Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wallis Dinner & Night on the Town

Vest: Vera Wang for Kohls (option) // Top: Lauren Conrad for Kohls (option) // Pants: Rock & Republic (option) // Shoes: H&M (option) // Clutch: Target (option) // Necklace: Topshop (exact)

Warning long post today. I didn't want to miss a beat. I had to make sure every ounce of our trip was documented. Ten years from now I will be thankful I wrote this chapter in my life's book.

If you read yesterday's post, you know that this week's posts are dedicated to our London trip. In case you were wondering, we are still reminiscing our first day. Today is about our first night. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Monday evening we had dinner with a few of the ladies from Wallis, Kat and Sally and Amy (far left) from Big Picture PR. We had reservations a Cote and it was beyond amazing; another quaint and hidden treasure along the hectic London streets.

I was beyond nervous. I had no idea what to expect, what they would be like, what we would talk about, how they would perceive me once we met in person or wonder if they believed they made the right choice after our meeting. It's the inner insecurities that I still struggle with.

I couldn't have been more relieved the minute we exchanged hugs. All of the ladies were golden and a class act. There were zero awkward moments and I felt like we had known each other for years. They were completely laid back and the conversation just flowed. We talked about the contest, what was expected of me, the Wallis brand, it's U.S. goals, a little about blogging and then just a normal chat between friends. 

It was refreshing and intriguing at the same time. Here I am in London, having dinner with the people behind the contest. I had so many visions of what they would look like, be like, sound like; and my expectations were exceeded. They were so welcoming, genuine and cultured. I know that sounds strange, but between these three ladies, they have seen and experienced more of the world than I could ever fathom. I was drawn into their stories, their lives and of course their accents. I am sure they were laughing on the inside from all my "y'alls". 

I feel like I made lifelong friends in London. I know that I will stay in contact with these ladies after my ambassadorship is done. They are true souls.

Here is a picture after dinner. I feel like I should've taken more, but we were so involved in conversation that I completely spaced when it came to a camera.


After dinner it was time to see the sights and sounds on London town - late night style. 

We snapped a few pictures of the breathtaking architecture lit up before heading out for a few night caps. We needed to see the town and sip on a few of their cocktails. 

Our first stop was the Ice Bar. A few of my best friends that visited London last summer said it was a must. Total tourist spot. We were tourists after all.  It was 19 degrees inside so they had parkas for us to borrow. I must say I was digging the fur around the hood. The glasses were big blocks of ice and weren't the easiest to drink out of. We didn't stay long because well, it was FREEZING, but so worth the frozen toes. We were laughing like kids the entire time we were there...I mean, just look at our get-up. 

Okay, this is were it gets good. I wish you guys could have all been there with us for this next part because it was THAT random. 

We took a pedicab (AKA rickshaw) you know the ones; the guy is on a bike and you are riding in a little carriage in the back. See top right picture above. It sort of makes you feel like Cinderella going to the ball.

Anyway, our rickshaw "driver" was named Nelson and he was beyond rad. We exchanged digits and everything. Oh, and he already liked my Facebook page. Another London friend made. I told asked him to take us to the hippest place in London, you know because I am a hipster. Kidding. He honored my request and put the pedal to the metal; biking us to the ghetto...at least it looked like the ghetto to me. I asked in a paranoid voice, "Um, where are we? This doesn't look safe." He replied, "Little Lady, you are in Chinatown." Okay, that sounds kinda cool. Just trying to roll with it, ya know.

We pull up to this dark street in the middle of nowhere-ville and stop in front of a Chinese restaurant. You know the one...the kind of place that stays open late night for people to eat after the bar.

So, this guy pops out of the Chinese dive and Nelson, rickshaw champion asks, "Are they cool?" I am thinking, "Um, yes we are cool. The coolest. Hello?!?!" What is that supposed to mean?

The Chinese food guy says, "Yes, they're cool." and we hop out of our chariot, walk toward a big, unlit, black door hidden in a cove with no sign or bright lights. It wasn't the most welcoming place, so it seemed. 

We looked at Nelson and he said, "You are good. Enjoy. It's a really cool place."

Okay, why not? What do we have to lose accept our lives.

