Friday, September 11, 2015

Link Love

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We all know NYFW is going on, but why not read something light and fun? It's the weekend after all!  There's so much to see and read, but I've narrowed down the best just for you. Sit back, start clicking, and enjoy!

Traveling soon? Don't know about you, but I might have to visit one of these getaways next fall.

This video proves that romance never dies, at any age.

Fashion comes and goes with the decades, but a century? These pictures are unbelievable.

The new iPhones are incredible, but the rose gold makes them extra special...at least I think it does.

Just 4 more days until Danny Castellano is back in our lives. Thank you Hulu!

Who knew bra sizes could be so complicated? Nicole's post makes me want to run to Nordstrom this weekend!

Bando continues to blow my mind with perfect girliness. Have you seen these?

Can't help it, this song is on repeat all day.

LC by Lauren Conrad just got a major upgrade and this may be the best reaction I've read all day.

Who needs bulky rain boots when these beauties exist? brb, adding these to my wish list.

xoxo
Melissa

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Take Me to Greece

I can't believe it's been over a month since I left for Greece. It feels like it was just yesterday. I don't even know which part I miss the most, the people, the food, the shops, the scenery, or the wine? I was living my own "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" experience with a high school bestie, and I wouldn't change a thing, even if we missed our final flight home.

This trip was out of this world and full of new adventures. I finally took the plunge and booked the trip I always wanted. We didn't have everything planned and you know what, things still turned out okay. We made friends with the locals and tourists, rode donkeys, jumped off a cliff, climbed the Acropolis, danced the night away in Mykonos, and snorkeled in the bluest waters I've ever seen. And even after all this, there's still so much to see. Not sure where I'm going next, but this girl has her passport ready!

xoxo
Melissa

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Unorganized Pt. 2

It's been 3 days since I've returned to Greece and it's a little chaotic around here. My room is covered with trinkets and souvenirs I've yet to handout, my purse is filled with maps and receipts I no longer need, and my body is still adjusting to the 8 hour time difference! Because everyone deserves a welcome home treat, I ordered myself the most perfect agenda from ban.do to come home to. Let me just say, ban.do has outdone themselves. This agenda is everything and more and I suggest everyone of you jump on the bandwagon. This post is not sponsored, but seriously, who doesn't love fun stickers, sweet compliments, and pops of color? Did I mention it fits perfectly in your purse? I'm obsessed. Now hurry up and order yourself an agenda, they've sold out once already!

xoxo
Melissa

P.S. Greece recap coming soon ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

24 before 24 Recap

Seeing as how late I posted last year's 24 before 24 list, I think it's fair to recap as late as I am now. Come to think of it, it hasn't even been a full year yet. Give it five more days, okay? Cool. Anyways, 23 has been quite the year. So many changes, new friends, taking new risks, etc. I couldn't believe it when I realized April was almost over! I glanced over my list and realized hey, I've done some of these things, and not so many either. Still, I never printed it out or glanced back more than twice, so I'm proud of what accomplished during the year. Who knows, maybe some will trickle on to my next list? But alas, let's get to the good stuff...

1. Plan a road trip - So no "real" road tip, but I did visit my friend in San Antonio and I haven't seen her in years, so I'll count that. Wasn't exactly planned, but spontaneity is more fun right?

2. Run a half marathon - Gosh, I was crazy. I ran three miles this morning and don't remember how I even trained for this!

3. Attend 3 concerts/shows - The Mastersons, Michael Buble(did I mention he was the best concert of my life?), Various SXSW bands I don't remember the names of, and Kate Voegele.

4. Host a Tea Party - Not exactly, but how about next year!

5. Fly my Kite - Even in the rain and cold, I was determined to fly my kite at this year's 2015 Zilker Kite Festival. Didn't do so well, but my awesome friend and I learned to make homemade kites and they flew amazingly!

6. Plant a kumquat tree - I tried, I really did, but no luck.

7. Organize my CD quarter collection - Oops, this whole time, I thought I'd written quarters! The quarters were organized; but the CDs, not so much.

