Thrive Blog Conference

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This icy cold weather has me dreaming of a vacation to anywhere but here! I have been so bogged down with work these past few weeks preparing for contract season that I might not even make it through the first month of contract negotiations. The long hours at work, late nights drafting contracts, early morning phone calls to Taiwan, and no end in sight from March to the end of May has me wishing for a getaway. Most days I love what I do, but during our busy time I am working around the clock and getting pulled in every direction from my customers to my bosses. I think the thing that bugs me the most is that my birthday falls within the busy time so a fun vacation or getaway is usually out of the question unless it’s local or within a few hours’ drive.

This is where the Thrive Blog conference comes in. Thrive is a conference for Bloggers in Houston and they have teamed up with the Hyatt Place in the Woodlands to give away a night’s stay! I always hate to say that I deserve to win, because in the back of my mind I know there is probably someone who really does deserve it more than me. But I would love the chance to win so instead of saying I deserve to win let me explain why I want to win!
photo from Thrive Blogs Facebook page

Photo from Hyatt's web page

Kristina and I on a shopping trip in Houston!

First off my 30th birthday is in April…the BIG 3-0! I have a hard time getting away from my job so a mini getaway in the Woodlands would be the perfect solution! I just love the area; all the shopping (window shopping in my case), food, and entertainment. There is plenty to keep me busy!

Second my BFF Kristina lives just outside of the Woodlands…as in maybe 10 min away. I would love an excuse to come down and see her and her husband. They are one of my favorite couples and she has been a bestie since college and our days working at James Avery! Since we live in different cities we just don’t get to see each other as much as we did when we were in college!

Third I would really love the opportunity to surprise my better half with a getaway. He really does so much for me and I always feel like he tries to go out of his way to do things for me to make my life easier. This would be the perfect opportunity to steal him away from the Big D and have some fun in a city we love with people we love spending time with. And it would totally catch him off guard! He has been the one behind me telling me to take a leap of faith and attend a blog conference so that I can learn more and make new blog friends!! Having a personal cheerleader has been one of the greatest things as I start taking on the blogging world!

The love of my life at Margarita Ball

Whether I win or not, I am absolutely looking forward to a blogger filled weekend with my best friend! I am nervous, excited, eager to learn, and praying that the snow will not happen on Friday so I can safely make it out of Dallas into Houston! So cross your fingers I win and that the snow goes away for safe travels.

Happy Wednesday All

Amelia B.

Pattern Mix Up

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It is another chilly day in Dallas, TX and I still had to go to work, but luckily Jury Duty was canceled and the roads were cleared and my commute in was easy.  This dress is seriously one of my favorites.  Black and white stripes with hot pink trim on the bottom! 
I decided to take this summer dress straight into winter.  I added a polka dot button down underneath and accented it with my pink Kendra Scott necklace.  I love the contrast of polka dots and stripes.  To finish the look I added striped tights and my riding boots, I needed some layers to keep warm.
The best part you can recreate this look because Eliza J has released a very similar style dress and let me tell you it is my favorite!  I may have found mine on Ebay for under $60.00, but if you love the dress as much as I do it’s totally worth the splurge!

// Dress: Eliza J (old), new style // button down: J. Crew Factory  // tights: Target // boots: Tory Burch (last season) similar // Necklace: Kendra Scott // watch: Michael Kors

Amelia B.

Sleet day and no Jury Duty

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jacket: Rice and Beans Vintage, similar, love this // Dress: Ann Taylor loft (old) similar // Button down: (men's) J. Crew, similar, love // leggings: Betsy Johnson (TJ Maxx) similar // boots: Hunter (pictured in Jade and not available usually in summer), similar on sale Necklace: Emerald Bling (old), similar // Lipstick: Stila // Hat and gloves : target  //

Well We got an ice storm here in the big D which basically means that everything is closed, well everything but my office.  I can't really complain since it got me out of having to go to Jury Duty, so I guess a scary drive into work was OK by me.  Luckily my office provided pizza and we got to leave early.  Ava was super pumped for the cold.  We took her over to the adjacent field and let her run until we got too cold, she had a blast and is officially worn out.

