Friday, January 31, 2014

Goodwillista

Happy Friday! I don't know about you, but this week was whack. Unnecessary amounts of traffic, another snow day(more like icy roads), and then I got a cold! I'm so ready for the weekend and a little retail thrifting therapy. With recent career changes, this girl's gotta amp up her wardrobe a bit. I'm definitely looking to invest in the work essentials, but I'm also on a limited budget. Which brings me to this month's favorite blogger, Danielle of Goodwillista! This girl can seriously thrift. Thanks to her tips, I've found some amazing steals at my own local thrift stores.


If you've doubted thrifting in the past, think again, Danielle will prove you wrong with each of her outfits. Like most bloggers, she shares the details for each of her outfits. The major different though, are the awesome deals she scored! You can check out a few of my favorite posts here, here, and here. After you read Danielle's interview, make sure to visit Goodwillista for some style inspiration!


When and why did you decide to start blogging?

I started blogging the summer of 2012 after realizing a trend going on… Someone would tell me that they loved my shirt/pants/scarf/etc., and naturally I’m one of those people who has to tell you where I got it, so I’d tell them, “Goodwill!” and they were always in shock! So, I decided to start a blog to inspire others that you can still look great without spending a fortune!

Describe your personal style.

Ohhh that’s always a tough one for me! I’ve never really thought there was a word(s) to describe my style.  To me my style is just plain and simply “me.”

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

Most of my posts are outfit posts, so most of my inspiration comes from what I come up with in my own closet.  If I’m feeling uninspired by myself, I turn to Pinterest and see how other bloggers styled something I already own.

How would you describe your blog in 5 words?

Umm thrifty, cheap, simple, fun, and easygoing. Dang that was 6!

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I started this blog to inspire others, so what I really love is hearing from other’s that my blog inspired them, and that they went thrifting and found great stuff! I also love reading other blogs and connecting with other bloggers!

What’s your least favorite part about blogging?

The fact that it’s on the computer haha. I stare at a computer screen all day long at work, so sometimes it’s hard to want to sit in front of the screen to write a blog post once I’m home.

What are your top 3 thrifting tips?

1. Be open minded/ try things on.
2. Dig, dig, dig- that Michael Kors dress isn’t going to be hanging on the edge of the rack staring at you.
3. Be persistent- you’ve got to keep trying even when you leave empty handed a few times.

Any resolutions for 2014?

I really need to get back into the habit of thrifting more often! With moving and starting a new career, I really haven’t been as much as I used to.  I also would like to get more creative with my blog pictures. I work in a downtown area that has really good potential for great photos, but I need to get over my fear of taking outfit selfies with my tripod in public!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Quick Preview


Remember when I told you I read a "short snippet" of The Fault in Our Stars? Well, I'm almost done with it. In case you follow my instagram, you may have noticed I was on chapter 5 later that very same morning. It's so good. I even fell in love with a fictional character who's too young for me, but they say age is just a number right? Kidding. But seriously, this guy is dreamy. So when the movie preview was released just yesterday, I was the first to watch him in action. I'm not completely sure how I feel about the actor, but watching him speak direct lines in this preview is a bit reassuring.

Have you read the book yet? If so, what do you think of the trailer? Are you happy with the actor choices? If you haven't read it, make sure to grab a copy of the book soon! Nicholas Sparks' A Walk To Remember was good, but Augustus TFIOS is sooo much better. Happy Thursday, fellow dreamers!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday #15

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It's been a while since Words of Wisdom Wednesday has made an appearance. I wasn't sure if it was something I wanted to stick with during the new year, but this week felt fitting. There have been some recent career changes in my life and I'm looking forward to what the future brings. Sometimes you have to say goodbye in order to move on and find new opportunities. It's not always easy and sometimes daunting, but I'm a firm believer that everything works out for the best.