8. Master the Cat-eye look - I probably tried it 3 times out of the whole year, but I'd say I was successful every time.

9. Go to Brunch - I don't know what took me so long! Good food, good company, and early sunshine is all I need in life. And Chipotle, always Chipotle.

10. Create a realistic budget - Owned it, like a boss(!) - minus the whole sticking to it 100% part.

11. Find the Perfect LBD - Last year's drop waist dress hit the jackpot, but I'd lie if I said I didn't want another one. Cheers to finding another perfect LBD!

12. Pay off 2 student loans - Have I mentioned how great it feels? Sure I have more, but each one is a weight lifted off my shoulders!

13. Figure out my Camera - Maybe I'm not meant to work cameras? The struggle is real, y'all.

14. Try 12 new recipes - Only 7, but I'm still learning! My latest concoction, Black Bean & Avocado tacos. Look out for the recipe soon!

15. Decorate my desk at work - So pretty.

16. Attempt the 30x30 Challenge - Let's plan for next year.

17. Travel somewhere new - I'm going to Greece!!! And Arkansas!!! Not exactly before 24, but all planned before 24 ;)

18. Learn to do a headstand - Yoga was short-lived, but I definitely got close.

19. Purchase a Power Suit - Still have my old suit, but I never quite found one I liked and/or that was reasonably priced.

20. Save for a Car - Slowly but surely.

21. Redesign my Blog - So in love with the new design.

22. Paint something(outside paint/wine classes) - Never quite got around to it, but I do have two nice additions from the paint/wine classes!

23. Support Etsy artisans - Yes! Bought a sweet cat mug for a Christmas gift.

24. Feng Shui my room - All I can say, is so much space!

17 out of 24 isn't bad, right? If anything, it makes me excited for the year to come. If only we could get past this rainy weather. I'm so ready for the summer sunshine, aren't you?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

24 Things

It's my 24th birthday, so I'm keeping things short and sweet today. I'll get to my 24 before 24 list soon, but for now, here's 24 things you might not know about me...

1. I was born at 12:15 pm, aka the time this post was published ;)
2. I broke my leg in kindergarten.
3. Chocolate is not my thing.
4. I have a real issue with odd numbers, I just don't like them period.
5. Barre may be my new favorite thing and the reason I've been MIA all month.
6. Mindy Kaling + BJ Novak = #RelationshipGoals
7. I'm extremely lazy sometimes.
8. Brave Honest Beautiful is my anthem for 24.
9. Michael Buble was the best concert of my life.
10. I'm not so picky anymore.
11. I love Starbucks, but I only drink tea.
12. Soco is my second home.
13. Babies both terrify and charm me.
14. I'm crazy competitive, even if I don't show it.
15. My mom is my best friend.
16. Butterflies are my spirit bug.
17. I have slight road rage.
18. I still listen to N'Sync.
19. I have little patience for cooking.
20. I'm a talkative introvert.
21. I tend to be late to almost everything.
22. The best hula-hoop(er) you will ever meet, no lie.
23. I still believe in fairytales.
24. Secretly hoping Kate and Will's baby will share my birthday.

Hope your April was lovely!

XOXO
Melissa

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Routine

I'm a planner, so naturally I gravitate towards routine. Just like a to-do list, it feels good to check off the steps of my day. Recently, I read Becky Murphy's(Chipper Things) post on her morning and nighttime rituals and felt inspired to write my own. We live different lives and work different jobs, but I love learning how others create routine. From high school to college to the real world, my routine has changed over the years. Although some days are different, I'm sharing my typical routines from Sunday evening to Friday morning.

Evenings:

Whether I'm reading, watching TV or surfing the web, I light my Lavender candle in the evening. Not only is it soothing, it's the perfect scent for sleeping.

Around 10:30, I start prepping for bed. Since becoming an early riser, I pack my gym bag with tomorrow's work outfit and lay out my workout gear.

To wash up, I brush, floss and rinse with my favorite mouthwash. When it comes to my face, I keep it simple. I don't typically wear makeup, so a gentle cleanser does the job. I finish off with a toner, night moisturizer and gentle eye cream. Seriously though, I can't go to sleep until my face feels clean and extra moisturized.

