Humor & Thanksgiving

My mom shared a Thanksgiving joke with me at breakfast on Tuesday morning and I laughed until I cried. I just had to share it with all of you!

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to ‘clean up’ the bird’s vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched arms and said “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”

John was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, “May I ask what the turkey did?”

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Happy Thanksgiving guys. Remember that thankfulness should not be limited to one day a year but we should be grateful for everyday that we have another chance at life!

P.S. The last entry for the $150 giveaway will be accepted until 11:59 tonight. Make sure you enter for your chance to win!

An Inside Look @ Fashion Houston 5

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend Fashion Houston 5 last week. I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time I was there and I was still beaming from the experience every time someone asked me about it over the weekend. I love my readers, family, and friends and wished that you all could have been there with me. So I created a short video with clips from the evening as a way to take you all along on this journey.  I hope you guys enjoy!

P.S. Make sure you watch the video in 720p HD! Otherwise you won’t get the full effect of the beautiful designs :)

Tomorrow is the last day to enter for a chance to win $150 on Black Friday in the CA Scavenger Hunt. Have you entered yet? Do it today!!

 

Thursday night at Fashion Houston 5

Last night, I had the privilege of attending day 3 of Fashion Houston as a media blogger. If I could only use one word to sum up last night’s show I would choose the word EPIC. I know, I know it’s very cliché’ but I could not think of another word that could clearly convey the level of brilliance and creativity surrounding this event. I arrived early to get my media credentials. Afterwards I headed through the glass doors of the Wortham Theatre Center to hit the red carpet so that I could photograph the city’s fashion community. As expected, the fashionable people of Houston did not disappoint.

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FH5

FH5

The red carpet at Fashion Houston is an inspiring event all by itself. The glitz, the glamour, the flashing lights of dozens of cameras, the party rocking mixes being played by the DJ definitely set the mood for the show. The light rain didn’t even put a damper on the pre-show festivities. I was able to capture the photos of Houston based designer David Peck, NY designer Bibhu Mohapatra, and reality star Tami Roman from Basketball Wives. I was even able to pose for a photo on the red carpet compliments of Audi.

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Bibhu Mohapatra FH5

 

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Brittany FH5 red carpet shot

After the red carpet, I headed up the escalator to the press pit to wait for the show to begin. It was amazing. Bibhu Mohapatra was the opening designer of the night. His collection was gorgeous. He delivered a modern take on classic feminine pieces. My favorite looks from his collection were the 2 piece cropped shirt and skirt set and the flirty dress with a checkered overlay.

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Photo credit: Bibhu Mohapatra Facebook page

Photo credit: Bibhu Mohapatra Facebook page

Next up was designer Rebecca Minkoff. I was über excited to see her Spring collection. I have always admired her  handbags. In my opinion, the shoes in this collection were the shining stars of the line. Love love loved them.

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Seriously. How cute are these shoes?!

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Rebecca Minkoff FH5Emerging hometown designer, Jio’Zei Reyes, captivated the audience with his feminine yet borderline risqué designs. This beautifully crafted, berry colored gown definitely captured my attention. I wouldn’t dare try to pull off this look though. The dresses in this collection are gorgeous but definitely not “commando” approved. One wrong move and…well you catch my drift.

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Jio'zei FH5

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Jio'Zei FH5Designer Rolando Santana’s collection was in the top 3 of the night. I loved the vibrant shades of blues and greens, the sequins, and the prints and textured used in the collection. His designs dazzled as the models made their way down the runway.

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Look at that fur!! Just stunning!

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Rolando Santana FH5Last but certainly not least, Houston based designer and former Project Runway star, Chloe Dao blessed us with her ethereal Spring 15 collection. Her designs consisted of gorgeous navy and pink hues and lovely floral prints and my favorite print- stripes. Absolute perfection for spring.

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Dao Chloe Dao FH5

Dao Chloe Dao FH5

Dao Chloe Dao FH5

Dao Chloe Dao FH5

Overall, I had a spectacular time at Fashion Houston. The designers did an excellent job. I see a few items that I would like to put on my Christmas gift list this year. Maybe Santa will convince Bibhu Mohapatra or Chloe Dao to gift me one of those beautiful dresses from their collection. A girl can dream.

What look was your favorite? Did you have a chance to check out Fashion Houston 5? What were your thoughts? I would love to hear about your experience!

