Monday, December 30, 2013

Greetings from Texas

Are you getting excited yet? Just one more day until 2014 is here! With both December and 2013 coming to an end, it's the perfect time to present my favorite blogger of the month: Megan Silianoff, writer of Greetings from Texas! Based on my previous choices of favorite bloggers, y'all know how much I enjoy local blogs. After following Triple Max Tons for a while, I heard about the Houston Blogger Symposium - a blogger conference started by Megan herself! I decided to check out her blog and before I knew it, I'd become a daily reader.
Megan's blog includes everything from her family adventures to her eternal love for Jay Z. Aside from being a creative writer, she has a witty sense of humor that makes for entertaining posts like this and this(featuring her adorable daughter)!  Did I mention she wrote a book about cancer and adoption? It's both honest and funny, just like her blog. If I haven't convinced you yet, I'm sure her interview will do just the trick!


When and why did you decide to start blogging?

My “coming-of-age” blogging story is sorta weird. I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago so I started a Caringbridge blog to inform all my friends and family of what was going on with my diagnosis and prognosis. The short story is that I eventually went into remission and therefore the context of my blog became obsolete. The fact that I was cured was great – but I missed the writing and the blogging aspect so I started a new blog and that’s how Greetings from Texas was conceptualized. If you want the long story of all this, you can buy my book…..Shit. I just plugged my book in your first question. That’s embarrassing.

Describe your personal style.

Let’s see. There’s a lot of high-waisted stuff, a lot of skinny jeans, a lot of vintage pieces (I get an employee discount at Cheeky!) There’s a lot of heels, headbands, and head scarfs. If I had to narrow it down I’d say its “bohemian inspired and vintage clad.”

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

Everywhere. Obviously my “lifestyle” content comes directly from what I have going on in my life.

If I do an outfit post, it’s usually to highlight a piece that I’ve gotten from a brand or company, with the pretense that I’ll incorporate into a post. Not always – but usually. It somehow feels less vain that way. And gives me more confidence - like I’m not just taking pictures of my outfit because I think it’s the shit – but because I’ve been enlisted and compensated in some way to do so.

If I do something “editorial” – that inspiration can come from anywhere; tv, music, magazines, etc. I’ve done a lot of Kardashian inspired posts because I love them. Other blogs are an inspiration as well. Maybe I’ll see something someone another blogger did and take it in a different direction to make it my own. I also make sure I’m reading a lot of blogs. You have to know what’s going on in your craft to be able to contribute effectively. I always read The Man Repeller – not because her content is my absolute favorite (though I do really like it) but because Leandra seems to be on the cusp of blogging’s evolution and direction.

How would you describe your blog in 5 words?

Not to be taken seriously.

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

My favorite part of blogging is the experiences it’s brought my way; sitting front row at Lucky Fabb listening to LC and Rachel Zoe speak. Or meeting Johnathan Adler. Next month I’m speaking at Alt Summit which I know is going to be amazing. I’ve also met all my friends through blogging. When I moved to Houston, I knew no one. When I count all my closest friends now, three years later, I met almost every single one through blogging.

Lastly, blogging has allowed me to reinvent myself career wise. My background was in recruiting. That’s all I had done upon moving to Texas. But blogging enabled me to build a portfolio and resume and skill set that enabled me to get hired at Rebecca Lankford, Cheeky Vintage, Langford Market, etc.  

What’s your least favorite part about blogging?
It’s a lot of work. The time investment you put in and the financial investment you get out isn’t necessarily balanced. So sometimes it’s like “wtf am I spending so much time on this? No one cares.” But then you get the sweetest, nicest emails from strangers. Or you’ll get an email from a cool brand that wants to work with you. Or recently a lady walked into The Loft, where my mom works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (of all places) was like “are you megan’s mom? I read her blog.” And that was crazy but also helps me justify all the time I spend obsessing over this nonsense. Like, at the end of the day, I know that lady that shops at the Loft reads my blog.

