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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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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Two Years A Working Woman

Two years ago today, I started off on a new chapter of my life. I woke up, got dressed and headed out the door to my first day of my first "big girl" job. While I had worked nine - five positions before, this was my first time as a "real world" young professional. I was nervous, scared and most of all unknowing of what to expect. The one thing I was certain of that day was what I was going to wear. Thanks to my favorite designer, I was sure of one thing... that if I failed, I was going to look good doing it.

LOFT, a division of Ann Taylor Inc., has long been my go-to store for office appropriate attire. Throughout my years of sorority formal meetings, internships and special occasions, I have always turned to the lady who knows this area of wardrobe best. 

If I could wear a particular designer for the rest of my life, LOFT would be it. From their versatile pieces, appropriate length skirts and shorts (for someone my age), to the great quality made items and reasonable prices, LOFT is the perfect store for the twenty something. I just love how I can take a LOFT top, wear it with black pants to work, and switch it up with shorts and a cardi for the weekend. For someone living off a "young professional salary," LOFT helps me look fashionable, at an affordable price. 

In honor of my two year "workaversary"today, here are some of my favorite LOFT pieces that are sure to make a great impression in any office!

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**All photos via LOFT.com. 


Thank You Note Etiquette

Growing up in the South you were taught etiquette and manners at an early age. You were always told to mind your manners, use yes mam and no sir, and say your please and thank yous. Saying thank you wasn't just done verbally, but through notes of gratitude as well. Over the years, I have noticed the "handwritten note" seem to become a dying medium. People have moved on from the letter or card, to emails and Facebook posts. It saddens me that the days of handwritten appreciations seem to be fading away.

To me, there is nothing like receiving a card in the mail or an unopened envelope left on my desk at work. It's the joy of knowing someone took the time to sit down and write me a personal note. Receiving a handwritten note means more to me than a gift or grand gesture. 

Right now is the perfect time to send thank you notes, especially for recent grads or those job searching. When it comes to sending thank you notes, there is some etiquette involved. You obviously can send a thank you note to anyone and everyone, no matter the size of their gesture. 
However, here are a few things to keep in mind...

~ Make sure you take into consideration the type of thank you card you're using, based on who it's for. You don't want to send an over the top, girly thank you to that man who interviewed you for a job.

~ Are you currently looking for a job or internship and have interviewed with several potential employers? Be sure to send a follow up thank you card within 2 days after your interview. My go-to is to send the thank you the very same day of the interview. Send via snail mail, and the card will arrive within a day or two.

~ Never send a thank you note to just one person, if there were multiple people involved. Did your friends help you move? Don't just send a thank you to one person, as the others will find out and likely feel you weren't appreciative of their help.

~ Be descriptive. Don't just send a thank you note with one sentence. Personalize the note by describing why you're thankful and reasons of how the person affected you. A personalized note goes a long, long way.

~ Don't be afraid to send multiple thank you notes to the same person. Have a coworker who takes you out to lunch once a month? Do they pay for it? Great! Send them a thank you each time. You'll keep getting treated to those monthly lunches, trust me!

Below find some of my favorite and most useful thank you notes, perfect for any occasion or reason.

I hope my "Thank You Note Etiquette" is useful to you. If we all sent just one thank you note a week, it would help ensure this token of appreciation sticks around for many years to come. A thank you note is a small gesture, but will go miles in making a great impression.

Where are some of your favorite places to purchase thank you cards?

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Over the Weekend, Then and Now

Over the Weekend I celebrated several milestones. Two years ago this past weekend, I walked across the stage at graduation and then headed home to quickly pack up the U-haul. The very next morning I hopped in the car, with U-haul in tow, and my family and I drove the nine hours to Washington, D.C. In less than 24 hours I closed one door and opened a brand new one.