Once my alarm is set, I fluff my pillows and jump in bed. To avoid playing games on my phone, I pull out my Sudoku book and challenge myself to finish a puzzle in 15 min or less. Whether or not I finish, I turn out the lights and before I know it...zzz.

Mornings:

My alarm goes off and I always snooze once. I get up, put on my workout clothes, and make instant oatmeal with frozen blueberries(trust me, they thaw fast) for breakfast.

Since I'm on my way to workout, I brush my teeth and wash my face quickly. I grab my bag and double check I didn't forget something, e.g. shoes for work. Lastly, I stuff my purse with snacks and leftovers for lunch.

Depending on the day, my morning workout consists of Barre, Blogilates, or running. Thanks to the gym at work, I only need 25 min to shower and get ready!

Once dressed, I put on a daily moisturizer, curl my lashes, and add some mascara. Every once in a while or if I have time, I'll even throw on a bright lipstick. Saving the hair for last, I towel dry my hair and throw in leave-in conditioner - stops all most frizz in its tracks.

After I get to my desk, I make a cup of hot green tea and let the day begin!

So now that I've shared my routines, are you an early riser or night owl? Routines might be for me, but what about you? Share your secrets and tips for getting ready quickly in the morning.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Sisterhood of TXSC Camp

Photo Credit: Logan Pearce Photography
Coming back from Texas Style Council Camp, I felt different. More vulnerable, more inspired, more confident, and best of all - a sister in a wide community of bloggers. Being the last year of TXSC, I decided to volunteer. Not only would it push me out of my comfort zone, but it would allow me to experience the weekend in a new light. As much as I love going to every session, I loved working behind the scenes and connecting with new blogger friends.

As you might have noticed, I haven't been on my blog game lately. I have no excuses, I just haven't felt inspired to write something. This month has been a roller coaster  of emotions and it's not something I usually talk write about. To be surrounded by a community of strong and intelligent women was inspiring. This weekend wasn't about "how to get over a blogging rut", "how to monetize your blog", or "how to be the next big thing" - it was about learning to support one another and creating a positive presence on the world wide web. We might have different numbers, cameras, or writing styles, but in the end - we are all creatives and blogging is our form of expression.

I don't know what the future holds for The Blushing Dreamer, but I'm going to take it one step at a time. I'm so grateful to have been part of the final TXSC conference and even more grateful to have had the opportunity to revisit my old camping grounds from Girl Scouts. It's not everyday you have the chance to visit a girl scout camp and make new blogger friends, am I right? Thanks to social media and camera phones, I'll cherish these memories forever!

Cheers to my new blogger friends!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Texas Style Council CAMP

YOUR BLOG NAME
Just four more days till Daylight Savings, you guys! As much as I loved waking up early to run(not!), I sure do miss running in the sunset. Now if only the weather would cooperate. I thought I lived in Austin, not Seattle or NYC! Still, even with this crazy weather, last month was another whirlwind. Camping, dancing, new friends, birthdays, etc. It might have been busy, but fun nonetheless.

When I look at my planner, the next three weekends will be a roller coaster. Most importantly, the final Texas Style Council(TXSC) conference! After attending my first conference in 2013, my blog took off with weekly posts and what felt like endless inspiration. Eventually things slowed down and so did the blog posts. As much as I loved reading fellow blogs, I couldn't get myself to write as often as I used to. Like life, this blog has had its ups and downs, but I'm hoping to start fresh after the 2015 TXSC CAMP!

CAMP will take away the glitz and glamour, and focus on the foundation of blogging! For me it's a creative outlet. When I look back at my first post, I remember why I started this blog. It started out as a challenge and along the way I've met new friends and come across incredible opportunities. I'm excited for a weekend of connecting with new blogger friends, recharging, and finding inspiration in the outdoors(Speaking of the outdoors, I have some big news to share soon!). If you're attending TXSC CAMP this year, let me know! I'm signed up to volunteer this year, but I can't wait to roast marshmallows round the campfire with y'all!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Mix 2015