My very least favorite aspect though is probably the envy aspect. I’m sure that’s the same for every blogger, big or small, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. You’ll see other bloggers get these big collabs or partnerships and you’re all “wtf. Their blog sucks.”  But really you just suck for thinking that. As a blogging community – I don’t think we’re catty like that on the outside, I’ve found blogging to be very supportive and welcoming community. But individually I think we all get jealous. Kendi’s big line at Texas Style Council a few years ago was “comparison is the thief of joy”  and that pretty much sums up that theme.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Texas?

There are a lot of things. The absence of Chicago winters is first and foremost. I also enjoy the prolific presence of Chick Fil A. I also love our house and neighborhood which we were able to afford because of the cost of housing/living is cheaper in Houston than it is in Chicago. I love that I’m so close to my oncologist at MD Anderson. I’ve been in remission for a while now but I still make quarterly visits. When I was living in the Medical Center I could literally walk to my appointments. (Not that I did. I drove and valeted.) But just knowing I could was comforting. I wrote about more Houston vs. Chicago comparisons in this post a while back.

What’s one piece of advice for bloggers looking to write a book?

Read this post on Becky Murphy’s blog. Becky and I did a presentation at Texas Style Council called“From Blog to Book” and Becky recapped our presentation, so the post has lots of links, resources, and whatnot that would be super helpful to someone that shares that same ambition.

Hope you all enjoyed the interview! I was lucky enough to meet Megan at TxSC and can say she's just as stylish and genuine in person. I also attended the presentation "From Blog to Book" and found their stories inspiring, especially since you don't usually hear about the process it takes. Make sure to enter HERE for a chance to win a signed copy of Megan's book "99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One"! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Monday!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Blooper Moments of 2013

It's been a crazy year, y'all. Creating The Blushing Dreamer took a serious amount of work. I needed to make time for writing, teach myself some HTML, take decent photos, and hardest of all, learn to overcome my camera shyness!

Taking pictures of yourself can be both daunting and intimidating. Sometimes it felt easy and natural, other days not so much. No matter what though, I always found myself laughing at new poses, blurry photos, weird faces, etc. They're embarrassing, but the plain truth is that outfit photos are usually awkward and sometimes flat out weird. As the year comes to an end, I decided to share a blooper photo from each of my outfit posts:
Sometimes I like to curtsey, don't you?
"I whip my hair side to side"
Feeling mischevious
"What, whatttt...?"
I solemnly swear I was not on drugs. 
"Give me a second"
Must have seen a big bug
"You're gonna hear me YAWN"
spinning is difficult, but points for technique?
I've got an itch on my nose, or maybe an eyelash?
It's not always glamorous, but hey, we're only human. Sometimes you just need a good laugh, at yourself ;) Happy Friday, fellow dreamers!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

BINGE WORTHY: Scandal

It's the holiday season and most of you are probably out of school or taking a couple days off work. While being productive sounds so good in our heads, we usually end up staying home doing absolutely nothing. Who can blame us though? It's vacation time. I don't know about you, but vacation time usually includes a little bit hours of Netflix. And while the movie selection isn't all that, the TV series options are endless!

Now let me say, I've seen some amazing shows growing up. At the least the ones my parents let me watch. They included the typical themes of romance and comedy, sometimes action, but usually the former. A couple weeks ago, I decided to try Scandal. Now I'll admit I don't usually watch regular crime dramas, but the whole forbidden romance aspect got me. Two episodes in and I was hooked. Almost every episode ends with a cliffhanger! As I watch the episodes on Netflix, I always wonder how I would have made it an entire week without knowing what comes next. As if Kerry Washington doesn't already wear the most classy outfits, she's a beauty with a brain...minus the whole mistress thing. But before I ruin the whole series for you, let me say it never gets old. Shonda Rhimes is a fabulous writer* and keeps you at the edge of your seat. If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, you already know that. Personally, I can't do the doctor drama series, but it's also on Netflix in case you're interested.

Now that you're just dying to watch Scandal, grab a snack and prepare to stay glued to your couch for the rest of the day. It's going to get good! Have you seen it before? Team Fitz or Team Jake? I might be back at work today, but my head is still in vacation mode...so I'll say Team Fitz! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday and stay warm!

