7.21.2015

A Proper Work Space

Happy Tuesday! Did y'all have a wonderful weekend? I'm not sure what it is about this summer (okay, so maybe I do know ;)), but it has surpassed all the rest and it's not even close to over! Each weekend just gets better and better, with many fun events and trips still to come (main reason why this post didn't go up yesterday, whoops).

Friday night I headed to the Nationals baseball game, Saturday I went tubing with friends down the Shenandoah River in Harpers Ferry, and Sunday I rounded out the weekend with some errands and a nice dinner. DC finally had a full weekend with perfect (but hot) weather, so it was amazing to spend most of it outdoors.

I also spent Sunday morning getting my room organized and clean for the week ahead. One thing that has been on my to-do list for months, has been to update and reorganize my desk area. I haven't even sat at my desk in weeks, because it has been covered in piles of stuff I've been meaning to go through (thanks SBScon). Since I had to wake up bright and early Sunday morning (BF had an early golf tee time), I decided to make the most of my morning and be productive.



While I spend most of my week at my full-time job, I do pretty much all of my blogging from home. Last year my parents helped me take the plunge and purchase a brand new computer. I wanted a desktop since I already had a work laptop. I didn't want two laptops lying around, so I opted for the newest iMac and love it.



When it came to creating my desk area, I wanted to maximize all available space. I live in a tiny apartment, so any storage I can create, is necessary. That's when I found this Target desk, complete with two shelves underneath for storage. I have one basket for goodies such as birthday cards, paper straws, wine bottle bags, paint pens, etc. The upper shelf holds this amazing gold glass bowl that I picked up for $12 off Groopdealz. Best purchase ever. It holds my DSLR camera, cord and charger.

Next to my desk, I wanted a storage tower to hold papers, clutter, mementos, etc. I searched for months to find the perfect one, and in a stain that matched my bedroom furniture. I also didn't want to spend a fortune. I found this one at T.J.Maxx for under $100 and snatched it up real quick.



To complete my little "office space," I wanted to add some fun accessories. Like the push-pin board, above, that I found at HomeGoods (which fits the wall space perfectly).

I also found a gold desk lamp and @ symbol accessory at HomeGoods. Y'all wouldn't believe how hard it was to find a gold desk lamp. They're all either silver or black. It was a long, long search. But I did it.





The final touch? Adding a daily reminder to work hard and be the #GirlBoss that every woman should be. You don't have to own your own company, be an entrepreneur, etc., to be a #GirlBoss. Own what you do and let this sparkly banner be a constant reminder that you can succeed in whatever that is. My friend Adrianne from Studio Pep made this for me (c/o), and I couldn't wait to add it to my computer. You can buy one for yourself here too, or create a custom banner with any message you like.



On a side note, y'all should definitely checkout Adrianne's Etsy shop. She has SO many cute party supplies, balloons, event decor pieces, etc. It's incredible what she can turn a little piece of sparkly paper into.

I just love how my desk area turned out and am glad it's finally organized. Even in the tiniest of spaces, you can still create a separate area. I still have a few pieces I want to add, but will get to those soon. What are some of your favorite desk accessories?

kristyn
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7.14.2015

Playing Catch Up + SBScon Photos

I'm sure by now, y'all are totally over hearing about my trip to Charleston. Well, sorry I'm not sorry, ha! There's just SO much to share and so many photos that y'all haven't seen. However, I promise this will be the last week of #SBScon related posts. Then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming.



Speaking of, I need to offer a little apology to y'all. I know that I haven't been posting consistently recently, both on the blog and social media. I've tried to still share fun photos on Instagram and I think y'all are loving what you're seeing. Do you want to see more? Or am I posting enough? Let me know in the comments below.

Any who, the reason I haven't been consistent is well... summer. I've just really been enjoying the past few weeks. Isn't that what summer is all about anyways? My weekends are usually the only time I have to work on posts, but recently they've been jam packed and I haven't had the time to put together great content. And I'd rather bring y'all great posts, than throw something together. Right?

Summer has just been amazing. Filled with pool days, cookouts, concerts, festivals, date nights, sightseeing around DC, friends and family visits and hanging out with friends. The weather has been pretty decent in DC, so I've attempted to spend as much time outside and away from my desk on the weekends. Hopefully that's what y'all are doing too :)

The summer is flying by, but there's still plenty left to enjoy. So you'll probably see a continuing trend of about 2 (maybe 3) posts a week. I assure you though, I'll be back in full-time action soon. Each week there will be new content, but fewer than normal posts. Let me know if there's anything in particular you're just dying to see, read, hear about or learn. I'm always an open door with suggestions or questions :)

This week however, I have FOUR new posts for you. Today is all about photos from SBScon. These are professionally taken by Kim Graham Photography. Snaps to her and the amazing photos she took! I just thought y'all would want to see even more behind the scenes from the Southern Blog Society Conference.