Happy Galentine's Day, lovelies! I hope today is spent hanging with your favorite girlfriends, eating pretty cupcakes, watching sappy movies, etc. In honor of us hopeless romantics, I've created another Valentine's Day mix to enjoy all weekend. It's the perfect playlist for a long drive, a dance party, or to get you through the work day. This year's playlist includes new and old, but most importantly my favorite romantic songs of the moment. Plug in your headphones, turn up the volume, and enjoy these lovely tunes:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Galentine's Day Love

Because Galentine's Day is probably my second favorite Holiday of the year, after Christmas, I decided to share some love a little early. Whether you're single, taken, or it's complicated, Galentine's Day is a day to celebrate with your favorite girlfriends. I might be a little late to the Parks and Recreation band wagon, but thanks to Netflix, I'm now aware of this special holiday. I think One Tree Hill's Brooke said it best, "Clothes over Bros", but then again Leslie's "Ovaries over Brovaries" is just as flawless. Show your besties how much you love them with a couple of these fun Galentine's Valentine's cards:





Happy Galentine's Day y'all! <3

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Budgeting 101: January '15

Now I'm not proclaiming I know anything about money, because let's be honest, I went over budget every month last year(that is, when I finally created a budget), but 2015 is a new year. I'm also going to Greece this summer, leading to the fabulous life of a college student, again. So how does one balance shopaholic tendencies, a social life, and other necessities like food? Well, I'm still trying to figure it out. However, by creating a budgeting series, I have hopes I might actually hold myself accountable. That should help, right?
example: bi-weekly
Above is a simplified breakdown of my own budget. Now where is the rent you ask? Fortunately, I live at home. Austin housing is not getting any less expensive and neither are my student loans(at least not by much). For now, my extra savings go towards student loans and more student loans. Depending on your finance situation, I recommend putting those extra savings towards your main goal. Whether it's traveling, a new car, or debt - it's worth the saving!

Now that January has ended, I can announce I successfully stuck to most of my budget! Most importantly, my $70 shopping budget(I get paid bi-weekly). For some it might be limited, for others it might be generous. Because I tend to go over this number more often than not, I've decided to share my shopping purchases at the end of each month. Also, I'm curious about the amount of clothing I buy. Since I've graduated and started this blog, my closet has grown immensely. What started out as "I can wear that for my blog" or "This blogger has the exact same one", has turned into simply put, too much. Instead of buying every good deal in sight, I'm hoping to focus on pieces I love and pieces that will last. Check out my January purchases below:
Necklace(Payless): $5
Shoe Rack(Thrifted): $6
Clinique Toner(Macy's): $32
Michael Kors Skirt(Thrifted): $3
Workout Shirt(Thrifted): $1.50
Sweater(Target): $10
Plum Top(Old Navy): $7
Ankle Pants(Old Navy): $15 Gift Card
Total: $64.50

Look who came under budget! Fingers crossed this month goes just as well. A shorter month means less purchases, am I right? What are some of your budgeting goals? If you have a budget, how do you stick to it? Let me know your budget tips!

Monday, January 26, 2015

13.1

I'm in pink!
Surprise! Yesterday, I completed my first half marathon. It's been quite the journey, with training myself and pushing through a minor injury, but I did it! As I write this, I'm icing both ankles and re-reading previous stories of my first 5K and 10K. It's incredible to see where I started, but also to see that I completed a goal I never imagined I would come close to.

After my summer of trying out yoga, I had a hard time getting back into running. For motivation, I signed up for a 5K and got back into training. I still felt slower than usual, but a small part of me desperately wanted to beat my personal record from the year before. Call it adrenaline, but after training slow the previous weeks, I somehow managed to beat my time! As I crossed the finish line on a "runner's high", I decided to sign up for a half. Crazy, but it was decided.

Mid-November, I registered for the half. The next two months were full of training until my tendinitis made a come back(from 5 years ago!). The good news was I could run the race, the bad news was I had to wear my running shoes all day, every day. Let me just tell you, work clothes and running shoes is no fun. As much as it helped, I'm so glad it's over.

Race day was the best, y'all. I couldn't have asked for better weather! Mid-forties and sunshine is what I call perfection. My hands were definitely cold the first couple miles, but before I knew it, I was warmed up! Although my foot was still tender, it was completely doable. As long as I didn't think about it, it was fine. If I've learned anything, these races are a mental game. Did I mention I tripped and fell down? Yep, I was that runner. Nothing serious, just a klutz move. It happens. Despite the small happenings, I finished the race strong and in less than 2 hours(picture time isn't accurate)!

