Why do people stay in abusive relationships?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Unfortunately I have personally known several victims of domestic violence. I have witnessed many knock out drag out brawls as a youngster. For some of the abused women, it was a one time incident that led to an immediate dissolution of the relationship.  Other women and men I have known stayed in the abusive relationship for what I felt was an eternity under the circumstances. I have also cared for patients that I had to hide under the guise of an alias after being hospitalized after a brutal run in with their abuser. There was one scary incident in particular where a family member leaked the patient’s fake identity to the abuser and then he called to threaten my patient that he was headed to the hospital to finish the job.  I had to move the patient and put the security team and police on high alert for the suspect. It was bananas!

I have always tried to figure out why someone would ever chose to stay after being battered repeatedly. Then one evening in September I got my answer from the most unexpected source- Twitter. Something magical happened on the night Janay Rice took to Instagram to defend her husband after he lost his job in the NFL due to the elevator debacle. #WhyIStayed became a trending topic.  #WhyIStayed helped me to realize that it is not as easy as packing up your stuff and hitting the road. Abuse can escalate violence quickly when the victim tries to leave. Sometimes the abuser has broken the person down so much that they start to believe that they deserve the abuse. There can be many reasons but I figured it would be best for me to allow the survivors own words to explain the reasons why they stayed.

Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence is not just an issue that affects women. It is one that affects men and women worldwide. It’s a sad epidemic. This thread made me shift my thinking from why do people stay in abusive relationships to how can I help someone in an abusive relationship? What is one thing I could do to support someone trying to leave?

For starters, I would definitely let the victim know that you are not alone.  There are people who are willing to help you escape the violence. There are various organizations that help victims leave these types of situations. Contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or head to their website to identify resources in your area.  You are worthy of love that doesn’t hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally.

End Domestic Violence

 

You Could Win $150

The holiday season is quickly approaching and I am thrilled as usual! It has become a bit of a tradition on my blog to host a giveaway for my readers at the beginning of the holiday season. This year will be no different. After a lot of thought, I have decided that I will be giving away CASH money via PayPal. Dollar, dollar bills y’all! One hundred and fifty ($150) dollar dollar bills to be exact to one (1) lucky winner. I’m going to make it drizzle for y’all!  Not a million dollar blogger yet ;), so I ain’t even going to try make it rain.  This giveaway is my way of thanking you all for reading my blog for the past 2 years!

CASH PIC

I absolutely love playing games. My wedding guests, students, and family know this all too well. Since this is my biggest giveaway to date, I have decided to turn entering this contest into a social media scavenger hunt. *cue evil laughter*


 

Here are the 6 steps you must take to enter this contest. Player, are you ready? Get your keyboard and mouse revved up!

Step 1: Follow Creativity Arise via email here on my blog. Hint: Look in sidebar for directions.

Step 2: Like the Creativity Arise Facebook page. Find a post about my favorite cookies.

Leave comment: Brittany loves ________(fill in the blank) cookies!

Step 3: Follow me on Twitter @brittanylcarson.  Find the message down below on my twitter feed and favorite & retweet it to your friends on Twitter.

I just entered to win $150 via PayPal from Creativity Arise!  You should enter the  too! 

Step 4: Follow me on Instagram @brittanylcarson. Look for a picture of the Golden Gate bridge in my photos.

Follow the directions on this picture.

Step 5: Follow my boards on Pinterest.  Like or repin my full skirt outfit (Style & Inspiration) board.

Step 6: Comment on one of your favorite blog post here on Creativity Arise. (NOT THIS ONE!)


After you have completed those 6 steps, comment on THIS POST with the user names you used on each social media platform to enter the contest & the title of the blog post you commented on. Send me a private message via the Facebook page with your email address.

EXAMPLE:

FB: Kenzi French

T: @KenziFrench

Insta: @KenziFrench

Pinterest: KenziFrench

blog post: Everyday Tourist

After I have verified all six of these steps have been completed, you will be entered for a chance to win. YOU WILL NOT BE ENTERED IF ALL SIX STEPS ARE NOT COMPLETED. #sorrynotsorry  

The winner will be randomly selected through a drawing and announced on Black Friday 11/28/14 at 12pm CST.   This giveaway is open internationally.

Disclaimer:  Winner will have only 24 hours after official announcement to claim prize or an alternate winner will be selected. You must have a PayPal account to receive the money if you are chosen as the winner.

Yes I realize it’s a lot of steps but I think the chance to win $150 in free money is well worth the trouble. Remember to tell your friends about this contest! The more the merrier.

The countdown to cash begins now!

Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

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Outfit details:

Dress: Ross  

Boots: DSW

Handbag ~Henri Bendel

Earrings & Necklace: Aldo Accessories

Sunnies: Kate Spade via Nordstrom Rack 

think pink

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. I couldn’t let the month end before I rocked something pink in honor of thousands of breast cancer survivors and the dozens of patients who I have personally watched fight a good fight yet pass away after a long courageous battle with the disease. I decided to wear this pink summer dress on my lunch date with JC on yesterday. It still feels like we are in the midst of summer here on the Gulf coast even though it’s almost November! It was 85 degrees yesterday! I’m starting to think Fall doesn’t exist in Houston.

JC treated me to lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Galleria. I think he missed me since he was out-of-town on business all week. Of course I missed him dearly! We had a good time catching up and the food was divine.

grand lux cafe salad

Lunch is not complete without a pink lemonade ;)

 

He had curry chicken

He had the curry chicken.

My meal was extremely unhealthy. I had the Carolina BBQ pulled pork and fries. At least I ate a salad first :)

My meal was not the healthiest but it was delicious. I had the Carolina BBQ pulled pork and fries. At least I ate a salad first :)

Of course it’s great to think pink by dressing in pink and sipping on pink lemonade for the cause but it is far more important to check the tatas regularly for any lumps and bumps. Early detection is the key to winning the fight against breast cancer. Make sure you all remember to do regular self breast examinations monthly. Guys this goes for you as well. It’s a rare occurrence but men can get breast cancer too.

 

What did you do this weekend?  Hopefully you had a great one. Happy Monday!

1426 Fashion Week

Hey y’all! Do you know what this week is? It’s 1426 Fashion Week in Houston. I am super stoked! I am one of a group of lovely bloggers who will be on the front row covering Friday night’s “Integrating The Runway” fashion show featuring a group of talented designers:

LaMaica Couture 
Anthonia Chickwelu
JP Gabii
Gwen Davis
Mr. Lionell Rivers
Alton McCullough King
Wendy Striggles — Wendy S Collection
VDINX Designs
A.J. Jones —- Phieline

 If you know me by now, you know that I live for a reason to dress up, a pair of cute shoes, and a good fashion show! This will be the first time that I will be attending a show featuring my curvalicious sisters and I just know they are going to be fierce while strutting down the runway! So if you are in the Houston area, be sure to check it out! Tickets are still on sale for the shows and other events such as a designer and model workshop.  A fun event called a sip, swap, and shop event scheduled as well. Did I mention there will a finale show on Sunday. I heard that one is going to be dope! You won’t want to miss it.

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Hope to see you all there!

 

A Ram in the Bush

There are times in our lives when things look a little bleak.  Maybe you are searching for a job. You have put out more resumes than you can count and have pounded the pavement but to no avail. Perhaps you are having health problems. You have done everything in your power to improve the situation but the prognosis seems to be getting worse despite your efforts. Or maybe the bills are piling up and the paycheck was spent before it even hit your bank account. You are so broke that you don’t even know how you are going to survive the rest of the month. Whatever the situation is, I want you to know that your faith is being tested.

My friend, during the tough times I am always reminded of the story in Genesis 22 of Abraham and Isaac and the sacrifice. Abraham had so much faith in God that he was going to slay his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. But before he could kill him, God provided him with an alternative, a ram in the bush.

So even though you may be on the verge of calamity or in a full-blown crisis, remember that God loves us and He cares. He can truly make a way when there seems to be no way. There is a ram in the bush and it will be manifested when you least expect it. Just pray, have faith, and believe that there will be better days. The best is yet to come!

Be encouraged my friends. Happy Hump Day!

How to Wear a Plaid Shirt

plaid shirt outfit ideasSome days I just feel like allowing my inner tomboy to make an appearance. Of course, I couldn’t go full on tomboy so I added a bit of a twist with a faux leather skirt. Any day that I can rock leather AND plaid is a good day! Here is a slightly different way to rock a plaid shirt. I could have simply buttoned it up or tied it around my waist but decided to wear it open with a belt. It gave the illusion of a peplum top. I wore this look yesterday to a fashion event and I was pretty comfortable. I will do a small recap of that event in a post later this week.

plaid shirt outfit idea

Outfit details:

Shoes: DSW

Skirt, Necklace & Plaid shirt: Forever21

Belt: ASOS

Earrings: Burlington

How would you rock a plaid shirt? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

A Simple Trick to Transform an Outfit in a Flash

There is a simple trick that I use to transform business or casual daytime look to a night-time stunner in 2 minutes flat. Do you want to know what it is? Of course, you do! We all want to save time and still look chic.