*Just found out Shonda Rhimes also wrote Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement, my guilty pleasure. Chris Pine and Anne Hathaway were perfect together, even if this scene didn't make it!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! Whether or not you celebrate, I hope you're home relaxing with family and friends. In my book, it's the perfect day to do absolutely nothing. We may wake up extra early to open gifts, but the rest of the day is for eating, napping, watching movies and playing with new toys. If we're feeling adventurous, we sometimes make a visit to the movies...but then we actually have to change out of our pajamas.

Not too many traditions in my family for Christmas day, but what about you? Was Santa was good to you this year? Make sure to enjoy all the delicious sweets! I'll be the one stuffing my face with cookies and tamales, don't judge. Happy Holidays lovelies!

Monday, December 23, 2013

DIY Gift Box

By now, you're most likely done shopping for gifts. If not, you're in luck when it comes to savings. I don't think there's a single store not having a crazy sale right now. If you're done, give yourself a pat on the back! It's time for my favorite part, gift wrapping. In our family, it's become a tradition to wrap all the gifts on Christmas eve. We choose our wrapping paper, boxes, and bags, get some tape and scissors, and then split up to wrap our gifts!

When it comes to wrapping a smaller present, I usually stick with crafting my own gift box. It's a little something I learned from Girl Scouts many years ago. But let me tell you, I just about had my own business selling these little boxes. I sold them at holiday bazaars, to my parents' co-workers, family members, friends and more. Eventually I grew older and the homework load got bigger, leaving me little time to make boxes. While my fake business died out, I still enjoy making these boxes during the holiday season. Follow along with me and craft your own today!

Supplies:
Holiday Card
Ruler
Scissors
Pencil
Tape(I recommend double-sided tape)

Directions:
1. Cut holiday card in half.
2. Use the ruler to lightly draw lines corner to corner
3. You should have created an "X"
4. Fold the top half of the card until it touches the center of the "X", repeat with bottom
5. Fold the left half of the card until it touches the center of the "X", repeat with right
6. Erase the "X"
7. Cut along the vertical line in each corner
8. Tape together two tabs on each end of the card
9. Fold over the remaining pieces of card and tape down
10. Repeat on opposite card side

For all you last minute gift wrappers, I hope you find some inspiration from my DIY project! Not only does it take less than 10 minutes, it's extremely helpful when you've run out of the standard jewelry gift boxes. We've all been there, so try it out and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, just send me a message. Happy gift wrapping!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sweetest Time of Year

I'm coming clean, y'all. Desserts aren't my thing. I know, I think about this every time I say it. Being picky has both advantages and disadvantages though. On one hand, I won't be tempted to stuff my face with sweets everyday. Unless of course it was a box of sugar cookies, my main weakness. On the other hand, I skip out on trying something new that might actually taste good. I'm thinking one of my new years resolutions might include trying new foods. Might as well try, right?

Even though I'm not into rich chocolate cakes or crisp apple pies, I like to think I'm closely related to the cookie monster. Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Probably me. Who knew so much goodness could be found in such tiny shapes? Sprinkles, M&Ms, etc. The options are endless when it comes to making cookies! With Christmas in just 5 days, I've been searching for the perfect cookie recipe. Don't get me wrong, the Pillsbury ready-to-go cookies are delicious, but baking your own cookies with family and friends is priceless! They all look delicious, don't they?

Aside from any last minute Christmas shopping errands you might be running this weekend, take a break and bake some fresh cookies! Get a head start on Santa's cookies or treat yourself, it is the holiday season after all. The butter drop cookies are my favorite and only take a few ingredients, my favorite kind of recipe. Enjoy the weekend and happy baking!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

