Slaying in Sweaters

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This year, I am teaming up with a group of amazing women dubbed the Thrift It! Clique to present an inspiring series on how to style items purchased from a thrift store in different ways based on a common theme. This month’s theme was sweaters. It’s currently winter here in the States which means it’s definitely sweater weather for us. I actually love sweaters! They are so cozy!

Let me tell you guys a little secret. I buy 95% of my sweaters from thrift stores! It’s an economical, eco-friendly way of staying chic and warm during the frigid cold months of the year.  You can buy several fabulous sweaters for the price of 1 in retail stores. Sweaters are often shunned for being frumpy but let me tell you dolls and guys a secret, you can SLAY and SERVE the public in a sweater honey! Don’t believe me? The Thrift It Clique is going to show you 5 ways how to work that knit!

 #1: Add a pop of color to break up a neutral color palette.

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#2: Add bold statement jewelry like Kendra of It’s My Evolution!

MAKE A STATEMENT

#3: Pair printed sweater with colored denim for a posh look like Elle of Gernelle Nelson.

POSH IN PRINT

 #4: Add a collared shirt for a preppy look like Brittany of Vinty Fresh Closet.

POP THAT COLLAR

 #5: Wear a sweater in an unexpected fashion. Pair one over a dress like

Addie of Old World New for extra warmth.

TRAVEL & LEISURE

There you have it. Five different ways to slay in a sweater. Which would you try?

To see full looks from our photo shoot with our amazing photographer, Gernelle Nelson, click on the names below.

Kendra

Addie

Gernelle

Brittany

Are you rocking a thrifted sweater this season? Show us your style on Instagram using the hashtag #ticsweaters! We would love to see it.

As always, stay inspired!

Brittany

Exploring the Bishop Arts District

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Earlier this week I decided to explore the Bishop Arts District in Dallas with my cousin. It’s always fun to be a tourist. It’s even more fun to discover hidden gems in your own city. The Bishop Arts district is a historic and eclectic little neighborhood located in the heart of North Oak Cliff. It offers a unique range of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and more. What I loved the most about the area was the quirkiness. It spoke to my creativity. I also loved visiting the Artisan’s Collective, an art gallery that displays the work of local Dallas artists only.

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I really loved the colorful turquoise and coral pink wire chairs at the Simply Austin furniture store. Unfortunately, they were $300 a piece. Whew! Too rich for my blood.

 

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How cute is this mini statue of a dog with a crown? I may go back to a cute shop called Neighborhood just for that. I think it will look quite nice on my bookshelf.

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Taking a look at all the pretty candles in Society. They were beautifully packaged. Unfortunately  I could not find any scent that I enjoyed. I’m more of a sweet and floral or fresh scent lover. These candles were more earthy.

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If you know me well, you know that I love succulents and cacti. I have not yet mastered how to keep them alive but I have committed to researching proper care before I invest in more this year. I loved this shop called Dirt in Bishop Arts. They gave me some great inspiration for ways to display my succulents when I decide to venture down that road again. Oh,  don’t mind my purse. I was having technical difficulties with that second strap all day and my cousin didn’t even say a word smh!

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After exploring the district for a little while, we were starving and decided to look for somewhere to eat lunch. I instantly gravitated towards a cute little restaurant called Oddfellows. I read the reviews on it and they sounded amazing. Unfortunately, they only sell breakfast and brunch. That would have worked fine for me but my cousin doesn’t have my same obsession passion for eating brunch at anytime of the day so I let her choose a lunch restaurant in the area instead. But first let me take a selfie…

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{Outfit details:}

Sweater *thrifted

Skirt * H&M

Boots & Purse * Aldo (gift from Hubs)

Scarf * NY & Co.

We ended up going to a cute old-fashioned hamburger diner named Hunky’s instead. She ordered a burger and fries and I ordered fried zucchini and fries since I am trying to limit my meat intake for a while. Overall, it was very good.

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After eating we decided to head back towards home in order to beat Dallas rush hour traffic. Overall we had fun exploring this quaint and eclectic neighborhood in the city. I shall be returning to eat at Oddfellows though because…hello, BRUNCH.