Take this outfit for example:

full skirt outfit

 

It’s a very feminine and flirty look for day. I actually wore this the second day of Blog Elevated. So what is the key to taking this outfit from day to night in 2 minutes flat? Just add…

 

leather

Or in my case vegan leather.

full circle skirt outfit

 

I love incorporating a leather jacket into any look. I must admit it is a definite wardrobe staple of mine and probably will be until I’m 95 years old! You can also add a pair of edgy shoes to take your look to another level! My suggestion for my corporate and creative fashionistas is to keep a leather or vegan leather jacket and a funky pair of shoes in your car at all times. It’s a life saver when you are heading from home to work to happy hour and you only have a couple of minutes to spruce up your look.

Happy Friday!

 

My Life Lately

Hey y’all! Happy Hump Day. This week is moving by so quickly. My life has been going in an interesting direction lately. I am not currently working but I have been so busy! For starters, I have been receiving a lot of event invitations and other cool opportunities. I feel so blessed. One of the things that I failed to mention is that I am the new editor in chief of Beyond the Music: a blog by Gospel Impact Radio!

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That title has brought me a couple of great opportunities. Yesterday I had the chance to interview the Senior Vice President of a Hollywood media company! It was pretty cool. I am definitely not a journalist but the opportunity proved to me that being a blogger really is a big deal. So I thought I would share my interview with all of you here on my blog as well!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________  Beloved. That’s the word that Gary Schneeberger, the senior vice president of publicity and communication for Grace Hill Media, used to describe the new motion picture “The Good Lie”. It appears his description may be spot on.

Rick Warren has called the movie “Academy-Award worthy.” Focus on the Family says it’s “moving, filled with hope, heart and sacrificial love.” Reviewers have described it with words like “terrific,” “uplifting,” “life-changing,” “unforgettable” “brilliant,” “entertaining” and “joyful.”

I had the chance to “e-meet” Mr. Schneeberger on yesterday and get the inside scoop on this new blockbuster film currently in theaters.

good lie

Tell us a little about yourself and Grace Hill Media.

I’m Gary, the senior vice president of publicity and communication for Grace Hill Media . Here at Grace Hill we’re in our 15th year as the preeminent name in faith-based marketing, having completed over 350 movie and television promotional campaigns since our inception, on movies like NOAH, THE MONUMENTS MEN, LONE SURVIVOR, MAN OF STEEL, GRAVITY, THE BLIND SIDE, THE DAVINCI CODE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, LES MISERABLES, THE HOBBIT. So this really is a dream job for a guy who loves Jesus and movies. 

Tell us about the film.  

THE GOOD LIE tells the true-life story of the Sudanese Lost Boys. These children, thousands of them, suffered horribly during their country’s civil war, many of them losing their parents and winding up in refugee camps. The movie tells that part of their story – but also the inspirational part about how their hope and faith allowed them to persevere and then, when a ministry arranged to bring them to America, allowed them to flourish and bless others.  The movie is about the power of faith and love to turn brutality into beauty, and embraces a life-changing truth: when you help and bless others, you’re the one who is helped and blessed the most.”

Sounds like a great story line. Who are the stars in this film?     

Academy-Award winner Reese Witherspoon plays a woman who helps the Lost Boys find jobs once they get to America – and they change her life. The real stars of the film are the three young actors and one young actress who play the Sudanese refugees: Arnold Oceang, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal and Kuoth Wiel.  Ger and Emmanuel are actual Lost Boys themselves – they lived through the tragedies and triumphs the movie depicts.

 It’s pretty cool that the Lost Boys get the chance to tell their own story. Many times the director would just have a seasoned actor play their role.  Did you have the opportunity to interact with the cast?

  Because our company has been working on marketing the film, I’ve done a lot of tweeting about it – the great reviews it’s gotten, the feature stories and interviews that tell the story of the Lost Boys. And every single time I posted something on Twitter, all the young actors – Arnold, Ger, Emmanuel and Kuoth – would “like” and “retweet” it. That tells me they’re pretty special: actors in a major motion picture but not at all thinking of themselves as “stars.” Very sweet people.

What have the reviews for the movie been like thus far?

What’s perhaps most impressive is the audience reaction to the movie. Audiences polled by Cinemascore, the industry standard for gauging filmgoer opinions, rated THE GOOD LIE an “A+” – just the 53rd movie in the last 30 years to receive that honor.

Wow that is impressive! What would you say to convince moviegoers who wouldn’t normally choose to

see a drama like the Good Lie in theaters to purchase a ticket to see the film?

