WRAL Out and About Awards

I was so excited to find out that Swagger had been nominated in the Best Boutique category for the WRAL Out and About Awards.  It is always an honor to be nominated for a Voter’s Choice award!

After a day where nothing seemed to go right – starting with finding out that my favorite romper had been shrunk in the wash (sigh) to spilling an entire bottle of water inside my purse (who does that?) to many other things in between – I was a little stressed on the way to the award ceremony held at Sitti.  But I talked to my amazing store manager, Susan Rogers, all the way from Cary to Raleigh and by the time I got there I was excited to have a glass of wine and talk to the other nominees!

I remember when I first opened Swagger and would go to these events – I wouldn’t know anyone and it was always very intimidating.  Now, 14 years later, it’s like going to a class reunion:  Some of these business owners I only see once a year at an event like this, but it’s always great to catch up!  And I love seeing people I respect and businesses I love getting recognized for all their hardwork!

swagger-us-wral-outandaboutawardsOnce the award ceremony started, I wasn’t prepared for Best Boutique to be the second category called out and a little caught off guard that Swagger WON! Susan was cheering for us and I was messing with my phone – haha! I am so grateful to everyone who voted for us!


It was so fast that I didn’t have time to take a picture of the “winning slide”, but I’ll hang our award inside Swagger with pride!:) So thank you for shopping at Swagger and for loving us the way we love you!  I am forever grateful!


Lokai now at Swagger!

Honestly, I can’t go a day without seeing someone wearing a Lokai bracelet.  I love what the company stands for, and it always reminds me to “stay balanced”.  I know that seems a little cliché, but it is true.  We all have highs and lows and it is good to remember both – to stay humble and hopeful.

If you’ve never heard of a Lokai bracelet, it is a beaded bracelet made up of: one white bead filled with water from Mt. Everest, the highest place on earth, to symbolize the highs in your life, a black bead filled with mud from the dead sea, the lowest place on earth, to symbolize the lows in your life, and the rest of the bracelet consists of clear beads because we all have our story to tell.

I am a big believe in wearing things with meaning, so I was super excited when became an official Lokai store this past week!


When you purchase a Lokai, 10 percent of net profits will be dedicated to giving back to the community through a variety of charitable alliances.  So it’s a win-win!  You give a meaningful gift and a charity benefits from it – a perfect gift in my book!:)



Employee Appreciation Day

Today is Employee Appreciation Day!  I have been planning for a few weeks what I was going to do for my wonderful staff and I “came up with” (otherwise known as – took from pinterest) a winning lottery ticket theme!  I love the people who work for me and I know Swagger wouldn’t be the same without them.  I have always thought of my staff more as family than employees, and although I hope they know how much I appreciate them, it is always great to tell them!  And what better day than Employee Appreciate Day – right?:)

Here are the bags I am giving them today!  Contents: a lottery ticket, 100 grand candy bars and chocolate gold coins!


My daughter even stopped playing with her shopkins to help put them together:)


I have a quote hanging in my house that says ” There will always be a reason why you meet people.  Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.”  All my Swagger girls (past and present) have changed my life and been a highlight in one way or another.  I am so grateful for all of them!

Now I’m headed to go deliver these and pray that somebody wins a bunch of money!!


Top Clothing Trends for Spring 2016: A recap of market

Hi Fashionistas!  I am so excited to tell you all about the top spring/early summer trends we saw last week at the clothing market in Vegas!  I think there is something for everyone this season and all the trends are easy to wear!

1. “Cold Shoulder” and Off The Shoulder Tops and Dress – I love this trend, because I feel that all women have great shoulders and they should flaunt them!  With the “cold shoulder” trend you can still wear a normal bra (which is a huge plus in my book) and the look is pretty casual.  The off the shoulder trend will make you feel sexy and flirty!  Here are two of my faves already online at Shop Swagger!



2.  Tie – Dye – The tie-dye trend is back again for Spring 2016 with a vengeance!  We saw it on everything from rompers to tops to maxi dresses!  The trend is still mostly one color tie-dye which keeps the look fresh and not “I was at Woodstock” at all!  I love this asymmetrical silhouette in tie-dye!


3.  Pantone Colors of the year – Rose Quartz and Serenity – I’m not going to lie – I was a little scared when I heard these were the pantone colors for spring.  I mean I’ve never been a pastel girl.  Ever.  But after I read up on the colors and how rose quartz conveys compassion and serenity brings feelings of relaxation, I thought well, I need those two things so I think I’ll give these colors a chance:)  The other thing I loved was the pairings of these colors with neutrals and other mid-tones.  Rose Quartz paired with olive or army green and serenity paired with smoky greys were amazing!  Be on the look out for how you can mix this new spring trend with pieces you already own from fall to look street ready and on trend!