While most of today's quotes focus on finding a career you're passionate about, I think they can relate to all aspects of life, especially in school. My favorite is the first quote! It takes knowing, loving and believing to be successful in life, not just one thing. Do you agree? What are some of your favorite career quotes? I'll be sharing more my career changes later this week! Happy hump day, y'all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Before the Screen

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You may remember my reading list from last summer. Well, it didn't turn out so great in the end. I finished a couple, but I also read other books that never made the list. Sticking to a list can be difficult though, especially when I'm constantly adding new books to the top of my list.

The biggest trend I've noticed lately, is that I sure like those "book to big screen" titles. It's interesting to see how the movie differs from your own interpretation. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, One Day, The Silver Lining's Playbook, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc. All wonderful books, with almost just as amazing movies. I love watching the movie directors bring the books to life with every detail and line.

I recently finished Memoirs of a Geisha this month and couldn't put it down! Luckily for me, the full movie was available on Youtube. Don't you love when that happens? Keeping in line with my new years resolution, I've decided to start a new monthly series in which I read a book before it hits the big screen. That's just one book per month and I can treat myself with a trip to the movies afterwards!

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I know Memoirs of a Geisha came out years ago, but it still falls into the book to movie category. It'll let it slide for the month of January, but next month I plan on reading "The Fault in Our Stars." The movie doesn't come out until June, but I read a little snippet yesterday and I'm already hooked! John Green is a fantastic author.

Let me know what you think of the new series or if you know of any books I should read next! I've heard good things about Divergent, but I'm not sure it's my cup of tea. Anyone read it lately? This series isn't meant to become a book club, but feel free to read with me if you're interested! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Surviving A Snowstorm

Pamper yourself for the day!
I know this is Texas, but according to Weather Channel, there's a 30% chance of snow tomorrow morning here in Austin. Probably sleet and ice, but a wintry mix nonetheless. What does this mean? No school! Why? Because us Texans can't handle driving in this weather. Now what does this mean for me? Sadly nothing, as I am no longer a college student. Want to know what's worse? I still receive texts from my alma mater, alerting me it's a "SNOW DAY" in PA while I'm at work in TX. In fact, Villanova has had the past two days off. Oh, how I miss the days of snowball fights, junk food, and movie marathons. That was the life!

While the Texas wintry mix hardly compares to the snowstorms up North, I've come up with a fun list on how to survive a snowstorm North or South...assuming you still have electricity. Whether you're alone or with roomies, follow these tips for a fun filled snow day!

1. Here's the perfect chance! Maybe you keep forgetting to take off your chipped nail polish or maybe you're tired of naked nails. Whatever it may be, take advantage of the extra time and give some TLC to those pretty nails!

2. Nothing's better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Boil some water or milk, add the cocoa mix and fill your mug with marshmallows! Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

3. You've probably pinned a couple DIY face masks at one point or another. Again, it's the perfect chance! This type of weather isn't always good on the skin. Start searching your pantry and refrigerator for those easy ingredients to make your very own face mask!

4. I love snuggling up under the covers when it's freezing outside! While I'm not usually one for naps, a snow day is the perfect excuse to catch up on those zzz's.

5. We all have our guilty pleasures, but how often do you have the chance to watch them nonstop? Do it! Feel free to paint your nails while watching reruns of Gossip Girl, bonus points for multitasking!

6. I don't know about you, but my reading list keeps growing. Might as well enjoy some leisure reading while you can! Pick a shorter book and try finishing it by the end of the day. One down, a bunch more to go!

7. So what if you're not 10 anymore, forts are still cool. Make your own or build a big one with your roomies. Stack those chairs and grab all the blankets for your super cool fort.

8. You might have been putting it off or waiting until the next time you do laundry, but why not now? Go ahead and play dress up while you're at it. New outfit ideas, anyone?

9. It's no surprise, but most online stores have sales when the weather gets a little crazy. They know we're bored, can't leave the house and hanging out online, so why not give us another reason to order those boots we've been eyeing? It's hard to say no when they offer free shipping!

10. If it's a blizzard out there, don't bother. If it's bearable, go for it! I loved playing outside in the snow, as long as I could still feel my toes. Just don't stay out too long!