This is an important and challenging movie. It will entertain you, for sure. The acting is wonderful and the story is harrowing sometimes, heartwarming other times. And it’s really funnier than you’d think it would be. But even more than all that, it’s the kind of film that will inspire you to do something to help those around you who are less fortunate. It’s a movie that will stay with you long after the credits roll. 

What message do you think movie lovers to take away from the film?

Through faith and hope, anything is possible.

It was great to e-meet you Gary and I look forward to seeing The Good Lie.

Check out the trailer for the film below.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pretty cool, right? Be sure to check out Gospel Impact Radio’s blog as we are currently hosting a giveaway for a ticket to a stage play in Dallas TX. You will get the inside scoop to industry news, event recaps, and much more.

Make today a great one!

What I Wore to a Restaurant Grand Opening Party

Last Wednesday I attended a grand opening party for El Pollo Loco in Sugar Land, TX.  I had never been to a grand opening party before so I was pretty pumped when I got the invitation to attend. Who doesn’t love free food and a good time? Aside from that, I am always down to get dolled up for an event. But what does one wear to a restaurant grand opening? I figured I would be sitting down at a table in the restaurant stuffing my face so I didn’t have to be too extravagant. So I decided to pair some dark washed skinny jeans with a flowy chiffon blouse and some nude strappy heels. I threw on a dainty necklace, a pair of simple studs, and a bauble bracelet to accentuate the ensemble. What I ended up with is a very simple outfit but it still very cute.

Grand Opening Party outfit

 

Don’t mind my shirt. This photo was taken after a lot of mingling, a ton of great food, and many handshakes.  Unfortunately my assumptions about sitting down to eat were wrong. We were actually in an air-conditioned tent outside of the restaurant which was cool but those cute shoes are not made for standing for a long period on concrete! I was ready to burn those objects of torture after taking a tour of the restaurant’s kitchen. My feet were killing me! The balls of my feet were on fire. Luckily I am always prepared when I wear heels. I always keep some cute flats in the car in the event that my feet hurt beyond the “beauty is pain” level. Sometimes comfort has to trump being chic. Just keeping it real.

So I’m sure you want to see all the yummy food I got to eat. Let me tell you the food tasted even more delicious than it appears on your computer screen. One thing I loved about El Pollo Loco is the fact that everything they serve in their restaurant is made from scratch from market fresh ingredients. No processed foods here! Here is my photo diary from the event.

El Pollo Loco Sugar Land Grand Opening PartyEl Pollo Loco Sugar Land Grand Opening Partyepl2epl4 epl3 El Pollo Loco Sugar Land Grand Opening Party

 

Now that you have drooled all over your computer screen, check your local area to see if there is an El Pollo Loco in your neighborhood. For all of my readers in the Houston/ Sugar Land area, the El Pollo Loco on Highway 6 opens today! Check it out and let me know if you like it. #HoustonWeHaveAPollo

What would you wear to a grand opening party for a new restaurant?  Have you ever eaten at El Pollo Loco? Let me know in the comments below :)

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My Experience @ Blog Elevated 2014

Hello again! It appears my digital detox lasted longer than I expected. A lot of awesome things have happened since we last spoke. For starters, something pretty cool happened about 2.5 weeks ago on Twitter. Wait for it…I won a full conference pass to Blog Elevated! I was beyond thrilled. I have never been to a blogging conference but it was definitely on my list of goals to accomplish by the end of the year. The best part was that the event was held on the island of beautiful Galveston, TX which was only one hour away from where I live. Can you say #winning?!  So last Thursday, I packed my bags and took the drive to the island. Once I arrived at the Moody Gardens Hotel, I will admit I felt a little nervous. It was the first time I had gone on a mini vacation alone and it was my first real blog/networking event.

Here is a quick tip for anyone (especially for introverts like myself) going to a blog conference alone: Connect with other bloggers on Facebook or Twitter and plan to meet. I did this prior to the conference. When I arrived at the welcome reception, we met and had a blast together. I never felt alone for the rest of the conference.

Blog Elevated, you were amazing! I learned so much about blogging!! I got to attend some fun events and I met some new blogger friends. It was a great experience.  Here are a few of my favorite nuggets from the conference.

dayna steele quote

I love this quote. If you are not a fan of your own work, then why do you expect others to become fans? Dayna Steele gave us some great advice to help us blog like a rock star. They are very simple keys that could be applied to all aspects of life really. 1) Believe in yourself! 2) Pursue your passion. 3) Continue learning. 4) Network! 5). Always be appreciative.

bjork

Note to self: You can make money from your blog! Bjork Ostrom from Pinch of Yum gave us some awesome insight into how to monetize our blogs. He was very transparent in showing us how he and his wife, Lindsay, were able to take their blog from making $21 a month to over $32,000 monthly over the course of 3 years #BallerStatus.