Stay tuned Thursday and Friday for THREE new outfit posts, featuring the remaining outfits I wore at SBScon. Till then, enjoy some more photos from my time in Charleston + an all new post tomorrow, featuring Kendra Scott's newest collection!

Some photos from the Friday night cocktail party...







Here are some photos of a few of the brands that were there...











The gorgeous hosts of SBScon -- Jessica of My Style Vita and Cathy of Poor Little It Girl



kristyn
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7.07.2015

J.Crew Tassel Skirt






Is it just me, or is the summer speeding by?! I know the "official" start of summer was just a few weeks ago, but fall seems to be inching nearer and nearer. Not that I'm complaining one bit (it's my favorite season), but I would love a few more pool days and nights spent on my rooftop.

Summer is just so easy, and fun. There's always a ton of events, cookouts, vacations, trips, etc. happening. When it comes to summer fashion, it's just as simple. You don't need a lot of layers, and your outfit is usually something quick and easy you can throw on.

That's where this outfit comes in. It may not seem like the "easiest" or most "simple." But it really is. I've had this J.Crew button down for several years. It's so easy to wear, because you can pair it with just about any sort of bottom. I've worn this top to work, out to dinner, with shorts for a casual afternoon of shopping. The options are endless. I have it in white too, ha!



I most recently paired this top with another J.Crew favorite of mine. This tassel skirt. I snagged this skirt right before leaving for Charleston. It was the perfect outfit for a day of sightseeing. The skirt was light and breezy, and I loved the two pieces together. I added a fun monogram bag + tassel sandals, and my outfit of the day was complete. It really was that simple to put together. Don't you just love when that happens?!







Photos by Alicia

kristyn
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7.02.2015

Charleston Recap -- Saturday and Sunday

The only thing getting me through this day is the fact that today is my Friday!!! I'm looking forward to some much needed sleep and rest tomorrow, as I'm gearing up for my good friend Ashton's Bachelorette party this weekend!! The fun continues!!

Hopefully you enjoyed the first part of my Charleston trip recap from yesterday. I wanted to break it up into two posts so that it wasn't so much at once. Cannot leave out any details! So let's get right to it... the final two days of my trip!



Saturday -- Conference + Networking Day

The main event was finally here!! We started the morning off with a delicious hotel breakfast, then the 75+ bloggers and brand owners pilled into the Riviera Theater for a morning of speakers, panelists and advice on how to grow our blogs. I'll definitely be sharing some of the takeaways from the conference in a separate post later on. So my blogger friends... stay tuned!



After a few hours of learning, it was time to meet the brands. Everyone from Lilly Pulitzer, to Kendra Scott, Moon and Lola, Hallmark, People StyleWatch, ESPNw, were there. So many fabulous brands that I love! It was such an honor to meet them all.

There was a large room behind the theater setup with booths. The bloggers then had the chance to stop by each table, meet with the brand reps and handout our business cards + media kits. Most of the brands shared their newest products with us (some haven't even been released yet!). We chatted about ways we could collaborate together, as well as picked up some really nice swag for us to take home with us. Here's just a little peek into what brands handed out...



Once the networking portion was over, my roomies and I headed back to the hotel for some snacks and a rest break. We took a few outfit photos too before getting ready for dinner. -- Outfit below (top is Goodnight Macaroon, shorts are from Loft, clutch is Kate Spade NY and wedges are old but from Target).



Our hotel concierge recommended a wonderful bar + restaurant located on East Bay Street, down near the waterfront. She couldn't have been anymore spot on, because Pearlz was an absolute hit.

We had the best waiter, Ben (if you stop in, tell him the DC bloggers sent you!), who was super attentive and quite humorous. I highly recommend this place if you're ever in the Charleston area. Be sure to try the mussels, oysters, crab dip, crab cakes and homemade potato chips (yes, we tried it all!).

After dinner, my good friend Jenn and I met up with some of the other bloggers at Vendue's rooftop. The weather that night ended up being amazing and the perfect temperature for sitting outside. It was so fun getting to know all the other ladies, plus my favorite Kentucky Gent.



