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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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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Meet the Models- Randi Cunningham

Meet the Models- Randi Cunningham

We want to take some time to celebrate the faces behind our Southern Mess brand. When we started out on this journey, we knew we didn't want to feature professionals. We wanted real woman and we wanted to ensure we celebrate those that are truly who we are both as a brand and as Women/Mothers/Trendsetters. 

Say Hello to Randi! An active Momma of 2 who is an all out natural! Not only is she absolutely gorgeous she's super down to Earth and a lot of fun to be around. She's not afraid to speak up for what she believes is right either. We LOVE that about her! 

She's been married to her husband for 7 years (he's a former model too!) and they have two of the cutest little boys you'll ever meet. They just got a new puppy and he's super fun to watch! 

She's been a teacher for 10 years and she also teaches group fitness classes. This weekend she is participating in her first marathon running 26 miles! Exercising is one of her all time favorites! She's also an R + F consultant and their products totally rock! You can check them out here at : randicunningham.myrandf.com 

She refers to herself as a control freak (ummm can totally relate there!) and is very head strong. If she decides she's going to do something, there's no changing her mind! She adores being a Mother and a Wife and works hard to cherish every moment with her family. She uses her faith to focus on what God has planned for their lives. 

Her style consists of mostly jeans and tshirts so Southern Mess is definitely her jam! 

Her motto is: "Don't let fear decide your future!" 

 

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When Life Hands You Lemons...You add some Vodka and Go with It

When Life Hands You Lemons...You add some Vodka and Go with It

Photo shoots have not been in my favor lately. The weather up in the Panhandle of Texas has been insane, windy, and don't even get me started on the dust. I've been postponing new arrival shoots hoping the weather would eventually give me a break. It hasn't! So we decided to go through with our model shoot anyway despite a chance for rain and the wind a blowin'. 

Of course, I get this crazy idea a few weeks ago that I wanted to take photos from our Hunting Line using my husband's deer blind. If ya'll know a hunter, live with a hunter, or have ever been around a hunter then you know that in November you DO NOT disturb the wildlife and you DO NOT host a dang photo shoot on sacred ground. But of course, I'm a Capricorn which means I'm stubborn, so I tell my husband we will go early so that all will remain as it was and no deer will be disturbed in the making of our ad campaign. I didn't give him a chance to tell me no. 

So...we load up in our Ranger and we head out. Wind is messing up everyone's hair but whatevs. We get half way to our destination and our Ranger begins to slow down. I'm thinking "this is weird" and then it goes no more. We are stuck. Surely not. This can't be. We are far from much and I have 3 models in full on model gear with heels to match as well as my 3 children (mind you I discover one is barefoot). My husband is out gun shopping (imagine that) and....between 4 social media junkie adults we have no phones. Yep, you read that right. Not one. So we look on the map my husband drew us and decide no biggie. It's not that far. We will just walk. We send my oldest and middle child on a hike back to get a 4wheeler which will then take them up to our home to drive a vehicle back and we start walking. Barefoot child stays in the Ranger.(let the judging begin) We get further down and realize that the deer blind is still super far away and no way we are walking that far. So I'm thinking, Whatever. Screw it. Maybe it's a sign. Let's just take photos right here in the pretty field. So I grab my camera and....ya'll I can't even make this stuff up....No battery in the camera. So now here we are, all dressed up with really no place to go. With no phones and no battery. Mind you, now it's getting later and we have accomplished nothing. So by now we are laughing and I've pretty much decided this is not going to happen.  I begin to wonder what's taking the girls so long and my Mommy worry sets in. Then sure enough I see this little blue van coming down the road (yes, ya'll I live in the country and drive a mini van, super trendy I know). So now we all load up and my sister in law gets her Razor, which is crazy fun but not when you want nice hair, and we take the 4 wheeler, Razor, and mini van out to our deer blind destination. Finally, we make it, only to discover that the whole thing is surrounded by an electric fence and that voltage is pumping! Now, I may be country, but those fences make me nervous and lowering one while it's charged gets my heart pumping. But we handle it like champs and drive on through.

Now for the kicker...You know what photos turned out the best? I'll give you a guess..Not the ones up on our deer blind but the ones in the field of grass below. You know, the same grass we have in our pasture right outside our door without all the work involved.

I think we all earned a drink or five tonight! So when you see our photos pop up give us a little cheer because, my friends, we definitely earned it!

XOXO,

Barb

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Being a Fashionista

Being a Fashionista

Let's talk trends. Like truly. We follow them. We buy around them. We dress around them. Some last no more than a year and some flow for what seems like forever. 

If you met me on an average day, you would probably not find me trendy. Chances are I look like one hot mess. Maybe I have makeup on, maybe I don't. Lipstick on me? Never. Eyeliner. Nope. I'm a pretty basic chick. I've never even dyed my hair. Say what? It's true. I don't paint my nails either. Okay that's kind of a lie. I actually really like to paint my nails. And get them done. But I have 3 kids, 4 businesses, and a farm to run. So it doesn't happen often. 

But this average jeans and tee girl has gotten crazy excited this season. Why? Because the latest looks are some of my favorite things and they all pair perfectly with our Graphic Tee line, Southern Mess. 

So let's talk Plaid. Not your Grandfather's Plaid but today's plaid. It's back and it's rockin as a layered look with graphic tees,  as longer cardigan styles, and accented with lace and sequins. I could wear it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Want to dress it up? Slip on a solid colored dress and some boots. Done.

We are also obsessed with modernized vintage. The latest craze, and one we thought we would hold alone, are distressed button ups and flannels. OMG. It's the bomb. 

Animal print continues to rock the market and CAMO IS BACK. Well, it never really went away for me, but it's back with styles that are insane and it's nice to see I'm not the only one sporting that look anymore! 

So keep checking back this season as our models bring you the latest looks to life in our next big campaign shoot coming up. 

Lots of Love,

Barb

Southern Mess 

 

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