Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blog Friends & A Kimono

c/o Wallis Kimono (here)(option) // Forever 21 Shorts (option) (option) // Target Heels (option) (option)// Kendra Scott Necklace (option) // Forever 21 Clutch (option) (option)

Let me first give a BIG shout to Sarah for sharing her top knot tutorial on her blog. Thanks to her, I have a fun new "do", perfect for when I don't feel like washing or flat ironing. Go watch it and see how stinkin' cute she is. 

And guess what? We are meeting IRL this weekend at Texas Style Council, a weekend workshop for women bloggers being in held Austin. The speaker line up is insane. Think A Beautiful Mess and Kendi Everyday. Yeah, I know...CRAZY! Plus, stores like Macy's, Lulu's, Ruche and Altar'd State will be attending. The swag has already started rolling in and it hasn't even officially began. Oh, and did I mention that there is a "prom" Saturday night? I can't wait to get all fancy, take an enormous amount of pictures in the photo booths and dance the night away with so many inspiring women...some I am already friends with and others that I am dying to meet! Can you tell I am like a kid waiting for Christmas morning?

Speaking of Texas Style Council, another one of my blog buddies and I are finally taking our friendship to the next level. Miss Stesha is flying in Thursday and staying with ME for four days to attend the conference. She is going to be in my HOUSE! I cannot even tell you guys how pumped I am to hug her neck and actually meet face to face. We met through blogging over a year ago and clicked from day one. I don't think much sleep is going to happen over the next few days. I am sure we will both be obnoxiously posting on IG...just giving you warning.

In other news, one of my new favorite pieces is this Wallis kimono. I have spotted several out and about, but most I have found were over $100. You know that I am a budget kind of girl and not spending that much on one top. So, I was thrilled when Wallis posted a kimono on their website for almost half the cost of the ones I have seen. It's a great transitional piece and one that can be worn during the spring, summer and fall months. I dressed it up a little with heels and high waist shorts, but plan on wearing it with cut offs and my boyfriend jeans soon.


Today, I wanted to share a bit more about one of my favorite style bloggers and sponsors, Laura with Walking in Memphis in High Heels. You may have seen her guest post a few weeks ago, but I wanted to show you guys a few more of her drool worthy looks.

Let me also mention that Laura is one of the nicest and most active bloggers I know. I don't know how she does it with working a full time job. She always takes the time to respond to comments on her blog and social media. Her heart is so big and as genuine as they come. Plus, it still blows my mind how fast she has grown. She deserves it and so much more. I am constantly rooting for her behind my computer screen and send fist pumps her way...every single day. I look forward to stopping by her place on the daily and seeing what she has up her sleeves next.

How adorable are these two looks? I am dying over they way she rocks a skater skirt and how she can take neon and make it look so feminine.

Laura also has a super fun weekly linkup called Trend Spin. Each week she will announce what the trend of the week is, then you run to your closet, style the weekly idea and link up your post. Its a great way to meet new bloggers. This week's trend is animal prints and you still have time to join the party. Check it out!

Laura also loves a great bargain and what a better way to share her love of budget finds then to offer one reader a $50 gift card to Marshall's? I told you guys she was that nice. Be sure to stop by her blog, Walking in Memphis in High Heels, tell her hello and say thank you. And also fall in love with this gorgeous friend of mine.

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 **If you are linking up today, the only request is that you follow my blog with GFC or Bloglovin' and link back to it in your post. It's how weekly link ups work. Oh, and go meet some new friends! 

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Kiki La'Rue Love Story

c/o Kiki La'Rue Top (here) (optional color) // Target Pants (option) (option) // Charlotte Russe Boots (option) (option) // Forever 21 Necklace (option) // c/o Wallis Bag (option) (option) // H&M Glasses (option) // Bracelets: Gallery Boutique, Laura and Lily and Stella & Dot // Midi Rings (here) and (here)

I started this post at least 10 times. I would begin a sentence and delete it...write something else and erase it. I just didn't know the words I wanted to use as an introduction for someone I truly admire and adore. You want it to be just right and make them proud.