All Smiles

Zilker Christmas Tree
So I thought I was feeling better, but my cough only got worse. I know it's probably not the smartest idea, but I took a bunch of different medicines in the past 48 hours and luckily I'm feeling much better. I'm still drinking the green tea, OJ, and lots of water, but I think the meds definitely helped. It's crazy how fast the week flies, right? Even though I've been under the weather, I've been keeping busy! Gotta stay in the holiday spirit, am I right? Tomorrow is Friday and then next week is Christmas!!! I'm all smiles right now and here's why in no particular order:
  • We finally bought a Christmas tree! Since there are hardly any left this time of year, it's our very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It's a little short, but still fat, green, and smells amazing ;)
  • The weather is amazing this week! The 60s are perfect and the sun is finally out for more than a couple days. Fingers crossed it'll stay a little longer!
  • Got some cool gifts from a White Elephant gift exchange. Have you ever heard of bacon flavored toothpaste? I'm too scared to try it, but I know what my brother's getting for Christmas...
  • Finally went to the Trail of Lights! I know it's the same every year, but it's a special tradition and I can never get over all the pretty lights. Plus, the kettle corn is always a delicious treat!
  • My sister is home for the Christmas break! I think a nail polish party is in order.
  • Finally caught up on HIMYM. Love this show, but the writing has been a little off this season, or is it just me? This last episode definitely turned things around!
  • Received some pretty flowers! Always a nice surprise, don't you think?
  • Found out putting honey in your tea makes a huge difference. I know, I know, but now I can say coughing be gone!
  • Came home to my new boots on the doorstep! It's time for some outfit planning. Can't wait to wear them in a future outfit post!
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas is on ABC tonight! This is one of my favorite holiday classics. The music is wonderful and Snoopy is the coolest pup around.
Are you ready for Christmas next week? What are some of your favorite Holiday classics? Let me know some of your weekly highlights! Happy Thursday, y'all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Wishlist

This weekend's been a bit unusual with everyone getting sick at home. Turns out my brother has the flu(never happened to any of us before!), and possibly my madre too. The rest of us have been fighting off the illness with lots of vitamin c, tea, soup, etc. Coincidentally, I got a flu shot last week. Haven't taken the shot before, but I'm hoping it kicks in quickly! On a more positive note, I attended my first Holiday work party! It was so fun getting dressed up and spending time with friends, new and old. With another holiday party for tonight, I'd say this Christmas countdown is off to a good start, no?

I don't know about y'all, but I love all the glitz and glam of holiday fashion. The sequins, diamonds, and rich colors are perfect during Christmas and New Years. This month's wish list includes a few pieces worn for any occasion, and as always, a few extras. Happy Monday, lovelies!

Earrings: Ever since this season's fashion week, I've had my eyes glued to every jewelry section in search of the perfect statement earrings. While I admire all the shapes and colors, I wanted something versatile and light on the ears. Not only do these fit the budget, the colors are simple enough to complete any outfit!

Shirt: When it comes to my closet, glitter isn't exactly my thing. Sure, it looks great in magazines and stores, but it always seemed a bit much for me. After viewing all the pretty NYE dresses online, I'm convinced I now need a sparkly top. How cute is this top from Target? I'd wear it everywhere!

Eye Liner: I've got some big eyes, so when someone does my makeup with eyeliner, I'm usually weirded out by the look of it. In hopes of creating a less dramatic look with a thinner line, this liquid liner might be the way to go. Plus, I've always wanted to try the cat eye!

Boots: Remember when I shared these boots a couple weeks back? Later that weekend, I found these beauties. Again they were less than $100, real leather, and offered free shipping! And did I mention I received a 20% off discount? Hello savings. Needless to say, I'm patiently awaiting their arrival.

Sleep Mask: You'll see me write this again and again, but Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorites. And again and again, this sleep mask has been on my Christmas list! Honestly, I'd be afraid of ruining the precious details; but isn't it lovely? As if a sleep mask replica isn't enough, check out this Etsy item for a future photo booth session!

Pants: Organizing my closet has taken a while, but in the end, I realized I have too many blue jeans. Faded, original, dark, etc. After last year's colored skinnies trend, I wanted my own pair of green pants. I have yet to find a pair this color and my size, but these are perfect. I have so many outfit ideas for them already!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Very Merry Playlist

Another Friday has come and we still don't have a Christmas tree! Till tomorrow. But really, it's actually scheduled. So excited! With this week passing, it also means we're that much closer to Christmas. My holiday spirit keeps rising with all the lights and decorations over town, but the music is always my favorite! At this point, I have 4 different Christmas music stations on Pandora, and sadly they're all starting to sound the same. I might have a slight problem when it comes to clicking the "thumbs up". It's not just me, right?