Sunday -- Goodbye + Free Day

I couldn't believe how fast the weekend was already flying by. Sunday was our last day in Charleston, and the goodbye breakfast for the conference, hosted by Hallmark Signature.



The roomies and I headed down to one of the hotel's restaurants for a private breakfast. Hallmark had setup a fun photo booth for us all to capture our final moments together + gave us some of their recent card releases. Hallmark Signature has totally reinvented the way to send snail mail. Personally, I've always been a huge fan of the "thank you note" or kind gesture. Hallmark Signature has some hilariously on trend cards for any occasion.

Once breakfast was over and we said our goodbyes, my roommates and I packed up our room and took some last minute outfit photos. The day was still young, so we decided to grab some lunch at Nick's BBQ (sooo good to finally have real BBQ again) and sightsee a little.



We toured through the French Quarter area, walking down some of the most gorgeous streets I've ever seen. Cobblestone pathways everywhere, ivy dripping down the side of homes, and gorgeous magnolia + palm trees lined each street. I had to take photos on every corner. We also couldn't miss Rainbow Row or seeing the famous pineapple fountain.



As the clouds began to come in, we noticed the sky getting really really dark. I mean, who wants to get caught in the rain?! Not us. Luckily Pearlz wasn't too far of a walk, so we popped in for our second visit of the weekend. Coincidence enough, our amazing server Ben was there and ready to wait on us again! We enjoyed some more oysters, crab cakes and sangria.

Our last stop before heading back to the hotel, was to stop by the Mother Emanuel AME Church. We couldn't leave Charleston without stopping by and paying our respects. It was a humble sight to see. There was so much love wrapped around that Church. Tents lined the street across from the Church; full of prayer groups, Red Cross volunteers, and camera crews. It also happened to be time for Sunday night service, and it was amazing to see how many people came out to attend.



All good things must come to an end...

At this point, you're probably wondering what happened with our luggage situation for the return portion of our trip. Let me just say... it was an absolutely hilarious sight to see. My friend Katie didn't realize that when she ordered our Uber, that we were given a Toyota Camry. We also didn't think about the fact that we had four of us + the driver + our twelve bags.



As the car rolled up, our driver Ian just started laughing. It was time to play the "who can pack the best" game. While we initially thought it wasn't going to work, we surprised ourselves with making it all fit. Ian and I took charge, making most of the larger bags fit in the trunk. All of this didn't happen without a few snapchat story updates, many laughs, and lots of stares from hotel bellhops. BUT we did it. We may have had to sit on a few bags and Ian may have not been able to see out the back window, BUT we did it. #snapstous

While the trip may be over, there will be more fun outfit posts coming your way. With less reading, and more seeing. Sorry for the long recaps, but wanted y'all to hear all about the fun we had!

There won't be a #FollowFriday this week, as I'm going to enjoy the much needed holiday weekend. So I wish y'all a Happy 4th of July and marvelous weekend!! See y'all back here next week! Xo




7.01.2015

Charleston Recap -- Thursday and Friday


I think I'm still in denial that my trip to Charleston is over. As I sit at home, looking at the bags I have yet to unpack, I decided to relive my amazing trip by sharing a few recap posts with y'all.

After only 80 hours in Charleston, I can definitely say this is my new favorite city (aside from DC of course). It's hard to explain, but Charleston just has this whimsical air about it. Everything from the beautiful scenery, to the hospitable locals, and delectable food. I'm already planning a trip back (maybe once my wallet recuperates).

In case you're new to the blog, or for those of you who have more than likely been enjoying your summer offline, let me fill you in... I headed down to South Carolina this past weekend for the Southern Blog Society Conference.



It was a trip of a lifetime, full of so many wonderful opportunities. While I'll definitely be sharing more about the conference + what I wore on my trip, next week, I wanted to first share some pics from the weekend. I apologize in advance for the quality of some of the photos. The iPhone isn't quite as good as a DSLR, yet it's much lighter to carry around.

While we didn't have a ton of free time, I definitely got to see a good chunk of what Charleston had to offer. I'll break it down by day and in two posts. That way it's not so much at once. A lot happened in four-ish days, and I don't want y'all to miss anything! First up, Thursday and Friday...

Thursday -- Travel Day

After work on Thursday, three of my good friends (Jennifer + Katie + Alicia) and I headed to the airport for our flight. I wish we had cameras follow us on this portion of the trip, because it was quite the spectacle. At least, in regards to me anyway. Never fails.