I know it's a lot to do for one day, but who knows, maybe you'll get an extra snow day? How do you make the most of your snow/ice days? What are some of your favorite memories as a kid on those lucky days off school? Stay warm lovelies!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How 'bout a 10K?

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I've talked about my journey with running numerous times already, but it's time for a bigger goal. You might remember my new year's resolutions and how I wanted to run more in 2014...well, I have and I haven't. I know it's only January, but hey, we're almost 1/12 of the way done with the year! What's a better way to get some new motivation for running, besides new workout gear? Signup for a 10K!

Looking at the number just freaks me out. Speaking lightly, I know it's only 6.2 miles; but it's also twice as much as the 5K I ran in late October! Luckily, I have 73 days to build up my stamina, run mini 5K's, and practice my breathing technique. Ideally, I'd like to be able to run the entire race, but it's going to take some major practice. Challenge Accepted. Side note: I think I deserve this shirt, right? It'd sure be a fun shirt to wear during the 10K ;)

Instead of blaming daylight savings, I've finally given into using the treadmill. I love running outside, but I can't always depend on the sun to be shining when I get home. Already counting down the days till March 9th! I miss those long sunny days, don't you? It makes me so happy to see the sunset during an evening run. The air is cool and the sky is gorgeous, how much better can you get?

With the date officially set in my planner, the challenge begins now! Here's to upcoming weeks of going the extra mile and sprinting towards the finish line. Have you set any new goals recently? Ever ran a 10K before? I'd love to hear any tips! Happy Wednesday, y'all!

P.S. The winner of the 99 Problems Book Giveaway is Anna!

Monday, January 20, 2014

If I Were A...

I stole today's post from my fellow blogger friend, Chrystina Noel. These questionnaires are always so fun and usually work as the perfect icebreaker! It gives the right amount of information without the whole explanation. So mysterious, I know. Now I'm assuming you've read a little about me, but today I wanted to give a little more and share my own answers:

If I were a gemstone, I’d be a Sapphire.
If I were a scent, I’d be Lavender.
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be a pair of Bright Red Flats.
If I were the weather, I’d be a Warm Sunny Day.
If I were a facial expression, I’d be a Sincere Smile.
If I were a car, I’d be a Kia Soul.
If I were a time of day, I’d be 12:34 PM.
If I were a month, I’d be December.
If I were a place, I’d be the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
If I were a liquid, I’d be Mug Root Beer.
If I were a taste, I’d be Sweet & Sour.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a Sea Turtle.
If I were a food, I’d be Tuna.
If I were a color, I’d be Magenta.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a Piano.
If I were a flower, I’d be a Sunflower.
If I were a planet, I’d be Mars.
If I were an object, I’d be a Planner(agenda).
If I were a fruit, I’d be a Kumquat.
If I were a sound, I’d be the Wind.
If I were a day of the week, I’d be a Tuesday.
If I were a musical, I'd be West Side Story.
If I were a board game, I'd be Clue.


Like Chrystina's musical idea, I couldn't help but add my own board game line at the end. Let me know if you decide to fill out the questionnaire too! I'd love to read everyone's creative answers and extra lines. Just leave your link in the comments below. Also, if you haven't entered my GIVEAWAY yet, make sure to leave comment with your email address for a chance to win a signed copy of "99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One!" Here's to a successful week, darlings!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Preserving Imagination Amidst Technology

It's official, we're living in a tech world. Our daily activities are filled with a variety of devices. Whether you're texting a friend to meet up for lunch or checking the weather on your phone, we're constantly glued to computers. It's hard to complain when our lives have been made simpler, but it's also important to remember life before the technology. Life was simple then too, it just included some extra work and a little imagination.


I wanted to share this TEDx Talk for a couple of reasons:

The first reason is that I completely agree with Dan. I've shared it in the past, but I'm a hopeless romantic. In my opinion, technology takes the romance out of dating. I'd rather receive snail mail over a quick text any day. When we use our imagination, a small gesture goes a long way.