Okay, here goes. I am gonna do my best to make my Texas buddy, Becka with Kiki La'Rue beam with excitement. She and I "met" almost one year ago today. In fact, we teamed up on August 1st of last year with this post. It's kind of crazy to think where our friendship has come since then. It all started with her messaging me on Facebook about styling a dress from her shop. Kiki La'Rue was still pretty new and I am sure Becka had no idea what was coming her way in just a few short months.

This girl is the epitome of greatness when it comes to going for your dreams and how hard work REALLY does pay off. I have never seen one lady, her husband and little "Woobie" work so incredibly hard at a business. She is up all hours of the night, personally responding to her customers, overseeing every detail, keeping us all updated on new arrivals, being genuine and engaging us with her dedication and heart. 

It has been such a pleasure to watch her store grow into something HUGE! What's even better is actually having a real friendship with this girl. We have chatted for hours on the phone, texted back and forth and supported one another since the get go. 

I can almost guarantee that you will not meet another store owner that is as hands on as Becka. Kiki La'Rue is her second child and she goes above and beyond with her customer service, pays attention to every detail, truly listens to her customers and provides women of every shape and size the chance to be stylish without breaking the bank. I swear, I don't know how she does it. I think it must be super human powers.

I cannot say enough about Becka and Kiki La'Rue. You can even ask some of my IRL friends about her. I talk about her every chance I get. She is a solid example of success. It makes my heart happy to see someone so deserving become such a rock star. I am not just saying this because she sent me a few pieces to style on my blog. I 100% believe in her, her business and offerings.

If you have purchased a piece from her before, follow her on social media or know her personally, you know what I am talking about.

If Kiki La'Rue is new to you, I highly recommend that you take some time today and visit her shop. She is constantly adding new items to her store and giving us a play by play of what's going on through all her social media outlets. 

You will be seeing more items that I styled from Kiki La'Rue in the coming weeks. I am dying to share more of my favorites, plus there might even be a giveaway in store.

Becka is so kind to offer a 10% discount to her store for all my friends and readers. Just use the code SSaidSo10 at checkout. Let me know what you get and be sure to tell Becka I sent you! 

Happy shopping!


Monday, July 29, 2013

$1000 Style Spree Giveaway

Okay, I know what some of you are probably thinking, another giveaway from more bloggers that are trying to "buy" their readership. I will be honest, I personally stepped back from participating in group giveaways where I had to "pay to play". Lately, I have chosen to only do giveaways that promoted a business or was a sponsored ad. 

So when Lindsey emailed me about the Style Spree giveaway opportunity, I sat and chewed on it for a bit. I was deciding if I was going to be okay with some people talking about it in blogosphere. Some of you know how it goes...

Here is the deal. I work REALLY hard on my blog. Harder than I have worked on anything in my entire life, not counting my family obligations. Most bloggers, in general, bust their romps whether it be on content, photo editing, constant commenting, email answering, or all the social all takes a TON of time.

And the topic of entering into a $1,000 giveaway may not be up your alley. And that is 100% okay. I consider my blog not only a hobby, but a part time job that earns a small amount of money. It's definitely not a full time salary or even close to what people make at Chic-fil-a. It's play money that I take and use towards vacations, school clothes, extracurricular activities for my kids and advertising like this today.

These giveaways, in my opinion, are a small piece of the blogging puzzle. It's called advertising yourself and if you are a blogger that wants to grow, gain new readers, make a little extra money and have the opportunity to be on nineteen other amazing blogs at the same time, I say why not. Plus, it gives my sweet and exceptional sponsors some extra exposure. 

If this is your first time visiting, sorry for the long winded explanation. To my loyal buddies that visit on the regular, you know that these giveaways are not my regular gig. Regardless if you are new or a long time friend, I felt convicted to give my two cents on the group giveaway craze. I understand we all have our opinions about them and that's the beauty of blogging.

So to sum up my rambles, I am BEYOND thrilled to be in the company with nineteen other style bloggers. We all threw our money into a big ol' pot to bring you ladies the chance to win a $1,000 Visa gift card! 

Please make sure to complete all required entries. They will be verified and we would hate for a winner to be picked and then have to give it to someone else because a required "follow" may have gotten overlooked.

