Blogger Scene Recap

You may have recalled a few weeks ago when I blew up social media about a particular event I was going to. I had been counting down the weeks to my first ever "party with a purpose," Blogger Scene. Blogger Scene was started by the ladies of The Fashionably Broke and Ashley in DC. These ladies felt that Washington, D.C. needed an outlet for bloggers from across the area to meet and share ideas. Blogger conferences can cost you north of $600 and that's just for the conference registration fees. So Natalie, Erika and Ashley created a night for bloggers, both big and small, to get together and share. 

Blogger Scene was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the big names in the business and hear advice on how to grow my own brand. Katya with She's Unique Boutique and Spicy Candy DC was our first panelist, and she focused on how to balance life, work and a full time blog. Kara of Politics of Pretty taught us how to monetize our blogs and make some money off of our hard work.

Not only did we get the chance to hear from several experienced bloggers, we also got to meet others throughout the area. I joke all the time that I have my "blogger friends" or "twitter friends," when truthfully I haven't met in person even half of these people. I have formed many relationships via the inter-web, so it was nice to finally meet a lot of these bloggers in person.

I am already looking forward to the next "party with a purpose," but for now, check out photos from this month's event. All photos are courtesy of John Robinson Photography.

Where Blogger Scene took place, Mari Vanna
A look inside the venue, Mari Vanna was a really neat environment and the perfect location for Blogger Scene.
Fun Fact: the first Blogger Scene was held here.
Yummy assortment of cupcakes 
The one photo of the evening where I looked half way decent. Coming from a long day at work, left me looking a little frazzled. These are a few new bloggers in the area that I met that night.
Julien of It's Julien, Ashley of Ashley in DC and Maria-Alejandra with Mars Vida Swimwear
Our first panelist was Katya of She's Unique Boutique and Spicy Candy DC
The second panelist of the night was Kara of Politics of Pretty
The most highly coveted giveaway of the night was a Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag, donated by
South Moon Under.
The night was all about the purses!! There were so many colorful, yet large, totes. 
Group shot of some of the Blogger Scene attendees. Apparently I missed the photo memo.
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Summer Essentials Bag

Walking to work the past few days has reminded me that the cool spring mornings are far behind us. It seems as though the summer heat is here, and here to stay. Since the arrival of higher temps, I have realized my morning and evening routines will have to change. Typically, I leave the apartment with perfectly curled hair and makeup, only to arrive at work looking like I jumped into a pool.

For those that don't know, I walk to work. Yep... 1.5 miles each way and mostly outside. The morning humidity takes a toll on my appearance, leaving me only to show up at work with frizzy, flat hair and oily skin. This is a horrible way to start the day, not to mention if I go to a Happy Hour after work. Between the morning walk and going all day at the office, my evening appearance is like I never even got ready in the first place.

To mask the summer heat, there are many products you can use and adjustments to your daily routine that you can make. One of my summer musts is an "essentials bag" that I pack each morning and throw into my purse or tote for the day. I found the perfect carry-all, that will hold all the products and essentials, sure to tackle the worst of summer heat and humidity.

(Images via Vera Bradley Website)

There are some products that I leave in my essentials bag, but I add to it on mornings I know there's an after work activity. I fill the bag with everything, from a small razor (for those days I wear a skirt or dress and seemed to miss a spot) to concealer for afternoon touch ups. The great thing is you can fill the bag with whatever essentials you feel that you need. Simply zip it up and throw in any bag. 

This Vera Bradley carry-all gets my vote for the perfect summer "essentials bag." Bonus, you can also use it as a travel jewelry organizer. No matter how you use this bag, it's perfect for wherever you may travel.

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**This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are that of the writer.


Over the Weekend, Weddings and Realizations

Over the past few weeks, life has seemed rather stressful and nonstop busy. Between a full time job, (what seems like a full time) blog and other personal things going on, I have barely had time to eat and sleep. So a weekend away from the city was exactly what the Dr. ordered (literally, I was starting to make myself sick from all the stress). 

Over the Weekend, I flew to Atlanta for one of my sorority sister and good friend's wedding. It was the perfect opportunity to relax, de-stress and hangout with some of my college friends. I absolutely love Atlanta, and it was a great feeling to be back in the south in a similar environment to what I grew up in.

My friend Liz and I enjoyed a scrumptious dinner Friday night, while we waited for two of our other friends, Sam and Lauren, to arrive. We went to this place called Foundation, and the food was fantastic. We shared some apps, a glass or two of wine, and many laughs. The weather was absolutely perfect, and dinner outside on the patio was the best way to kickoff the weekend.

When our friends arrived, we met up with the bride and groom for a late night cocktail at a local bar. They had their entire wedding party, out of town friends and guests, stop by to see them before the big day.