4.  Olive and Rust – so I know that sounds strange after saying the Pantone colors are rose quartz and serenity, but almost every label we met with had olive and rust in their spring line.  I’m not sure if that is what they are calling these colors, but that is what they look like:)  However, they aren’t your olive and rust from fall – the colors are incorporated in little details like embroidery or in florals.  And I love the olive/army green ombre in the sun dress below.  How do you feel about this new trend?

openair-sage-green5.  Tassels and Pom Poms – Yay!  They make me so happy!:) Shop Swagger has already started getting purses and scarves with these adorable accoutrements and the clothes – oh my!  So adorable!  Usually when I hear someone say pom poms or tassels I think lots of colors – which is no different this season, but you will also see a lot of monochromatic looks too!  I can’t wait!  I may even try to incorporate a pom pom or tassel into every outfit I wear for the whole summer just to keep me in a good mood!:)


So what do you think about Spring 2016 trends?  Which ones are you the most excited about?  I’d love to hear from you, so please – comment below!



What to wear for Winter to Spring transition

It’s February 2nd. It was 70 degrees yesterday and 50 today.  Thank God for the weather app on my phone – I’m pretty sure it’s my most used.  It is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing before I go to bed.  Yes I’m a little psycho about the weather, but we all have our quirks – right?!  How else is a girl supposed to figure out how to dress?!

We are getting new spring transition wear daily at Shop Swagger and I’m having the best time coming up with creative ways to wear my new purchases with my favorite fall/winter pieces!

I made a new “What’s in Mandy’s Closet?” video to hopefully inspire you to create new outfits with your old and new pieces.  Check it out and let me know how you are transitioning your closet from winter to spring too!


Snow Day Prep

I’m not gonna lie – I love a snow day!  Besides the “my store isn’t open so I’m not making any money” aspect – it doesn’t get much better than a day full of sledding, hot cocoa and Netflix marathons. That is until you have three days of it!

Day one is full of cute pics and snowballs fights and making cookies,


but by the middle of day 2 your kid is like I’M SO BORED!  Of course that is why most parents I know go to the wine store before getting bread and milk when the threat of an ice storm hits, but I digress. 😉

So… after this past weekend I’ve realized that I need to be more prepared for the next Snow/Ice Storm!  My family was lacking in the food and fun stuff to do categories, so I decided to get prepared for the next one, because we all know there is going to be a next one!

I created this board on pinterest, {snow style}, to help me get prepared.  I am super excited about Magic Snow, Indoor snow trays (I’m sure the shopkins would enjoy that-ha), and Snow Dough!  These activities should give me at least one more day of snowy bliss:)!

My other goal is to purchase the ingredients for meals and put them in the back of my pantry or freezer so I have them in advance and am ready!    Here are two I pinned for Taco Soup and French Dip Sandwiches.  I know the sandwiches are good because I made them for Christmas Eve and there are just 3 ingredients – beef, beef consommé, and rolls – jackpot!

Here’s to our next snow day – may we all be prepared and not bored!


Atlanta Market Recap

What happens in Atlanta doesn’t stay in Atlanta!:)

We just got back from one of the best gift markets I’ve attended in years!  I’m so excited about the new trends, colors, sayings, products – I just can’t wait for it all to get in! Some of my faves are:

capriblueI’m so excited Swagger will now smell like Capri Blue candles!:)

corckcicleLook at all the NEW colors for Corkcicle – we are dying!  I’m personally in love with the pastel pink, and they have a new 60 oz that will hold an entire pitcher of margaritas!  Hello fun day at the beach!!:)

mermaidtailsAnd these mermaid tail blankets are so adorable!  They actually gave me one for my daughter when I placed the order and she can’t get enough of it.  She HAS TO have it when she’s on the couch.  And I know more than kids are going to like these – it is the perfect thing to snuggle into at your beach house!


I also love all the companies that have been started to help people in need and to support charities.  Swagger already carries Bridgewater Candles, Alex and Ani, Chavez for Charity, The Giving Keys and Lilly and Laura, and are excited to start carrying several new lines including this jewelry line, The Shine Project, that helps kids become a first generation college student!