To listen to my top favorites in one place, I created my very first Spotify playlist! I've included everything from Bing Crosby's classic White Christmas to Justin Bieber's Mistletoe, don't judge. While I might not have the best taste in music, these are all Christmas songs. Every song is wonderful, am I right? Which tune is your favorite? Do you prefer a certain song by a certain artist? I'm obsessed with Last Christmas, so I have about 10 different versions on my iPod. #noshame Hope you enjoy my holiday playlist and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pajama Time

Cozy Pajamas
Details Below
I know pajamas are an everyday sort of thing, but honestly, I'm good with a t-shirt and shorts. With the Texas weather, I'm focused on staying cool most of the year. But when the winter months come around, the cold weather creeps up on us and suddenly it's time to pull out the cozy socks and pajama pants. Since the cold front came in last week, I've been window shopping online for some cozy pjs and accessories. I've noted how picky I am when it comes to food, but I should also note how picky I am about certain materials. You'll see what I mean below:

Aerie PJ Set: Aerie is one of my favorite stores! All of their pajamas are so soft and comfortable. As if the ruffles on the shorts aren't pretty enough, how cute is this "Meet me at the Mistletoe" top?

Black Pajama Set: After receiving a pair of satin pajamas years ago, I was set on wearing satin to sleep for the rest of my life. It didn't quite work out that way, but I still have a couple satin pj sets. In fact, I actually have a black set already, but this one has shorts and you can never have too many pajamas!

Plaid Pants: Referring to my pickiness earlier, I have a problem with cotton balls. I don't know what it is exactly, but they gross me out. I'm literally cringing as I write this, but this is how flannel pants make me feel too. I love the whole plaid look, but I've never found a non-flannel pair, until now! Aerie does it again ;)

Eyelash Sleep Mask: Reminds me of Audrey's sleep mask in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Absolutely love it!

Panda Sleep Mask: I don't think I've ever seen something like this, but it's so cute. It also looks extra comfy on the eyes, am I right?

Striped Socks: From December thru February, I'll be wearing my cozy socks around the house. I've got a couple favorites, but no stripes yet. I think these would be a lovely addition to my sock collection.

Winter Pattern Socks: These are sort of a splurge for socks, but I can't get over this pattern. They look so warm and cozy. I need these on my feet ASAP.

What are some of your favorite pajama pieces? Where do you get your cozy socks? Do you wear a sleep mask or no? Let me know your pajama essentials for staying warm during the holiday season! Happy Thursday, darlings!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday #14

http://theeverylastdetail.com/thursday-tips-end-the-comparison/
http://sprinkleofglitter.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/feel-good-friday.html 
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/20/be/d8/20bed8f2115e50f8d3d5c5f555cb5616.jpg
Comparing yourself to others. Such a bad habit of mine. To stop it is easier said than done, but it's always there, in the back of my mind. Theodore Roosevelt's quote is one of my favorites. Even though I can't stop my comparative thoughts entirely, his words are a nice reminder to escape the negativity. Can you imagine how happy everyone would be if we just took a daily moment to appreciate something about ourselves. Whether it's your eyes, writing skills, punctuality, or athletic talents, remember it's yours. Each of us is unique, and we all have that special something. It's a waste of time and life to compare yourself.

When it comes to blogging, these quotes are especially important. The blogging world is huge, much bigger than I'd ever expected. When I find a new blog, it's hard not to compare my own. I have to remind myself that this blog is my space to write what I want, wear what I like, and share something I'm interested in. I constantly catch myself wishing I could post daily outfit posts like Kendi or Julia, but that's not what I wanted for my blog. I love sharing a favorite outfit, but I rather enjoy writing about new things during the rest of the week too.

Do you resonate with any of these quotes? Know any similar quotes? Remember to ignore those negative thoughts and see how you feel when you appreciate yourself. Hope you're having a fun week! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

So You Wanna Learn to Code

http://www.hannaskoog.com/home-office-2/
Blogger or not, learning to code is becoming extremely important. I saw a sign for a coding workshop at the library a couple weeks ago and read something about how the next generation will learn to code as we once learned to read and write. Crazy, right? (Or is it just me?) While our elders may struggle with using a computer now, we're going to be in the same boat. And as if cellphones and computers don't change enough, now we have to learn coding!