Our closing keynote speaker Kristen Welch of  We are THAT family, was by far my favorite!

welch

Her story really touched my heart. She started her blog as an act of rebellion after she couldn’t get published. It was just a story about her and her story being a shut in mom with a sick baby girl with a heart condition. It was her outlet to the world. After a few years of blogging she was invited to Africa to meet a child she had sponsored in Kenya. After visiting the poor country her world was turned upside down. She turned to her blog to process her experience with her readers. This killed her blog stats but it also helped her see who her loyal audience was. After the process, she ended up birthing a non-profit organization called the Mercy House. The Mercy House helps teen mothers learn to care for their children and equips them with knowledge they need to make money. The best part about the story is that  nonprofit is being supported primarily by her loyal readers and other stay at home moms. Definitely goes to show that we all have a purpose. What we may think is a small venture can lead to something greater than ourselves in the future.

The greatest take away from the entire conference for me was that I am not JUST a blogger. I am an influencer. My blog and social media platforms are my digital legacy. I could use my blog for a greater purpose. My blog can be the tool I use to change the world!

Here is a photo recap of my experience.

Blog Elevated Welcome reception event with Valentina of the Baking Fairy, Keitha of The Bajan Texan, me, and Robyn of Alpha State 

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Keitha, Tiffany of Art Sea Chic and I taking a #BeGlamSelfie at the photo backdrop!


DSCN4125Brand to Bloggers Panel giving us great tips for pitching to and working with brands.

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Lunch and laughs with Keitha, Aleshea of Glitz & Grits, Addie of Old World New Girl, Tiffany, and Daria of A Blossoming Butterfly

Blog ElevatedMatt Cherry of iBlog Magazine gave us 30 easy changes to promote giant growth.

Blog Elevated

Marie Bonaccorse of Proctor and Gamble taught us how to create cheeky content for our blogs. Have you ever seen the @charmin tweets on Twitter. She is the brains behind that operation. She is  hilarious. I loved that she said *mic drop* during her presentation.

Blog Elevated

Holly Homer of Quirky Mama proved to all the attendees that Facebook is not dead. It is an essential marketing tool for blogs if you understand the algorithm. 

Blog Elevated

Amy Locurto of Living Locurto taught us how to price our worth as a blogger. Great message and I was mesmerized by her jewelry! #JewelryFanatic

Blog Elevated

Food blogger Lindsay Ostrom gave us some essential tips about how to leave the auto setting on our camera behind and venture into the fabulous world of manual mode. Clearly from this photo you can tell I really needed this session! After the session, she taught me how to increase my shutter speed and ISO sensitivity to capture some awesome photos at my next fashion show.

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I got caught in paparazzi blogger mode by Daria :)

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All my new blogging friends :)

Blog ElevatedThanks to Lisa and Bobbi for gifting me with one of the greatest experiences of my little blogger life thus far! See you in 2015!

Have you all been to Blog Elevated before? If yes, did you enjoy it? If no, let me tell you…it’s freaking awesome! You should definitely make plans to attend in 2015.

Digital Detox

This weekend I have decided that I am going to try to break away from the digital age. I am going to regress to a simpler time in my life. A time where I actually spent time with my friends and loved ones and gave them my undivided attention. A time when I could only receive calls on a landline phone and had to wait for ages to get on Internet due to the slow dial up connection. A time when I had to use the outhouse in the country because there was no such thing as indoor plumbing. Who am I kidding?  I don’t know anything about that!   But you guys get the picture.

I am craving simplicity. My plans for this weekend are going to satisfy my desire. I’m going to take time to curl up in bed with my new book “The Fault in Our Stars”. I’m going to download and listen to some new music. That’s not real simple but it will definitely be relaxing! I’m going to give myself a much needed manicure, visit a museum, and hang out with my friends.

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For one weekend, I don’t want to deal with my problems or anyone else’s.  I am going to enjoy myself and unplug from every distraction.

On another note: I need song recommendations for my road trip playlist. Please leave your favorite song of the moment down in the comments section below!

Booty Rocking Everywhere!