 

Until next time Bishop Arts District, peace.

Have you ever found a hidden gem in your city? Do you enjoy acting as a tourist in your town? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay inspired,

Brittany

Sunday Brunch

Waffles

Brunch is one of my life’s guilty pleasures. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my husband after church on Sundays. It’s the one day that I put the thousands of calories to be consumed to the wayside and allow myself to enjoy the food, the restaurant experience, and quality time with my love.  Last year when we moved to the Dallas area, I decided that it would be fun to try a new restaurant each time we went out for brunch. So far we have not been disappointed! Dallas, I have to give it to you. You really know how to do brunch right! Since my food photos have been getting so much love on Instagram, I thought that it would be cool to start a Sunday Brunch series here on my blog. I mean who doesn’t like drooling over admiring photos of really good food?

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Shrimp & Grits

Ellen’s Southern Kitchen

Dallas (Downtown, West End)

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Chicken and Waffle + Pork, Egg, and Grits

Whiskey Cake

Plano, TX

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Chicken Bacon Waffles

Maple Leaf Diner

Dallas, TX

It will also give anyone living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area or planning to travel to the area some ideas of places to eat while visiting the city. So stay tuned for all the yumminess coming to a mobile device or computer screen near you.

Do you live in the Dallas area? What are your favorite brunch spots? Do you brunch with family or friends in your area? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay inspired,

Brittany

2016: The Year of “More”

The Year of MORE

There are only 2 days left in 2015! Can you believe how quickly the last 12 months have come and gone? As I sit here on my sofa envisioning how I would like the year 2016 to go, I can’t help but think I want so much MORE for the next year of my life.

 I want to love God MORE.

I want to serve my community MORE.

I want to express love MORE freely.

I want to travel MORE.

I want to pray for others MORE.

I want to see and do MORE.

I want to have MORE first time experiences.

I want to cook at home MORE.

I want to be MORE creative than ever before.

I want to be MORE health conscious.

I want to spend MORE time with the people I love.

I want to be MORE present in everyday moments!

Of course, this thing called life comes with its share of tests and trials so my prayer for 2016 is that I will have:

MORE faith than fear.

MORE strength than stress.

MORE hope than doubt.

MORE joy than tears.

and

MORE success than failure.

It’s my prayer for you as well!

If you could draw a picture of the year 2016, what would it look like? What do you want to do more of in the year 2016? Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Cheers to finishing 2015 strong!

Stay inspired,

Brittany

MegaFest 2015: A Photo Diary

MegaFest 2015

My husband and I attended MegaFest last month in Dallas. It was the second time we had the pleasure of attending the event and it did not disappoint. If you are not familiar with MegaFest, it is a 4 day festival hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes that occurs biannually in Dallas. It features popular Christian conferences such as Woman Thou Art Loosed, ManPower, and FireCode . The festival also includes fun events such as a family expo, film festival, comedy show, hair battle, an international choir showcase and more. Tyler Perry even presented his current stage play Madea on The Run during the event. Needless to say we were fed spiritually through the church services and had our funny bone tickled during the other fun events. Here are a few snippets of our time at MegaFest told through my camera lens.

MegaFest 2015It’s something magical about worshiping God freely in the midst of thousands of other women!

IMG_1241I lived at Dallas Union station that weekend! Thank God for DART. They saved me a lot of time walking from the venue to my hotel. My hotel the Hyatt was right behind the station which was awesome.

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MegaFest 2015

MegaFest 2015

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MegaFest 2015I was so excited to hear Joyce Meyer speak live. She is such a great teacher.

MegaFest 2015Caught up with the hubs for a quick brunch at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. Seems to be a tradition during MegaFest. Look at those shrimp and grits!!

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MegaFest 2015

Stay inspired,

Brittany

What I Wore: Fashion X Dallas

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Fashion X Dallas as press! If you are not familiar with Fashion X Dallas, it is a 3 day fashion event that showcases talented mainstream and emerging designers in Dallas. Two days prior to the event, I received an invitation to attend. I was so excited!! Soon after I got over the initial shock, I went into outfit planning mode. After spending a half hour tearing up my closet, I was convinced that I had nothing to wear! It always seems that I never have the right clothes in my closet whenever I have to attend a fancy event. Does anyone else have that problem? This meant I had to do a little shopping.  After spending hours in the mall, I purchased a skirt and fringe bag from H&M and decided to resort to Pinterest for a little fashion inspiration for styling the pieces I already owned. Turns out my closet had cute outfits in there after all. It’s amazing how that happens.