Since I didn't get the memo we could wear jeans to work I tried to make a warm yet work appropriate outfit.  So Fleece lined leggings and a dress with a button down under it.  I added my hunter boots for the crap weather and my vintage faux fur jacket..which by the way is super warm.  For our play time outside I had to add a beanie and gloves the wind was just too cold.

My favorite part about the outfit, besides the Jade Hunter's, this great button-down I scored for 15.00! Did you know its from the Men's section in J. Crew? I always try and scope out their shirts because they tend to be cheaper and longer than women's.  The only issue I have found other than the buttons being on the wrong side is they can be a little tight in the hips if you tend to be a little curvy, but if layering under a dress or sweater you can't tell!  One of the many ways I can cut costs on clothing, plus they have some really good patterns and colors!

I hope everyone stays warm and safe during this cold front!

Amelia B.

Hair Tie DIY

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Finally it is the weekend!  Sadly I am exhausted and my outfit posts have been lacking.  next week I plan on bringing my A game so look for some more style posts.  In the mean time I thought I would share a little DIY that I came up with the other day.

As I was wandering Hobby Lobby I stumbled upon this super cute elastic ribbon.  That got me thinking....I bet I could make some of those really cute hair ties I see everywhere.  Lucky for me the ribbon was 1/2 off so I picked up 3 spools for under 5.00, and at 3 yards per spool I will have enough hair accessories for the next year.

I think I am going to package these up and give them to my girl friends and maybe surprise a few strangers with a sweet gift.  This would be a great activity for girls, or even a nice treat to share!

What you need:

  •  Elastic ribbon (mine is from Hobby Lobby, here, here, here)
  •  Scissors
  •  Ruler or measuring tape
  •  cardboard/card stock (optional for a way to display your ties if gifting)

Step 1

Measure out your elastic to your desired length (mine ended up being around 9in)

Step 2

Cut your elastic at the desired length (mine is 9in)

Step 3
Fold your elastic in half bringing your ends together  (make sure your design is facing outward)

Step 4

Knot the ends of the elastic

Step 5

Trim off any excess elastic at the ends, and tada you have a hair tie!

Step 6 (optional)

Place the elastics around the cardboard/cardstock and attach a cute note and now you have a perfect inexpensive gift to give.

Amelia B.

Weekend Recap

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Outfit deets: Dress (eliza J last season), similar // Shoes: Kate spade by Keds (last season), Similar // sunnies: Karen Walker, Same frame different color// necklace: Kendra Scott.

Valentine’s Day was this past weekend and to be honest I love v-day! I always hear people complain that it’s a hallmark holiday or that you should love someone unconditionally all the time not just on one day, but for me it is more than that. I view it as a day we celebrate our love for each other.

 Last year Ryan and I went all out, booked a room at the NYLO in Plano, made dinner reservations, and planned an entire staycation in the comfort of our hotel! Let’s just say that relaxing staycation didn’t happen… our reservation for dinner was two hours behind schedule, and when we finally could have gotten into the restaurant they had run out of food. On the plus side they gave us a voucher for our meal, oh but it had to be used that weekend (like we were going to come back)… so at 8pm on Valentine’s Day we were scrambling to find reservations. In hindsight I wish we had ordered pizza but since I was dressed up I really wanted to go out. After driving around and frantically searching open table for available reservations we found a place. We finally sat down for dinner around 10:00 and made it back to the hotel after midnight. At that point we were exhausted and just wanted to go to bed, I was actually missing my own bed by this point.

So for this year we both agreed a low key informal day was what we wanted. Saturday we decided to enjoy the perfect weather with a picnic at White Rock Lake. I packed up the picnic basket and Ryan loaded Ava into the car. We found a perfect spot near the water with a great view of downtown off in the distance. Our spread was pretty amazing too; hummus, fruit, cheese, cupcakes you name it. We just relaxed and enjoyed the day together.