I am confused. Someone please enlighten me. When did the world become obsessed with booty shaking and big butts? This is not a new phenomenon but I am so tired of seeing people shaking their bums or the lack thereof to get attention. I recently watched J. Lo and Nicki Minaj perform on the Fashion Rocks stage during NY Fashion Week. Both of their performances put the focus on their derrieres versus actually displaying their “talent”. Umm and have you seen that “Anaconda” video? Now you may understand why I use the word talent very loosely. Don’t come for me J.Lo and Nicki fans. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter I am guaranteed to find at least one picture that I call the “booty shot” in my news feed at least once a day. Today, to my dismay, I saw somebody’s grandma trying to twerk! I draw the line when senior citizens are breaking hips to try to be cool.

All I want to know is why? What is so special about this body part that is equipped for sitting? It’s a muscle covered by fat and skin, people. That’s all! Some are big and some are small. You would think that this body part has magical powers. Has our society really been reduced to this? Looking at booties shaking, obsessing with our butt’s appearance, and even reading a whole blog post about well…derrieres? It’s a sad day my friends. A sad, sad day.

Are you tired of people shaking their rumps? Are you like me and would like to sign a petition on change.org to force the booty popping, picture snapping offenders to have a seat on their butts in a chair? Let’s chat about this!

FYI: Just kidding about the petition thing. I would never do that! Hope you all had a great Wednesday!

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The Fall Edit: Shoes

Oh how I love Autumn! The weather, the changing of the leaves, sipping on warm tea and hot cocoa by the fire, cheering on my favorite football teams, and of course the fashion! Every year around this time I have the urge to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe. There are so many fun ways to layer clothing and style yourself pretty in the fall. I also feel like designers release their best work during the autumn and winter but I could be a little biased. Luckily I have learned through my no shopping challenge earlier this year that sometimes less is more. Although I may want to go on a shopping spree, I have more than enough clothing to get me through the cooler months. Who am I kidding anyway? Most days I can be found wearing a comfy pair of sweats and an oversized t-shirt or a cozy sweater and leggings while lounging around the house. My plan is to change those statistics this year though. My strategy for overhauling my wardrobe is to update my accessories. Shoes seem like a great place to start.

The Fall Edit: Shoes

Pictured above are four styles of shoes that I would add to my wardrobe for the cooler months. Of course all of them are closed toe shoes. I don’t need my little piggies to suffer from frostbite while trying to be fashionable.

A pair of statement ankle boots is such a versatile item. Boots can be worn with pants, dresses, skirts, etc and it instantly adds a bit of edginess to an outfit.

Slip on sneakers are a great accessory for those days you want to be casual and trendy. I own 3 pairs of these shoes. They look amazing paired with jeans, leather trousers, or joggers.

Fun flats can instantly add a playful interest to an otherwise drab fall outfit. I really like these cute flats created by the popular fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni aka the Blonde Salad.

Lastly a cute pair of wedges can be just the right touch for those transitional days that you don’t want to be too dressy but you don’t want to be too casual either. I think these cognac wedges would be perfect with a pair of boyfriend jeans, a button down shirt and statement necklace. I would love to add these to my wardrobe.

So what would you like to add to your wardrobe this fall? What are your favorite shoes for fall? Share in the comments below!

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A Little Elbow Grease

My grandfather was an amazing carpenter. During my preteen/teenage years, I watched him create masterpieces with wood. My favorite items that he built were the house they lived in and a bedroom set he constructed. I always told him how much I loved his work so when he passed away in 2002 from cancer, he left a handcrafted bedroom set to me. I was thrilled. It is made from really beautiful wood. Unfortunately 12 years and 6 moves later, the pieces really started to show their age and off course they became a little dated in appearance. Really they became an eyesore.  At one point I even thought about giving it away but couldn’t bear with the thought of parting with such a precious heirloom. So I decided when we moved that that I would give the pieces a 2014 makeover with a more modern flare on a traditional pieces. I had the moving company move the furniture into the garage straightaway instead of moving it into the house so that I would be forced to get it done quickly.  I decided to restore the nightstand and the dresser and leave the chest of drawers in its original state. The chest still looks relatively new because we keep it in a guest room so it barely gets used. I had convinced myself that it would be an easy weekend project. I was a bit delusional to say the least.  All the YouTube videos I watched could not have prepared me enough for all the hard work and elbow grease that I was going to put into stripping, hand sanding, staining, and sealing a dresser, a nightstand, and 11 drawers. Add in temperatures over 90 degrees in the Texas summer, the debates with the hubby on the perfect stain color, and numerous trips to Home Depot and Lowes, you have the perfect equation for a very daunting task. My weekend project ended up turning into a month long project but I believe the results are amazing.

Stage One: Stripping. I used a citrus based stripper because it was more respiratory friendly. It took forever for this stuff to work. I applied coat after coat after coat of this stuff to remove the old varnish. At one point I was ready to go get a bottle of the toxic stripper but it finally worked long once I started using a scouring pad to help it along.