So, the big black door opens, we walk up what seemed like a never ending stairwell and enter into the most swanky little cocktail club I have ever witnessed. It was called the Experimental Cocktail Club. Click on that link and you will see the black door I am speaking of. It seems to be a pretty exclusive place because even their website doesn't give out too much public info.

While we were there, our server reminded me so much of Whitney Port. I did a double take thinking it was really her, so of course I had to get a picture with her. She was so much fun and said she gets that "Hey, you look like Whitney" all of the time. She was a great sport.

Lesson: listen to your cabbies/rickshaw cyclists. Use them as resources. They know what's up.

In between the Ice Bar and Experimental, we did hit up an amazing hotel bar at the Soho Hotel. I didn't get any pictures. Shame on me. 

It reminded me so much of the Austin scene and we felt right at home. The service was stellar and the drink menu had my head spinning. The atmosphere was dim lit, amazingly designed with modern and sleek decor. I definitely recommend popping in if you ever make your way to London. It's a great place to kick back and have a couple of exotic mixed cocktails.

Phew, that was a long post. Hope you were taking notes if you have a trip planned to London anytime soon. All of the places we were lucky enough to see are well worth putting on your to do list. 

So, day one is done. Come back tomorrow for my morning/afternoon with Wallis. It entails a shopping spree, press day, a lunch full of stories and a tour of their headquarters. Plus, a giveaway from none other than Wallis themselves!


Monday, April 29, 2013

First Few Hours

Jacket: Target (option) (option) // Top: Forever 21 (option) // Leggings: Target (option) // Shoes: Old Navy (option) (option) // Scarf: Macy's (option) // Bag: Target (option) // Glasses: Forever 21 (option)

Hey y'all!!! I feel like it's been FOREVER!  I missed you guys so much! Last week was such a whirlwind and I am still adjusting to "real" life. I wanted to say thank you to those who dropped by last week while I was gone. Give it up for some amazing guest posts. If it weren't for my girls I would've been 100% MIA.

Before I begin, I thought I would mention that this week will be a recap of my trip to London. If this isn't your cup of tea, I completely understand as long as YOU understand that these posts are not to brag or be boastful. It's my online diary that I can share with friends/family and also look back upon over and over again.

Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, here is a recap of out first few hours in London.

Our trip started off brilliant (insert sarcasm). Ross left his wallet on the plane. It was recovered minutes later. Then, low and behold, Ross lost his cell phone. Where is it? Think. Think. Think. Oh yes, possibly in the cab. After realizing where he had "misplaced" it, we called our cab and 40 lbs (am I typing that right?) it was was back in his hands. Then we began to hear all sorts of popping sounds. What is that? We walked into our hotel bathroom and my flat iron is smoking like ribs on the BBQ.....yep it caught fire. Our entire room was rank with the smell of burnt hair and ceramic. I was warned over and over again, but no warning could replace the "live" version of this business. Flat iron was toast due to non-compatible outlets. Lesson learned. Advice, buy a cheap flat iron in London!!!

The small road blocks weren't going to knock us down. We were staying nearby to the cream of the crop shopping and decided to roll with the punches before dinner with Wallis.

Let's begin.

Harrods, the mecca of all shopping meccas, was within walking distance of our hotel and we took a few full hours advantage of all the glorious shopping. 

So, today is all about our first few hours...shopping, eating and taking it all in. I have NEVER seen so many high fashion designers in one block's distance in my entire life...not that I have seen that many sights and sounds. It was true bliss and a jaw dropping experience. Holy wow! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

We stayed at the Millennium Hotel which was surrounded by all the places that I could NEVER afford. Roberto Cavalli was NEXT door to our hotel. Louis Vuitton was outside our balcony room window. Did I die and go to heaven? I truly think I heard angels singing for a short minute. Jimmy Choo and Chanel were across the street. Really? Is this happening? Yes, it was and we felt like a million bucks. This is the FIRST and only time in our entire life. Probably the ONLY time. I am okay with that. 

If you ever have the chance to visit this incomprehensible city called London, please take half a day to visit Harrods and all it's surroundings. I don't care if you enjoy shopping or not, it IS THE PLACE to be; buildings, architecture, energy, food, shopping, people, photo ops....you WILL DIE!!!

