for goodness sake. I can do this. And I did. 

So Happy Birthday to me, another year older but probably not grown up yet, whatever that is anyway.

Happy Anniversary to Southern Mess because without ya'll, there would be no us. 

So let's celebrate because we can't wait to show you how unstoppable we can be in 2017. 

XOXO,

Barb

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What Small Business Saturday Means To Me

What Small Business Saturday Means To Me

Shopping Small is so much more than supporting local communities.

It's supporting actual people, working hard every day to make a dream come true.

It's putting food on the table. Helping makes end meet. And loads and loads of sacrifice.

We grow because of your support and commitment to keep things small and your trust in our company.

It truly takes a village.

I would personally not be where I am at today if it wasn't for an amazing group of small business owners, friends, and family who have been the support system I needed to get through the tough and focus on our company goals.

 I sent out an email last week saying "When you Buy From a Small Business an Actual Person Does a Happy Dance" and I meant it. 

When I began our company, I had no idea where it would take me. We began as a little company on Etsy and last December re branded into Southern Mess Boutique. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my goals and what I wanted our company to be about. I wanted something authentic, different, and personal. We are so much more than fashion. We are a way of life, and a tribute to Woman all over the world. We are about empowerment, community, and working together for a common good. We are real and we are just like you. Through our brands we reflect every day fashion. We are casual but like to dress up. Our graphic tees often say the things everyone else  was already thinking. The faces behind our brand are Mothers trying to figure it all out just like the rest of us. The have flaws and insecurities, and that's the very thing we love about them. 

Thank you from the bottom the deepest part of my heart for your support. It means the absolute world to me and my family. 

Here's to an amazing December and an even better 2017!

XOXO,

Barb

Southern Mess 

 

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