The second reason being I know the speaker. I was fortunate to spend a week with Dan and an amazing group of friends during a mission trip in college. He worked as our advisor to help out if something went wrong and to be our source of encouragement and support when the going got tough. He's a smart fellow and I'm proud to see him giving this presentation.

The third reason is that the presentation took place at my Alma Mater, Villanova University. Go Wildcats! But seriously, have you been watching any college basketball lately? We're off to a wonderful start this season if I do say so myself!

Hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did. Dan's presentation really reminded me about the importance of our imagination. Breaking away from technology for a little while won't hurt anyone. During our mission trip, each of us turned off our cellphones and left them behind for the week. Did I miss my phone? Not at all. We spent the week bonding through service, reflection and games. It was a treat not having to respond to emails and messages! I highly recommend turning off your phone for just a day. It's a liberating feeling when you can ignore the social world for a little while. Have you done this before? Let me know if you try it out. I'd love to hear your responses!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Wishlist

With the start of a new year, I decided it's time to find some year round accessories and try out some new products. I know it's barely January, but I'm tired of looking at coats and warm accessories. Don't let the pretty snowflakes deceive you, because the Texas weather has brought nothing but sunshine and warm temps this week. I just want to pull out my summer clothes already! The only bad part about the changing temps is when your skin can't handle it. Finding good products to keep your skin happy is a fine beauty resolution for 2014, no?

Sunnies: I have a mild obsession with sunglasses. There are so many colors and shapes, I can't ever choose just one pair. I can't get over the shape of these glasses, plus there's a cat-eye accent - my favorite! With all the recent sunshine, these would be my ideal pair of shades.

Cleanser: I'm a loyal fan of Neutrogena. It's affordable and always seems to do my skin well. For the past year, I've used the Oil-Free Acne Wash and it seemed to prevent breakouts. In recent months and colder temps, my skin was feeling dryer than normal. After reading the reviews on the Ultra Gentle Cleanser, I decided to try this out instead and so far I'm loving it!

Print: In the midst of finding office space inspiration, I remembered this print. This was one of the first quotes I saw after starting my blog. It's so important to remember your webpage is "your" space and you shouldn't compare it to another. I'd love to have this print sitting at my desk!

Lip Color: Remember this lip stain from a previous wishlist? Turns out I was lucky enough to receive a Sephora gift card for Christmas! When I tried on the Stila colors, I was blown away by how bold the color looked in the mirror. Sort of over the top for me. I looked around at the different brands and finally came across the Sephora collection. With a wider variety of colors, I was able to find the perfect pink red color without the crazy boldness!

Boots: I've seen these everywhere: magazines, blogs, the mall, etc. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about them at first, but now I have SO many ideas for how to wear them - any season of the year! I've got a short pair of taupe western booties, but they're just not the same. I think these black beauties would make a nice addition to my shoe closet.

Clutch: I have my fair share of bags - big and small, but I have yet to find the perfect clutch. While interning with Profugo, I was lucky enough to see the various bags firsthand. This clutch has always been my favorite, but it usually sells out too quickly! With a little bit of saving, I'm hoping to make this clutch all mine ;)

Which accessories are you looking to add to your 2014 wardrobe? Have you tried out any new beauty products this year? Let me know what's on your wishlist this month! Also, if you haven't entered my GIVEAWAY yet, make sure to leave comment with your email address for a chance to win a signed copy of "99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One!" Happy Hump Day, lovelies!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Office Space Inspiration

I know it's only January, but I decided to get a jump start on spring cleaning over the weekend. It was 60 degrees after all, here in Texas that is. Also, my room was starting to resemble that of a room hit by multiple tornadoes. After tripping on a pair of new boots, I knew it was time to clean up. Aside from my clothes and shoes covering the floor, my desk was cluttered with junk mail and magazines I've yet to read - forcing me to find a new desk, aka my bed. I know it's a bad habit, but I think we'd all prefer pillows and blankets over a desk chair any day, am I right?