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Pictured above: The original dresser; pretty old and beat up.

Stage 2: Sanding or what I will refer to as an allergy sufferer’s nightmare. I made sure to wear a respirator to keep my allergies from going haywire but it didn’t work. I sneezed for hours and my eyes watered a ridiculous amount during this process.

wpid-20140720_123555.jpgPictured: Photo taken during the sanding process. Not in its final sanded state.

Stage 3: Staining and adding a polyurethane coat. For whatever reason I forgot to capture a photo during this process. I think I was just ready to get done. I also forgot to take photos of the nightstand. I know I know…bad blogger! After a few tests of staining, JC and I finally agreed on the color Driftwood by Minwax and a semi gloss coating.

The finished products.

Initially I ended up spray painting the original handles a polished nickel color.

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It was nice but we decided to take it a step further and update the handles as well. I am happy with our decision.

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So what do you think? I think it made a huge difference and I was able to keep these pieces in the family a little while longer.

Hope you all are having a fabulous Friday!

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Closet Confidential Tag: The Blogger Version

I have seen this popular tag on YouTube a lot lately and it seemed like it would be a fun tag to do. I thought about recording it and uploading the video to YouTube. Then I remembered I kinda suck at making and editing videos so I figured I would do the blogger version of it instead. Sometimes its good to know when to stay in your own lane. So come a little closer and lets get confidential.

1. What is the oldest item in your closet?

The oldest item in my closet is a bracelet that my grandmother owned as a young adult. She gave it to me when I was in high school and it is still one of my favorite vintage pieces.

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2. What is the newest item?

The newest item is this mesh black skater skirt that I purchased at H&M  while on vacation in Dallas.  I instantly fell in love with it’s grandeur and decided it was a must have item for my wardrobe. It was $50 which is a bit pricey! Luckily I know it is an item that I will wear for ages. I love a full circle skirt!

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3. What is the most expensive item?

Next to my wedding ring, the most expensive item in my wardrobe is probably my Henri Bendel No. 7 Quilted Satchel. I received it as Christmas gift nearly 3 years ago from my husband. It is still one of my favorite handbags. It cost around $300 at the time which was a huge splurge according to my standards.

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P.S. Aren’t my nieces adorable?

4. What’s the biggest bang for your buck?

T-shirts are a staple in my wardrobe and always the greatest bang for the buck. They are so inexpensive ranging anywhere from $3-10 and I can pretty much wear them with anything!

5. What was the biggest bargain?

I think my Ralph Lauren and Levi’s jeans that I got from the Goodwill were probably the biggest bargain. They were only $5 a piece and they fit like a glove in the hips which is rare!

6. What’s an item in your closet that everyone hates, but you love?

I love love love my Steve Madden studded combat boots. My husband, mom, and best friends hate them! They have pleaded with me not to wear them anymore but I couldn’t bare to part with them. They are extremely comfortable and edgy. I seriously do not understand their objection.

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7. What was the biggest waste of money?!

The biggest waste of money in my wardrobe were high heels. I recently eliminated about 20 pairs of heels from my closet due to the height. It surprised me how many shoes I had with 5 inch heels! Unfortunately I can no longer wear heels that high due to an ankle injury from a nasty fall I took years ago. I fell down some stairs at my grandmother’s house and I ended up in a boot.  I was being crazy and decided to take the boot off 2 days later because it was too uncomfortable to work 12 hr shifts in it. So instead I hobbled around for weeks and as a result my ankle never healed properly. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the brightest idea and I knew better. I am a registered nurse after all- at least thats what my license says. Now I have to wear heels with a height of 3.75 or less. They don’t make me feel unstable or like my ankle is going to give out at any moment.

8. Show us your three favorite items right now!

My 3 favorite pieces at the moment are my cheetah print slip on sneakers from Ross, my black and white vegan leather moto jacket by Raison D’être from Neiman Marcus last call, and my cobalt blue and black Celine inspired purse from Aldo.

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Oh, Kimono!

 

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The best things in life can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places. That is certainly the case with this kimono. I found it at a western themed boot store while helping my hubby decide on a new pair of work boots at the beginning of summer. I didn’t go into the store with any intentions of finding anything for myself but I was certainly glad that I spotted this little fringed number. It has served as a cover up for my bathing suit for my vacations this summer plus it has added a bit of drama to some of my outfits that would have otherwise been very plain. You probably have noticed that these heels have shown up in all my outfit posts this summer. I love love love them. They are so comfy and so chic. They are all I have been reaching for lately. 