Personally, I've always wanted to learn about programming. If may or not have mentioned it before, but I actually started out studying computer engineering in college. What happened, you're asking? Physics. Simply put, that was the end of my engineering career. As a communication major though, I was lucky enough to learn some HTML and CSS. While it's come in handy for blogging, I'm still not an expert. Thanks to Google and blogger tutorials, I've made it this far.

Recently, a friend told me about a little site called Codecademy! I'm hooked. You can learn to code a variety of languages at anytime or anywhere. It's sort of like coding for dummies. Did I mention it's completely free? I started out with JavaScript and feel like I could actually use this in the future. If this ends well, I'll definitely be starting another language. Might as well, am I right?

Have you ever wanted to learn coding? Need some extra practice for school, work, or your blog? Just give it a try, you won't be sorry! It's a nice break from Netflix and something new to pick up during the holiday break. Until then, keep warm and hope you're enjoying the fun tunes and pretty lights everywhere :) Happy Monday, lovelies!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Link Love

The weekend is finally here! Thankfully the weather is cooling down, except that it dropped 40 degrees yesterday! I headed out to First Thursday at SoCo last night, but boy was it freezing. If anything, the cold weather meant shorter lines. It also meant I could try a new restaurant, without the hour wait! It may have been quieter than previous months, but I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some elves and reindeer riding in the back of truck along SoCo! That's first thursday for ya, holiday style. Perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, especially with the weekend ahead. Fingers crossed we'll buy a tree, decorate the house, visit the Trail of Lights, and my favorite, watch the Living Nativity! Did I mention they have a free petting zoo after the show? I just want to hold a rabbit!

I know how much I ramble on about rabbits, but you must check out The Daily Bunny. These furry creatures melt my heart in every pic. Just look at this one!

Are you a procrastinator? I'm still struggling with the issue myself, even after college. This post nails it right on the head, it's not even funny.

We all know how violent the animal world can be, but this video helps restore our faith among the more dangerous mammals. It's truly amazing.

Looking to add more more sparkle to your 'do? Check out Triple Max Tons' DIY for some glittery bobby pins! Lovely, aren't they?

I still haven't convinced myself to splurge on a pair of new boots, but then I found this gorgeous pair. Real leather, less than $100, over the knee, and free shipping - I think it might be fate.

You may have heard of Julie from Girl Meets Glam, but have you heard of her sister, Lauren Taylor? She's got an Etsy shop with the prettiest print I've ever seen! Can someone please find me that dress?

Happy Friday, darlings!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DIY: Sharpie Mug

If this week is any indication of the month ahead, Christmas is going to be here before we know it! I don't even want to think about making a trip to the mall or local shopping centers. The parking lots are full, the shelves are almost empty, and the lines almost feel longer than Black Friday. No bueno.

When it comes to gift giving, I love finding little knick knacks for friends and family. Instead of giving one gift, I like to give something small along with something handmade. If you have the extra time, it's a nice way to add a personal touch. There are plenty of fun DIY's out there, but I've always wanted to try the DIY Sharpie Mug! It's both fun and useful. Think of all your friends or family members who drink coffee or tea. Probably a bunch right? Just follow my simple DIY project and you'll have a gift ready in no time!

Supplies:
Mug - Dollar store or thrift shop to practice(mine was 50 cents!)
Tape - Drugstore
Permanent Markers* - Drugstore

Directions:
1. Use the tape to draw a line around the mug
2. Repeat step 1
3. Draw a message on one side of mug
4. Draw an image on opposite side of mug
5. Bake mug at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
6. Let mug cool for 1 hour
7. Wash mug to make sure design stays
8. Enjoy a hot cup of tea/coffee/hot cocoa!

Hope you find some holiday gift inspiration from today's DIY! Let me know if you try it out or have any questions. A quick tip: make sure to wash out the mug before you start! After that, you're free to draw or write whatever you want. As you can see, I don't have the best handwriting, so I'd love to see how yours all turn out! Happy gift giving everyone!

*I used a black Sharpie and a red HEB brand permanent marker. The black stayed in tact, but the red darkened to a maroon color.