What to Wear to a Blog Conference

You guys may remember that I had the opportunity to attend my first blogging conference, Blog Elevated,  back in September.  The first thought that came to mind before I even made accommodations was what do bloggers  wear to a blogging conference? Should I get dressed up or could I wear shorts and a t-shirt? Should I wear a dress and sandals? So many unanswered questions. I went to my trusty friends Google and Pinterest for some inspiration but there were only a few pictures. They weren’t really that helpful either.  I came to the conclusion that it would be better to be overdressed than underdressed so I packed dresses and sandals and black slacks and ballet flats for the event. I decided that my mission before leaving the conference would be to fix the lack of blog conference style photos on the internet. So I scoured the ballroom during a break at the Blog Elevated conference for some photo worthy blogger street style looks. I’m awesome, I know and you’re welcome :) These bloggers were nice enough to be my muses for this project.

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Leslie of Southern Flair blog

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Addie of Old World New Girl & Cintia of Simply Cintia

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 Deonna of Child at Heart blog and Tamara at Katy Moms Blog

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Jessica & Casey of Thoughtfully Styled

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Tosin of My Style Pad and Roxy of GrrFeisty

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Keitha of The Bajan Texan and Tiffany of Art Sea Chic

 

 

 

 

blog conference outfit ideas

 Pamela of A Renaissance Woman

Based on my observation of the attendees I concluded that there are 3 key elements for dressing for a blog conference.

  1. Comfort is a must. There is a lot of walking, networking, socializing at a blog conference. The last thing you want to do is be in some uncomfortable shoes or restrictive clothing. Wearing the wrong garments can definitely affect your mood at least for me anyway.
  2. It’s ok to be creative. Blogging is a creative field so let that spill over into your wardrobe if you like. You don’t have to feel like your style has to fit into a neatly packaged box. Yes there are brands and professional organizations present but you are also there to learn and have a good time so I say find a happy middle ground between business, casual, and creative.
  3. Be yourself.  Wear what makes you happy.

 

Here is a short video showing you all what I wore on day 1. Not the best video but it is what it is. I will get more comfortable in front of the camera over time :)

Hope this little guide was helpful for you all. Tell me, what would you wear to a blogging conference? Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Thanksgiving Travel Destinations

thanksgiving travel destinations

I have often thought of ditching some of the traditions associated with Thanksgiving. In lieu of spending the  day slaving away in the kitchen to prepare a delicious high calorie meal to be enjoyed by 2, I would love to take a mini vacation and let someone else worry about the cooking for a change.

Here are the top 3 places I would choose to escape to if I could go anywhere to celebrate

Thanksgiving in the United States this year. 


new york city


1. This is a no brainer- New York City! I would love to finally see the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in person. I would also like to dress up and head out for Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings at one of the city’s top restaurants such as Craft New York. Let’s not forget this is the city never sleeps. That means there will be a plethora of patisseries such as the Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery and Dominique Ansel Bakery open long enough for us to grab some delicious pastries before hopping on the subway and making my way to the SoHo boutiques for a little late night shopping  to work off all those calories. Hey if the city doesn’t sleep then why should we?

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Photo credit: TripAdvisor

2. The Smoky mountains of Tennessee – Gatlinburg, TN to be exact. This travel destination would be great for families and couples who would still like to cook and gather together for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in a different location. I would check into a beautiful cabin in the area and get lost in the beauty of nature. The color of changing leaves, the feel of the brisk Autumn air, and the smell and taste of some good ole Southern soul food would be tantalizing to my senses. My goal is to get away from cooking altogether on Thanksgiving so I would opt to go somewhere like the Seasons of Ober at Ober Gatlinburg for a delicious home cooked meal. The menu sounds divine and the price of this dinner can not be beat at less than $20 per person. After dinner, we could head to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN for some fun. It’s important to start working off those calories before the tryptophan from the turkey starts to set in otherwise it’s a one way trip to a food induced coma for me.

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3. San Francisco & Napa Valley, CA. If you are chasing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, I think it can be found in the bay area. The Food Network and Food & Wine magazine were actually the inspiration behind me choosing these 2 travel destinations. They are approximately 1 hr apart which means you could easily choose to visit one or both locations in the same day! There are many award-winning chefs and restaurants in the area. This means that you are bound to stumble upon a delicious Thanksgiving meal somewhere in the city or the countryside. Besides the food, you could take a train through the wine country and enjoy the beauty of nature. You could also enjoy some premier wines if you are into that. In San Francisco, you could take a Bridge to Bridge cruise on the Bay, enjoy some shopping in Ghirardelli Square or Union Square, or even take a waterfront segway tour with the Electric Tour Company before dinner.

