Top ten outfits of 2014

The recaps of 2014 begin! We’ll start out with some of my most popular outfit posts from the year. I feel like I really killed it last spring with my style, especially in Nashville. Those first warm weather posts after a long winter are usually my favorite, because you can wear everything you were hoarding in your closet for months. I had a super fun summer with traveling, but I feel like I started to care less about style and more about just wearing jeans, a tee and dirty feet while having fun. A goal of mine this year is to work more on my winter style. Usually I wimp out during winter, but I just need to work on finding cute, warm layers, and braving the cold. I’m hoping to continue with outfit posts in 2015, but again, I’m always working to make this blog more "lifestyle". My favorite posts to blog are always things like the trips we take, the tulip fields in spring, lighthouse exploring in summer, and pumpkin picking in autumn. I have so many other interests than style… I love to cook, go running, clean/organize, hang out with friends, have wine club nights with girlfriends, listen to and play music, the list goes on. I’m going to see if I can somehow (interestingly) blog about those things more this year. Along with some outfits of course too! Have a great NYE! I’ll be back with a personal recap of 2014 soon!

Minted Holiday Cards

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! Are you all ready for the holiday? I’m excited for a long weekend, time spent with Eric, our families and our friends. It’s such a magical time of year! I’m sure most of you have already gotten your Christmas cards out on time, but I just wanted to pop in with some of my favorite holiday cards from Minted. Have you heard of Minted before? I love browsing their designs. Eric and I designed our save-the-date and holiday card in one and sent it out early this month, but I love some of these holiday-specific designs! But if you’re running a little late, they have a ton of “Happy New Years” cards that you can send off well into late January! ;) Be sure to head over to their website and check out their collection of holiday cards. And see below for a few of my favorites!

Save The Date: Texas Style Council Camp

If you haven’t heard of Texas Style Council yet… where have you been?! But no really, if you’re a blogger or business owner, you should really be marking the weekend of March 20-22 as busy. TxSC has consistently been one of my favorite blog events. I’ve been to several conferences, and my favorite comes down to this one. It’s down-to-earth, fun, and approachable. A lot of times when I was in NYC, I felt out of place or that I couldn’t relate to some of the bigger bloggers there. But in Austin, I had so many great friends, fellow bloggers, and people I’ve met that made me feel right at home, even if they weren’t from Texas.

This is the final year they are having Texas Style Council, and this year they are getting “back to the basics”. It’s going to be held at Camp Texlake, Texas and we are going to CAMP (Create A Meaningful Presence) with our blogs and businesses. It’ll be a smaller, more intimate retreat - focusing on content and story telling. I’ll be a camp counselor this year, and I’m really excited to connect with other counselors and campers on the topic I’m speaking on!

The event goes from Friday, March 20 to Sunday, March 22 and will include keynote speakers, bonfires, campfire coffees, fun workshops, camp jamboree party, camp photos, brunches, free time, you name it. That sounds pretty darn amazing to me! I know the initial cost may seem a bit daunting, but this is such an affordable conference of its type, and it includes lodging and all meals, which is such a deal!

I hope some of you will be able to attend this final Texas Style Council! I’m really looking forward to it. Be sure to leave me a message in the comments if you plan on attending. I’d love to meet you! xo

Foggy park

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We've had the most dreary weather ever lately. I'd so much rather it snow for Christmas! Eric and I finally got out last night to do some Christmas shopping. We decided to get ourselves an iPad as a shared gift, so I'm excited about that. Our very first one! Now I can Pinterest in bed until the wee hours of the night, and Eric can play way too many hours of Clash of Clans. I think for everyone else, we're mostly getting gift cards and easy things. I get too stressed out every year trying to think of things to get everyone. Plus, I always appreciate a gift card, so I'm sure others do too. Have you all gotten your Christmas shopping done? xo

Outfit details:

Celina Burgundy Dress c/o No Rest For Bridget
Urban Outfitters Green Cardigan (similar)
Target Brown Tights (similar)
Felt Floppy Hat in Brown c/o Sosie (similar)
Multicolor Textured Scarf c/o Maurices (similar)
AEO Shimmery Crew Socks
Gold "Oh Deer" Antler Necklace ℅ Accessory Fanatic
Seychelles Boots (similar)

Michigan's Little Bavaria

This past weekend, Eric and I headed over to my favorite place to visit around the holidays, Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you've never been to Frankenmuth or haven't heard of it before, it's a Christmas wonderland! It's home to Bronner's, the world's largest Christmas store. During the holidays, the streets are completely lit up with Christmas lights, lines are out the door to shop at the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, or to eat a famous chicken dinner at Zehnder's or Bavarian Inn. Horse-drawn carriages are carting people around, tons of people are walking the streets, and there's just a festive spirit in the air. I love this little town.