So here are a few shots we captured from the first few hours.

Did you think out first few hours were going to be spent any differently than with some serious retail therapy and wine? It was London for bloody's sake.

If you ever have the chance to travel to London, shopper or not, you must take a stroll hike through this seven story, five acre, one-million square feet, thirty-two restaurant land of amazingness. I am still in awe of it's glory.

And after your hike grab some world-famous macaroons from Laduree. They make a fab late night snack, but beware, absolutely NO pictures allowed. I tried to sneak a shot indoors and got busted. These people don't play. 

Lunch at nearby Caffe Concerto was adorably quaint; delicious sandwiches, salads, brushcetta and a glass or two of wine. It was a romantic and charming little place. I highly recommend.

There you go. Our first few moments in London town. Stay tuned all week for more outfit posts, travel tips, recaps and some crazy fun during our stay thanks to Wallis.

It feels so good to be back in the saddle. I TRULY missed y'all!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mix and Match Fashion

As you are reading this, I am back in the states...my state of Texas. Home again, home again. I have so much to tell you guys!! Be sure to come back Monday for a recap of my time in London with Wallis.

In the meantime, here is another fashion friend of mine, Tara. Her style is bright, fun, classic and to die for. Girlfriend has a way with color/pattern mixing. Just take a peek at some of her "OMG, I want that" looks. Oh, did I mention that she was featured in People Style Watch magazine a few months ago? Yep, she is THAT awesome!


Hello everyone, I'm Tara from Mix and Match Fashion.  I am thrilled to be guest posting for Shanna while she is in London.

Shanna's blog is one of my favorite reads.  Not only is her style similar to mine (we both LOVE prints and color), but she is also funny, super sweet, and down-to-earth.  She is so deserving of the wonderful opportunity to go to London, and I couldn't be happier for her!

Today, I want to share some of my recent spring looks. All of them are work appropriate (I'm a middle school teacher) but still fun and colorful.  I am a big believer that it is important to put some of your personality into your work wardrobe, if your job's dress code allows for it of course.  Enjoy!

IMG_0986 copy
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Thank you so much for having me Shanna!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Story of My Life

Hey, strangers!! I sure have been missing y'all! I am headed home today and dying to give you the scoop on my trip to London with Wallis. There is so much to say, share and recap. Be on the look out next week for the full report.

Today one of my blogging idols and friends is here sharing her dreams and how she made them happen. Jenni and I both live in Austin and have had the pleasure of hanging out a few times. And yes, she is just as gorgeous, witty, charming and amazing as she is on her blog. Jenni will draw you in every single time with her words, photos and crystal blue eyes. I can promise you that if you don't already know her, you are going to be hooked after today. She is an inpiration and a breath of fresh air to us all. 


Hey there friends of Shanna! My name is Jenni, and boy is it a pleasure to make your acquaintance. :) I'm happy to be here today, and I'd like to say a thing or two about what it's like to follow your dreams and passions.  I know that's a bit cheesy and advice on this subject is a dime a dozen everywhere you look, but I really must throw in my two cents, as well. I am so proud of Shanna and all she's doing for herself lately. Dreaming big and making it happen. An inspiration to us all, eh?

A few years ago I was given this incredible opportunity to do whatever the heck I want. I was out of school, just married, just moved to Austin, and the proverbial slate was clean. And, well, long story short, I started a blog. I'm passionate about blogging and social media, and I've just always had this ITCH to take it further. Even longer story short, when I followed that passion, amazing things started to happen. Not in the form of any big pay days, I'm sorry to say (not YET anyway), but in the form of confidence and friendships and discovering other passions I didn't know I had. Like a passion for photography. Telling people's stories in photos. I don't think I would have ever discovered that untapped potential I have if I hadn't first scratched the itch to blog. 