Here is the outfit I wore to night one of Fashion X Dallas. I love love love the print on this skirt.

 

 

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For day 2 of Fashion X Dallas, I decided to have a little fun and I allowed my followers on Instagram to decide how I should wear a little white lace dress. I provided 2 option choices and you guys hooked a sister up! Here are the two options.

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fashion x dallas

It turned out that you guys really liked the black paired with the white dress so that is what I ended up wearing. I call this look the edgy wallflower. If I could only wear one look for the rest of my life, I would most likely choose a leather jacket, statement necklace, and a feminine dress with some edgy shoes. I love the juxtaposition of edgy and feminine.

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For the last night I decided to break out some sparkle. I recently found a cute sequin vintage art deco inspired dress by Laurence Kazar while thrifting. As soon as I saw it on the rack I was like oh this is mine!   I was going to save it for the holiday season but figured now would be a great time to step out in this beauty. As Fergie says, a little party never killed nobody! This dress is the party.

Fashion X Dallas

And that’s all folks! Which look was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay inspired.

Brittany

Visit Miami!

visit miami

Miami has been on my list of places to visit since my teen years. I’ve been dreaming of lounging in a cabana on the white sandy shores of South Beach, taking a stroll along Ocean Drive, doing some shopping at Lincoln Road Mall, and visiting the Art Deco district for ages. So I thought Miami would be the perfect destination to kick off our One Thousand Dollar Travel Destinations series! With a little time and a little patience, I was able to come up an awesome itinerary for a trip to Miami from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Let’s get right into it.

First things first. Let’s choose a date and make some flight plans! I want it it still be pretty warm so let’s shoot for the last week of September. September 28-October 1st to be exact.

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Here is the cheapest flight I found. $249 would be the cost for 2 adults but if you plan to travel solo or with a friend, the cost would only be $124.50. We are packing in a carry on. It’s only a 3 day trip ladies and gents.  Ain’t nobody got time for those checked luggage fees!

So that leaves us with $751 to spend on lodging, food, transportation and attractions.

Lodging options: The affordable options are endless!  It was tough but I was able to narrow it down to 2 choices based on location, price, and traveler reviews. Luckily both hotels are right on South Beach!

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The Room Mate Waldorf Towers is stunning! The photos alone made me want to book this getaway now. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Waldorf hotel.  This historical hotel is right on the beach on Ocean Dr.  You have to see the photos for yourself here.  This option will leave you with approximately $368.42 for transportation, food, and attractions! (I say approximately because I don’t know how much the room deposit for incidentals is so I took out $50 to be safe).

Option 2: This option is for the traveler who plans to spend a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the hotel.

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The Hyatt Centric South Beach is gorgeous as well. It has really great reviews on TripAdvisor. The hotel features a third floor roof top pool, on-site restaurants, a fitness center, and even a library! On top of that, the resort fee covers the use of two chaise lounge beach chairs, towels, bottled water, and use of the hotel’s bicycles to get around. The beach is only a minute’s walk from the hotel lobby. This option would bring you to a total of $703.19 for flights and lodging.  Again I subtracted $50 fee for incidentals to be on the safe side. We now have a little less than $300 for food and transportation and fun!

Next up, we have to get to and from the airport and the hotel. There are 2 inexpensive options for that.

Option #1. Take public transportation AKA the bus. For a mere $2.25 per person one way. If you plan to take the bus more frequently a day pass will run you $5.65 per person. Some of the perks of taking a bus ride, you get to experience different neighborhoods in Miami, it’s cheap, and you’ll get to people watch. Bus rides and train rides are some of my most memorable experiences from traveling because you never know what you’re going to see. According to Google Maps, it will take you between 50 mins to 1 hr each way to arrive at your destination.