If you enjoy reading blogs that offer personal style inspiration, then you will want to make sure that you check out the ladies below. Each one is absolutely amazing and I may or may not religiously stalk a few of them...not saying which ones, I don't want them to think I am cray! But seriously, I read all of their blogs. The cool thing is that we all have our own unique style and fashion sense...chic, feminine, edgy, bold, casual, daring, budget's such a well rounded group of gorgeous ladies....I am just so honored to be by their side. I hope you discover a few new ones to read and see some of your favorites as well.

Good luck to all those who enter. We appreciate the support!


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Friday, July 26, 2013

California Adventures

Dear Lord, where do I begin? I guess I should start by saying that I shed an enormous amount of tears the entire time I wrote and edited this post.

It was the best trip ever for so many reasons. One being that my girls have never flown before, another is that Ross hasn't ever visited Cali and last but not least, two of my very BEST friends and sorority sisters (my BIG & LITTLE) live there. We got to share every minute of our trip with them. Yes, I want to share our adventures with you, but at the end of the day, this post is for my kids, one day they will see what I captured during our stay and will hopefully remember these moments not only through the photos but in their heads. I hope your enjoy.

We landed in Long Beach and felt the cooler weather as soon as we stepped off the plane. I highly recommend this airport and flying Jet Blue. It was a CHEAP, non-stop flight from Austin, the staff was amazing (we got to tour the cockpit), the leg room was phenomenal, FREE DirectTV the whole way and actually got off the plane not having to walk down a tunnel. The girls were beside themselves and so was I! Ahhhhh, we love you already, California! 

We spent our first evening at our friends' beach side casa in Dana Point; poolside, wine, homemade spaghetti (thanks, Sharon) and more hugs than I have given in years. There was a major power surge (apocalypse) that night, so we hung out in the dark with candles and the moonlight glow...right up my alley. A moment to remember for sure!

Friday morning we headed to the Santa Monica Pier. Cliche, I know, but if you are a tourist, you have to go there. The views, amusements, food, scenery, beach, rides, dolphin watching and temps will definitely draw you in. We stayed the night in L.A. and visited The Grove. I had ONE celebrity experience, Rebecca Gayhart (you know McSteamy's Wife & Noxzema Girl). We dined at the Farmer's Market, so fun, Austin needs one of these. We did a little shopping, cruised with the top down along Hollywood Blvd and snapped pics of the Hollywood sign. Thanks, Erica for letting us crash. Diablo wasn't all that bad. (Insert inside joke)

Saturday we made the traffic hell ride back to Dana Point from L.A. and plopped on the beach for the rest of the day and the next! I swear we turned into total surf bums. I couldn't get over the weather, waves and gorg views. If we didn't LOVE our fam in Texas, we would move to SoCal in a New York minute. I mean, I think my kids fit right in....look at those poses!

Saturday night, my local buddy, Sharon, knew the ropes/tricks and reserved us a private fire pit on the beach. Holy heaven!! Smoked dogs, burgers, Pandora tunes, smores, college buds, kids giggling, salt water, chilly beach air and lots of inside this really happening? Can this be life 24 hours a day? Oh, how I wish! We may or may not have hit the hot tub afterwards once the kids were passed out cold...only the ones present will know for sure. No pictures. No proof.

FYI, Sunday was another beach day & grown up dinner. See Wednesday's post for that.

Monday we got to Disneyland at 10:00 AM and didn't walk out of the park until midnight. Yes, we spent 14 hours there, thank the Lord for BOB strollers!! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The kids were troopers and didn't want to leave. We rode every "good" ride, thanks to Sharon's expertise and "fast pass" knowledge, we rocked that park like a Guns & Roses concert. Our faves; Star Tours, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror and California Screamin'. For the record, I cried yet again during the Main Street see my girls' eyes when those "princesses" blew them kisses and waved directly at them, that moment is one I will cherish for the rest of my days. They were in their own wonderland...we all were.

And then it happened, Tuesday rolled around faster than we expected and it was time to head back to Texas. Do not think we didn't go out in style. One last trip to the sea to indulge in food, more waves, sunshine, palm trees, beach poses and sand. Tears streaming the whole way to the airport and during our 2 hour flight delay. The Lord was trying to tell us something...maybe it was to stay another day, week, month, year or for the rest of our lives.

I will say, we will be back, hopefully next year and to make this California adventure an annual tradition.

This pic below is why I am crying as I type. This sunset was taken right in front of my friend's house. Can you imagine looking at this almost every single evening? Yeah, me too. At least I can savor it on my iPhone...every single day.