Starting with the amount of bags I packed... While I normally can pack pretty light, this trip was totally out of the norm for me. I had zero knowledge of what people wore to a blogger conference, as this was my first one. So I wanted to make sure I had plenty of options throughout my trip (like this amazing J.Crew outfit... outfit details + post, coming soon).



I met up with my three friends at the airport and soon realized I wasn't the only one who had overpacked. Between the four of us we had TWELVE bags. Twelve. Let's just say we are quite skilled in the "bringing way too much and plenty of stuff we didn't need" department.

We checked our bags, sailed smoothly through security and then headed to get food. Pre-flight necessities? California Tortilla and &pizza. Two of my faves. At the time, I thought it was a great idea to get queso dip. Didn't think it was the best idea anymore after spilling it all in my lap, and then proceeding to get it all in my hair.

After providing my friends with a good thirty minutes of laughter, we started to discuss our plans for once we arrived to Charleston. Dinner by the water with margarita's in hand? Sounded amazing. Till a not so pleasant sound of "attention passengers..." came over the loud speaker. Flight delayed!! Not the most ideal phrase you want to hear while heading off to your weekend vacay.

After more than an hour of waiting we finally boarded the plane, excited we were finally on our way. Till yet ANOTHER delay ruined any hopes of margs by the water. Instead, we sat drink-less on the tarmac. You'd think they could have at least let us have a glass of wine.

By the time we arrived to Charleston, it was already the next day of our trip. So we quickly taxied our way to the hotel, Belmond Charleston Place, and crashed. Not the most ideal way to start the trip, but it definitely got better from there.



Friday -- Free Day + Welcome Party

Although we got to bed quite late the night before, we were up and moving pretty early on Friday. We finally got a chance to take a look around our hotel. Don't think I've ever been as excited for a hotel bathroom in my entire life. Rain showers and travertine tile floors, with a phone next to the toilet?! Not sure who I'd need to call, but come on... either this was the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in, or I don't get out much. Either way, it was heaven.

Once we got over the awe of our amazing hotel room, we headed out to find coffee. Priority numero uno. We then met up with two other bloggers (Lauren + Alex) and headed to our first store visit for the day, Escapada Living.



Escapada is known for their resort wear. Think bright colors (like their hot pink rug below) and bold prints. Even though I of course beelined for the stripe maxi dress.



The team at Escapada let us shop the store, try on clothes and view their new fall line being released soon. The six of us picked up a few goodies and then headed off to lunch!

We met up with a few more friends at a Charleston staple... and when I say friends, I mean blogger friends that we connected with all the time on social media, but have never actually met in person. It was so nice finally meeting these familiar faces in real life!




Jack's Cafe is apparently a right of passage for Charlestonians, so we couldn't leave the city without paying it a visit.

After lunch we all headed over to our second store visit of the day, Moon and Lola. I absolutely loved this store. It was so bright and colorful, and had the coolest acrylic jewelry. They're known for their cutout necklaces and charm bracelets. How perfect is this @ necklace below?! I just had to snatch it up!



Moon and Lola had the cutest gallery wall that provided the perfect photo op for all of us. I'll definitely be recreating this in my apartment sometime soon. Just have to find the perfect wall space.

At this point we were all fading fast. A full day of walking, networking and constant picture taking. We were exhausted. At least I was. But it also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year so far for Charleston. Felt like 110 with humidity. So we headed back to the hotel for a necessary water break, rest and to get ready for the conference welcome party.

Later in the evening we headed down to our hotel's terrace, for the welcome cocktail party, hosted by Swoozies. They had a full open bar + snacks for all 75 of us, and some various Swoozies swag spread out among the tables. I even snagged myself a selfie stick. Yes... I know I've been making fun of them, but I'm definitely a fan now.

Since it was still extremely hot and humid outside, I opted for this crop top + midi skirt number, courtesy of Violet Boutique. More details on this outfit will be coming soon!



The cocktail party was the perfect opportunity to meet all the bloggers I've been following over the past year. Some were old friends, but many were new. I made a TON of new friends from all across the southeast and southwest.



After a few cocktails, many photos, and countless introductions later, a big group of us headed to another Charleston staple for dinner... Sermet's Downtown. You may recognize the name, as this place has appeared on the Bravo Network show, Southern Charm. The food was incredible; just as wonderful as the company of friends.



Since everyone was too tired to go out, we headed back to the hotel to relax and gear up for the first full day of conference. I'll be sharing more about that, and what we did on Sunday, tomorrow on the blog. So be sure to head back here in the morning.

Have a great Wednesday y'all!