Monday, March 31, 2014

American Eagle Style Challenge

Today I am teaming up with American Eagle and my good friend Ashlyn with Let It Be Beautiful for a style challenge series. We wanted to show you ladies a couple of weekend wear ideas that incorporate tribal prints for the spring and summer months. Make sure to head over to Ashlyn's blog to see additional pictures of her look.

Express Crop Top (coupon codes to Express) // American Eagle Pants c/o (coupon codes for American Eagle) // Forever 21 Denim Vest (option here and here) // Chuck Taylor Converse // Forever 21 Tote // Lookbook Store Necklace c/o (option) // Michael Kors Watch c/o The Jeweler's Wife // Nordstrom Leather Wrap Bracelet c/o // Forever 21 Sunglasses (option)

While Ashlyn chose to style romper pant suit great for a Saturday date or Sunday brunch, I went with a pair of track pants for a comfortable, casual look, perfect for running errands. If you are interested in the pants I am wearing today, make sure to size down.

I am a huge fan of a track style pants with an elastic waist. I have styled and worn a few on my blog before. I know some of you are on the fence about this style, but I promise you that if you give them a try you will be sold as well. They are super comfortable, light, airy and can easily be dressed up or down depending on the day's activities. 

Something else I have been drawn to for years is a black, white and red color combination. Ashlyn and I both paired our black and white pieces with pops of red. It's a palette the never goes out of style and can make a statement without being too bold with colors. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was eventful to say the least. We celebrated our oldest daughter's birthday, enjoyed the gorgeous Texas spring weather, went to the iHeartRadio Country Fest (words cannot describe this show and how blessed I was that I ended up going) and had a family reunion on Sunday. I am dragging today and exhausted, but all the running around was worth it. This past weekend is definitely going down as one of the best in the 2014 book!


$250 Graphic Image Giveaway

To start your Monday off right and bright, I've teamed up with seven fabulous bloggers and Graphic Image to give away $250 to spend on their website!  Graphic Image makes some of the cutest leather products such as calendars, planners, journals, iPad cases and iPhone cases.  They also just released an amazing selection of spring colors that I'm sure you will be drooling over!  To enter to win, complete the entries using the Rafflecopter widget below.  The more entries you complete, the more chances you will have to win the $250 gift card!  The giveaway will be open to all U.S. residents through March 7 at 12:00am CST.  Good luck and thanks for entering! 



Friday, March 28, 2014

The Neutrogena Experience

I made it back all in one piece from sunny cloudy and windy California. I missed you ladies like crazy and felt lost not having our daily chat sessions. I spent the last few days in Manhattan Beach and Los Angeles, California for the Neutrogena Skin Care Summit. I will be partnering with the company as one of their 2014 ambassadors. I look forward to sharing more about new products, skin care regimens, anti-aging serums, acne prevention and a few stellar items from their cosmetic line. 

Warning: this post might get long winded, but I am going to do my best to give a recap of the last couple of days. I could have easily broken the summit up into a few posts, but I was so excited to share my experience. I had to get it all out today. (I wore this H&M skirt and Express crop top on Wednesday.)

Express Top // H&M Skirt not online (love this one and this one) // Daily Look Heels (option here and here) // Forever 21 Clutch (option here and here) // Total Betty Society Necklace c/o // Forever 21 Bracelet (option here) // Gigglosophy Heart Ring c/o 

I landed in L.A. Tuesday morning and headed directly to Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. I had about 10 minutes to run to my room, change clothes, freshen up, take a few deep breaths and hop on a shuttle bus to the Neutrogena headquarters for the first round of activities.

The PR team and Neutrogena staff had a quaint patio set up for lunch. The tables were filled with fresh flowers and sweet treats. We all knew that a special celebrity ambassador would be speaking at the luncheon. I had my fingers and toes crossed that it would be Kristen Bell and I literally almost died when she walked out. Yes, I am that person who gets star struck. You guys, she was adorable, flawless, witty, charming, genuine and smart. She hosted a Q&A and we got to ask her questions and also hear why she is so passionate about Neutrogena and their product offerings.

After lunch we were split into groups. My first session was all about being pampered in the beauty bar area. We got to try out Neutrogena cosmetics and hair care. My new favorite? The Moisture Smooth Color Stick in Sweet Watermelon. I can't get enough of it. I got lucky enough to have the one and only, Amy Oresman, touch up my make up. She is the personal make-up artist for Hayden Panettiere. She is also known for her work with Emma Roberts, Molly Sims and Jennifer Garner. Holy what?! Yeah, I thought the same thing too. She is beyond amazing, hilarious, personable, crazy talented and I begged her to come home with me.