As I tackled my desk this weekend, I came to realize how boring my desk space really is. At the current moment, my desk space consists of tiny trinket boxes, stacked magazines, business cards, a picture frame, and old fake flowers. While I think these pieces have potential for creating a better office space, there's nothing stopping me from cluttering the desk and returning to my bed in coming weeks. To prevent myself from falling into the same old habit, I've decided it's time to reinvent my desk space! Knowing me though, it's going to take a long time...but look at all this inspiration!

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My desk may be ancient, but it has plenty of space for some of these decor ideas. With all this inspiration, I might even find some DIY projects! How do you decorate your desk space? Any tips for staying organized and preventing clutter? Here's to a fabulous week, darlings!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dressing for a First Date

I'm just going to assume everyone knows about Refinery29. If not, don't fret. I barely found out about it last month. A couple weeks later and I'm addicted. Warning: do not LIKE them on Facebook, unless of course you don't mind being distracted all day. Seriously though, they write a new post like every 20 minutes...and I click almost every one. #sorryimnotsorry

After reading this post yesterday, I felt inspired to write about it. Similar to my post on Jennifer Lawrence's response to the media's negativity, I second this post. I feel like I should start a series of "I'll second that"...but I digress. While I may not share the same style as Leila, I completely agree with "not dressing up on the first date". My only exception: unless it's super fancy. Then again, I can't imagine why a first date would be somewhere so fancy in the first place.

I've noted before that I enjoy dressing up,  it's even part of my new year's resolutions - but, comfort is important. Especially on a first date. I don't want to feel self-conscious fixing my skirt or walking correctly in a pair of new heels. I'd rather wear my favorites: leopard flats, denim skinnies, a flowy top and my favorite earrings. I'm not trying to look boring, but I want to wear items in which I feel both comfortable and cute. Like Leila said, it's not about putting the guy in a type of "take it or leave it" situation, it's the simple idea of showing your true colors up front. Even though I like dressing up, it's not something I commit to everyday. Add on hair and make-up? Y'all already know I don't wear much make-up to begin with, so I keep it simple with lip balm and a curl of the lashes. When it comes to my hair, I prefer waves - it's easy and natural.

Now I hope it doesn't sound like I don't care at all, that's not what I'm trying to imply. But personally when I look at that outfit, I think it looks great. Sure it passes for more of an everyday outfit, but the whole look is me and to be honest, it's been successful. As long as I'm comfortable, I feel more confident and can focus on actually enjoying the date. And if more dates take place, well, that's when I can't help but put in some more effort. It's also when I start showing up late. In the end, it won't matter what I'm wearing - it'll be me.

What are your thoughts on dressing up for a first date? Do you have a go-to look? Which do you prefer: comfort or style - or do you pair them together? I'd love to hear what y'all think. Happy Friday, darlings!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

100

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Can I just say thank you? Whether you're a follower or not, I'm so glad you stopped by. Today marks the 100th post I've written! It's not quite been a year, but it's still a milestone in my book. I had no idea I would actually keep up with this blog, much less write 100 posts.

Before I started The Blushing Dreamer, I honestly had no idea what I would write about. I always enjoyed the idea of starting my own lifestyle blog, but the options are endless when it comes to writing a new post. Looking back now, I feel like I've written some really random posts. Sometimes they're scheduled, sometimes they're not - but that's the fun of writing on my blog. Sometimes I write about running, share a favorite outfit, rant about my hair, or share a DIY if I'm feeling crafty.

It's been an interesting journey, but I'm having a great time so far. I know there are only a few of you who follow on the regular, but I appreciate each and every one of you! Thanks for all the comments and feedback in the past! I've got some plans for the new year and can't wait to share them with you! Here's to another 100 ;)

P.S. Have you entered the giveaway for a signed copy of "99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One"? It's the perfect read for the new year and also makes a fun belated Christmas gift for those of you waited way too long!