Total cost round trip $22 

Room Mate remaining balance: 346.42

Hyatt remaining balance: $271.19

Option #2. Maybe you’re not about that bus life. No worries, you can take an Uber. Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 6.02.09 PM

 

To get to the Room Mate hotel, it would cost you between $14-19 each way.

Remaining balance: $340.42- $332.42

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Travel via Uber to the Hyatt would cost between $15-21 each way.

Remaining balance: $266.81- $254.81.

Whew! Now that all the big expenses are out of the way, lets focus on some food options. Miami has some amazing restaurants! If you’re like me, you like to sleep in a little later than usual while on vacation. To be honest, I don’t usually manage to get out of the hotel room until about 10:30-11 am so a brunch is always a good idea.

Here are some good breakfast/brunch spots on Miami South Beach based on reviews from Yelp.

  •  News Cafe South Beach: I have 3 words. Hello belgian waffles! { News Cafe 800 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Oliver’s Bistro: The All-American breakfast platter would be right up my alley { Oliver’s Bistro 959 West Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139}

If brunch is not your thing, here are a few affordable lunch restaurant options on South beach:

  • La Sandwicherie: : Most of the items on the menu are under $10.  {La Sandwicherie 229 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Mario The Baker (South Beach): Currently a special on Living Social that allows you to spend $10 for $20 on Italian food and drink.  {Mario the Baker 1837 Bay Rd #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Dinner options for the low are endless with deals from Groupon.

  • Front Porch Cafe is currently offering a Groupon for $27 that covers a meal for 2 up to $50! That saves you $23. {Front Porch Cafe 1458 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Otentic Fresh Food Restaurant is also offering a Groupon for $30 for French cuisine for 2.                      {Otentic Fresh Food 538 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Or you could try something outside of your comfort zone! Miami is a hub for different cultures and lots of exotic cuisine.

  • Tap Tap Restaurant is rated one of the best Haitian restaurants in Miami. The stewed oxtails sounded appealing to me.  {Tap Tap Restaurant 819 5th St Miami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Cleo Restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean and Arabic inspired cuisine. It was named one of OpenTable’s 50 Hottest Restaurants in the US. Prices are pretty reasonable.                                       {Cleo| 1776 Collins AvenueMiami Beach, FL 33139}
  • Bolivar Resto Lounge offers Peruvian and Columbian food. They offer $9.99 lunch specials from 12-4 daily. Great reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor so it would be a great spot for lunch or an early dinner. { Bolivar Resto Lounge 841 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139}

Of course these are not the only restaurants in town. I would suggest budgeting up to $80 per day to meals and drinks. This is approximately $27.75 per meal for 2 people and there are 9 budgeted meals for this trip at a grand total of $250. You could spend more if you like but that would leave less for activities and attractions.

Room Mate + bus + food remaining balance: $96.42

Room Mate + Uber + food remaining balance: $ 82.42 – 90.42

Hyatt + bus + food remaining balance: $21.19

Hyatt + Uber + food remaining balance: $4.81-16.81

Lastly what are we going to do while we’re there? If you picked the Hyatt +Uber option you’re probably thinking I’m going to be twiddling my thumbs on South Beach. But luckily for you big spender, there are a LOT of free things to do in Miami Beach.

Here are just a few options.

  • Relaxing and people watching on South Beach, of course!
  • If you like to par-tay, these clubs in South Beach usually do not offer a cover charge: HaVen South Beach, Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge, FDR Lounge at Delanos, and Jazid.
  • Take a photo tour of the iconic Art Deco District, Lincoln Road, and Ocean Drive.
  • Purchase a bus pass to get off Miami beach and take the free Metro Mover around the city of Miami. There’s more fun things to explore. Check out these websites for other amazing ideas here and here!

That’s it folks. An entire 3 day getaway for one thousand dollars or less depending on which option you choose. Of course, these options do not include spending money. So I would definitely plan to bring a little more for shopping. It does cover all the necessities.

Disclaimer: Prices are subject to change without notice. These are the prices I found over the course of days of research. 

Could Miami be an option for your next vacation? Did you enjoy this post? Leave a comment down below and let me know. 