If Amy wasn't enough, Sam Leonadri did my hair. Again, say what? Okay, I'll be honest, I didn't actually know who he was until this week. He is another celebrity stylist and has worked with hundreds of actresses and is globally known. His Australian accent had me a little giddy, but his magical hands were what got me fired up. He offered up some advice for my hair, introduced me to a great Neutrogena hair mask and created some super sexy waves. I tried to get him to come back to Texas too. No such luck. 

After an afternoon of pure magic, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a networking, roof top cocktail party. It was a fun evening and the perfect chance to really get to know some of the other girls that were attending the summit. I was actually one of the only style bloggers in attendance and the only girl from Texas. The majority of the ladies were either beauty bloggers or had their own YouTube channels. I didn't know single person, but that quickly changed. I made so many new friends and learned more about YouTube than I even knew was possible. Let me tell you, YouTube is where it's at, but the thought of doing videos stresses me out. Anyway, we all had so much in common and plenty to chat about. Everyone was super friendly and fun.

Wednesday morning started bright and early at 7:30 AM with a personal, in room blow out hairstyle. Talk about first class service. We had breakfast at the hotel on the sun deck with a presentation on sun protection and learned some eye opening statistics about skin cancer. It was very informative and I for one will be more diligent with sunscreen in my house. Neutrogena's spray on sunscreen has always been a favorite of mine, but I discovered that they also offer a sun defense stick. I plan on grabbing one next time I am out. Some of the girls said they swear by it and that it's great for facial application. 

After breakfast, the shuttle arrived to take us back to the Neutrogena headquarters. As much as I enjoyed being pampered at the beauty bar the day before, Wednesday's experience was even better. I really got to see and hear all that Neutrogena stands for, how much time and research they put into their products. It took six years of research and testing to produce the exact formula combination for their Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. It's was also refreshing to learn how strongly they believe in being eco-friendly.  

One of the most horrific, but coolest experiences out of the entire two days was having our photos taken by a machine that looked underneath our skin to show bacteria, future breakouts that could be brewing and the dreaded white and black heads we all have hiding under our skin. I say horrific because we had to remove our make up for these "x-ray like" photos. It took some courage to go bare on the face in front of a room full of strangers, but we all did it. Luckily, because I am crazy-town obsessed with washing my face and having a consistent regimen with my skin, my under the surface photos came back with an A+. Phew! We did learn that a breakout starts to form eight weeks before we ever see it some to the surface. That is why it's so imperative to have a face cleansing routine that is practiced seven days a week. Most of us only treat our skin once a blemish makes it's appearance. I have been using the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Face Wash for years and am a true believer in it. They also have a pink grapefruit one that is simply divine. I have used it the past few days and am thinking of permanently switching to it.

After two full days, one last champagne toast and a knowledge filled summit, I traded in my heels for Converse, took a walk down to the beach, met up with an old high school friend for dinner and you guessed it, ended it all in the jacuzzi tub.

Thank you, Neutrogena and the girls with Rpr Marketing Communications. You are all a class act. Your hard work and efforts never went unnoticed. I am still blown away by all the details, hospitality and effort that went into putting this event together. I am beyond grateful and honored to have been a part of it.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

12 for the First 12

I thought it would be fun to look back on the first three months of 2014. It's hard to believe that one-fourth of this year is almost behind us. Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming for the days to fly by, but then when they are long gone, I wish I could get a few of the moments back.


Besides all the "what I wore" from January through March, I figured I would make a Top 12 list for my own personal gratification. Here goes. A milestone and memory countdown that came my way during the first part of 2014. 

1. Both of my girls' birthdays (my oldest has her's on Saturday, but technically it's still in March). How in the world do I already have a 6 and 9 year-old? These sweet babies are growing way too fast, but it has been a pure joy to watch them grow and become young ladies. I can't forget my dad, father-in-law, brother, uncle, aunt, brother-in-law in this birthday mix. January through March are glorious birthday months in my family.

2. I was featured in the April issue of People's Style Watch. One of the most surreal moments in my entire life. I plan to frame two copies; one for each of my girls. They can pass them onto my grand kids one day.

3. I started Invisalign. I am on my fifth tray. I can see a small difference, but nothing too life changing. Three months down, fifteen to go (hopefully less). 

4. I got denied for an iHeart Radio Country Music Fest press pass. I am still so bummed that I am going to miss out on this concert and show. All my faves are going to be a handshake away, but I just don't have it in me to try and find tickets at this point. I will just have to live vicariously through my friends and social media. I tried.