Saturday, the three girls and I headed out for a morning of errands, pedicures and lunch. I finally got to visit one of the Swoozies locations. I have been ordering from this "grown up party city" for years, but have yet to go to an actual one of their stores. I was in total blogger and entertainer heaven, as I could have bought up the entire store. 

After the errands and lunch, we headed back to Liz's house to get ready and relax before the wedding. We all got dolled up in our wedding best, and headed to St. Ives Country Club for the ceremony and reception. 

The ceremony was picturesque; set on the terrace of the country club, overlooking the golf course. It was totally Mindy and Colton (the bride and groom). My friends and I took our seats and the processional began. Finally, the bride walked out and we all immediately turned to see the groom's face. That is probably my most favorite part; seeing the groom's expression as he sees his bride walk down the aisle. 

Mindy was a gorgeous bride; absolutely stunning. Her dress was exactly what I pictured her in; she just looked radiant. Mindy is the second out of my good friend group to get married, so of course we were all balling our eyes out throughout the ceremony.

After the bride and groom said "I do," we headed inside for drinks, buffet style food, cake, dancing (all of the typical reception festivities). The food was my favorite part, shocker, as they had a pasta bar and fried finger foods. I was in foodie heaven. 

We sent the bride and groom on their way, as they exited through a tunnel lined with sparklers. Mindy and Colton headed off as husband and wife, looking forward to their honeymoon in Hawaii. (sorry for the poor picture quality… it's hard to hold a lit sparkler and take photos at the same time)

This past weekend was exactly what I needed. A weekend with good friends; reminding me that sometimes you just need a break to enjoy life.  I feel as though I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this fast paced city, that I tend to lose myself. Sometimes you just need a few days with your bests, to remind you how amazing life is. You don't need to sweat the small stuff or stress about things out of your control. 

I came back from Atlanta completely refreshed and ready to slow things down a bit. Since summer is finally here, it shouldn't be hard to do. Many weekends will be spent by the pool, enjoying good company and a cold drink in hand.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

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Black and White, and Already Worn All Over

Hair by Drybar
Photos From Whim of the South and taken by Breckenridge Clare

Thank goodness it's Friday! Today kicks off the Memorial Day weekend and hopefully for many of you, a few days away from work! Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays. To me, this weekend signifies the start of summer and of course, summer fashion. When it comes to a summer wardrobe, there is a popular notion that Memorial Day kicks off the summer white trend. Many believe it is "uncouth" to wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

I'm not sure who makes the rules of fashion, but many have seem to disregard this notion that "white isn't acceptable till after Memorial Day." I don't know what it is about this spring, but I have seen more white the past month or so then I have in years. It probably has something to do with the harsh, blistery winter that we had. Many are ready to put the winter and spring behind us, and quickly fast forward to summer. 

In honor of being a rebel and wearing white before this weekend, I paired my new H&M tunic with an old favorite of mine, white jeans. White jeans are the true versatility of fashion, as they can be worn with any color, even white!

I broke out my favorite pair of white jeans, from a local boutique, for a Sunday Funday in Georgetown this past weekend. I searched high and low for the perfect summer white jeans. This pair has been the best! They are thin enough that I don't get too hot in the summer, thick enough that they aren't considered jeggings, and long enough that I can wear them down with wedges or cuffed with flats. A summer white jean is a definite staple for summer, so make sure you find some that you love (cause you'll be wearing them all the time!).

What is your favorite "white" piece in your closet?

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Navy + Lime, It's Almost Summertime

Hair by Drybar
Photos by Elizabeth Ann Whitley 

While the official start of summer doesn't come till the end of June, many believe this upcoming Memorial Day weekend kick starts the summer months and of course, summer fashion. From now, till the beginning of fall, you'll see tons of white (of course), bright colors, mixed patterns and bold prints. There are so many trends on point for the summer, but one of my favorite is using navy as an accent color. 

I found this gorgeous lime green dress at Nordstrom Rack, for only $30 might I add, last fall. It's a Donna Morgan and tailored very well. I have been dying for summer to get here so I could wear it to work. However, I was a little skeptical about wearing such a loud color in a professional setting. So I decided to pair this dress with my favorite navy blazer. The navy tones down the boldness in color, and by adding a few accessories and nude heels, insto presto, you have an office appropriate outfit!  

You can use this trick with other bold colors. Pair your bold color with a darker piece, typically an outer shell, to tone down the color. Make sure you add appropriate jewelry and shoes to keep with the business attire, appropriate enough for work!

What bright color are you loving for summer?