The possibilities are endless! Where would you choose to go? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget guys there is $150 dollars still up for grabs. Head on over and play the Creativity Arise Social Media Scavenger Hunt. Winner will be announced on Black Friday so make sure you enter for a chance to win today! Details found here.My signature

San Francisco: A Photo Diary

San Francisco

The hills are alive with the sound of traffic

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Of course I had to capture the beautiful architectural designs of the houses in the city #architecturelover

Of course I had to capture the beautiful architectural designs of the houses in the city #architecturelover

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Beautiful view from Golden Gate

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View of city from Bay through the fog

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Us

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San Francisco

Rowers under the bridge

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Pier 39

Photos from Pier 39/ Fisherman’s Wharf area

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Tourists headed to Alcatraz

Tourists headed to Alcatraz

Alcatraz in the distance

Alcatraz in the distance

San Francisco

View of Bay Bridge from our window seat at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.

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San Francisco

Cute vintage looking bus

San Francisco

City life

The hubs and I got to stop for a quick layover in San Jose, CA on our way to Hawaii back in August. Since we were so close to the bay, we decided to rent a car and take a short trip to San Francisco for the day. I am so happy that we made the journey. Although it was chilly for a summer day, we had a lot of fun. I was thrilled to finally check visiting the Golden Gate bridge off my travel bucket list. I recorded a short clip of us making the trek across the infamous bridge.

I may just start filming snippets from our travels. I feel like it will be an awesome way to relive the moments when I complete bucket list items.  What do you guys think? I will definitely be returning to the area for a real vacation in the future!

Have you visited San Francisco? What are your favorite attractions?

Hope you are having a fabulous Friday. It’s the weekend baby!!

Diva Day Houston 2014 Recap

On Sunday October 12th, I had the pleasure of attending my first fashion focused event in the Houston area, Diva Day Houston, with a few other Houston Fashion Bloggers.

Houston Fashion Bloggers

Diva Day Houston is an annual event presented by Grind 365 the magazine and The Session TV show. It was a day complete with dancing, singing, fashion, as well as a health and wellness experience. There were various vendors who presented great health information.

vendors ddh

There were vendors selling merchandise such as t-shirts, fragrances, and much more. One of the vendors, Nicole Alfred of Dior Adornments, was selling some beautiful handcrafted jewelry. I fell in love with her work.  We all know how I love my jewels!

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Although the event was a little slow to warm up in the beginning, it definitely was set ablaze during the evening’s fashion show! The pre-show entertainment was fabulous! There was interpretive dancing and spoken word.

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Recording artists, Tia Gold and Sharve’ took to the runway to belt out some high notes and get the crowd hyped before the show began.

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I must say I was blown away by Sharve’s performance . She is only 15 years old but extremely talented! She took charge of the room and got the audience singing along with her.

diva10 We also enjoyed the smooth neo-soul sounds of pianist and singer, Rain Heard, as she harmonized covers from Floetry, Amy Winehouse, and even Hezekiah Walker, before the show commenced.

And of course it’s not really a fashion show until amazing models hit the runway in designer pieces. Here are a few of the looks from the event. Unfortunately my Nikon camera died before the models came down the runway so I resorted to using my phone. Note to self: Pack the backup battery!

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Overall it was a great event. I am making plans to attend next year’s fashion show as well.

Hope you all enjoyed the recap!  Let me know what look was your favorite down below! Also be sure to check out my instagram page @brittanylcarson as well as the hashtag #divadayhouston for exclusive video and other footage from the event. 

 

 

How to overcome the feeling of “not good enough”

We’ve all had moments in our lives when we might not feel like we are “good enough”. I know for a fact that this feeling is derived from comparing ourselves to others. Comparing your appearance, marriage, relationship, current job, financial status, or anything else in your life to another can take an emotional toll on you. I used to be guilty of doing this. I have learned that I can’t compare myself to others because God created us all differently for a reason. It would be crazy for me to try to be someone I am not. In simple terms why should a banana try to be an orange? There maybe someone out there struggling with the feeling of not good enough. I wanted to share a video from one of my favorite YouTubers, Patricia Bright, on how to overcome the feeling of mediocrity in our lives.

 

My favorite tidbit from Patricia’s video is comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t give away your joy. Live your life to the fullest. You are more than enough!!

Happy Monday everyone :)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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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