I'd be here all day if I told the whole story (lucky for you, the "story of my life" is all right over here! ha!), but I do want to say that I wake up every morning so excited to get to work. Happy and content, for the most part, with what I've chosen to do. It fulfills me. And what more could you ask for? So my best advice is to scratch the itch. Even if it seems silly. Even if you're embarrassed to tell people, at first. I can't tell you how many embarrassing company dinners I've sat through in the beginning there with my husband, where someone asked me what I do and I mumbled "oh yeah, well, I have this blog...."  ;)  

I'll leave you with a few photos and a link to my photography website, and if you're in Austin and need some pictures, I'd love to be considered for the job. Thanks so much for reading! :) 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Random Wednesday #30 - Classic & Bubbly

Get ready for one of my best blogging friends in the ENTIRE world. Stesha was one of my very first friends that I made when I started my blog. We are each other's biggest supporters. She inspires me to go after my dreams and to never give up. She is not only drop dead gorg, but has a heart of gold. 

I am honored that she agreed to host Random Wednesday this week. Take it away, girlie!

Hello to all you fabulous Because Shanna Said So readers, My name is Stesha the writer behind Classic & Bubbly, a blog about fashion, photography, & all things random in my life! I am super excited to be guest posting for Shan while she is on her amazing adventure with Wallis to London. Before I get started I want to just say how unbelievably proud I am of Shanna. I knew she would win, this girl has the most loyal followers (yepp, thats you!!) than almost any other blogger out there & that is truly something special if you ask me.  Shan was one of the first bloggers I started having a friendship with back when our blogs were brand new & we have stayed close friends since, so watching this little mama achieve such huge success makes me so happy!

When Shan & I get on the phone we chat about blogging of course but mostly we chat about our businesses & our goals. We tell each other what we are aiming for, give feed back to one another, advice but most of all we give support. Last year I took a huge risk by quitting my boring 9-5 Monday - Friday job & following my dream of owning my own photography company. {Stesha Jordan Photography} I started blogging almost two years ago now because I wanted to indulge in my photography skills & expand on the idea of become a photographer. I have always been the kind of girl who does what I want when I want, & when I see something that attacks my attention I will do anything until I get it. Photography was just that for me.

I am a 26 year old single gal living in Phoenix with no kids, no mortgage, nothing holding me back. What better time to take the risk & follow my dreams? It has been the most wonderful experience!! Not an easy experience at all, but wonderful. I have had those all night editing sessions to meet deadlines, crying phone calls to my mom, sitting at home on the weekends because I didn't make any money the month before (yes a budget has really been put in place!) but in the end it has all paid off. Working from home, creating the perfect schedule, knowing all your hard work is going straight to your own company. Those feelings are indescribable!

Here are a few key thoughts for you to keep in mind if you are looking to achieve a dream:
+ if you have a dream  & you want it to come true make. a. plan. 
+ do not be scared to take the first step. 
+ yes there are always what if's, but then again there are always why not's as well
+ it will take hard work
+ you will have a mental break down or two.... or three
+ once the plans are in motion go with it, don't hold back
+ everyone has their opinion choose who's to listen too
+ do. what. makes. you. happy!

When I made my passion my career my life changed in the best way possible. My life will never be simple, I will never clock in & clock out, I will always have my phone on me, & stress will probably be around for a while but in the end I wouldn't have it any other way. If any of you ladies are thinking of taking that step & making your passion your career & are feeling scared or lost feel free to contact me.  I love hearing abut everyones dreams & seeing what I can do to help! 

Thank you for having me guest post today! Feel free to come on over to Classic & Bubbly and say a quick hello!

PS. Shan, I think I speak for all when I say we can't wait to hear about your trip & see the ah amazing photos!!

 **If you are linking up today, I kindly ask that you follow my blog and link back to it in your post. Oh, and go meet some new friends!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Other Side of Gray

Happy Tuesday! Well, today is the BIG day with Wallis...breakfast, shopping, press day and getting to tour their offices. Is this REALLY happening? Yes, yes it is. I will probably be Instgramming out the wazoo all day, so be sure to follow me @shannasaidso if your the least bit curious.

Miss Annie is here for your viewing pleasure today. Her and I have been buds since I started my blog. I know without a doubt that we would be hanging out on the daily if we lived closer. Love is not a strong enough word for the feelings I have for Annie. She not only has killer style, but she is hilarious, down to Earth and as real as they come. We are both following our dreams of personal styling. If only we could find a way to live in the same city and become business partners. This girl is a Madewell & J.Crew Queen. Every time I step foot in these stores I think of her, and she does the same with me at Forever 21. We are tight like that. 