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Lattes and Big Hair, Bloggers do Drybar

As you saw in Monday's sneak peek, blogger friend Breck and I went to Drybar for the first time Sunday. We had both heard so many great things about this blowout salon, but hadn't had the chance to visit till now.

We started our "Sunday Funday" at the Drybar in Georgetown. We arrived and checked in, sipping our Starbucks lattes while we waited for our stylists. I was greeted by stylist Jonathan, who arrived with a peach flavored water for me. (He was already off to a great start) I love anything peach flavored. Jonathan took me back for my wash, head massage (ummmm, hello! I was in Heaven for 10 minutes), and comb out. Unfortunately Jonathan had no idea what he was getting himself into, as I have the thickest and longest hair he's probably ever seen. It took the poor man an hour to comb and blow dry my hair (don't worry, I left him a nice tip).

After the blowout, Jonathan turned my chair to the side so I would be surprised for the end result. He curled, he teased, he did what he pleased! I chose the "Cosmo-Tai" style, which is one of nine hair styles you can choose from on the menu. It was a mixture of lose curls and big hair, very southern of me.

When Jonathan turned the chair around to the mirror, I screamed with joy! I think that was the best my hair had ever looked. It was the perfect style for my hair type. So many big curls, waves and a slight tease. I wish I could have Jonathan come over every day to do my hair. 

Drybar is definitely a new fave place of mine and really worth the price (especially for me). It is a $40 flat rate, no matter the length or thickness of hair, or style you choose. For me, someone with extremely thick and long hair, it's a steal. Now I wouldn't pay that much every single day to have someone dry and style my hair, but it's a wonderful price if you have a special event or occasion coming up. It definitely takes the mess and stress out of having to do your own hair.

Drybar also sells the products they use in the salon. So if you like the smell of the shampoo, or the hold of the Texas Tea Hairspray, then you can purchase the products to use on your own at home. They also offer monthly memberships, assist in planning an event or girls night out. The opportunities for a visit to Drybar are endless.

I for one plan to go back as many times as I can... so Jonathan, get ready for another arm workout!

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This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are that of the writer. 


Bachelorette Premiere Recap

A season premiere of the Bachelor or Bachelorette is always a highly anticipated event by fans of the show. I mean we all saw how nuts viewers went over Juan "it's okay" Pablo. The Bach franchise even dedicated an entire month to the guy, Juan-uary! Although Juan Pablo turned out to be a jerk, I still watched every moment of the most dramatic season ever. While there are many who are skeptical about the show, there is nothing like a Monday night, watching a new hopeful date their way to finding true love.

My roommates and I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new season. When one season ends, we start counting down the weeks till the next one begins. After watching last season, we all became Andi Dorfman's biggest fans when she called out Juan Pablo for his too many "it's okays." So naturally we were very excited to see Andi walk out as the next Bachelorette during last season's final rose ceremony.

If for some reason you had something better to do last night then watch the premiere (not sure how, but to each their own), then STOP reading. I even bolded in red, so this should be your hint!

Last night's premiere was exactly what we all hoped it would be. There was a brand new batch of gorgeous bachelors, all vying to accept the final rose. Some men went with the normal introductory approach, while others made sure their first impression was one not to be forgotten.

If you're wondering where all the gingham and hair product in LA went, it was definitely out in full force at the bachelor mansion last night. Every other man had either a gingham button down on, or looked like they hadn't cut their hair in years. Through it all, there are some definite contenders and I think it's going to be an exciting season.

In true First Impressions fashion, I had to give out a few Bachelorette superlatives from last night's premiere. See if your picks are in line with mine!

The Best First Impressions:

The First Impression rose went to Nick V.. I loved this pick until I saw the previews for the rest of the season. While Nick definitely made a wonderful first impression, I have a sneaky feeling he'll make much more than that as the season goes on. He kind of reminds me of Ben from Desiree's season. I only hope he's nothing like him!

I personally thought she would choose Tasos, cause who doesn't love a French speaking romantic?! 

My Best First Impression would go to Josh M. I mean his looks alone get him the award. However, the fact he is kin to ex-Georgia, now Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray, doesn't hurt either. 

Runner up would be Marquel. I mean who doesn't love cookies and wine tasting on a first date?! 

I also have to give a special shout out to the fellow Tennessean, Ron, for making it to next week!

Finally and most certainly not least… 
Eric Hill. How can I not include him as one of the best First Impressions?! I loved how they started the season off, paying tribute to this bachelor. The few seconds he had to introduce himself to Andi was just precious. Eric seemed like he was an all-around wonderful man, and it's such a tragedy his life was cut so short. 

My Worst First Impressions:
We shall name him "lamp," cause I don't really remember his name anyways. I mean really dude?! First you steal the lamp from your hotel room, but then you try to pass it off as a gift? Pretty sure that is not what your mother meant by "always having a gift for a lady."