5. I am in CALIFORNIA!!! Hi!!! Wow, I can't wait to share my experience with Neutrogena with all of you soon. Having a glorious time and still trying to figure out how all this happened. 

6. Our sweet dog, Gus, came home from bird dog training. Those few weeks while he was away were brutal. I really wish all of you could meet this precious boy. I swear, he is the kindest, most gentle and loving dog I have ever met. Of course I am partial, but truly, he is a gem and one of my BFFs.

7. Girls trip to Dallas with my human BFFs. These girls rock my socks off and I don't know what I would do without them. Five girls. One hotel room. A night to remember. I just wish we could do it once a month and find a way to bring our other sidekicks back to Texas.

8. Facebook turned 10-years-old. Wow! Now I feel old. 

9. We actually had ice and a tad bit of snow in Austin which led to three days off from school. Just got word that none of these days will have to be made up! Holla! 

10. My youngest cut her hair for the second time. She decided that she needed bangs. I think she might have learned her lesson this time. Momma didn't think it was so cute and funny the second time around.

11. Grew thicker skin through ugly words written behind a computer screen.

12. I have met so many new friends and partners not only in real life, but through this crazy world we call blogging. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful. This little space is a true testament to hard work, dedication and persistence paying off. Things will happen. You just have to believe. 

P.S. Thank you so much for stopping by, reading and commenting while this week has been crazy for me. I apologize for being MIA on commenting and social media. I promise to be back in action when I get home. Your support means the world!! xoxo

 **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! 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rock Star Glam

I posted this #ootd style on Instagram before we headed out to the Fossil and Foster the People SXSW event in Austin. I was going for an edgy rock look, but wanted to include touches of both glam and feminine pieces as well. I put together a similar look of what I wore that evening below. 

Typically, I don't wear matchy-match accessories. I like to style different metals, colors and textures, but this time, the sprinkled out coral/salmon just worked. With the black pieces on top, destroyed denim and heels, the duplicated accent colors blended well and flowed with the overall style. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading today! Sorry to be so short. Things will be back to the normal, lengthy jabber in a few days. I thought I would give you ladies a break from my chitter-chatter. Enjoy! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Bollywood Ball

Saturday night we attended a gala to raise money for our school district. As many of you know, the theme was Bollywood. I ended up renting a dress and a few accessories from Rent the Runway. I was pleased overall with how everything turned out and it was fun to see my original vision come to life. I love a good theme. I just wish I could have gotten Ross on board. He opted for a classic tux. No fun, but handsome nonetheless.

Rent the Runway Dress (casual option) // Kendra Scott Bracelet // AV Max Gold Dome Bracelet // Lee Angel Earrings // Wrenn Jewelry Rings c/o (here and here) // Forever 21 Hand Chain Set (option) // Kendra Scott Ring c/o The Jeweler's Wife // Victoria's Secret Gold Sequin Clutch (option here and here) // Michal Antonio Gold Heels (option here and here)

I would definitely rent again from Rent the Runway and highly recommend this service for special events and weddings. The dress was great and I ordered two sizes just to be safe. Most of their designer dresses and accessories are reasonably priced. My only complaint about this particular one was that the side zipper left a protruding bulge on the side. I tried to steam it down, but it wouldn't budge. Otherwise it was exactly how I expected it.

The main accessory that I looked high and low for was a gold head chain. There were several options on Etsy, but they were pretty pricey and most shipped outside the U.S. I finally decided that I was going to create one myself with a little DIY. I found a few YouTube videos for inspiration and ideas. I headed to my local Plato's Closet and purchased two necklaces for $10 total and went to work. I really wish I would have taken some photos or video to show you guys, but didn't think about it until after the fact. It wasn't too crazy hard, but the videos I watched made it look easier than what it was. All you need are a couple of gold chain necklaces, two jumper rings, a pair of wire cutters and some string to measure your head. It took me a total of twenty minutes. I think this was definitely the piece that pulled together the Bollywood style I was shooting for.

We had a great time and the gala volunteers/committee outdid themselves with decor and activities. By the end of the night I had a diamond bindi and faux nose piercing, a bag filled with treats from the candy bar, a couple of Henna tattoos and a stack of casino chips that unfortunately were just that, a stack of chips. Too bad I wasn't actually in Vegas Saturday night because this girl was on fire at the blackjack table.

Now I am off to pack. No, I haven't even started yet. Typical. Make sure to follow on Instagram during my two day travel to Lala Land. I am a ball of nerves, but beyond excited to see what's in store this week. I won't phyically be "here", but Random Wednesday will still go live this week. See you ladies soon!