Give her some love. It won't be too hard after you see how she nailed this look.

Dress: Topshop // similar
Shoes: J. Crew // here and similar
Bag: J. Crew // similar and similar
Necklace: Baublebar // here
Bracelets: J.Crew Factory & Madewell

Hey guys! I'm Annie and I blog over at The Other Side of Gray. I am SO SO happy to be guest posting for my girl Shanna while she is over in LONDON doing fabulous things for Wallis Fashion!

Because of all the amazing things going on for her right now...Shanna asked me to talk a little bit about following my own dreams. Which is pretty relevant because Shanna is actually someone who sort of nudged me in the direction to take my dream to the next level. So - what is this dream I speak of? Personal styling! Actually, I would be thrilled with any sort of career in the fashion industry, but I think personal styling would just be such an awesome and rewarding thing to do every day. A cute outfit can go a long way and I truly believe looking good makes you FEEL good.

You guys probably know this, but Shanna has a little personal styling business of her own goin' on, and when I saw her start to take her next steps, I reached out and we exchanged a few emails. The girl is awesome let me tell ya. It's terrifying to take any dream to the next level because putting yourself out there can lead to failure, etc., but with Shanna's encouragement and some from my friends and family, I posted a "Styling Services" tab on my blog a few months ago!  I wish I could tell you I've had success...but not so much. I haven't really advertised it very well, so it's my own fault...but that will be my next goal for moving it forward. In the meantime, I have some friends I've been practicing on to get more experience, and I hope one day soon I will have my first REAL client. And I'm proud of myself for even taking that little step and posting the services because, as we can see from Shanna and her new Wallis fashion gig, you never know what can happen when you follow your dreams :) Cheesy but true.

And what goes with following your dreams? A fabulous outfit of course! So this is me, saying bring it on dreams...bring it on!

Anyone else now have Mariah Carey in their head? "Dreamlover come rescue me..." Anyone?


Monday, April 22, 2013

Starting Things Off with Always Maylee

Well, hellooooooo!!! I just wanted to say hi and let you you guys know that I am in London this week, but I have some amazing friends helping me out over the next five days.

And this girl was my number one choice to start things off. Yi-Chia has become one of my closest blogging friends. Words cannot express how much I love her. One day we WILL meet in person, go shopping and stay up into the wee hours of the night catching up on all the years we missed before we became friends. Give her a big welcome. She deserves it!!


Hi Because Shanna Said So readers! I'm Yi-chia and I blog over at Always Maylee. I talk a lot about my shopping excursions, my unhealthy (but awesome) obsession with polka dots, my love for bright colors, and my life with my husband.  I'm so happy and honored to be guest posting for Shanna today while she is making all of us proud strutting her stuff in London for Wallis. Shanna is truly an inspiration and I just love that she made/is making her dreams come true!

Ever since I was young, I've loved fashion. I loved playing dress up and pretending I was a famous stylist, putting together outfits for my stuffed animals and dolls. They appreciated it, I know they did. Over the years every time I wore a new outfit, my dad always told me that I should do something related with fashion. It wasn't until last year, while browsing various fashion blogs and pinning things like crazy on Pinterest that I realized, hey maybe I could start a fashion blog too. My husband was so supportive and told me of course I could and should do this. So I did. And now a year later, my blog is doing really well and I've had the opportunity to work with some great brands. I'm not sure where my blog will lead me, perhaps I will globe trot with Shanna, maybe I will start my own boutique, or simply I will just continue to grow my blog. Either way, I'm happy that I now have this space where I can share my style and fashion ideas with everyone!
Thanks Shanna for letting me take over your blog today. We are all anxiously awaiting for your return and reading about your trip! In the meantime, come over to Always Maylee and say hi!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Across the Pond

As much as I would have loved to have to shown you guys a style idea or an Instagram "outfit of the day" recreate, I just lost track of time. The mad rush begins...today. The countdown to London is 48 hours away and I have not started packing or even thinking about packing.

Sunday is the big day for this small town Texas girl to fly across the pond. I am so overwhelmingly nervous and over the moon excited. My stomach is knotted in all sorts of ways. The only time I have traveled outside of the U.S. is to Mexico. Heck, I have barely seen one-fourth of my own country let alone London!