Beefed up Cody can push the limo all the way back to where he came from, making sure he takes that bleached faux-hawk with him!

I am sooo not a fan of rando ex-contestants, coming back and trying to join the show. I mean Chris, come on dude… you already had your chance once, let these other bachelors have a shot at competing to end up on the Bachelor Pad... I mean win Andi's love.

Way to exit with grace there Josh B… worried you embarrassed yourself? I would say that exit speech definitely did just that.

Throughout all the introductions, drama, weird attempts at winning Andi over (looking at you Phantom of the Opera man), it is sure to be an exciting season nonetheless. 
In the words of Chris Harrison, "it is sure to be the most dramatic season yet!"

Also, for those wondering, I got all but one right on my bach-bracket. 
How did y'all do? Who do you think Andi will choose?

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Over the Weekend, Blogger Play Date

Over the Weekend a fellow member of the Southern Blog Society, Breck with Whim of the South, visited DC for a girls day in Georgetown. Breck and I decided to plan the typical "blogger play date," making sure there were plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

We started the morning off with a Starbucks latte, of course, and headed across the street to DryBar Georgetown. Neither Breck or I had ever been to DryBar, but had been dying to give it a try. It was an absolutely hair-raising experience in a good way (see what I did there, ha!)! Stay tuned later this week for a post on what I thought of this popular blowout salon.

Once our hair was blown out and as big as can be, we took a stroll through Georgetown searching for the best location to take some outfit photos. We stumbled upon the perfect location; a hidden row house covered in ivy.

The gorgeous brick sidewalk, ivy covered home and a bold black door, mad for a picture perfect setting. We snapped a few photos, and shared some laughs from all the passerby's staring!

To round out the perfect "blogger" day, we visited another blogger friend and co-founder of Southern Blog Society, Cathy with Poor Little It Girl. We of course took a few more photos before Breck and I finished the day with a Dean & DeLuca lunch and macarons from Olivia Macaron.

It was a fun blogger play date and so wonderful to finally meet the lady behind Whim of the South. Y'all be sure to check out her fabulous blog, and learn more about this sweet southern lady! I always love a blogger play date, because there is absolutely zero judgement when it comes to taking photos and being on our phones constantly, ha! Our girls day in Georgetown was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

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Throwing A Bachelorette Viewing Party

Today's Post Disclaimer: Please don't judge me for what I am about to say....
I have probably single-handedly kept ABC's Bachelor franchise in business, as I have watched every single season of the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I've even watched their not as popular spin-off, Bachelor Pad, and am looking forward to their new venture, Bachelor in Paradise, coming later this summer.

Throughout each season of the show, I always look forward to Monday nights. My roommate and I, sometimes a few friends, break out the popcorn and bubbly for a fun night of laughs and "OMG, did she really just pick him?!" moments. Whether you're a firm believer in the power of the show to develop long-lasting relationships or not, there is just something about each season that draws you in and keeps you hooked.

This coming Monday, a new Bachelorette begins her journey in finding everlasting love. Last season's Andi "it's not okay" Dorfman, embarks on what is certain to be "the most dramatic season, EVER (Chris Harrison's words). Andi rose to Bachelor fame by calling out the once heart throb Juan "it's okay" Pablo. Boy were we all fooled by him (we JUAN't no more of him!). 

This season is sure to be another drama filled, testosterone pumping, men hunkin' of a season. To kickoff the premiere right, grab your closest girlfriends, make some yummy popcorn and fix yourself some nice after-work bubbly. Below, find what you need to throw the best Bachelorette Premiere Viewing party, sure to be worthy of a rose.

Homemade Butter Popcorn

Pop the corn in a medium size pot, and then dump in a large bowl. 
Mix the popcorn with butter and salt, to your tasting, and then fill popcorn boxes.
I prefer making popcorn the old fashioned way, as to avoid all the extra additives in microwave bags.
To me, it also tastes much better and fresher when popped on the stove.

The Bach-tini!
Orange Juice
Champagne or Sprite
Master of Mixes - Grenadine Syrup

In a medium size pitcher, fill with ice. Fill 2/3 of the pitcher with orange juice. Fill the rest of the way with either champagne or Sprite. Add a tablespoon of the grenadine syrup. Feel free to adjust amounts based on your liking. Mix well and enjoy!

To finish out the party essentials, grab some colorful paper straws, roses for your gal pals and your Bachelorette season brackets. Now you're Bachelorette Premiere Viewing Party ready!!

Be sure to stop back by the blog next Tuesday, for my drama filled premiere recap!
Happy viewing!!

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