I will leave you with this :12 second photo video. I hope the time lapse pictures turn out. It was my first time playing with this "editing" function. It kinda sums up the whole weekend...JUMPING FOR JOY!


I have a few amazing bloggers for you today. Get excited to make some new friends....ones I actually call my own!

Nicole with A Dash of Gold....oh my word....can you say PRECIOUS? Yes, you can! She is such a fun blogger and actually has a pretty Bad-A giveaway going on right now. Go enter. Besides free stuff this girl can rock a single bag like you have never seen and has NO worries that she is shouting it from the rooftops! And she is proud about stepping out of her comfort zone and will make you laugh the whole way through. Make sure to read this denim jacket story....I swear you will giggle out loud. That's what I heart about this girl....she has some serious fashion sense, but is so dang adorable with her commentary! Make sure to stop by her blog for a dash of gold.

Oh, Fran...Fran...Fran...Fran!! Her and I go waaaaaaay back. I love her. Absolutely adore her. She is a girl on a budget and is as real as they come. Her style is simple, real and for the everyday. I promise that when you visit her blog that you will relate. Plus, she inspired me to clean out my mess of a closet with this post. She is on her way to new and exciting things...and I could not be more happy for her! Go get 'em!! She has been traveling the world for at least 5 months! Okay, kidding, just the past few weeks before she starts med school. I have been so jealous! And in case you are looking for a 30 Before 30 Challenge, Fran has a fab list going. Check it out.

Allison with a Nestful of Love is another lady near and dear to my heart. we have been blog buds for quite some time. I have adored following her travel adventures. And believe me, the post I just linked to isn't even the beginning. And she also has some serious style and knows her stuff. In fact, she has an amazing jewelry giveaway going on now. Be sure to enter this one too! She has such a genuine heart and you will see that with every post she writes. She has only been married for fours years and has given us all some SERIOUS martial advice. You go, girl! And thank you! Go and explore all of her posts...I swear Allison will draw you in with her real life experiences & even a dash of fashion.

Happy weekend, friends. I actually have ZERO plans for once. I am LOVING it. Time to catch up on sleep, laundry and serious couch time. See you bright and early on Monday! Peace!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's a Jungle Out There

c/o Prim and Peach Dress (here) // Lauren Conrad for Kohl's Blazer (option) // Target Belt (option) // Forever 21 Wedges (option) // Banana Republic Outlet Clutch (option) // Forever 21 Necklace (option) // Kendra Scott Necklace (here) // c/o K.O. Jewlery Necklace (here) // c/o T+J Designs Watch (here) // c/o Sophistifunk Tassel Bracelet (here) // Gallery Boutique Spike Bracelet (option) // Forever 21 Midi Rings (here)

If you know this blog, you are aware that I have worn my fair share of animal prints, well anything besides cats, sorry kitty lovers. I have been known to wear leopard over and over again. I even gotten foxy with a graphic sweater. And birds, yep, I think dove patterns are pretty swell. If you consider bees, butterflies and lady bugs part of the animal species, then I am digging that trend lately too.

What I am also a big fan of is promoting, supporting and wearing items from shops that are not only Texas based, but ones trying to get their name out and achieve success in this extremely competitive world we call online shopping. I am a huge cheerleader for independently owned businesses. Maybe it's because Ross and I are one of "them". It's a feel good feeling. It doesn't stop with clothes, we dine at mom and pop restaurants and take our cars to the local mechanic. We strive to support local, independent business owners.

So, when Prim and Peach contacted me about styling a piece from their new online shop, I jumped on it. Again, this sister duo are from Texas, passionate about style and helping us ladies look good on a budget. It's a win-win. They sell pieces that aren't offered on many other boutique sites and all are super affordable. The giraffe dress I am wearing today is less than $30, the quality is impeccable and hemline is just the right length. I wouldn't tell you stories. Did I mention it has giraffes on it? So fun, right?

Today, the sweet ladies behind Prim and Peach have graciously offered you 10% off your purchase when using the code SHANNA at checkout. They have also been kind enough to offer one lady a $40 credit to their shop.

Just one question before I go, are you as wild about animal prints and patterns as I am? If so, what are some of your faves?

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