Nicknamed "Little Bavaria" or "Muth", Frankenmuth is located just south of Saginaw in Michigan. The town was settled and named in 1845 by German immigrants from what's now known as Bavaria, Germany. There is a strong influence of Franconian-style architecture in the town. The buildings very recognizably resemble buildings found in Germany, with the use of timbers in "square" and "X" patterns on the outside of buildings. It's so quaint. Our first stop was to Bronner's World's Largest Christmas Store. We found a parking spot, and headed inside to browse! It was a total madhouse, but completely worth it. It's such a magical place!

Bronner's was founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner, and is visited annually by over 2 million people. The building alone is 7.35 acres, and the grounds are 27 acres! When you drive past this place at night, it is completely lit up with lights. The only thing we ended up buying there was a small guitar ornament that Eric loved, but I just loved walking around and checking everything out! Afterwards, we headed downtown to check out the Frankenmuth Brewery for the first time. It was so so busy, so we could only stand and have one drink, but it was super fun. And the Moscato I had was great!

After having a drink at the brewery, we started walking down the street toward the Bavarian Inn. But first, we stopped to the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus to sample cheeses. I ended up loving the chocolate cheese and bought some for our January wine club! I love strolling through little gift shops. We got to Zehnder's to wait for a chicken dinner, but decided to go across the street to Bavarian Inn because we heard better reviews, and the wait was inside the building instead of out! If you're familiar with both, do you have a preference? I think we're sold on Bavarian Inn now!

We ended up waiting 1 hour and 45 minutes for a table at Bavarian Inn, but it was so completely worth it. They had a server who would bring people drinks in line, so we just ordered tall glasses of beer and wine and enjoyed the wait! It was actually so fun to people watch, talk, and just anticipate one of the best meals ever! Once we finally got seated, we both ordered the Family Style Chicken Dinner (what made both Zehnder's and Bavarian Inn famous) and it was amazing and SO much fun. Eric got up to put his coat on, and was like, "Are you ready?" And I didn't want to leave, because I just loved that night and the memory of that occasion so much.

This was definitely one of my favorite nights of the entire year. Afterwards, we made a quick stop to do a little shopping at the Birch Run Outlets and headed home. Perfect day. xo

Outfit details:

Diagonal Alley Coat in Black c/o ModCloth
Add Another Log Cardigan c/o ModCloth (similar)
Forever21 Black Dress (similar)
Madewell The Transport Tote
Urban Outfitters Belt (similar)
Aldo hat
Candy Cottages Tights in Ginger c/o ModCloth
Melina Cut-Out Bootie c/o White Plum

Decorating for the holidays

Hi friends! Just popping in with a few photos from our decorated apartment for the holidays. I absolutely love how a lit-up tree makes a living room feel so cozy at night! Bundled up in a blanket, with a bowl of popcorn, watching Christmas movies? Perfection.

I'm really excited because I took all of these pictures myself on MANUAL. I know. I've been blogging for five years and I've either had help taking photos, or I've shot on auto always. I just finished ABM's Mastering your DSLR class and it was super helpful. I finally get what shutter speed, aperture and ISO means! They don't have that exact class anymore, but they do have a DSLR Basics class that sounds really similar. My goal in the new year is to start taking my own outfit photos again. As much as I love Eric and his photography skills, we barely see each other in daylight. The only way I'm going to continue this blog is if I get out there and start doing things myself! When I used to blog 25x a month, I would always go out, set up my tripod and take pictures. I'm excited to start doing that again, but now with more expertise in how my photos will turn out (instead of how auto will produce them). Here's to blogging more! xo