Monday, January 6, 2014

99 Problems Book Giveaway

Remember when I featured Megan last week year? Fab writer, isn't she? Well today's your chance to win a signed copy of her book! That's right, aside from her blog, Megan is the author of "99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One". The book tells the story of her journey through cancer and adoption with the same style of writing on her blog. From beginning to end, I was either laughing or crying from laughing too much. I didn't expect so much humor at first, but she always seemed to look on the bright side. This book is a winner if you're looking for a good read to start off the new year!

If you enjoyed last week's interview or already follow her blog, make sure to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment below with your email address! The giveaway will be open until January 20th 11:59PM and winner announced January 22nd. If you're not feeling super patient, feel free to order her book here! Happy Monday and good luck!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Last Resolution

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As I was getting ready for bed last night, I added one more thing to my new year's resolution list. I know we're in the third day of the year already, but this one's important: SLEEP MORE. I'm sure a lot of y'all can relate. Whether it's college, work, or running errands all day; we're constantly on the go. By the time we hit the pillows, we have a couple hours to sleep and then it starts all over again.

It's hard to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. When we finally do sleep 8 hours perfectly, we usually wake up groggy and decide that's never happening again. My sleep schedule was whack during college and varied every semester. I may be a night owl by nature, but who doesn't enjoy a goodnight's sleep? By the end of college, I think I finally had it down. Once I was able to get those 7-8 hours consistently, I woke up happily, no matter how early it was. Getting those hours can be refreshing, but it's all about the consistency. Let me tell you though, it's completely worth it!

Are you an early bird or night owl? How do you get enough sleep every night? Do you have your own nightly routine? Personally, I like to give myself 15 minutes before I go to sleep. Gives me a chance to break away from technology(computer, TV, phone, etc.), wash up for bed, and say a little prayer for you. Happy Friday and cheers to a year of more zzz's!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hello 2014!

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a fun time with friends and family. Now that 2013 is in the past, it's time to sit back and enjoy the year ahead of us! It's a little frightening when you don't know what's to come(especially when you're a planner like myself), but I feel that making small resolutions puts me at ease, while still giving me something to work towards during the year.

When the clock stroke midnight, I honestly hadn't made up my mind about new year's resolutions. Last year I wanted to wear more dresses and take vitamins. As you'll see below, they're on the list again. I can definitely say I wore more skirts this year, but I can't help but feel overdressed every time I put on a dress. The whole vitamins thing didn't work mainly because I neglected to buy any until late in the year. Also, I only took them when I remembered...which is probably why they lasted so long. So even though I didn't do a perfect job of keeping these resolutions, here's to a new year and new resolutions!

Read More: You may recall my reading list over the summer. Turns out I only read 4 of the 10 books. I still read more than 4 books all year, it's just some of them didn't happen to make the list. This year I'd like to make a goal of reading at least 12 books. If I finished a book today, even if I started reading it last year, does that still count? Let's just pretend it does.

Volunteer More: College included lots of extracurricular/volunteer activities, so after graduating I decided to find new ways to get involved. I now volunteer for a local animal shelter and the food bank. It's a small way of giving back and something I enjoy, so I'd like to keep it up during the new year.

Run More: After reading about my journey with running, you all know how important it is to me. Running in my first 5K was an incredible experience, but this year I want to challenge myself. A 10K doesn't sound so bad, but a half marathon definitely scares me. I'm thinking I'll take it one race at a time.

Dress Up More: Instead of just wearing more dresses, I'd like to dress up more often. It doesn't mean wearing fancy dresses or heels all the time, it means trying new outfits. My personal style is always changing, but this will help me learn to own it, every time.

Take Vitamins: Like I said before, it's all about reminding myself to actually take them. Since I have the vitamins, there is no excuse not to take them! Is it crazy if I want a pill organizer? At least I'd have a daily reminder, right?

Do you believe in resolutions? Have you made any for the new year? If not, it's not too late ;) Happy Thursday, y'all!