DIY adapted from A Beautiful Mess.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Bucket List

December is finally here!! It's time to pull out the decorations and play the Christmas tunes! Growing up, it was a family tradition to wait until after turkey day for all the holiday decorations. Helped us learn to appreciate the two holidays separately, you know? Except Thanksgiving came late this year and with the recent traveling, we haven't had time to put up anything. Because the Christmas decorations usually take a whole day, I'll have to wait patiently for the weekend to come.

In the mean time, I decided to make a holiday bucket list! I may have been a little ambitious with my fall bucket list, seeing as how I only completed half the list, oops. Though to be fair, Fall barely made its presence this weekend. You'll have to excuse the future fall outfits in December, at least until it gets cold again. Luckily, the weather can't mess with any of the items on my bucket list this time around.

1. I may not be the biggest fan of hot cocoa, but add a little peppermint and I'm a happy camper. The peppermint flavor is delicious, and don't forget the marshmallows!

2. The Trail of Lights is one of my favorite Austin traditions. If you're visiting the Austin area during December, I highly recommend making a stop here. It's a beautiful path of Christmas lights, holiday entertainment, seasonal foods, and even Santa's house! I've gone almost ever year and I'm still in awe every time.

3. Writing handwritten cards has always been important to me. It takes a lot of time, but it's completely worth it. With the Christmas season upon us, I'd love to send out some cards to old friends and share some holiday spirit!

4. My list of favorite holiday movies could go on forever, but watching A Charlie Brown Christmas is at the top of my list. Snoopy and his decorated dog house gets me every time!

5. When I was younger, my sister and I would leave lots of goodies for Santa. Sometimes even carrots, for the reindeer of course. To this day, I still love baking cookies on Christmas eve. And anytime of the year really. The snowman sugar cookies just happen to be my favorite ;)

6. Every ornament has a special story behind it. I'm hoping to share a fun DIY ornament so you have a story to remember too. Whether it's for someone special, your own tree, or a DIY party with friends, it's the perfect way to add a personal touch!

7. Who doesn't like making snowflakes? It's fun, easy, and you can't mess up! It's my favorite way to add some winter decoration on a budget.

8. I love dressing up, but I never have any holiday parties to attend. This year I sort of jumped the gun and bought a holiday dress two months ago, oh well. Now I just need somewhere I can wear it!

Have you put up all your Christmas decorations yet?  What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, December 2, 2013

CYBER MONDAY

Cyber Monday Gift Ideas!
I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving break! Mine was extra special, being able to spend the holiday with my whole family. We had our fair share of pie and mashed potatoes, and enjoyed every bite! I was in a serious food coma for the rest of the evening, but those are the best naps, am I right?

The only thing I didn't partake in, were the Black Friday sales. Honestly, there wasn't anything I was crazy about getting that was worth the long lines. I love a good deal, but patience is not my strongest virtue. I don't know about y'all, but I prefer to sleep in and wait for Cyber Monday. There's no crazy lines, no fights, and almost always free shipping! It's an easy way to escape the crowds, save some bucks, get the Christmas shopping done early and treat yourself too ;)

Below are a couple of my favorite places with some serious savings!

Clothing:
Old Navy - 30% off (Infinity Scarf)

Shoes:
Chinese Laundry (Flats)

Gifts for Friends:
Aerie - 50% off (Pajama Sets)
Bath & Body Works (Lip Gloss)
Kate Spade - gifts under $50 (Spiral Calendar)

Electronics:

Friday, November 29, 2013

With Luck Blog

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Can you believe November is practically over? This month has flown by and now it's time to present this month's favorite blogger: Jenn from the With Luck Blog! Back in my first months of blogging, Jenn was sweet enough to leave a comment(from a previous blogger of the month post actually!). And for all us bloggers, I think it's safe to say receiving comments can be a highlight of our day. It also gives us a chance to read a new blog! After reading some of Jenn's posts, I was hooked. Now I can't profile her blog into one single category, but it really captures a little bit of everything. From creative internet finds to her thoughts on positive communication, Jenn always creates a fun read!