What has been one of your favorite summer clothing items? Have you ever found an item you love in the most unexpected place? 

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

 

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Several Different Names but a B#tch Ain’t One!

Several Different Names but a B*tch Ain’t One

by Brittany Carson

In today’s society it should be a crime

how women of all ages have been objectified

What’s even sadder is the fact that some women answer to the names

that people have given to us like it’s a twisted little game

They call us tricks and b*tches and prance us around in thongs

Rappers disrespect and degrade us in most of their songs

And yet many grown women will still sing right along

And the majority of our young girls don’t even realize what’s wrong

with this picture that society has been painting about us for years

Just the thought of the oblivion almost brings me to tears

Young girls and all my ladies don’t you understand your worth?

You are full of purpose and potential! That’s why you were put here on this Earth

You are a classy lady who deserves to be treated with respect

Not an “around the way girl” who’s just looking to collect

You could never be a “dime” because you are worth more than gold

And you’re not a “gold digger” but it’s ok to dig goals

 “THOTs”? Are they serious? We are certainly not hoes!

We’re not dogs, cows, chicken heads, pigeons, or crows

We are daughters of the Most High King so we are royalty

Don’t allow Chris Brown’s lyrics to describe you as he questions loyalty

While I’m on this subject I might as well say

Inner beauty trumps outer beauty on any given day

A woman can offer the world much more than her curves

So don’t focus so much on appearance but on speaking kind words

I’m just spitting you ladies some knowledge and now I am done

Just know you may have several different names but a b*tch ain’t one!

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The Last Quarter: September Goals

Can you believe we are in the last quarter of 2014? Time seems to be moving so rapidly. I feel like life is passing me by. I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to be more productive this year. So far I don’t feel like I am meeting my expectations. So I am going to take the last 3 months of this year and try to make them as productive as possible!  

 

 

 

 

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In order to maximize my productivity, there are certain things that must be nipped in the bud. For starters, there can be no more sitting in the house catching up on shows on my DVR during the day. No more browsing Facebook or talking on the phone for hours. No more mid day naps during the week (unless I am sick then I will make an exception). Weekends are for napping- sometimes. I am determined to do more! I can’t relive the same episode of it’s Brittany’s life everyday. As a starting point I am setting 7 goals per month to accomplish. Here are my seven for the month of September.

  1. Wake up and get dressed by 8:00 am daily starting today. (I may need a shot of caffeine.)
  2. Update my blog at least 3 times a week.
  3. Get to 1,000 followers on Twitter. You guys can help me out with this by following me @BrittanyLCarson.
  4. Volunteer somewhere at least once this month.
  5. Join a meet up group and attend one social gathering.
  6. Get CPR certification renewed.
  7. Start studying for nursing educator certification exam. 

Hopefully successfully completing these goals will motivate me to keep moving forward.

Name one thing you want to accomplish this month. Leave it in the comments below so we can keep each other accountable!

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Sundays are Fabulous Darling!

Oh how I love Sundays! They are just fabulous darling. When I lived back in SC, Sundays were family day. It was a day filled with laughter, fellowship, soul food, and lots of fun. Now they are über relaxed days filled with church, siestas, and occasional brunches with the hubby. I sometimes miss living closer to home just for the nostalgia of Sundays.

Yesterday’s look was apparently inspired by the letter S for squares and by the colors black & blue. It rained for the majority of the day and I just wanted to be comfy as we headed out to church. I am going through a phase where graphic tees have become a staple in my wardrobe.  And I know I said that I can’t with the pant in a earlier post but I may have to retract that statement. After months of wearing dresses, I have come to the conclusion that I feel far more comfortable in a nice pant or skirt. They are more versatile to dress up or dress down which is also a better bang for the buck.  After church and lunch my hubby and I returned home and I convinced him to snap a few photos of me.

fab2I had worn these flat shoes with this outfit all day long since it was raining and I didn’t want to get my feet wet. During the midst of my little photo shoot, hubs decides to yell out “those shoes are ugly!” Thanks for the brutal honesty dear.

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I decided to change them to another pair for tho last shot but I still think the other ones were fine. What do you guys think? Happy Labor Day everyone! Hope you all had a great one filled with great people, great food and great sales!

Say Hello to my Little Friends

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I found these cute cereal bowls at Target and instantly fell in love!  I decided that I would turn them into a new home for my succulents. I think they look pretty cool as the centerpiece for my kitchen table. Who says you have to use an item for its intended purpose?  I say let your imagination run wild!

Earlier I posted this picture on Instagram and Target contacted me to say they loved it and wanted to tweet it. That made my day!

Hope you all are having an amazing Tuesday!