Ryan and I were talking on our ride home how quickly time had passed. We spent over two hours talking and eating…it seemed like we had only been there a short while. Once we got home, we headed to Dillard’s to run an errand…which turned into Ryan surprising me with my feather dress! And then we had a late dinner of steak and pan sauce. I really couldn’t have asked for a better day spent with my loved ones, and it sure beat the price of a steak dinner at our favorite restaurant! How did you spend v-day?

Amelia B.

A Crush on Blush

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Since it is the month of love I thought I would showcase a few V-day inspired outfits. Ryan and I have decided to do a low key Valentine’s Day this year since our experience last year at the NYLO in Plano went soooo wrong. I mean honestly how do you run 2 hours behind your reservation and run out of food… after eating at almost 11 at night at an entirely different place we decided that a day spent together and a night in is just what we need. So in honor of not getting all dressed up and fancy here is my first Valentine ’s Day outfit.

This Topshop dress was a clearance find from Nordstrom Rack almost 7 months ago….I took the tags off today, it was on major sale marked down from 135.00 to 59.95 and then another 25% off. I love how feminine it is with the pleated bodice and tiny sequins. The color might be the best part; blush is just a romantic color to me, is that weird? Since it is a little cooler today I threw on this cream jacket I purchased from forever 21 a few years ago! It too has tiny sequins and the texture reminds me of something I would see in a Chanel boutique. To finish the look I added these Darcy Kendra Scott earrings that the man got me in celebration of our 3 year anniversary and my favorite neutral heels I purchased years ago for $19.99!

I feel like the textures and color make this outfit perfect for a date night yet also work appropriate! Since shopping my own closet I have started to pair pieces together that in the past I never did! I really love being able to do that, I feel like I am breathing fresh air into things I already have. Oh, and finally getting around to wearing those items that still have the tags on them.

Amelia B.

I almost Failed (update on the NO Shopping)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

party dresses

 Above is my 30th Birthday inspiration...I know I still have time to think about it but this leads me into my almost OOPS moment.

So this past weekend I almost broke the no shopping challenge. My bestie was in town and we decided to hit up Ulta for some makeup essentials (don’t worry I only got replacement face wash and my Urban decay spray). We were walking around the shops and I had the brilliant idea of running into Dillard’s, as said perfectly by Vivian from the movie Pretty Woman “Big Mistake. Big. Huge!”

I wanted to see the current Eliza J Dresses or “old Lady dresses” according to the sales associate, and after walking finding none we stumbled upon a blush feathered dress on clearance, so perfect for a birthday dress! Then this gorgeous lace dress with a feather and floral trim. I wasn’t sold on either but they were both interesting enough to catch my attention, and being in a store for the first time in months I figured What’s the harm in playing dress up, right?

Luckily the feather dress was cute but not something I couldn’t live without. However, that Lace number stole my heart! It was sophisticated but fun perfect for a 30th Birthday. I wanted to buy it right then and there, but my conscience got the best of me and I put it on hold for the day. If I was about to break the “challenge” I needed to really think about it and why I was de-committing. Technically I can buy a dress for my Birthday, but what you don’t know is that I bought that one from Anthro a few weeks ago. My aunt got me a gift card and my favorite dress went on mega clearance (as in 25% off the already 65% with free shipping). So in my mind I fulfilled my B-day buying.

That night I thought about it…A LOT! I tried to justify it, how could I skirt the rules and get it. But then I decided that I had to let it go. There will be many items over the next few months that I will have to give up. I learned a real big lesson that day. If you avoid the temptation it is a lot easier to reach your goals. Being able to overcome the temptation also made me feel really good about my decision a few days later. I have been avoiding stores and online retailers to eliminate the urge to shop and using my time to do other things, like sew,, explore Dallas, or spend time with Ryan!

As of today I still want the dress and have been hinting at it, I mean Valentine ’s Day is approaching, haha! But if I do not get it, I will survive; another something will come along that I will think I can’t live without but will have to pass on so I better get used to it.

Love Always,

Amelia B.

PS On a side note what do you think of the new blog design???  Still working on making it mine but I just love it!!