WithLuckBlog

This month may have started out a little off for myself(blogging wise), but this girl was on top of her game! Even after traveling a bunch recently, Jenn had lots of creative posts! A few of my favorite posts from November are here, here, and here. After you read Jenn's interview, make sure to visit the With Luck Blog! And if I haven't convinced you enough yet, you can read about her sweet pup Allegra!

With Luck

When and why did you decide to start blogging?

I started blogging in August 2012. I had been reading a lot of craft and food blogs and stalking a lot of Pinterest and I decided that I really wanted to force myself to try making some things for myself. There’s still a little bit of those things in some posts, but WLB has definitely changed. It’s kinda funny to look back now!

Describe your personal style.

I’d say I have a pretty classic but fun style. I’m a big fan of those closet staples but I love bright, bold colors and unique details.

Where do you find inspiration for new blog posts?

I tend to write about whatever is going on in my head. When I was moving, you saw a TON of decor posts. When I’m doing a lot of shopping, we’ll see some style posts. Now that the holidays are coming there will probably be more crafty things. My far-away friends say that my blog lets them know where my life is at haha

How would you describe your blog in 5 words?

Hmmm…. I hope it’s fun….friendly...and a little random. I had no idea what to say for this one. I’d be curious to hear how other people describe my blog!

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

Definitely the connections I’ve made! It seems so cliche to say, but I love having a whole new way to meet people and build relationships. It’s also proven to be a fun way to really think out loud and sort out thoughts.

What’s your least favorite part about blogging?

Just as much as the connections are awesome, they can be a little disheartening at times. Every so often you read those posts about the nasty sides of other blogging and people feeling down on themselves because of various negative relationships in the blog world. Those always make me a little frustrated but it’s really a true to life relationship - both the good and bad. But that’s kinda cool in it’s own right, isn’t it?

What are your favorite foods and desserts during Thanksgiving?

Stuffing. It’s not even a question. I will forgo all other foods and desserts if I could just finish up the stuffing my uncle makes every year. Now I’m hungry!

Living in the Northeast means Snow! Love it or hate it?

It’s so bittersweet. I work for a school so snow days are just as exciting today as they were growing up - which I love! A lawn covered in snow is so beautiful and a fun part of the holiday season… but after a few storms I’m just over it. When you get a little bit of snow it negatively affects your morning commute and when you get a lot of snow it just turns everything into a gross mess! Piles of grey snow in parking lots are much less attractive than that initial snowfall haha.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! I know it's only November, but this holiday is usually a time for me to reflect on the big moments of the year, the new friendships I made and my blessings. By the time New Years Eve comes around, we usually forget about the previous year and start looking at the year ahead. For me personally, this year has been both eye-opening and empowering. I've made some bigger life decisions and started a new chapter of my life. I'm so thankful for the support from my family and friends. I'm even more thankful for the chance to spend this special day with my family. I never had the chance to fly home for Thanksgiving during college. I was lucky enough to spend the holiday with my friends' families, but it's a nice feeling to really be home, you know?

Hope you're having a relaxing day with family and loved ones! Make sure to thank the cooks before you fill up on the deliciousness; it is Thanksgiving after all. Plus, that turkey takes forever to make. Like I said yesterday, I'm sticking with a chicken or some seafood in the future, but to each its' own. What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Are you cooking any special recipes this year? If you need a last minute recipe, check out my Pumpkin Banana Bread! It's easy to make and extremely delicious ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday #13

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In celebration of Thanksgiving, this week's words of wisdom quotes are(you guessed it) all about the turkey day! Growing up, it was one of my least favorite holidays. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I didn't like turkey. All I ever wanted was some mashed potatoes, corn and a big slice of pumpkin pie. Was that too much to ask for? Fast forward a couple years and I'm still not the biggest fan of turkey. I've decided my future family will celebrate Thanksgiving with either a chicken or some seafood. Now doesn't that sound delicious? The mashed potatoes and corn still go with either dish, and pie is always a good idea, am I right?

More than the food though, Thanksgiving is a special time to spend with loved ones and give thanks for your blessings, big and small. Hope you find some inspiration in today's quotes and get excited for the special day! How are you spending the holiday? Safe travels!