 

Stay inspired,

Brittany

 

 

One Thousand Dollar Destinations

thousand dollar destinations

Where would you travel if you only had $1000 to spend for a vacation?

I have been asked this question by friends and family on numerous occasions. My answer is always “the opportunities are endless”. This may sound unrealistic to many people, but it’s actually true.  For instance, I could choose to take a road trip from Dallas, TX to Austin, TX. One could take the Amtrak from New York City to Washington, D.C. and tour the nation’s capital for less than a grand easily. Maybe I could hop a quick flight from Houston, Texas to Cancun, Mexico and enjoy some authentic enchiladas next to the turquoise blue seas! There are plenty of options even for last-minute getaways.  Rather than me telling you what I could do for $1000, I decided I would show you all the fabulous places you could visit around the United States in a blog series called “One Thousand Dollar Travel Destinations”.

In this weekly series, my goal will be plan a trip somewhere in the United States complete with transportation, lodging, attractions, and even food options. I may even throw in a few international destinations for the globetrotter. Most of the trips will be for individuals and couples BUT I will also try to incorporate some vacation destinations for a family up to 4 people. Gutsy I know. But I know it can be done with the right tools and close attention to detail. For the record, I am not a travel agent. I just love to travel!

Interested in seeing the places we could go? Be sure to subscribe to my blog via email for the trip of the week to come directly to your inbox. You never know, you may feel spontaneous enough to book one of the trips featured. If you have any destinations in mind, leave them in the comments below.

Let’s get ready to travel!!

Stay inspired,

Brittany

About Me

Me in SAV

Welcome to my little digital space on the world-wide web. So happy that you graced my blog with your presence. Let’s get acquainted. My name is Brittany Carson and I am a Dallas based lifestyle blogger. I am a 30 something year old woman with a love for travel, fashion, and inspiration.

I launched Creativity Arise  in the summer of 2012. At the time I desperately needed a creative outlet.  My daily life consisted of working as a registered nurse/ nursing professor, caring for my darling husband, and working with various organizations within my community. But behind the serious persona was a uber creative individual yearning to come out and play! As a child, I can remember writing poems, plays, and stories just for fun. I figured the world of blogging would be a natural progression. I published my first post in June 2012, and I haven’t had any regrets. It has been an amazing journey thus far and I have no plans to stop blogging anytime soon.

If you aren’t already following Creativity Arise,  let me share with you the top 3 reasons why you should subscribe to my blog now!

follow my blog

My experience as a frequent traveler has made me an asset to my friends and family. Whenever anyone in my circle needs to book a vacation, I am the first person they call. I love sharing my travel adventures. My unique storytelling writing style will make you feel like you were on vacation with me. I also enjoy teaching my subscribers how to travel on a budget without sacrificing the important elements of their getaway. Whether its sharing great websites to use when booking travel, showing you how to get great deals on last-minute hotel rooms, or even sharing the mistakes I made along the way as a novice traveler, you are likely to walk away with a new nugget that will help you make your next vacation, your best vacation!

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I love fashion. I love shopping for clothing. Most of all, I love creating fun outfits to share. There are many fashion bloggers who feature outfits worth hundreds of dollars each day. While I enjoy looking at their OOTDs, I realize that recreating that level of style may not be realistic or even affordable for many readers. I am a believer that you can look great without breaking the bank.  Through my blog, I am able to share with you a variety of creative ways to put together outfits and also to challenge the reader to step outside their comfort zone when it comes to styling. I have created looks based on simple tools like the color wheel or a participated in  challenges like the $20 thrift store challenge to create a stylish ensemble.

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I believe that  a positive mind yields a positive life. I enjoy encouraging others. To me, there is nothing better than reading a blog post and logging off the computer feeling empowered and inspired to chase your dreams, overcome your challenges, or become a doubt killer.

I could go on and on, but I would rather you discover the amazing content here for yourself. Read a few posts and if you agree, feel free to subscribe to Creativity Arise via email so that this content will magically appear in your inbox every time I hit the publish button.

I would love for you to connect with me on social media {Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @creativityarise}. Drop a line down below to introduce yourself. Don’t be shy. We are all friends here.

As always remember to stay inspired.

Brittany