I hate flying. Anxiety creeps in when I start to vision myself on a plane for this many hours, flying over the ocean. Okay, I am not going to talk about that anymore. My heart is racing as I type.

Here is the low down for next week, in case you're curious.

First of all, while I am gone, I have five amazing friends of mine that will be here sharing their dreams, stories, fashion and gorgeous faces. Thank you so much Yi-Chia, Stesha, Jenni, Annie and Tara. I owe you ladies. BIG time. If you don't know them, you will next week and are going to have five new blogs to add to your reading material.

Random Wednesday link up WILL still run next week. My lady love, Stesha will be hosting it for me and her post is AWESOME!! It's ready to roll, so make sure you link up!

If you are interested, I plan to post lots of pics, probably too many, on Instagram. So be sure to follow me @shannasaidso.

Hmmmm, what else....

Oh yeah, here a sneak peek of the plans...my itinerary if you will.

Flying out on Sunday with Ross. YES, he is going with me. He had to. I couldn't do it alone.
Arrive in London Monday morning.
Monday night dinner with some of the Wallis Team.
Tuesday is the BIG day.
Breakfast with team and shopping at their Marble Arch store.
Lunch with team.
PRESS DAY for an exclusive preview of their Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Butterflies again!
Tour the Wallis office
Then it's time to put my tourist hat on. I plan to see, do, touch, experience every possible thing we can in a crazy, short amount of time.

I told Ross that we need to pack a case of Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy drinks because we aren't sleeping!! There is just too much that we have to squeeze in before heading back to reality. I mean, this could quite possibly be a once in a lifetime experience.

I hope to post every single detail about the trip when I get back. So stay tuned.

And please come back next week even though I won't be here. I promise the ladies that are taking over are pure gems. You will love them!

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart; to everyone who voted, tweeted, commented, supported and prayed for me. Like I said in my video last week, there is NO way possible that this would have happened for me if it weren't for each of you...taking time just for me. I still don't think the reality of this whole thing has really sunk in.

I adore you all and God bless you for helping make one of my dreams come true.

Until then...much love!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

In a Pikle? Dill with it.

No, this time I did not misspell any words in my post title. When I say, "pikle" I am speaking of the cutest online store I ever did see, In a Pikle.

Ladies, if you read any blog post today read this one. No, not because of anything spectacular I have done, but because you need to know about this company. Believe me.

My sweet friend Laura who works for In a Pikle contacted me to do a review of one of their products. Once I clicked on their website I immediately squealed out loud and kindly quickly accepted her offer. 

This is hands down the most precious product, brilliant branding, clever little name and genius idea I have ever come across.

Before we get to all the enchanting pictures and goodies, let me explain in a nutshell.

We have all been in a "pikle" before; most likely on the daily. 

Stain on my shirt from my Diet Dr. Pepper.
I got hang nail. 
Ouch, a paper cut. 
Man, I need a hair tie. 
Gross, she just sneezed and shook my hand. Sanitizer, please?
Another button popped off my shirt. Whaaaaa?
Something is in my tooth and I need a mirror and some major floss.

You know what I am talking about. We have all been there.

Well, In a Pikle is here to save your day...in adorable heroic style.

All the stuff that gets lost at the bottom of your bag can now be rescued and tucked away into a trendy little spot. Toss it in your bag, keep it in your car or stash it in your drawer at the office.

Take a look...

I told you to trust me. The cutest thing ever, right? 

I am a HUGE supporter of women following their dreams and these two ladies responsible for this venture did just that! They followed their gut and their dreams. It began as a friendship being next door neighbors. Then a simple idea turned into something magical for our benefit.

In a Pikle is perfect for bridal party gifts, new moms, teachers, Mother's Day and well, any occasion for that special lady friend in your life.

They come in an array of styles and options. I can guarantee this is something that will catch your attention and make you want to whip out your credit card faster than pouring a glass a wine at the end of the day. 

Want better news? In a Pikle is hosting a giveaway on their blog right now. Just follow the Rafflecopter below and enter to win! 

In the meantime, use the code "shannasaidso" for a 10% discount on your first order.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy shopping and gift giving! Don't ever get yourself in a pickle without In a Pikle.