Some might say I'm only half crazy, but last year's Melissa would call me insane. Not too sure about a full marathon yet, but I'm hoping this half will be the first of many in my running journey. Thanks to everyone who gave me training advice or listened to me ramble on about running the last two months. I'm even more grateful to my family and friends who came out to support me. Waking up early on a cold Sunday morning isn't fun, but it meant the world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yes to GREECE!

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Last week was a whirlwind. A couple things turned into a bunch of things and before I knew it, it was past my bedtime! A couple of these things included some "vacation planning". In case you don't follow me on Instagram(yet!), I'm going to Greece this summer! GREECE!!! Still hasn't hit me yet. I'm assuming once I board the plane, it will all set in - but who knows? All I do know is, I'm going to walk the beautiful blue waters of Greece this summer.

I spoke a little bit about Wanderlust before, but after months of saving and some inspiration - I decided it was time. I'm young, single, and deserve to discover the world. Thanks to the Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsGreece has been at the top of my bucket list for years, so why not? I want to see the Acropolis, taste the food, meet the lively people, and most of all, experience the culture.

It's been three years since I left to visit Spain and gosh do I miss it. Have I ever mentioned I could just live there? Because I could. Might need to brush up on my Spanish, but I digress. Traveling is such a unique opportunity and I encourage everyone to do it. Whether it's a small town a couple hours away, another State or Continent, say Yes! Do some research, create a travel fund, and soon enough you'll be following your own dream to somewhere new.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Because it's Friday

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As much as I love my job, going back to work after the Holidays is always an adjustment - especially when the weather becomes too cold to get out of bed. Needless to say, I'm so glad it's Friday! While my weekend plans may be few, it's only getting colder, my dvr is full, and I may or may not have borrowed a couple more books from the library. If your weekend is anything like mine or the weather isn't so pretty, check out the links below and enjoy!

Because some of my(and your) style choices might revolve around her outfits.

Because what's better than having three men fall in love with you?

Because you know you can still make it Oregon with only two oxen.

Because it's important to think before you speak.

Because let's be honest, besides number one, you were curious about The Office's bachelors.

Because it's cold outside and I don't have a pair of brown booties.

Because there's more to Victoria Beckham than you know.

Because laughter is the best medicine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

working girl: calendar print-outs

Almost a year ago, I started the job I have now*. Can't believe how quickly time has passed! I remember putting up my first decorations and feeling excited about creating a space that was "mine". While pretty prints helped to spruce up my space, a calendar was still essential. I searched around online and came upon the most beautiful calendar print-outs by Shhh My Darling**.
   
Last month's beauty
Each month I waited patiently(and sometimes tweeted) for a new calendar print to add to my work space. Every print was simple, colorful, chic, and still so relevant to the time of year. Sadly, with 2014 having ended, so have the calendar prints. In better news, the site is doing so well that they have expanded their shop and now offer a beautiful variety of stationery, notepaper, posters, and more!

When I returned to work yesterday, I realized it was time to start the search for a new monthly calendar print-out. Check out what I found below:


 



Even after writing this post, I'm still stuck between option 1, 3, and 6. Might have to roll the dice on this one. What do you think? Which one will you choose? Help me pick out a new calendar for 2015!

*Although it's barely a year, I've decided to start a new series titled "working girl". What that entails, I'm not quite sure - but follow along for more!
**This is not a sponsored post, I'm just a HUGE fan of their work.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cheers to 2015!

This year, I've decided not to make resolutions, but to say "yes" to trying out new things. Being picky has its challenges, especially when the situation involves spicy food, but little changes don't hurt. It's not all about food either though. I found myself saying "yes" last year and have become more open about life in general. I want to continue challenging myself to say "yes" to something new during the year. There's no rules and no criteria, just a year to explore a little more about myself and the world.

Any challenges, goals, or resolutions for the new year? Might be a little late, but wishing you fellow dreamers a bright year filled with happiness, laughter, and new adventures!