Now, two years later, I reflect on all the differences between my four years of college and the past two years of living in the Real World. There were so many things I took for granted in college, and one of them was how easy I had it getting dressed each and every day. I could wake up 30 minutes before class, throw on norts (Nike shorts) and a T, grab my Vera Bradley backpack and head to class. Now my daily routine consists of waking up almost 2 hours before work. I went from throwing on a comfy outfit with hardly any makeup (or really any care for what I looked like), to having to look extremely put together in my business attire. 

Graduating from college brought many changes, but the most notable was my morning routine. 
Here is my take on What I Wore Then and What I Wear Now.

What I Wore in College 
A.K.A. What You Can't Wear to Work in the Real World 

What I Wear Now
A.K.A. Nothing That Was In My Wardrobe Two Years Ago

What sort of differences have you noticed between college and the Real World?
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Over the Weekend, Gold Cup Recap

Outfit Details:

It may be hard to believe, but in college I never went to a horse race. No Steeplechase... No Carolina Cup, no Derby. Unless our Derby Day themed Bid Day during my sophomore year counts, I never graced the presence of an all day field party. I am sure I missed out on a lot of fun and debauchery, so the past two years I have tried to make up for that by attending Virginia's Gold Cup

Gold Cup is an all day affair, beginning bright and early, and ending in the wee hours of the morning (that is if you make it that long). The past two years my friends and I have joined a local favorite, Town Hall, for the day's festivities. Town Hall puts on a great event, with transportation to and from the field, open bar and open buffet, Town Hall swag and a prime tent location that ensures you'll see a horse or two. 

Gold Cup was a wonderful day, spent with good friends, wearing big hats and fancy dresses, while consuming a few too many mint juleps. The weather was absolutely fantastic, allowing for the perfect conditions for the usual "horse race" outfit. While most were dressed in their Sunday best, there were some who clearly had never been to a horse race before. Gold Cup definitely brings out a wide array of outfits, from sky high heels to colorfully plaid jorts (jean shorts). No matter what somebody wore, I am certain plenty of fun was had. Gold Cup is a wonderfully fun event and I look forward to what next year brings.
Maybe a visit to the Derby?

Share your horse race photos with me on Twitter or Instagram, @KristynAlysse!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Future First Lady giveaway, going on all this week. Also, be sure to stop back by the blog tomorrow, for Future First Lady's FIRST interview with yours truly. 




My Favorite Things for May, Mother's Day Gift Guide

Happy May Day!!! This new month brings lots of exciting things, from the Triple Crown races, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day weekend, to the start of it feeling like summer, graduation ceremonies, and more! One of my favorite things about May is celebrating my wonderful mamma on Mother's Day. 

Mother's Day is an opportunity to thank the woman who has been there for us since birth. There are so many ways you can celebrate moms this Mother's Day. Whether you're close by and get to enjoy the day with her, or miles away and only get to speak over the phone. Showing your mother a little appreciation on her special day is a must! 

Here are some of My Favorite Things for May, Mother's Day style. 
All of these gift ideas will surely make a wonderful impression!

Made South is one of my new favorite companies (as if you already didn't know). When you order, if you put a note that this is for your mother, they will send a special Mother's Day card just for your mom!

2. Society Social's Black and Gold Ice Bucket
Obsessed is an understatement. This black and gold ice bucket is perfect for a type A hostess mother!

3. C. Wonder Logo Clover Studs
For the fashionable mothers out there

4. Hattan Home's Sugar Paper Mother's Day Card
This card goes perfectly with any Mother's Day gift!

5. Anthropologie Cuisine Couture Apron
For the mother's who live in the kitchen... no more boring aprons! 

6. Physician's Formula Nude Wear Blush
Absolutely love this new line!! The product packaging and labeling is totes precious!

7. Garden and Gun's Southerner's Handbook
For our Southern mamma's!

In case you need even more gift ideas, here are a few more of my favorite things...

Special thank you to my mother, Mamma Suze, for everything you have done for me over the years. Y'all, my mother is just the greatest and sweetest! She's also my blog editor, proofreader and most valuable reader!

Thanks mom, and Happy Mother's Day to you!!

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