I promise to update you all when new lines come in, but just in case – start following Shop Swagger on instagram and facebook – links at the top!:)


Happy 4th Birthday to Kennedy

I can’t believe my daughter is 4!  I remember her like this as if it were yesterday…


This past weekend we celebrated her 4th birthday with an “Elsa” Party.  It was her first real party so I wanted her to love it!  She was so sweet and kept saying I can’t believe “I get a party – thank you Mom – thank you!”  So of course with that kind of enthusiasm, I wanted the party to be something she would always remember!  I thought it turned out really great and I loved all the vendors I worked with, so I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. If you are in or around Raleigh you should check them out!

The first thing I did was have the invitation designed.  I worked with Cute Pixels on Etsy.  She was extremely professional and it was a quick turnaround.   I then printed the invitations at Pip in Cary – these guys are great and got them done for me in 1 day!!


Then I contacted my cake lady – Jennifer Dail!  If you want a beautiful AND tasty cake she is your woman!  Kennedy wanted an Elsa “Barbie” cake and Jennifer didn’t disappoint – how cute did this turn out?!?!


Next I needed ideas for food and decorations – and where do you go for that? Pinterest of course!!  My favorite post was for these free Frozen printables.   I used them for notes for my gift bags and food labels – so easy to edit them in Picasa and so cute!  Took about 15 minutes total.  Since the party was from 1 – 3, I only served dessert type food.  I made “Frozen” Muddy Buddies, Blue Chocolate covered pretzels,  chocolate kisses and “olaf noses” (which were Cheetos and not dessert but I needed another thing to go with the theme – ha!).  And finally for the decorations, I made some wreaths for the front door and then basically used my Christmas decorations that I hadn’t put away yet (1 win for a right after Christmas birthday!).  I used this post as the inspiration for the wreaths.


The highlight of the party was when Anna and Elsa arrived and I have Enchanted Wishes to thank for that! Ines and her girls were great and stayed in character the whole time!

IMG_2742 IMG_2745 IMG_2766

The first picture was of our family on the day Kennedy was born and this is us four years later…


And yes – the jazz hands are totally her personality;)!


What I’m Wearing – Holiday Edition

It’s December 1st and I can’t believe Christmas is only 24 days away!  We have so many fun things on the calendar that I’m sure the days are going to fly by!  Forget the fact that my Christmas cards aren’t ordered and that I’ve only purchased 3 gifts (eek!) – what’s really on my mind is – what am I wearing to all these events?!  Haha – you know – I don’t have a thing to wear in my closet;)

So many cute things going instore and online today that I HAD TO try them all on and make my decisions!! What do you think?

I’m pretty much infatuated with the floral dress by Everly!  I love the fit – figure flattering but not tight, the flutter sleeves and of course the pattern!  I plan on wearing it to my husband’s annual Christmas work party at Jimmy V’s – they deserve a shout out because dinner is always amazing!!  This outfit is dressy without trying too hard and is really comfy – yay for me! This year I don’t have to suffer for fashion – haha.

I also love the navy dress with the hot pink floral burnout pattern.  It is going to be perfect for a night out to dinner with our friends!  Although black IS my signature color, I do love navy on blondes – especially this time of year when most of us are pasty from not being outside – or is that just me??

Finally, one of my favorite events of the season is An Evening with Elves at Marbles Kids Museum.  Our daughter loves it and it’s really a magical night!  If you are in Raleigh and have young kids, I highly recommend making it a family tradition!  This year I plan on wearing one of our piko sweaters with a long necklace and bralette. Comfort is key since I’ll be chasing Kennedy all over the place, but I want to look cute in the pics – right?  Nothing better for that scenario than a piko sweater!

Here we are last year at A night with the Elves

Here we are last year at An Evening with Elves!

I promise to post a pic on Swagger’s social media from all our events!  Please follow us – links are in the right hand column, and send us pics of you in your Swagger holiday attire – you never know where they will end up!:)





G105 Radioathon for Bob’s Buddies

This year Swagger’s Annual Holiday Open House preview night benefitted Bob’s Buddies.  When I was approached by this organization as a potential beneficiary and learned the story about how Bob’s Buddies started, I knew Swagger had to help be a part of such a worth while cause.  Bob’s Buddies raises money for the pediatric brain cancer foundation and 100% of all donations goes to researching a cure!

I want to thank you to all of our loyal and amazing customers who came out on Thursday November 5th to shop for a cause!  The event was sold out weeks before the event and so many people told me how this event was how they kicked off their holiday shopping season!

I am honored and blessed to be able to help causes such as this through my small business, but I know I wouldn’t be able to do it without all of you, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

This Wednesday, November 25th at 8 am (ish) – I will be on G105 presenting the check from our fundraiser to Bob, Erica and the rest of the showgram, so listen in to see how much we all raised for these kids!


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